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SUNDAY: Family day

There's nothing like a pot roast for family day, and this Southwest beef pot roast (see recipe) will be enjoyed by all. Serve it with brown rice, a romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Buy a lemon pie for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough pot roast and pie for Tuesday.

SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, cumin, beef bottom round roast, coarse salt, pepper, chunky salsa, canned reduced-sodium black beans, frozen corn, brown rice, romaine, whole-grain bread, lemon pie.

MONDAY: Kids favorite

Get the children home for dinner with a pizza pita buffet on the menu. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Set out pita bread, pizza sauce, shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced turkey pepperoni and sliced mushrooms. Stuff the pitas with everyone's favorites; bake until hot and cheese melts. Serve with celery sticks and dip. Make instant banana pudding with 1 percent milk for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: pita bread, pizza sauce, shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, sliced turkey pepperoni, mushrooms, celery, dip, instant banana pudding, milk.

TUESDAY: Heat and eat

Use the leftover beef for Tex-Mex tacos. Dice and heat the beef; spoon into warm taco shells. Top with any shredded cheese, salsa, reduced-fat sour cream and diced avocado. Serve with reduced-sodium pinto beans. Enjoy leftover pie for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: taco shells, any shredded cheese, salsa, reduced-fat sour cream, avocados, reduced-sodium pinto beans.

WEDNESDAY: Meatless meal

For a delicious no-meat meal, linguine in lemon cream sauce (see recipe) is just what you're looking for. Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread. For dessert, tropical fruits are simple.

SHOPPING LIST: linguine, light cream cheese, olive oil, lemon, parsley, coarse salt, pepper, walnuts, fresh spinach, garlic bread, tropical fruits.

THURSDAY: Family meal

Wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving with your own roast turkey display. Serve with pecan apple dressing (see recipe), along with petite green peas (from frozen), cranberry sauce and dinner rolls. Pumpkin pie with light whipped cream is a Thanksgiving must.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough turkey and pie for Friday.

SHOPPING LIST: turkey to roast, cooking spray, mild Italian sausage, olive oil or pecan oil, onion, celery, garlic, herb- seasoned cubed stuffing, tart apples (such as Granny Smith), pecan halves, unsalted chicken broth, coarse salt, black pepper, frozen petite green peas, cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, light whipped cream.

FRIDAY: Budget cooking

Use some of the leftovers for turkey bean salad. Mix 2 cups chopped turkey with a can of rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, halved sections from 1 fresh orange and 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions. Toss with a light vinaigrette. Serve with onion soup, a lettuce wedge and leftover pie.

SHOPPING LIST: canned reduced-sodium black beans, orange, green onions, light vinaigrette, onion soup, lettuce.

SATURDAY: Easy entertaining

Your guests will welcome your grilled salmon fillets for a taste change. Add roasted red potatoes and carrots. Serve with green beans tossed in olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a Boston lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, chocolate ice cream with strawberries is a treat.

SHOPPING LIST: salmon fillets, red potatoes, carrots, green beans, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Boston lettuce, whole-grain rolls, chocolate ice cream, strawberries.

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



Makes: 4-8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 2-2 1/2 hours

2 teaspoons canola oil

2 teaspoons cumin

1 (1 1/2- to 2-pound) beef bottom round roast

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 cups chunky salsa

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced- sodium black beans

1 cup frozen corn

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium until hot. Press cumin into beef. Place in pan; brown evenly on all sides (about 5 minutes total). Pour off any drippings. Season beef with salt and pepper; add salsa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover tightly. Simmer 1 3/4-2 1/4 hours or until roast is fork-tender. (Add water if it becomes too dry). Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Stir in beans and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 8-10 minutes or until liquid is slightly thickened. Carve beef into thin slices; serve with bean mixture.


Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes, plus pasta

8 ounces linguine

4 ounces light cream cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1/2 cup chopped parsley

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Toasted chopped walnuts for garnish

Cook linguine according to directions. Drain; reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and return pasta to pot. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan on low, heat the cheese, oil and lemon juice. Stir water into mixture along with lemon zest and parsley. Add to pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with walnuts.


Makes: 18 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 50 minutes

1 pound mild Italian sausage

1 tablespoon olive oil or pecan oil

1 onion, chopped

3 ribs celery, chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

12 ounces herb-seasoned cubed stuffing

2 cups cored chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 3 small apples)

1 1/2 cups pecan halves

1 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside. In a large skillet, brown Italian sausage, breaking it up into crumbles. Drain on paper towels. Discard excess grease. In the same pan, heat oil on medium. Cook onions, celery and garlic for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened and fragrant. In a large bowl, stir together cooked sausage, cooked onion mixture, stuffing cubes, apples and pecans. Add 1 cup of broth and stir to combine. If stuffing mixture is too dry, add additional 1/2 cup of broth or more if desired. (Be careful not to add too much liquid.) Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Transfer stuffing to prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Serve immediately.

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