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story.lead_photo.caption Spinach, Walnut and Strawberry Salad Courtesy of California Walnut Board

A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families

SUNDAY: That terrific aroma coming from your kitchen is your delicious roast beef. Serve the juicy entree with long-grain and wild rice and fresh broccoli. Add this Spinach, Walnut and Strawberry Salad (see recipe) and some whole-grain bread. Buy a chocolate meringue pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough beef for Monday; save enough pie for Tuesday.

MONDAY: Buy some ciabatta and slice that delicious leftover beef to make roast beef sandwiches with horseradish sauce. Add sliced tomatoes and some lettuce. Serve with oven fries. Make instant butterscotch pudding for dessert.

TUESDAY: Make a quick Breakfast for Dinner of Scramble Wraps. In a medium bowl, beat 4 whole eggs and 4 egg whites. Stir in 1 cup chopped ham and 1 (8-ounce) can corn (rinsed). Scramble as usual. Spoon onto 4 warm flour tortillas; roll and top with salsa. Serve with lentil soup and toasted whole-wheat English muffins. Leftover pie is dessert.

WEDNESDAY: You'll have a winner when you prepare Pasta With Tomato-Gorgonzola Sauce (see recipe) for a delicious, no-meat dinner. Serve with a spinach salad with sliced fresh mushrooms. Add garlic bread. Enjoy pistachio pudding for dessert.

THURSDAY: The kids will love Tex-Mex Pizza. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray. Place 1 (14-ounce) baked pizza crust on sheet; cover with ¾ cup drained salsa, spreading almost to edge. Sprinkle with 1 cup Mexican-blend cheese; place 9 ounces sliced cooked chicken sausage evenly over top of cheese. Bake 13 to 15 minutes or until lightly browned and bubbly. Cool slightly before slicing to serve. Add halved cherry tomatoes and dip. Serve peaches for a light dessert.

FRIDAY: Meatloaf is a favorite around our house, especially one this good. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1½ cups crushed cornflakes with 2 tablespoons milk in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons ketchup, 10 ounces lean ground beef, 8 ounces ground veal, 6 ounces ground pork, ½ cup chopped onion, ⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried basil, ½ teaspoon coarse salt, ¼: teaspoon pepper and 2 egg whites; combine thoroughly. Shape into a 9-by-5-inch loaf on a broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread top with ⅓ cup ketchup. Bake 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees. Let stand 10 minutes and cut into 12 slices. Serve with mashed potatoes, steamed fresh zucchini and crusty bread. Chocolate ice cream is dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

SATURDAY: Any guest will like Cajun Shrimp Linguine (see recipe). Add asparagus on the side, along with a Boston lettuce salad and Italian bread. Make a Black-and-White-and-Red Parfait by layering leftover chocolate ice cream and vanilla ice cream. Top with strawberry sauce.


Spinach, Walnut and Strawberry Salad

2½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons strawberry preserves

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

1½ cups sliced strawberries

1 (5- to 6-ounce) package baby spinach

½ cup coarsely chopped walnuts, toasted

⅓ cup crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl, whisk together juice, oil, preserves and salt. Add strawberries; toss lightly. Place spinach in bowl; toss to coat with dressing. Top with walnuts and cheese and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 244 calories, 6 g protein, 19 g fat, 16 g carbohydrate, 11 mg cholesterol, 291 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1.

Pasta With Tomato-Gorgonzola Sauce

12 ounces medium pasta shells

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper

¼ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano and their liquid

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

½ cup 1 percent milk

⅓ cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese

⅓ cup chopped fresh basil

Cook pasta according to package directions; drain. Return to pot.

Heat oil in a large skillet on medium. Add onion, red pepper and black pepper; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add tomato paste and garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and vinegar. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until lightly thickened. Add milk; simmer 1 minute, then stir in cheese, basil and cooked shells. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 319 calories, 12 g protein, 4 g fat, 58 g carbohydrate, 7 mg cholesterol, 670 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 4.

Cajun Shrimp Linguine

1 cup water

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth

6 ounces linguine

1 pound medium uncooked shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 tablespoon butter

8 ounces sliced crimini mushrooms

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices and halved

2 teaspoons flour

1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning

¼ teaspoon coarse salt

⅔ cup half-and-half

¼ cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

Combine water and broth in a Dutch oven; bring to a boil. Break pasta in half; add to broth mixture. Return to a boil. Cover, reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes. Add shrimp; cover and simmer 3 minutes or until shrimp is opaque. Remove Dutch oven from heat and drain.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt butter on medium-high. Add mushrooms and bell pepper; cook 4 minutes or until moisture evaporates. Add flour, Cajun seasoning and salt; cook 30 seconds. Stir in half-and-half; cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened, stirring constantly.

Add pasta mixture and parsley to skillet; toss to mix. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 343 calories, 33 g protein, 4 g fat, 43 g carbohydrate, 190 mg cholesterol, 385 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 3.

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

Food on 11/21/2018

Print Headline: 7-day menu planner

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