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7-DAY MENU PLANNER: Smoked gouda jazzes up mashed potatoes

by Andrews McMeel Syndication | November 30, 2022 at 4:00 a.m.
Shadow Mountain/Ty Mecham

SUNDAY: Family day

With roast chicken on the menu for family day, I'm reminded of my childhood Sunday meals. Serve the homey entree with smoked gouda and scallion mashed potatoes (see recipe). Add fresh broccoli, a spinach salad and dinner rolls. Buy a lemon meringue pie for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough chicken and pie for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: chicken to roast, russet potatoes, coarse salt, whole milk, unsalted butter, smoked Gouda cheese, green onions, fresh broccoli, fresh spinach, dinner rolls, lemon meringue pie.

MONDAY: Heat and eat

Use the Sunday leftover chicken for chicken, black beans and corn salad wrap. Mix shredded chicken with canned rinsed corn, canned rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, shredded lettuce and salsa. Serve rolled in warm whole-grain tortillas. Add sliced avocado to the plate. Present the leftover pie for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: canned corn, reduced-sodium black beans, lettuce, salsa, whole-grain tortillas, avocado.

TUESDAY: Kids favorite

Let's roll dinner again for the children in easy turkey roll-ups. Spread six (6- or 7-inch) whole-grain tortillas with chive and onion cream cheese (or plain less-fat cream cheese), slices of deli turkey, shredded lettuce and thin slices of tomato. Roll and cut into three pieces. Add carrot salad on the side. For dessert, make instant chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk and stir in tiny marshmallows and sliced bananas for a kid kind of dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough carrot salad for Wednesday.

SHOPPING LIST: whole-grain tortillas, chive and onion cream cheese or plain less-fat cream cheese, deli sliced turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, carrot salad, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, tiny marshmallows, bananas.

WEDNESDAY: Budget dining

Save some money and enjoy pulled pork with onions tonight. Place one (3-pound) trimmed pork shoulder (cut into three pieces) in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine three halved and sliced onions, 1/3 cup sugar, four cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup chili sauce and three minced canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce; mix well and spoon over pork. Cover and cook 7-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Transfer pork to cutting board; shred with two forks and stir back into sauce. Serve on toasted whole-grain buns. Top with sliced jalapeno peppers if desired. Add pinto beans and leftover carrot salad on the side. Enjoy pears for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough pulled pork for Friday.

SHOPPING LIST: pork shoulder, onions, sugar, garlic, dried oregano, black pepper, coarse salt, cider vinegar, chili sauce, canned chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, whole-grain buns, sliced jalapeno peppers, pinto beans, pears.

THURSDAY: Meatless meal

You'll never miss meat with cottage casserole (see recipe). Serve it with a romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Strawberry ice cream is dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

SHOPPING LIST: bow tie or elbow pasta, package fresh spinach, no-added-salt or regular marinara sauce, reduced-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta cheese, green onions, coarse salt, pepper, 50 percent light cheddar cheese, cooking spray, Romaine, whole-grain bread, strawberry ice cream.

FRIDAY: Express cooking

To continue the "eating out of hand" theme for this week, how about pork tacos? Heat the leftover pork and spoon it into heated taco shells; top with deli coleslaw. Serve with baked chips. Fresh pineapple is a simple dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: taco shells, deli coleslaw, baked chips, fresh pineapple.

SATURDAY: Easy entertaining

Shrimp fettuccine alfredo (see recipe) makes a great meal for guests as well as the hostess because of the flavor and the simplicity. Add roasted asparagus, a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. Top the leftover ice cream with warm fudge sauce.

SHOPPING LIST: refrigerated fettuccine, medium shrimp, green onions, garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, half-and-half, less-fat cream cheese, pepper, fresh parsley, coarse salt, asparagus, Boston lettuce, baguettes, fudge sauce.

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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Servings: makes 10-12 servings:

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

5 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces

1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

3/4 cup whole milk, warmed

2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup grated smoked Gouda cheese

2 green onions, thinly sliced, divided

Place potatoes and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a large pot. Cover with cold water by 2 inches. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to simmer and cook 25 to 30 minutes or until fork-tender but not falling apart. Beat potatoes on medium speed until just smooth. Add remaining salt, milk, butter and Gouda and half the onions. Beat until just smooth, adding more milk if needed. Serve hot. Garnish with remaining onions and butter if desired. (Adapted from "Gather Around Dinners," Tara Teaspoon, Shadow Mountain Publishing.)

Per serving: 229 calories, 7 grams protein, 6 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 3.4 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 289 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber. Carb count: 2 1/2


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour, plus pasta; standing time: 5 minutes

12 ounces bow tie or elbow pasta

1 (8- to 10-ounce) package fresh spinach leaves, chopped,

4 cups no-added-salt or regular marinara sauce

1 (15-ounce) container reduced-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta cheese

3/4 cup chopped green onions

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese (4 ounces)

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. In a large bowl, microwave spinach 3 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until wilted; drain well and set aside. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In bowl with spinach, add cooked pasta, sauce, cottage or ricotta cheese, green onions, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with nonstick foil. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 389 calories, 25 grams protein, 5 grams fat (11 percent calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 62 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 827 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber. Carb count: 4


Servings: makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes, plus pasta

1 (9-ounce) packaged refrigerated fettuccine

1 pound uncooked, peeled and deveined medium shrimp

2 chopped green onions

2 cloves minced garlic

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

1/3 cup half-and-half

3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) less-fat cream cheese

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Cook pasta according to directions; drain and reserve 1/4 cup water. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, onions and garlic; toss to mix. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Add shrimp mixture; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque throughout. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium. Add reserved 1/4 cup water, Parmigiano-Reggiano, half-and-half, cream cheese and pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Combine pasta, cheese mixture and shrimp mixture. Salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Per serving: 375 calories, 26 grams protein, 12 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 4.9 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 166 milligrams cholesterol, 610 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber. Carb count: 3.

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