7-day menu planner, June 16-22

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

Credit: 7-Day Menu Planner

SUNDAY (Family)

Make Dad smile and serve him Red Wine Herb-Marinated Beef Steak (see recipe) today. He’ll like these Yogurt and Chive Mashed Potatoes, too: Make your mashed potatoes with 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, 8 ounces fat-free plain yogurt and 1/2 cup warm 1% milk instead of the usual ingredients.

Also serve steamed sliced carrots, a kale and mushroom salad and crusty bread. For the finale, present warm Peach Cobbler topped with Vanilla Ice Cream. Give your dad an extra big hug today.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough beef and cobbler for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Use the beef leftovers for Oven-Baked Fajitas. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine 2 Tablespoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Add 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, 1 medium green bell pepper and 1 medium red bell pepper cut into thin strips, and 1 thinly sliced onion. Mix well. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups cooked (leftover) beef, cut into strips. Bake 10 more minutes. Serve beef mixture wrapped in warm whole-grain tortillas.

Add rice on the side and sliced avocado. Warm the leftover cobbler for dessert.

TUESDAY (Express)

It’s hard to resist Tuna Melts for flavor and simplicity: Buy 2 cups tuna salad from the deli and spread it over 4 whole-grain English muffin halves. Top each with a tomato slice and a slice of Swiss cheese. Broil 6 inches from the heat 5 minutes or until the cheese melts.

Serve with baked potato chips and add a packaged green salad. Spoon strawberries over leftover ice cream for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough strawberries for Wednesday.

WEDNESDAY (Meatless)

Tonight, make a meal of Southwestern Baked Potatoes: Scrub, pierce and microwave 4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes 10 to 12 minutes on high (100% power) or until almost tender. Wrap potatoes in paper towels and then in a terry towel for 5 minutes (to absorb moisture). Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Add 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Add 2 cups mild salsa and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans; cook 5 minutes. To serve, split potatoes and divide bean mixture among them. Top with chopped cilantro and plain yogurt.

Serve with deli coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Spoon leftover strawberries over tapioca pudding for dessert.


The whole family will enjoy Mexican Flatbread Pizza: Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 4 flatbreads (label may say flatbread wraps) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread 1 Tablespoon salsa over each flatbread. Divide and sprinkle evenly 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend and 1/2 cup sliced black olives over the flatbreads. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Sprinkle pizzas with 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes; top with avocado slices. Serve with carrot sticks. For a light dessert, bite into a juicy nectarine.

FRIDAY (Budget)

Turkey Vegetable Soup (see recipe) was a hit at our house. Serve with a Spinach Salad and cornbread (from mix). Apricots are good for dessert.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Our guests ate all of the Fettuccine with Chicken, Goat Cheese and Spinach (see recipe), and so will yours. Serve this winner with a Boston Lettuce Salad and a baguette. For dessert, enjoy Lemon Sorbet with Chocolate Wafer Cookies.


Servings: makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 6 hours to overnight

Cooking time: 16 to 22 minutes

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/4 cup water

2 Tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 (16-ounce) boneless beef ribeye steaks

Combine vinegar, water, oil, garlic, thyme and red pepper in a small bowl. Place beef steaks and marinade in a food-safe plastic bag; close bag securely and turn steak to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 6 hours or as long as overnight, turning occasionally. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Remove steaks from bag; discard marinade. Place steaks in skillet; cook 16 to 22 minutes for medium-rare doneness, turning occasionally. (Do not overcook.) Carve steaks into thin slices.

Per serving: 136 calories, 19 grams protein, 6 grams fat (41% calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 40 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 0.


Servings: makes 8 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 6 hours on low

1 to 1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

2 ribs celery, sliced (about 1 cup)

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato juice

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth

2 cups frozen cut green beans

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 bay leaf

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray on medium. Add turkey, celery, onion and carrots; cook 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Add mixture to 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add tomato juice, broth, beans, mushrooms, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaf. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.

NOTE: Thin soup with additional broth or water if desired.

Per cup: 124 calories, 13 grams protein, 4 grams fat (28% calories from fat), no saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 372 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 0.5.


Servings: makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes, plus pasta; standing time: 2 minutes

1 cup dry white wine

2 small shallots, minced

5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon black pepper, divided

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (5- to 6-ounce) package baby spinach

9 ounces refrigerated fettuccine

2 Tablespoons minced fresh basil

In a small saucepan, combine wine and shallots. Bring to a boil on medium-high; reduce liquid by half in 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth; season with half the salt and black pepper and all of the red pepper. Set aside. Meanwhile, heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from skillet; cover with foil and let stand 2 minutes. To skillet, add remaining oil. Add spinach; cook, turning with tongs, 2 minutes or until wilted. Cook pasta according to package directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water; drain and place pasta in a large bowl. Add goat cheese sauce, spinach and chicken with any juices. Add reserved cooking water until the sauce is the desired consistency. Stir in remaining salt and pepper; serve, topped with the basil.

Per serving: 375 calories, 29 grams protein, 16 grams fat (38% calories from fat), 6.9 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 390 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1.5.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: susan@7daymenu.com. Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: makingthemenu.com. And check out Susan’s book: “7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies” is on shelves now. Order yours on Amazon.com.

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