7day menu planner

Pomodoro Salad

SUNDAY: Plan to relax on family day and buy a spiral-sliced ham. Add German potato salad and coleslaw from the deli, along with pickled beets and rye bread. Make Blueberry and Vanilla "Napoleons" for dessert. In a large bowl, beat 1 (3.4-ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix into 1 1/2 cups cold milk for 2 minutes or until well-blended; let stand 5 minutes. Add 1/3 cup pudding to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate. Into the remaining pudding, fold 1 cup (of 1 1/3 cups total) fresh blueberries. Reserve remaining blueberries. Cut 1 (11.75-ounce) frozen (thawed) pound cake into 12 thin slices; toast until golden. Place 1 cake slice on each of 6 dessert plates. Spoon blueberry-pudding mixture onto slices, dividing evenly. Top each piece with another slice of cake. Garnish with reserved pudding and reserved blueberries. Serve immediately.

Plan ahead: Save enough ham and coleslaw and buy enough blueberries for Monday. Save enough ham for Wednesday.

MONDAY: Use some of the leftover ham for delicious Ham, Asparagus and Swiss Quiche (see recipe). Serve with leftover coleslaw and crusty rolls. Keep dessert light with leftover blueberries.

TUESDAY: For an easy meal, buy a packaged Mexican dinner kit (such as Old El Paso or another brand) and any ingredients listed as needed on the package and follow the directions. Serve with pinto beans and guacamole. Fresh pineapple spears are good for dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Treat the kids and make Macaroni and Cheese With Ham by stirring cubed leftover ham into your own (or store-bought) hot macaroni and cheese. Cover and let stand 5 minutes to heat through. Add baby carrots for some crunch, along with bread sticks. Strawberries are good for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough carrots for Friday.

THURSDAY: Spicy Cheese and Rice Bake (see recipe) has plenty of flavor without any fuss. Serve it with a spinach salad with thinly sliced red onion and toasted walnuts. Add whole-grain bread. How about some juicy fresh apricots for dessert?

FRIDAY: There's nothing like a good sandwich such as Grilled Brie, Basil and Tomatoes on Sourdough Bread to ease the food budget. Serve with baked chips and leftover baby carrots and add sweet pickles. Watermelon wedges are a messy, fun dessert.

SATURDAY: Invite guests for your grilled tuna tonight. Add packaged long-grain and wild rice. Enjoy the bounty of summer tomatoes with Pomodoro Salad (see recipe). Add baguettes. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.


Ham, Asparagus and Swiss Quiche

1 refrigerated pie crust (from a 15-ounce package)

1 tablespoon butter

1 medium onion, sliced

8 ounces fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces leftover ham, cubed

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

3 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Dash hot sauce

8 ounces shredded Swiss cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees.

Using a 10-inch quiche pan, prepare crust according to package directions for a 1-crust pie. Trim excess dough and refrigerate pan.

In a large skillet, melt butter on medium-low and cook onion and asparagus 5 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to low. Add ham and heat through. Remove from heat and stir in tomatoes.

In a separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, nutmeg and hot sauce. Spoon vegetable-and-ham mixture into prepared crust. Add Swiss cheese and pour egg mixture over all. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until center is set.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with 1 percent milk and reduced-fat cheese) contains approximately 428 calories, 27 g protein, 27 g fat, 24 g carbohydrate, 145 mg cholesterol, 751 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate count: 1 1/2.

Spicy Cheese and Rice Bake

1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles

6 ounces reduced-fat sour cream

4 cups cooked rice

4 ounces grated cheddar cheese

3 tablespoons sliced pickled jalapeno peppers

2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a small bowl, combine tomatoes and sour cream. Layer half of rice, half of tomato mixture and half of cheese in the baking dish. Repeat layers. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned and casserole is bubbly. Garnish with jalapeno peppers and cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with white rice, reduced-fat sour cream and reduced-fat cheese) contains approximately 359 calories, 15 g protein, 10 g fat, 53 g carbohydrate, 36 mg cholesterol, 745 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate count: 31/2.

Pomodoro Salad

4 ripe medium tomatoes

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 small red onion, sliced thinly, lengthwise

1/4 cup chopped flatleaf parsley

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons torn fresh basil leaves

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme or oregano (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Bring a small pot of water to boil; submerge each tomato for 10 seconds, then immediately run under cold water. Remove skin. Cut out core, slice into thin wedges and place in medium bowl. Add salt and mix. Add onion, parsley, garlic, basil leaves, thyme or oregano and oil. Stir until well combined. Chill 30 minutes and serve.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 85 calories, 1 g protein, 7 g fat, 6 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 327 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate count: 1/2.

Recipe adapted from Lucinda's Rustic Italian Kitchen by Lucinda Scala Quinn

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:


Food on 08/05/2015