SUNDAY (Family) -- Try these Louisiana crabcakes (see recipe) for a special family meal. Alongside, make your potato salad and add coleslaw and hush puppies (from mix). Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough crabcakes and coleslaw for Monday and enough Boston cream pie for Tuesday.
SHOPPING LIST: egg, crabcake mix, low-fat mayonnaise, fresh lump or back fin crabmeat, canola oil, ingredients for potato salad, coleslaw, hush puppy mix, Boston cream pie.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat) -- Celebrate Memorial Day with leftovers and make heated crabcake sandwiches on toasted English muffins. Add tartar sauce, corn on the cob and leftover coleslaw. How about chocolate chip cookies with a dollop of chocolate ice cream for dessert?
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cookies for Wednesday.
SHOPPING LIST: English muffins, tartar sauce, corn on the cob, chocolate chip cookies, chocolate ice cream.
TUESDAY (Meatless) -- Cheese ravioli with mushrooms and peas (see recipe) is a great no-meat dinner. Serve with a romaine salad and garlic bread. Leftover Boston cream pie makes a good dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: frozen cheese-filled ravioli, olive oil, garlic powder, onion, fresh cremini mushrooms, frozen green peas, sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce, tomato basil pasta sauce, basil pesto, romaine, garlic bread.
WEDNESDAY (Kids) -- The kids will be happy you are serving broiled honey-sesame chicken tenders for dinner: Marinate chicken tenders in honey teriyaki (or another flavor) marinade (from jar) for 10 minutes, then roll in sesame seeds before broiling on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil for 5 minutes or until cooked through.
Serve with rice, green beans and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, leftover cookies are all you'll want.
SHOPPING LIST: chicken tenders, jar honey teriyaki marinade (or another flavor), sesame seeds, rice, green beans, whole-grain rolls.
THURSDAY (Budget) -- Go Italian with panini caprese for dinner. Cut a 10- to 14-ounce focaccia loaf (olive oil and herb or another flavor) in half horizontally. On bottom half, arrange 8 ounces fresh sliced mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes. Sprinkle with ½ teaspoon coarse salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Top with fresh basil leaves. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin oil and 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Cover with bread top; press down gently. Cut into wedges and serve.
Add baked chips. For dessert, fresh pineapple is light.
SHOPPING LIST: focaccia loaf (olive oil and herb or another flavor), fresh mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, coarse salt, pepper, fresh basil, extra-virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, baked chips, fresh pineapple.
FRIDAY (Express) -- One of my favorite fast meals is chicken salad stuffed avocados: Buy deli chicken salad and add some chopped walnuts and halved grapes. Spoon the mixture into halved avocados that have been coated with lemon juice. Garnish top with paprika.
Serve on mixed greens and add tomato wedges to the plates, along with oven fries (from frozen) and crusty bread. Enjoy fresh Blueberries for dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: deli chicken salad, walnuts, grapes, avocados, lemons, paprika, mixed greens, tomatoes, frozen oven fries, crusty bread, fresh blueberries.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining) -- Entertain guests with delicious pork medallions with blue cheese chive topping (see recipe). Serve with orzo tossed with a little olive oil and chopped fresh parsley, steamed fresh asparagus, a bibb lettuce salad and a baguette. For dessert, top strawberry ice cream with fresh strawberries.
SHOPPING LIST: pork tenderloin, pepper, olive oil, crumbled blue cheese, fresh chives, plain breadcrumbs, orzo, fresh parsley, fresh asparagus, bibb lettuce, baguette, strawberry ice cream, fresh strawberries.
Louisiana crabcakes (Sunday)
Servings: makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes; Refrigeration time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
1 package crabcake mix
2/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 pound fresh lump or back fin crabmeat
1 tablespoon canola oil
In a large bowl, beat egg. Add crabcake mix and mayonnaise; stir until well blended. Add crabmeat; toss gently to combine. Shape mixture into 8 patties. Refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 4 crabcakes; fry about 4 minutes per side until golden brown and cooked through (internal temperature 165 degrees). Repeat with remaining crabcakes, adding additional oil if needed.
Per serving: 183 calories, 15 grams protein, 4 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 0.3 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 648 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Carb count: 1.5.
Cheese ravioli with mushroomand peas (Tuesday)
Servings: makes 5 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 10 minutes, plus ravioli
1 (24-ounce) bag frozen cheese-filled ravioli (about 45 pieces)
1 tablespoon olive oil
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
½ cup chopped onion
8 ounces fresh cremini mushrooms, sliced
½ cup frozen green peas
½ cup sun-dried tomato Alfredo sauce
½ cup tomato basil pasta sauce
2 teaspoons basil pesto
Cook ravioli according to directions. Meanwhile, heat oil and garlic powder in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion, mushrooms and peas. Cook 7 minutes or until onions are softened and mushrooms release their liquid. Stir in Alfredo sauce, pasta sauce and pesto; cook, stirring occasionally, 2 minutes or until hot. Drain ravioli and return to skillet. Pour sauce over ravioli, stirring gently to coat. Heat 2 to 3 minutes; serve.
Per serving: 364 calories, 12 grams protein, 11 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 578 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb count: 3.
Pork medallions with blue cheese chive topping (Saturday)
Servings: makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 15 minutes
1 pound pork tenderloin
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 ounces crumbled blue cheese (½ cup)
3 tablespoons finely snipped fresh chives
1 tablespoon plain breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut tenderloin into 1-inch slices. Flatten to ¾-inch thickness. Sprinkle with pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add pork and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until brown, turning once. Transfer pork to a baking sheet covered with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, mix together blue cheese, chives and breadcrumbs, breaking cheese into fine crumbs. Top pork slices evenly with cheese mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 155 degrees. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 201 calories, 27 grams protein, 9 grams fat (41 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 84 milligrams cholesterol, 235 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Carb count: 0.
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.