A week’s worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Make this Savory Beef Pot Roast (see recipe), and the aroma will bring the family to the table in a hurry. Accompany the delicious beef with mashed potatoes and dinner rolls. Finish this fine meal with warm peach cobbler and vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough beef and mashed potatoes for Monday. Save enough cobbler for Tuesday and enough ice cream for Saturday.
MONDAY: One of the best parts of the leftover beef is beef sandwiches on toasted sandwich rolls with horseradish sauce and lettuce. Serve alongside Potato Patties. Mix leftover potatoes with an egg, shape into patties, coat in flour and brown in olive oil in a small skillet until hot. Add coleslaw. Make dessert light with kiwi.
TUESDAY: A tasty way to save money is making Tuna-Mushroom Melt Sandwiches for dinner. In a small bowl, combine 1 or 2 (6-ounce) cans drained water-packed albacore tuna, ¼ cup chopped celery and 2 tablespoons mayonnaise; stir until blended. Set aside. In a large skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 4 medium-size portobello mushroom caps (6 ounces total), gill side up with stems removed; cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and turn, then re-cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Turn mushrooms; divide tuna mixture among mushrooms and top each with 1 slice American cheese. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place each mushroom on 1 slice toasted whole-grain bread. Serve the open-faced sandwiches with hash-browned potatoes and a mixed green salad. Warm the leftover cobbler and top it with light whipped cream.
WEDNESDAY: No need to take a trip to southern Italy for Sicilian Pasta when you can make your own. Cook 8 ounces bow-tie (farfalle) pasta according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 small eggplant (cubed, about 3 cups), 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 1 medium onion (cut into wedges); cook and stir 10 minutes or until softened. Add 1 (26-ounce) jar red pasta sauce with mushrooms and ripe olives; simmer 10 minutes. Spoon over pasta. Serve with an Italian salad and garlic bread. For dessert, pears are easy.
THURSDAY: Make dinner quick tonight with a rotisserie chicken. Serve the chicken with packaged scalloped potatoes. Add green beans, a packaged green salad and crusty rolls, and you have a fine dinner. For dessert, chunky applesauce with cinnamon hits the spot.
FRIDAY: Make the little angels happy tonight with a favorite, Cheeseburger Macaroni (see recipe). Add steamed fresh spinach and soft rolls. Teach the kids to make Dessert Sandwiches for a sweet treat: Spoon 2 tablespoons whipped topping between 2 chocolate graham cracker squares, then freeze.
SATURDAY: Treat your guests extra-special and serve them Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs (see recipe). Serve the savory dish with brown rice, steamed yellow summer squash and sourdough bread. For dessert, spoon warm caramel sauce over leftover ice cream.
Savory Beef Pot Roast
1 (2- to 2 ½-pound) boneless beef blade chuck roast
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon pepper
1 (14-ounce) can reduced-sodium beef broth
1 cup dry red wine
2 tablespoons minced garlic
3 cups any frozen vegetable blend
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish
Coat stockpot with cooking spray; heat to medium. Place roast in pot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings; season with salt and pepper. Add broth, wine and garlic to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 ¼ to 2 ½ hours or until roast is fork-tender. Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from broth and discard; bring broth to a boil. Reduce to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the chopped thyme. Season with additional salt as desired. Slice roast and serve with sauce and vegetables.
Makes 8 servings
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 241 calories, 25 g protein, 10 g fat, 7 g carbohydrate, 78 mg cholesterol, 206 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.5.
6 ounces small elbow macaroni
½ pound lean ground beef
½ pound ground turkey breast
1 medium onion, chopped
2 (14 ½-ounce) cans Italian stewed tomatoes with liquid
¼ cup ketchup
¼ to ½ teaspoon ground red (cayenne) pepper
½ teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Cook macaroni according to directions, but without using oil; drain. Cook beef, turkey and onion in a large nonstick skillet on medium for 5 or 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well and pat with paper towels. Spoon back into skillet and add tomatoes with liquid, ketchup, cayenne pepper and salt; mix well. Cook 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cooked macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-fat cheese) contains approximately 321 calories, 25 g protein, 10 g fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 53 mg cholesterol, 698 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Pomegranate and Lime Chicken Thighs
For the chicken:
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cup pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons garlic powder
8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
Pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish (optional)
For the glaze:
4 cups pomegranate juice
1 cup sugar
½ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ cup honey
¼ cup Dijon mustard
To marinate chicken, combine the yogurt, 1 cup pomegranate juice, salt and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours to overnight, turning several times.
To prepare the glaze: Whisk together 4 cups pomegranate juice, sugar, lime juice, honey and mustard in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove glaze from heat and set aside.
Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Heat a ridged grill pan on medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray just before placing chicken on it. Remove chicken from the marinade; let the excess liquid drip off before setting 4 thighs, skin-side down, on the pan; discard marinade. Leave chicken in place for 1 minute to allow the skin to sear and create dark grill marks. Turn chicken; cook 1 minute more; transfer to a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking pan. Repeat with remaining thighs. Bake the chicken about 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken and garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.
Makes 8 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 368 calories, 18 g protein, 12 g fat, 48 g carbohydrate, 101 mg cholesterol, 481 mg sodium and no fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 01/29/2020
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner