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7-DAY MENU PLANNER: Green bean salad compliments a Sunday family meal

by Andrews McMeel Syndication | June 8, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Courtesy of America’s Test Kitchen

SUNDAY: Family day

Make family day special and serve a baked turkey breast. Alongside, green bean salad with cherry tomatoes and feta (see recipe) will make everyone clean their plates. Add a mixed green salad, deviled eggs and whole-grain rolls to your feast. Prepare your own or buy your own fresh blueberry cobbler and top it with vanilla ice cream for a divine dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough turkey for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: turkey breast, green beans, coarse salt, cherry tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, pepper, Greek feta cheese, mixed greens, ingredients for deviled eggs, whole-grain rolls, blueberry cobbler, vanilla ice cream.

MONDAY: Heat and eat

Use the leftover turkey in turkey and bulgur salad (see recipe). Serve it with hummus and pita bread. Enjoy apricots for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, flatleaf parsley, lemon, olive oil, cumin, coarse salt, pepper, red-tipped lettuce, hummus, pita bread, apricots.

TUESDAY : Kids favorite

Let the children celebrate dinner with burger night. They might want to add cheese along with their favorite trimmings. How about some oven fries (from frozen) on the side? Spread celery sticks with cream cheese and garnish with raisins. Make s'mores in the microwave for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: hamburgers, buns, cheese, trimmings, frozen oven fries, celery, cream cheese, raisins, and marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate for s'mores.

WEDNESDAY: Meatless meal

Make a no-meat dinner special with bow tie pasta with alfredo sauce (see recipe). Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Fresh strawberries make a juicy dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: bow tie pasta, frozen tiny green peas, butter, garlic, flour, half-and-half, white pepper, coarse salt, nutmeg, Parmesan cheese, fresh spinach, garlic bread, fresh strawberries.

THURSDAY: Budget friendly

For a low-cost dinner, try roast sausage, peppers and onions. Roast any nonbreakfast sausage links in a 400-degree oven along with wedges of bell peppers and onions for 30 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Slice sausage before serving.

Add hash browns (from frozen), a lettuce wedge and rye bread to round out the meal. Sprinkle peaches with nutmeg for an easy dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: any nonbreakfast sausage links, bell peppers, onions, frozen hash browns, lettuce, rye bread, peaches, nutmeg.

FRIDAY: Express cooking

Try a no-meat frozen lasagna for an easy meal. Add a packaged green salad and Italian bread. Plums are a simple dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: no-meat frozen lasagna, packaged green salad, Italian bread, plums.

SATURDAY: Easy entertaining

Extend an invitation to special friends for Dijon chicken: Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a medium skillet. Brown 1 pound chicken cutlets; remove to plate. In same skillet, whisk one (103/4-ounce) can condensed lower-sodium cream of chicken soup, 3/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Add cutlets; cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Serve the chicken with brown rice, steamed broccoli drizzled with lemon juice, a Boston lettuce salad and a baguette. A simple dessert, meringue cookies and pineapple sherbet, is a perfect ending.

SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, chicken cutlets, canned condensed lower-sodium cream of chicken soup, Dijon mustard, brown rice, fresh broccoli, lemon, Boston lettuce, baguette, meringue cookies, pineapple sherbet.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected] Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at Read Susan's blog:

And check out Susan's book! "7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies" is on shelves now. Order yours on today!

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Makes: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5-8 minutes

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon plus 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 2 quarts water to a boil. Add green beans and 1 tablespoon salt; return to boil and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until beans are bright green. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Drain beans in colander and immediately transfer to ice bath. Drain when beans are no longer warm to touch. Dry thoroughly. Place beans, tomatoes, oil, mint, parsley, juice, pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt in bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to serving platter; sprinkle with feta and serve. (Adapted from "The Complete Summer Cookbook," America's Test Kitchen.)

Per serving: 153 calories, 4 grams protein, 12 grams fat (63% calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 340 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 1.


Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; standing time: 30 minutes

1 cup bulgur

2 cups boiling water

12 ounces cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-size pieces

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 small cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped flatleaf parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Red-tipped lettuce leaves

Place bulgur in a medium bowl; pour boiling water over bulgur, cover and let stand 30 minutes. Drain well. In a large bowl, combine bulgur, turkey, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley; mix gently. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over bulgur mixture; mix well. Spoon over lettuce leaves and serve.

Per serving: 337 calories, 32 grams protein, 9 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 266 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber. Carb count: 2.


Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

8 ounces bow tie pasta

1/2 cup frozen tiny green peas

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half-and-half

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; place peas in colander and pour pasta over to drain. Return to pot. Meanwhile, melt butter in a small saucepan on low heat; add garlic and cook 1 minute. Whisk flour into mixture. Slowly add half-and-half until well blended. Whisk in salt, pepper and nutmeg; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat. Serve.

Per serving: 310 calories, 14 grams protein, 4 grams fat (11% calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 304 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Carb count: 4.

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