7 Day Menu Planner

8/ 28

Family Sunday

Celebrate family day with your own recipe for Leg of Lamb. Serve it with a Southern favorite, cheese and garlic grits. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring 4 cups water to boil in a large saucepan. Stir in 1 cup quick grits and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed less-fat cheddar cheese soup, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce; mix well. Spread mixture in dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup 50 percent light cheddar cheese and garnish with paprika. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese melts.

Serve with steamed green beans and baguettes. For dessert, enjoy peach pie.

Plan ahead: Save enough lamb, grits and pie for Monday.

8/ 29

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Make Lamb Sandwiches for an easy meal. Brush slices of rosemary bread (or focaccia) with olive oil. Top with sliced leftover lamb, roasted red pepper strips (from a jar), sliced tomatoes, red-tip lettuce and goat cheese. Warm the leftover grits to accompany the knock-your-socks-off flavor of the sandwich. Finish with leftover pie.

8/ 30

Meatless Tuesday

It takes a little extra time, but Risotto with Black Olives and Roasted Red Peppers (see recipe) is worth it. Serve the creamy rice concoction with an Italian salad and garlic bread. For dessert, try fresh tropical fruits.

8/ 31

Budget Wednesday

We never mind low-cost menus, especially when they have as much flavor as Lentils with Bacon and Tomatoes (see recipe). Serve the high-fiber dish with a spinach salad and flatbread. Buy or make cupcakes for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cupcakes for Thursday.

9/ 1

Kids Thursday

Tell the kids they are having Pigs in a Serape for dinner and watch them laugh. Spread vegetarian refried beans on fat-free flour tortillas. Place lowest-fat, lowest-sodium hot dogs on the beans. Top with any shredded cheese; roll and heat in the microwave until the cheese melts. Toss shredded lettuce with chopped tomatoes, sliced black olives and ranch-style dressing to enjoy alongside. For dessert, accompany the leftover cupcakes with fresh orange slices.

9/ 2

Express Friday

Try Breakfast-for-Dinner Burritos. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook 1/2 cup chopped onion for 4 minutes on medium or until softened. Add 1 cup Southwestern-style egg substitute (with red and green bell peppers, onions, chilies and seasonings); sprinkle with pepper to taste. Cook and stir mixture until eggs are set. Divide mixture evenly among 4 (8-inch) warmed fat-free flour tortillas; top with 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Fold tortillas over egg mixture; top with drained salsa.

Serve with hash-browned potatoes (frozen). For dessert, make instant banana pudding with 1 percent milk. Stir in sliced bananas and garnish with vanilla wafers.

9/ 3

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite friends for delicious Honey-Ginger Salmon (see recipe). Serve with jasmine rice (or another aromatic rice such as basmati), fresh steamed sugar snap peas and a bibb lettuce salad; add sourdough rolls. Buy a cheesecake for dessert and top with fresh raspberries.