7 Day Menu Planner


Family Sunday

Beef Cubes and Gravy (see recipe) will become a favorite at your house just like it is at ours. Serve it over no-yolk egg noodles and garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Add fresh asparagus and whole-grain rolls. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday.


Kids Monday

Try kid-friendly Fiesta Chicken and Rice for dinner. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together 4 cups cooked rice, 2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms, 3 cups salsa, 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken soup, 8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream, 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth or water and 1 1/2 pounds cooked boneless skinless chicken breasts (cut into 1-inch pieces). Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover and bake 40 to 45 minutes. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Serve with carrot sticks, corn tortillas and leftover pie.

Plan ahead: Save enough Fiesta Chicken for Tuesday.


Express Tuesday

Make Chicken-and-Rice Roll-Ups for a quick meal. Separately, heat Monday’s chicken and rice and some flour tortillas. Spoon the chicken mixture onto the tortillas and top with reduced-fat sour cream and some shredded 50 percent light jalapeno cheddar cheese. Roll and eat. Enjoy sliced avocados on the side. Plums are dessert.


Budget Wednesday

White Bean Chili (see recipe) is economical, plus we love the flavor. Serve it with a carrot salad and cornbread (from mix). Pears make a good dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Thursday.


Heat-and-Eat Thursday

You’ll like the leftover Chili just as well tonight, now that the flavors have blended even more. This go-around, serve it over brown rice, along with a spinach salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, scoop vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.


Meatless Friday

Egg Salad Sandwiches nourished me through my college days and have always been one of my favorite sandwiches, especially when they are on whole-grain toast with lettuce and tomato. Make your own or buy the egg salad. Add a pickle or two and olives on the side. Serve with baked sweet potato chips. Red and green grapes are an easy dessert.


Easy Entertaining Saturday

Present Walnut and Panko Crispy Cod (see recipe) to your guests tonight. Add ORZO tossed with freshly grated Parmesan cheese; serve with mixed greens and sourdough bread. For dessert, have some leftover ice cream with caramel topping sprinkled with toasted coconut.

** ** **


Beef Cubes and Gravy (Sunday)

1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 medium onions cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 (8-ounce) package sliced cremini or other fresh mushrooms

1 (1.1-ounce) package beefy onion soup mix

3 tablespoons cornstarch

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups dry red wine

Place beef, onions and mushrooms in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add dry soup mix. Sprinkle with cornstarch, salt and pepper. Pour wine over all. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours, or on high 4 to 5 hours. Stir well before serving. Serves 6.

Per serving: 251 calories (percent calories from fat, 30), 24 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (3.1 grams saturated fat), 71 milligrams cholesterol, 446 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

White Bean Chili (Wednesday)

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 cups chopped onion

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

3 (15-ounce) cans Great Northern beans, rinsed

2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth

2 cups water

3 cups chopped cooked turkey or chicken breast

1/2 cup chopped seeded plum tomatoes

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

8 lime wedges, if desired

Heat oil in a large Dutch oven on medium-high. Add onion and cook 10 minutes or until softened and golden. Add chili powder, garlic and cumin. Cook 2 minutes. Add oregano and beans; cook 30 seconds. Add broth and water; bring to a simmer. Cook 20 minutes. Place 2 cups bean mixture in blender or food processor and process until smooth. Return pureed mixture to pan. Add turkey or chicken; cook 5 minutes or until heated through. Remove from heat. Add tomatoes, cilantro, lime juice, salt and pepper; mix well. Garnish with limes wedges if desired. Makes about 8 cups.

Per cup: 256 calories (percent calories from fat, 13), 26 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrate, 10 grams fiber, 4 grams fat (0.4 gram saturated fat), 45 milligrams cholesterol, 986 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Walnut and Panko Crispy Cod (Saturday)

3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped

3/4 cup panko bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon dried dill

2 eggs, beaten

1/2 cup flour

1 pound cod fillets, cut into 3-inch long pieces

Lemon dill topping:

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or reduced-fat sour cream

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon garlic salt

1/8 teaspoon dried dill

Lemon wedges for garnish

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Stir together walnuts, bread crumbs, garlic powder and dill in a shallow dish. Beat eggs in a second shallow dish. Place flour in a third shallow dish. Roll fish pieces in flour (shake off extra), then egg mixture, then walnut mixture, pressing down gently, and place on baking sheet. Cook for 15 to 20 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together lemon dill topping. Serve fish with lemon wedges and the topping. Serves 4.

Per serving: 318 calories (percent calories from fat, 43), 27 grams protein, 19 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 15 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 114 milligrams cholesterol, 109 milligrams sodium.

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Food

4 Atlanta tiki bars that offer an exotic escape from reality
4 Atlanta tiki bars that offer an exotic escape from reality

Tiki bars are serious about not being serious. The palm-thatched divey haunts are filled with random totems of Polynesia, and offer potent, overly garnished (and mostly rum-based) drinks that help transport us to an exotic getaway that is native to nowhere. The hideaways, a mishmash of flotsam from a mythical South Seas, originated in California. Just...
Revealed: The secret to all cooking
Revealed: The secret to all cooking

The single most important secret in all of cooking is just three words: mise en place. It is apparently one of the first things you are taught in culinary school, and the structure on which all other cooking stands. Mise en place is French for “put in place,” and on a very basic level it means to have all of your ingredients ready and measured...
Let this glorious ingredient simply shine
Let this glorious ingredient simply shine

My father, who was born in Italy and left it at the age of 5, never shook off the nation’s famous minimalism in the kitchen. When I was growing up, he cooked zucchini blossoms for me by doing very little to them: He lightly dipped them in beaten egg and Parmesan and then shallow-fried them in olive oil. That’s it. This restraint is a beautiful...
This simple sauce is summer's best burger hack, and other tips
This simple sauce is summer's best burger hack, and other tips

The beginning of the summer isn't the only time to get creative with your burgers. I appreciate the home cooks who hold back a trick or two to keep the rest of grilling season interesting. If you're like me, here's a secret weapon to upgrade midsummer burgers, courtesy of chef Chris Kronner: a cheese mayonnaise, which combines the rich creaminess of...
Central State’s Table lives up to the easy-drinking style
Central State’s Table lives up to the easy-drinking style

The beer: Table by Central State Brewing (Indianapolis). What it is: Central State calls Table a “rustic blonde ale,” though in beer speak it is a “table beer” — a bright, earthy, low-alcohol ale popular in the Belgian and French traditions meant to appeal to a broad swath of drinkers and pair well with a meal. It&rsquo...
More Stories