A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Treat the family to Oven-Fried Barbecue Chicken. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1 ½ cups buttermilk into large, shallow dish. In a medium bowl, mix 1 ½ cups flour, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Dip 4 thighs, 4 legs and 3 breasts (all bone-in and skinless) in buttermilk and drain excess liquid, then dip in flour, shaking off excess. Coat both sides of chicken with cooking spray and place meaty side down in an ungreased 15-by-10-inch rimmed baking pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until chicken is crisp and internal temperature is 165 degrees. Meanwhile, mix ½ cup barbecue sauce and 2 tablespoons honey. Five minutes before chicken is done, brush with sauce. Buy deli potato salad and coleslaw as accompaniments. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, enjoy a big bowl of fresh strawberries with light whipped cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken, potato salad and coleslaw for Monday.
MONDAY: Planning a Memorial Day picnic today will be easy because the leftover chicken, potato salad and coleslaw are all ready. Add deviled eggs, pickles and olives along with crusty rolls. Now all you have to do is show your spirit and make a Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake (see recipe).
Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Tuesday.
TUESDAY: This Spinach and Artichoke Crab Salad uses imitation king crab, so you can have an elegant salad at a surprisingly low cost. In a large mixing bowl, combine 2 tablespoons sliced black olives and 1 (14-ounce) can quartered, water-packed artichokes. Break apart 1 (8-ounce) package refrigerated imitation king crab meat and add to bowl. Add 1 (2-ounce) jar drained diced pimentos, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 cup refrigerated spinach dip, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Gently mix until well-blended. Spoon onto a serving platter that has been covered with a bed of 4 to 6 cups fresh baby spinach. Garnish platter with 2 medium tomatoes cut into wedges and 4 quartered hard-cooked eggs. Serve with deli bean soup if you'd like, and add a baguette. Leftover cake is an easy dessert.
WEDNESDAY: Put International Vegetable Soup (see recipe) on your list of favorites. Add a mixed green salad and serve the soup with cheese toast (shredded cheddar cheese melted on whole-grain toast). Sliced peaches are dessert.
THURSDAY: Stop by the deli for turkey and Swiss sandwiches on whole-grain bread. Add a lettuce and tomato salad and baked chips. Fresh pineapple is your dessert.
FRIDAY: The kids won't be able to resist Sloppy Jacques. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef for 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 2 tablespoons flour; mix well. Add 1 (10 ½-ounce) can condensed French onion soup. Cook and stir over medium heat until bubbly. Continue cooking and stirring 2 more minutes or until sauce thickens. Spoon onto toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. The kids will want oven fries with their sandwiches. Add stuffed celery boats (celery sticks stuffed with any cheese spread). Oatmeal cookies work wonders for dessert.
SATURDAY: Your lucky guests will rave over these Scallops in Peanut Sauce (see recipe). Serve the flavorful combination over spaghetti. Add a red-tipped lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls.For a refreshing finale, try Fresh Fruit Sorbet. Place 2 ½ cups (about 1 pound) any packaged frozen fruit pieces and 2 tablespoons sugar (or more to taste) into a food processor. Puree fruit by pulsing processor while gradually adding ¼cup unsweetened apple juice over 2 minutes or just until sorbet becomes well-blended, smooth and creamy.freeze or serve immediately with chocolate wafers.
Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake
2 ½ cups flour, plus more for dusting
3 cups granulated sugar, divided use
1 cup softened butter
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided use (about 3 lemons)
1 teaspoon regular table salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon baking powder
1 cup plain Greek-style yogurt
¾ cup confectioners' sugar
Heat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly coat a 12-cup Bundt pan with cooking spray; sprinkle with flour, shaking off extra. Chill.
With an electric mixer, beat together granulated sugar, butter and zest at medium speed 4 to 5 minutes or until fluffy. Add ¼ cup lemon juice; beat until blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yellow disappears.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add to butter mixture alternately with yogurt, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Beat at low speed just until blended after each addition. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a cake tester inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack 1 hour. Transfer cake to plate and invert; cool completely about 1 hour.
In a small bowl, whisk together confectioners' sugar and remaining 2 tablespoons juice until smooth. Drizzle glaze over cake. Adapted from Cabot Creamery Cookbook (Oxmoor House).
Makes 16 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 378 calories, 6 g protein, 14 g fat, 60 g carbohydrate, 101 mg cholesterol, 622 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 4.
International Vegetable Soup
1 (15-ounce) can black beans
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, rinsed
2 (14 ½-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with green peppers, celery and onion, with juice
2 cups frozen or canned corn, rinsed
1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth
2 medium red potatoes, cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 cup frozen chopped onions
1 cup medium salsa
1 cup frozen green beans
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine black beans, pinto beans, tomatoes, corn, broth, potatoes, onions, salsa and green beans. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or until vegetables are tender. Thin with additional broth or water if desired.
Makes about 12 cups.
Nutrition information: Each up (prepared with reduced-sodium beans) contains approximately 152 calories, 6 g protein, no fat, 32 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 260 mg sodium and 6 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Scallops in Peanut Sauce
1 ½ cups shredded carrots
1 pound sea scallops
2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce
¼ cup creamy peanut butter
1 teaspoon cornstarch
¾ teaspoon coriander
⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 ½ cups fresh snow peas
Sliced green onions for garnish
Roasted peanuts for garnish
Heat oven to 450 degrees.
On two 18-by-12-inch pieces of heavy-duty foil, divide carrots in an even layer; top each with half of scallops. Combine teriyaki sauce, peanut butter, cornstarch, coriander and red pepper; blend until smooth. Spoon sauce evenly over scallops; arrange and divide snow peas on top of scallops in an even layer. Double-fold foil to make a packet. Place packets in a rimmed baking pan. Bake 25 to 27 minutes. Remove from oven. Open packets away from your face to allow steam to escape. Arrange contents of both packets on one serving platter; garnish with green onions and peanuts. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-fat peanut butter) contains approximately 221 calories, 19 g protein, 7 g fat, 21 g carbohydrate, 27 mg cholesterol, 802 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 05/22/2019
CORRECTION: The amount of salt in the recipe for Lemon Yogurt Pound Cake has been updated.
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner