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7-Day Menu Planner


SUNDAY (Family)

It’s a good day for GRILLED ASIAN STEAK AND SUMMER SQUASH. Place 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak and 1/2 cup Asian barbecue sauce in a resealable plastic bag; turn steak to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or more, turning occasionally. Heat grill to medium. Remove steak and discard marinade. Brush 3 medium zucchini (halved and sliced lengthwise) with 1 teaspoon canola oil; season with coarse salt and pepper. Grill steak 11 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium; turn occasionally. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Grill squash 15 minutes; turn occasionally. Heat another 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Carve meat across grain, pour sauce over steak and serve with squash.

Accompany the steak with BROWN RICE SALAD. Mix together 3 cups cooked brown rice, 1 1/2 cups cucumber slices (quartered and seeded), 1/4 cup sliced kalamata olives, 1 large chopped tomato, 1 small chopped onion, 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 1/2 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing.

Serve with WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Surprise everyone with your COOKIES AND CREAM ANGEL CAKE (see recipe). You could add fat-free CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM alongside for a show-stopping dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: To save time on Sunday, marinate steak a day ahead. Also, cook brown rice for Sunday and Tuesday. Save enough steak and cake for Monday. Save some ice cream for Wednesday.

TIP: Grilling time varies according to type of grill (charcoal or gas); gas grills generally take longer to cook.

SHOPPING LIST: flank steak, Asian barbecue sauce (such as San-J, another brand or your own), zucchini, canola oil, coarse salt, pepper, brown rice, cucumbers, kalamata olives, tomato, onion, parsley, reduced-fat Italian dressing, whole-grain bread, package white angel food cake mix, reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, fluffy white frosting mix, fat-free chocolate ice cream.


MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Make a BEEF SALAD for dinner. Toss together 6 cups cold, coarsely chopped iceberg lettuce, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, 1 (11-ounce) can rinsed Mexican-style corn. Place thinly sliced cooked (leftover) steak over top. Drizzle 1/4 cup ranch dressing and 1/3 cup salsa separately over beef. Sprinkle with 1 cup broken baked tortilla chips. Leftover CAKE is dessert tonight.

SHOPPING LIST: iceberg lettuce, canned reduced-sodium black beans, canned Mexican-style corn, ranch dressing, salsa, baked tortilla chips.


TUESDAY (Meatless)

VEGETABLE CURRY (see recipe) takes advantage of the summer garden’s bounty. Serve the vegetable blend over leftover BROWN RICE. Add a GREEN SALAD and whole-grain PITA BREAD. For dessert, fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are sweet and juicy.

SHOPPING LIST: broccoli florets, butter, onion, flour, curry powder, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, vegetable broth, green, red and yellow bell peppers, carrots, half-and-half, fresh green beans, roasted peanuts, green salad, whole-grain pita bread, fresh pineapple chunks.



Help the kids make their own CHICKEN AND SOUR CREAM ENCHILADAS tonight. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 1 cup each reduced-fat sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese and salsa and 1 (9- or 10-ounce) package cooked, carved chicken. Divide and spoon down center of 6 (6- or 8-inch) whole-grain flour tortillas. Fold tortillas in thirds and place seam-side down in a shallow baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 cup salsa; cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with 1/4 cup additional cheese; bake 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Top with chopped tomatoes and lettuce.

Serve with canned vegetarian REFRIED BEANS. Leftover ICE CREAM is a cool dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: reduced-fat sour cream, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, salsa, packaged cooked carved chicken, whole-grain flour tortillas, cooking spray, tomatoes, lettuce, canned vegetarian refried beans.


THURSDAY (Express)

Make it quick tonight with a B.T. PIZZA. Top a ready-to-bake whole-grain thin pizza crust with 4 slices crumbled bacon, plenty of diced tomatoes, sliced fresh basil and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake as directed on package or until cheese melts and pizza is hot. Serve with a packaged GREEN SALAD. Slurp on WATERMELON for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: ready-to-bake whole-grain thin pizza crust, bacon, tomatoes, fresh basil, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, packaged green salad, watermelon.


FRIDAY (Budget)

Tighten your purse strings with TURKEY APRICOT SALAD SANDWICHES. Combine 1 1/2 cups chopped cooked turkey, 1/4 cup thinly sliced celery, 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons each unsalted cashews, chopped dried apricots, chopped green onions, plain low-fat yogurt, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Spread on 4 slices pumpernickel bread; top with a lettuce leaf and a second slice of bread. Cut in half and serve with CORN-ON-THE-COB and SLICED TOMATOES. FRESH PEACHES are dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: cooked turkey, celery, low-fat mayonnaise, unsalted cashews, dried apricots, green onions, plain low-fat yogurt, coarse salt, pepper, pumpernickel bread, lettuce, corn-on-the-cob, tomatoes, fresh peaches.


SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Your lucky guests will dine on TUNA STEAKS WITH AVOCADO SALSA (see recipe) tonight.

Try this SPICY POTATO SALAD for a perfect side dish. Cook 2 pounds unpeeled large red potatoes in boiling water 20 to 30 minutes or until tender. Drain and cool. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes and place in a large bowl. Whisk together 3 tablespoons each canola oil and white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce; pour over potatoes; toss. Cover and chill 1 hour. Stir in 1 (8 3/4-ounce) can rinsed corn, 1 small shredded carrot, 1/4 cup sliced black olives and 4 sliced green onions; toss to mix.

Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, spoon fat-free vanilla pudding into wine goblets. Top each with a teaspoon or so of raspberry jam and stir. Garnish with fresh raspberries and you have RASPBERRY SWIRL.

SHOPPING LIST: red onion, garlic, cooking spray, balsamic vinegar, light brown sugar, crushed red pepper, orange sections, tomato, avocado, lime, tuna steaks, red potatoes, canola oil, white wine vinegar, sugar, chili powder, coarse salt, hot sauce, canned corn, carrot, black olives, green onions, whole-grain rolls, fat-free vanilla pudding, raspberry jam, fresh raspberries.


Makes 12 slices

Preparation time: 20 minutes for cake and frosting

Cooking time: 37 to 47 minutes; cooling time: about 2 hours

1 (16-ounce) package white angel food cake mix

1 1/4 cups cold water

3 reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, finely crushed

1 package fluffy white frosting mix

1/2 cup boiling water

6 reduced-fat chocolate sandwich cookies, halved

Move oven rack to lowest position, removing other racks. Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In an extra-large mixing bowl, beat cake mix and cold water with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 1 minute. Carefully fold crushed cookies into batter. Pour into ungreased 10-inch angel food cake pan (tube pan). Do not use fluted tube cake pan or 9-inch angel cake pan, or batter will be on the oven floor instead of in the pan. Bake 37 to 47 minutes or until top is dark golden-brown and cracks feel very dry and are not sticky. Do not under-bake. Immediately turn pan upside down over a heatproof bottle or funnel until cake is completely cool, about 2 hours. Run knife around edge of cake; remove from pan. Place on serving plate.

In a small bowl, beat frosting mix and boiling water on low 30 seconds, scraping bowl constantly. Beat on high 5 to 7 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally until stiff peaks form. Frost cake; garnish with sandwich cookie halves just before serving. (Adapted from “Betty Crocker: The Big Book of Cakes,” Grace Wells, editor; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.)

Per slice: 243 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 gram fat (5 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 55 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 273 milligrams sodium, no fiber.


Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 20 minutes

3 cups broccoli florets

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, chopped

2 tablespoons flour

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth

1 small green bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced

3 carrots, thinly sliced

1/2 cup half-and-half

1/2 pound small fresh green beans

Roasted peanuts for garnish

Combine broccoli and water in a medium bowl and cover; microwave on high (100 percent power) 1 1/2 minutes; drain; set aside. Melt butter on medium in a Dutch oven; add onion and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in flour, curry powder, salt and cayenne. Cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, stirring constantly, 8 minutes or until thickened. Stir in reserved broccoli, bell peppers, carrots, half-and-half and green beans; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly, or until vegetables are softened. Garnish and serve immediately.

Per serving: 171 calories, 6 grams protein, 7 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 19 milligrams cholesterol, 741 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.


Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

1/2 cup red onion, chopped

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon firmly packed light brown sugar

1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup orange sections, halved

1/3 cup tomato, chopped

1/3 cup avocado, chopped

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

2 tuna steaks (about 1 1/2 pounds total)

Cook onion and garlic in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high 4 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in vinegar, sugar and red pepper. Cook and stir 2 minutes or until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in oranges, tomato, avocado and lime juice.

Meanwhile, coat a nonstick skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium-high. Add tuna steaks and cook 4 minutes per side. Halve each steak and serve immediately with salsa.

Per serving: 237 calories, 42 grams protein, 3 grams fat (11 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 81 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

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