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7-DAY MENU PLANNER: Impress your guests with chicken paprikash

by Susan Nicholson | January 18, 2023 at 4:01 a.m.
America's Test Kitchen/Steve Klise

SUNDAY (Family) -- Make family day extra-special with roasted lamb on the menu. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Crush or finely chop 1 tablespoon fennel seeds. Combine seeds with 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 teaspoons finely chopped lemon zest (yellow part only), 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper; mix well. Rub mixture on 1 (4- to 5-pound) boneless leg of lamb. Place on rack in roasting pan. Bake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven; cover loosely with foil and let stand for 10 minutes. Slice and serve.

Add your own rosemary roasted potatoes, green beans, mixed greens and whole-grain bread. Buy chocolate eclairs for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough lamb for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: fennel seeds, garlic, lemon, coarse salt, pepper, boneless leg of lamb, rosemary, potatoes, green beans, mixed greens, whole-grain bread, chocolate eclairs.

MONDAY (Budget) -- Be money-wise by using the leftover lamb for lamb chili (see recipe below). Top it with tangy plain yogurt and serve with a lettuce wedge and cornbread (from mix). For dessert, sprinkle peaches with cinnamon.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough chili for Friday.

SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, onion, celery, canned reduced-sodium kidney beans, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, chili powder, coarse salt, dried oregano, dried basil, sugar, salsa or picante sauce, plain yogurt, lettuce, cornbread mix, peaches, cinnamon.

TUESDAY (Meatless) -- Make a delicious no-meat dinner, ravioli with pesto, in no time. Toss pesto with hot cheese ravioli (from refrigerated or frozen) and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan. Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Enjoy pears for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: pesto, refrigerated or frozen cheese ravioli, Parmesan, fresh spinach, garlic bread, pears.

WEDNESDAY (Kids) -- Call your little heroes for super dogs with avocado relish (see recipe below). Serve with baked tortilla chips. Try fresh orange sections for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: red bell pepper, onion, cider vinegar, sugar, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, Hass avocado, lowest-sodium lowest-fat hot dogs or bratwurst, whole-grain hot dog buns, brown mustard if desired, baked tortilla chips, oranges.

THURSDAY (Express) -- Make it quick and tasty with a New Orleans-style dirty rice mix. Serve with deli coleslaw and a baguette. Chunky applesauce is a light dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: New Orleans-style dirty rice mix, additional dirty rice ingredients as directed, deli coleslaw, baguette, chunky applesauce.

FRIDAY (Heat and Eat) -- Heat the leftover chili and serve it over couscous. (Thin chili with water or broth, if desired.) Add a mixed green salad and whole-grain rolls. Sliced kiwis make a simple dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: couscous, mixed greens, whole-grain rolls, kiwis.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining) -- Treat your guests to chicken paprikash (see recipe below). Serve the entree over buttered noodles. Add a romaine salad and crusty rolls on the side. For dessert, mint chocolate cookies and chocolate ice cream are a chocolate lover's dream.

SHOPPING LIST: extra-virgin olive oil, onion, red bell pepper, canned diced tomatoes, garlic, coarse salt, bone-in chicken thighs, black pepper, unsalted chicken broth, Hungarian paprika, cayenne pepper, sour cream, flour, parsley, butter, noodles, romaine, crusty rolls, mint chocolate cookies, chocolate ice cream.



Servings: makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 35 minutes


2 teaspoons canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup thinly sliced celery

2 cups chopped cooked lamb

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium kidney beans, with liquid

2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried basil

2 teaspoons sugar

1 cup salsa or picante sauce

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion and celery; cook 6 minutes or until softened. Drain. Add lamb, beans, tomato sauce, chili powder, salt, oregano, basil, sugar and salsa or picante sauce; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 to 30 minutes. Serve.

Per serving: 168 calories, 15 grams protein, 5 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 34 milligrams cholesterol, 364 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.


Servings: makes 8 hot dogs with buns Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 tablespoons finely chopped onion 2 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

Dash cayenne pepper, if desired

1 ripe Hass avocado, diced (about 8 ounces) 8 lowest-sodium lowest-fat hot dogs or bratwurst 8 whole-grain hot dog buns

Brown mustard, if desired

In a small bowl, combine bell pepper, onion, vinegar, sugar, salt and cayenne pepper; mix well. Gently stir in avocado. Meanwhile, cook hot dogs according to directions. Spread cut sides of buns with mustard, if desired. Place hot dogs in buns; spoon relish on top.

Per serving: 277 calories, 9 grams protein, 15 grams fat (46 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 20 milligrams cholesterol, 837 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, halved and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded and thinly sliced 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, drained

5 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

8 (5- to 8-ounce) bone-in chicken thighs, skin removed, trimmed 3/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth

2 tablespoons Hungarian paprika, plus extra for serving 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/3 cup sour cream, plus more for serving

3 tablespoons flour

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high until shimmering. Add onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook about 10 minutes, stirring often, until fond (brown bits of food remaining in pan after browning or sauteing) begins to develop. Sprinkle chicken with black pepper and remaining salt. Stir broth, paprika and cayenne pepper into pot, scraping any browned bits. Submerge chicken in broth mixture; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer until chicken is tender and internal temperature reaches at least 195 degrees, about 30 minutes, stirring and flipping chicken halfway through simmering. Whisk sour cream and flour together in bowl. Slowly whisk 1/2 cup cooking liquid into sour cream mixture. Stir mixture into pot until fully incorporated. Continue to simmer 5 minutes longer or until thickened. Off heat, season with salt and black pepper to taste. Let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley and serve with additional sour cream. (Adapted from “The Chicken Bible,” American’s Test Kitchen.)

Per serving: 373 calories, 30 grams protein, 20 grams fat (50 percent calories from fat), 5.2 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 151 milligrams cholesterol, 616 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected] com. 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 Amazon. com today!

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