SUNDAY (Family) -- For a special family day, beef burgundy (see recipe) will please everyone. Serve it over noodles with green peas (from frozen), a mixed green salad and whole-grain bread alongside. For dessert, angel food cake with a dab of chocolate ice cream is easy.
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough beef burgundy, peas and cake for Monday; save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
SHOPPING LIST: baby carrots, dried marjoram, pepper, lean beef stew meat, unsalted beef broth, Burgundy or other dry red wine, garlic, fresh mushrooms, quick-mixing flour, noodles, frozen green peas, mixed greens, whole-grain bread, angel food cake, chocolate ice cream.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat) -- Thin the leftover stew with unsalted beef broth for beef vegetable soup; add to the soup any leftover vegetables hiding in your refrigerator, plus coarse salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a lettuce wedge and whole-grain crackers. Slice the leftover cake and top with any berries for dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: unsalted beef broth, coarse salt, pepper, lettuce, whole-grain crackers, any berries.
TUESDAY (Kids) -- It's burger night, and the kids will love turkey burgers topped with pizza sauce on whole-grain buns. Serve them with oven fries (from frozen) and add orange sections on chopped lettuce on the side. Some leftover ice cream for dessert will bring on happy faces.
SHOPPING LIST: turkey burgers, pizza sauce, whole-grain buns, frozen oven fries, oranges, lettuce.
WEDNESDAY (Meatless) -- Skip meat tonight for this mushroom and pepper frittata: In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium. Cook 1 medium chopped onion and 1 red bell pepper for 3 minutes. Add 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms; cover and cook 1 minute. Stir and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Heat broiler. In a large bowl, whisk 8 eggs, ¼ cup water, ¾ cup shredded Asiago cheese, ¼ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. In same skillet, heat 1 more tablespoon oil on medium. Add egg mixture and ¼ cup sliced fresh basil leaves; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-low; sprinkle mushrooms over eggs. Cover and cook 5-6 minutes or until just the edges are puffed. Sprinkle ¼ cup more Asiago cheese over top; broil 1 minute. Serve with whole-grain toast and fresh tropical fruit.
SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, onion, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, eggs, Asiago cheese, coarse salt, black pepper, fresh basil, whole-grain bread, fresh tropical fruit.
THURSDAY (Express) -- Make it quick with palermo pizza tonight. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Top a 12-inch fully cooked pizza crust (from frozen) with canned eggplant appetizer (caponata), some sliced ripe olives, sliced red onion, sliced plum tomatoes and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with some dried oregano. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until hot. Serve with a packaged green salad. For an easy dessert, try red and green grapes.
SHOPPING LIST: frozen fully cooked pizza crust, canned eggplant appetizer (caponata), sliced ripe olives, red onion, plum tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, packaged green salad, red and green grapes.
FRIDAY (Budget) -- Get out the slow cooker again for southwestern chicken soup (see recipe). Serve with a sliced avocado on lettuce salad and crusty bread. Slice kiwis for dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: unsalted chicken broth, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, canned chopped green chilies, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, frozen shoe peg corn, red bell pepper, green bell pepper, onion, boneless skinless chicken breast, garlic pepper, cumin, seasoned salt, avocados, lettuce, crusty bread, kiwis.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining) -- Expect extended applause when you serve your guests salmon with asparagus and chive butter sauce (see recipe). Add long-grain and wild rice (from mix) and dinner rolls. Complete your outstanding meal with orange ginger cheesecake: Stir a little grated fresh ginger into some orange marmalade and spoon over a cheesecake.
SHOPPING LIST: thick asparagus, coarse salt, skinless salmon fillets, pepper, dry white wine, fresh chives, unsalted butter, lemons, long-grain and wild rice mix, dinner rolls, fresh ginger, orange marmalade, cheesecake.
Beef burgundy (Sunday)
Servings: makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: about 7 hours on low
1 (8-ounce) package baby carrots
¾ teaspoon dried marjoram
¾ teaspoon pepper
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1½-inch pieces
1 cup unsalted beef broth
1 cup Burgundy or other dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) package halved fresh mushrooms
¼ cup quick-mixing flour
Place carrots in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle marjoram and pepper over beef; add to slow cooker. Add broth, wine, garlic and mushrooms; cover and cook on low 6 hours. Remove about ½ cup liquid from cooker; mix with flour. Pour back into cooker and continue cooking on low about 30 more minutes or until thickened and beef and carrots are tender. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Per serving: 216 calories, 24 grams protein, 8 grams fat (34 percent calories from fat), 3 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Carb count: 0.5.
Southwestern chicken soup (Friday)
Servings: makes about 15 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour on high; 6 to 7 hours on low
4½ cups unsalted chicken broth
1 (14½-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen shoe peg corn, partially thawed
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
Less-sodium seasoned salt to taste
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, mix together the broth, tomatoes with liquid, chilies, beans, corn, both bell peppers, onion, chicken and garlic pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 6-7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in the cumin and add seasoned salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Per cup: 119 calories, 13 grams protein, 1 gram fat (11 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 113 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Carb count: 1.
Salmon with asparagus and chive butter sauce (Saturday)
Servings: makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 15 minutes
1 pound thick asparagus, trimmed
1 cup water
¾ teaspoon coarse salt, divided
4 (6- to 8-ounce) skinless salmon fillets, 1 inch thick
¼ teaspoon pepper
½ cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
Lemon wedges for garnish
Lay asparagus in a single layer in 12-inch skillet; add water and ¼ teaspoon salt. Pat salmon dry with paper towels and sprinkle with ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper; lay across asparagus spears in skillet. Place over high heat until water comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium; cover and cook until asparagus is tender and salmon is still translucent when checked with tip of paring knife and internal temperature reaches 125 degrees (medium rare), about 8 minutes. Transfer salmon and asparagus to platter. Add wine to skillet; increase heat to medium-high and simmer, uncovered, 5 minutes. Off heat, whisk in chives and butter; season with salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over salmon and asparagus. Serve with lemon wedges. (Adapted from "Five-Ingredient Dinners," America's Test Kitchen.)
Per serving: 343 calories, 38 grams protein, 16 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 6.8 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 102 milligrams cholesterol, 495 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb count: ½.
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 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan's blog: makingthemenu.com. And check out Susan's book! "7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies" is on shelves now. Order yours on Amazon.com today!