Impress your guests with honey mustard salmon

Courtesy Random House/Christine Han
Honey mustard salmon
Courtesy Random House/Christine Han Honey mustard salmon

SUNDAY (Family) -- Prepare your own leg of lamb and serve it with herb-roasted dijon potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning. Add 2 pounds red potato chunks; toss to coat. Spoon into a shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 35-40 minutes or until tender; stir occasionally.

Add a grape tomato and broccoli floret salad (halve the tomatoes) tossed with a light vinaigrette and add dinner rolls on the side. For dessert, top slices of angel food cake with strawberries.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough lamb, salad and cake for Monday. Save enough strawberries for Tuesday.

SHOPPING LIST: leg of lamb, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, red potatoes, cooking spray, grape tomatoes, fresh broccoli, light vinaigrette, dinner rolls, angel food cake, strawberries.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat) -- Make lamb sandwiches on rosemary (or another) bread: Brush the bread with olive oil and layer it with lamb slices, drained roasted red peppers (from jar), crumbled goat cheese and arugula.

Serve with leftover tomato-broccoli salad. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the leftover cake for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: rosemary (or other) bread, olive oil, jar roasted red peppers, goat cheese, arugula, chocolate syrup.

TUESDAY (Meatless) -- Prepare tomato soup with orzo and white beans for a flavorful no-meat dinner: In a medium pot, cook 1 large chopped onion, 1 small chopped green bell pepper, 2 minced cloves garlic and 1 teaspoon dried oregano in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat for 6 minutes or until softened. Add 1/3 cup orzo, 2 (14½-ounce) cans diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes, 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed reduced-sodium white beans, 2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth, coarse salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 7-9 minutes or until orzo is tender but still firm. Stir 3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan into the soup and ladle into bowls.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches. For dessert, spoon leftover strawberries over vanilla ice cream.

PLAN AHEAD: Save leftover ice cream for Friday.

SHOPPING LIST: onion, green bell pepper, garlic, dried oregano, olive oil, orzo, canned diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes, canned reduced-sodium white beans, vegetable broth, coarse salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese, bread and cheese for sandwiches, vanilla ice cream.

WEDNESDAY (Budget) -- This really good tuna casserole (see recipe) went over big-time at our house. Serve this update of a family favorite with a spinach salad and crusty bread. Tropical fruit is good for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: cooking spray, no-yolk medium egg noodles, butter, red bell pepper, onion, fresh mushrooms, flour, 1 percent milk, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, canned water-packed albacore tuna, coarse salt, black pepper, panko crumbs, fresh spinach, crusty bread, tropical fruit.

THURSDAY (Express) -- Pick up a rotisserie chicken (or two) and serve it with baked potatoes topped with hot cauliflower with low-fat cheese sauce (from frozen). Add whole-grain rolls. Stop by the bakery or deli for brownies for something sweet.

PLAN AHEAD: Save 2 cups chopped chicken for Friday and enough brownies for Saturday.

SHOPPING LIST: rotisserie chicken, potatoes to bake, frozen cauliflower with low-fat cheese sauce, whole-grain rolls, brownies.

FRIDAY (Kids) -- Let the kids help prepare Tex-Mex chicken pot pie (see recipe) using the leftover chicken. The whole family will enjoy it with deli carrot-raisin salad. Peaches are your dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: reduced-fat burrito-size flour tortillas, canned condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, packaged frozen vegetables for soup, canned diced mild green chiles, cilantro, cooking spray, deli carrot-raisin salad, peaches.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining) -- Our guests enjoyed honey mustard salmon (see recipe) with salad greens. Serve with jasmine rice and add a baguette. For dessert, warm the leftover brownies, top with leftover ice cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.

SHOPPING LIST: salmon fillets (skin on), coarse salt, pepper, whole-grain mustard, honey, garlic, paprika, lemon, salad greens, jasmine rice, baguette, chocolate sprinkles.

------ The recipes Really good tuna casserole (Wednesday)

Servings: makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes, plus noodles

6 ounces no-yolk medium egg noodles

2 teaspoons butter, divided

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

½ medium onion, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons flour

1¼ cups 1 percent milk

1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese

1 (9-ounce) can water-packed albacore tuna, drained and flaked

½ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

1/3 cup panko crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon butter, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms in a large container and microwave on high (100 percent power); drain. Whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Stir into vegetable mixture; cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, re-cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 30-second increments until thickened. Remove from microwave, add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in tuna, cooked noodles, salt and pepper; spoon into baking dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Mix together panko crumbs and the 1 teaspoon remaining butter (melted); sprinkle over casserole and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.

Per serving: 357 calories, 28 grams protein, 7 grams fat (17 percent calories from fat), 3.2 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 508 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 3.

------ Tex-Mex chicken pot pie (Friday)

Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

2 reduced-fat burrito-size flour tortillas

1 (10¾-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 (16-ounce) package frozen vegetables for soup, thawed and drained

1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with 1 warmed tortilla (see NOTE). In a large bowl, mix soup, chicken, vegetables, chiles and cilantro. Spoon into lined pie plate. Top with the other warmed tortilla. Coat with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 more minutes or until top is golden and filling is hot. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately.

NOTE: To warm tortillas: Roll them in damp white paper towels and microwave on high (100 percent power) 20 seconds or until heated.

Per serving: 204 calories, 17 grams protein, 5 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 39 milligrams cholesterol, 621 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

------ Honey mustard salmon (Saturday)

Servings: makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: air fryer 6-8 minutes; oven 10-14 minutes

4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets (skin on)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

2 cloves minced garlic

½ teaspoon paprika

Juice of ½ lemon for serving

Season the salmon with salt and pepper on all sides. In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, garlic and paprika to make a glaze. Brush on sides and top of salmon and air-fry 6-8 minutes at 400 degrees or until done to your liking. Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice.

For the oven: Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread salmon with honey mustard mixture. Roast 10-14 minutes depending on thickness of salmon. (Adapted from "Big Bites," Kat Ashmore, Rodale.)

Per serving: 209 calories, 30 grams protein, 6 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 679 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected]. The Menu Planner is also accessible at

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