A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families.
SUNDAY: Gather the family for your roast chicken. Choose a 5- to 7-pounder for plenty of leftovers. Cut into serving pieces and place in center of a large platter. Arrange parsley buttered potatoes and peas and carrots (from frozen) around chicken. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, everyone will drool over Cherry Sundae Pie (see recipe).
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and cook 3 extra plain potatoes for Monday.
MONDAY: Prepare Chicken-Potato Salad tonight for a quick meal. In a large serving bowl, toss together 2 cups cooked, skinned and diced leftover chicken, 3 medium leftover potatoes (diced), 1 (15-ounce) can beets (drained and diced), 1 medium red onion (finely chopped), ⅓ cup diced dill pickles and 3 tablespoons fresh dill. In a small bowl, combine ⅓ cup red wine vinaigrette, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 1 tablespoon light brown sugar; mix well. Pour over salad mixture and toss to coat. Add a lettuce wedge on the side. Serve with breadsticks. Add peaches for dessert.
TUESDAY: Make Tomato Bean Soup for a hearty no-meat meal. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced pasta-style tomatoes such as Del Monte, 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium red kidney beans (rinsed), 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium cannellini beans (rinsed), 2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth, ¼ cup water and 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (squeezed dry). Add ½ cup orzo pasta. Cover and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer 10 minutes or until orzo is tender. Serve with cheese toast and mixed greens. Enjoy oatmeal cookies for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY: Meatball Hoagies won't take long to prepare. Heat a large skillet coated with vegetable oil spray on medium-high. Cook 1 small chopped onion and 1 small chopped green bell pepper for 4 minutes. Add 1 (15 ½-ounce) can sloppy Joe sauce (or 1 pouch seasoning mix prepared according to package directions) and 16 cooked meatballs (thawed from frozen); cook 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated, stirring often. Divide among hoagie buns. Serve with baked sweet potato chips and Carrot-Raisin Salad: In a medium bowl, combine 1 ½ cups shredded carrots and ⅓ cup raisins. In a small bowl, combine ¼ cup mayonnaise, 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice and coarse salt to taste. Spoon over carrot mixture and toss to coat. For dessert, add leftover cookies.
THURSDAY: Tonight's slow cooker Chuck Roast With Potatoes and Carrots (see recipe) uses one of my favorite appliances. All you need to complete your meal is a big green salad and crusty bread. Fresh pineapple is a light dessert.
FRIDAY: Get the kids to help you prepare Mexican Rice Skillet (see recipe). For a treat, enjoy flan for dessert.
SATURDAY: Show your grilling talent and prepare grilled tuna steaks for your guests. Serve with Sour Cream Noodles: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Cook 4 ounces (about 1 ½ cups) egg noodles according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine 3/4 cup sour cream, ½ cup small-curd cottage cheese, ¼ cup milk, 1 clove minced garlic, ½ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Add noodles, toss to mix and spoon into prepared dish. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese. Bake 5 more minutes before serving. Alongside, add asparagus and baguettes. For dessert, Gorgonzola Pears are simple. Halve, core and slice 3 pears into sections. Divide and attractively arrange slices among 4 dessert plates; spoon crumbled gorgonzola cheese over pears. Top with toasted chopped walnuts.
Cherry Sundae Pie
1 (16-ounce) can dark sweet cherries, well-drained, divided use
1 (9-inch) graham cracker pie crust
4 cups softened vanilla ice cream, divided use
⅓ cup PLUS 2 tablespoons chocolate topping
½ cup toasted pecans
Whipped cream for garnish
Spread half the cherries in pie shell; cover with 2 cups of the ice cream. Drizzle ⅓ cup chocolate topping over ice cream. Spread remaining cherries. Sprinkle pecans on top. Spoon remaining ice cream evenly over pie. Drizzle with remaining 2 tablespoons chocolate topping. Freeze several hours or overnight. Let thaw 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with whipped cream.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 355 calories, 5 g protein, 15 g fat, 50 g carbohydrate, 29 mg cholesterol, 162 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.5.
Chuck Roast With Potatoes and Carrots
2 ½ pounds boneless chuck roast, trimmed
1 ½ teaspoons coarse salt, divided use
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound baby carrots
4 medium Yukon Gold potatoes (about 1 ½ pounds), cut into quarters
1 small head cabbage, cored and quartered
1 ¼ cups unsalted beef stock
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons light brown sugar
2 tablespoons stone-ground mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
¾ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped flatleaf parsley
Sprinkle roast with 1 teaspoon salt. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add roast; cook 4 minutes on each side or until browned. Transfer roast to a 5- to 6-quart slow cooker. Place carrots, potatoes and cabbage on and around roast. Mix together the stock, vinegar, sugar, mustard, garlic, pepper and remaining salt in a bowl and pour over the vegetables and roast. Cover; cook on low about 9 hours. Turn off cooker; remove roast, reserving liquid and vegetables in the cooker. Cover cooker. Let roast stand 20 minutes; slice across grain. Remove cabbage; cut into slices. Place cabbage, potatoes and carrots on serving platter; top with sliced roast. Sprinkle with parsley. Drizzle with cooking liquid. (Adapted from Everyday Slow Cooker Oxmoor House.)
Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 218 calories, 19 g protein, 7 g fat, 20 g carbohydrate, 33 mg cholesterol, 336 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Mexican Rice Skillet
½ pound lean ground beef
½ pound ground turkey
1 small onion, chopped
1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chiles
½ cup water
1 cup uncooked long-grain rice
1 (1.25-ounce) package reduced-sodium mild taco seasoning mix
2 cups shredded lettuce
1 tomato, chopped
1 small avocado, sliced (about 5 ounces)
1 (2 ¼-ounce) can sliced black olives, rinsed and drained
1 cup Mexican-blend shredded cheese
In a large skillet, cook beef and turkey 6 minutes or until meats are no longer pink; drain well. Add onion, tomatoes, water, rice and taco mix. Cook, covered, over medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 15 more minutes; remove from heat. Sprinkle with lettuce, tomato, avocado, olives and cheese. Stand tortilla chips around edge of skillet; serve with additional chips and salsa.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 356 calories, 25 g protein, 13 g fat, 35 g carbohydrate, 48 mg cholesterol, 580 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 01/16/2019
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner