A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Treat the family to Baked Lamb Chops (see recipe). Serve the savory chops with couscous.
Alongside, add Cucumbers With Mint Sauce: Peel, halve, seed and slice the cucumbers. Combine 2 cups plain yogurt, ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle sauce over cucumbers and serve. Add flatbread. For dessert, make a simple Chocolate Pie by spooning instant chocolate pudding into a ready-to-serve graham cracker pie crust. Top with any whipped topping. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday.
MONDAY: How about steak tonight? Cube Steaks, that is. Whisk together 1 egg and 3 tablespoons milk. Dip steaks into egg mixture and then into dry bread crumbs to coat. In a skillet, cook on medium in 2 teaspoons hot canola oil 3 minutes per side or until browned. Drain on paper towels. Serve with curly fries, green beans and whole-grain rolls. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
TUESDAY: Save some pennies with Chicken-Corn Chowder (see recipe). Serve the hearty soup with a baby spinach salad garnished with thinly sliced red onion rings. Add sesame bread sticks. Chunky applesauce is an easy dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chowder for Wednesday.
WEDNESDAY: Heat and thicken the leftover chowder by mixing together a little water and arrowroot and stirring it into the chowder. Serve it over brown rice for an easy meal. Add a romaine salad and sourdough rolls. For dessert, tropical fruit is good.
THURSDAY: Forget about meat and enjoy Black Beans Supreme tonight. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook 8 minutes or until softened. Add 1 cup rice and 2 cups water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Add 1 (1.3-ounce) package sloppy Joe seasoning mix, 1 (15-ounce) can black beans (rinsed) and 1 (14 ½-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes; mix well. Cook on medium 5 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with reduced-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro. Serve with a red-tipped lettuce salad and cornbread. Buy ice cream sandwiches for dessert.
FRIDAY: Impress the kids with Taco Casserole tonight. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a large skillet on medium. Add 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey breast and cook 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 (1 ½-ounce) package lower-sodium taco seasoning mix, 2 (16-ounce) cans pinto beans (rinsed), 2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce, and 1 (11-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn (rinsed). Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and 1 cup crushed tortilla chips. Bake 5 to 10 minutes or until hot and cheese is melted. Garnish with sour cream, shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes. For dessert, peanut butter cookies are kid-approved.
SATURDAY: Our guests wanted seconds of the Greek Shrimp With Feta (see recipe), and so did we. Add a Boston lettuce salad and crusty bread. Cheesecake topped with any berries is a stress-free dessert.
Baked Lamb Chops
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
18 (2- to 3-ounce) lamb rib chops
1 (1-ounce) package onion soup mix
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup salsa
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine flour, salt and pepper. Tear a 28-by-18-inch piece of heavy-duty foil and place it in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Place chops in dish in a single layer and sprinkle evenly with flour mixture. Top with soup mix, bell pepper, mushrooms, salsa and Worcestershire sauce. Double-fold top and ends of foil, leaving enough room for air circulation. Bake 45 minutes. Open packet away from your face. Serve immediately.
Makes 9 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 163 calories, 20 g protein, 6 g fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 58 mg cholesterol, 472 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
1 teaspoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
2 pounds red potatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups 2% milk
1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
2 (10- to 12-ounce) cans chicken breast with liquid
2 (14 ¾-ounce) cans cream-style corn
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chiles with liquid
½ teaspoon hot sauce
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon cumin
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Combine butter, onion, potatoes and garlic; cover and microwave on 100% power for 6 minutes or until softened. Spoon into a Dutch oven and add milk, cheese, chicken with liquid, corn, green chiles with liquid, hot sauce, salt and cumin; cook on low, stirring often, 15 minutes. Stir in cilantro and serve immediately.
Makes about 9 cups.
Nutrition information: Each cup contains approximately 274 calories, 21 g protein, 7 g fat, 34 g carbohydrate, 42 mg cholesterol, 513 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.5.
Greek Shrimp With Feta
1 pound baking potatoes cut into 1 ½-inch chunks
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided use
¾ teaspoon coarse salt, divided use
½ teaspoon ground black pepper, divided use
5 cups broccoli florets (about 1 pound)
1 ½ pounds peeled and deveined shrimp (24 to 30 individual shrimp)
1 clove garlic, grated
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a sheet pan with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine potatoes with 1 tablespoon of oil. Toss with ¼ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Spread potatoes on sheet pan in a single layer; roast 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine broccoli and 1 tablespoon oil in same bowl. Toss with ¼ teaspoon salt and ⅛ teaspoon pepper. Remove pan from oven, turn potatoes and slide to one side of pan. Add broccoli and roast 15 minutes.
While vegetables cook, combine shrimp, remaining oil, garlic, lemon juice, oregano and remaining salt and pepper. Slide broccoli to side of pan; add shrimp. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp are pink and cooked through. Remove from oven; sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe adapted from Hero Dinners by Marge Perry and David Bonom (William Morrow)
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 389 calories, 41 g protein, 14 g fat, 29 g carbohydrate, 282 mg cholesterol, 712 mg sodium and 6 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 09/11/2019
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner