7-day menu planner

Posted: November 8, 2017 at 1:48 a.m.

Chicken and Vegetable Udon Soup

SUNDAY: Gather the family for Broiled Beef Kebabs. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano (or 1 teaspoon dried), 2 cloves garlic (minced) and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cut 1 pound boneless beef top sirloin, 1 medium bell pepper (any color) and 1 medium red onion into 1-inch pieces and add to bowl. Add 8 ounces whole crimini mushrooms; toss to coat with oil mixture. Thread beef and vegetables alternately on 8- to 12-inch metal skewers; do not crowd. Place on rack in broiler pan, 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Turn once. Remove beef and vegetables from skewers. Serve over brown rice. Add fresh green beans garnished with toasted pistachios along with dinner rolls. Buy a carrot cake for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough beef for Monday and enough cake for Tuesday.

MONDAY: Use the beef leftovers for hefty Italian Beef Sandwiches. Place 4 split hoagie buns on a cookie sheet and brush lightly with Italian salad dressing. Broil 1 to 2 minutes. Coat 8 ounces thinly sliced leftover beef with 3 tablespoons of the dressing; heat 2 minutes. Divide meat mixture among bottoms of buns. Add roasted red pepper strips, sliced artichoke hearts and sliced low-fat mozzarella cheese. Broil 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese is melted; add tops and cut sandwiches in half. Serve with mixed greens. Pears are dessert.

TUESDAY: For a meatless meal, try flavor- and fiber-packed Moroccan Vegetable Stew With Couscous (see recipe). Serve with sliced cucumbers in plain yogurt. Add flatbread. Leftover carrot cake is waiting for dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Make it quick tonight with Chili-Cheese Pierogies. In a 9-inch square baking dish, combine any flavor (16.9-ounce) package frozen pierogies and 1/2 cup water. Cover and microwave on 100 percent power for 5 minutes; mix well and drain. Spoon 1 (15-ounce) can turkey chili over pierogies; cover and microwave on high 5 minutes or until hot; sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese and let stand, covered, 3 minutes. Sprinkle with sliced green onions and serve. Add a packaged green salad and crusty bread. You'll want crunchy apple slices for dessert.

Plan ahead: To save time, assemble Thursday's baked spaghetti tonight.

THURSDAY: Baked Spaghetti's (see recipe) mild flavor is totally kid-friendly. Serve with a chopped lettuce salad and add crusty bread. Orange sections are dessert.

FRIDAY: Chicken and Vegetable Udon Soup (see recipe) is easy on the budget. Serve with sesame bread sticks. Add Asian pears for dessert.

SATURDAY: Everyone enjoyed this easy Flounder With Pesto entree. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 4 flounder filets (4 to 6 ounces each) skin side down on wax paper. Spread each filet with 1 teaspoon basil pesto; sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Starting at narrow end, roll filets jelly-roll style. Place seam side down in an 8-inch square baking dish. Pour 1/4 cup dry white wine (or unsalted chicken broth) over filets and top with 4 plum tomatoes (chopped and seeded). Cover and bake 18 to 20 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley and serve with orzo tossed with additional pesto. Add steamed carrots, a Boston lettuce salad and sourdough bread. Dessert is easy when you serve sorbet and butter cookies.

THE RECIPES

Moroccan Vegetable Stew

With Couscous

1 tablespoon canola oil

2 medium zucchini, coarsely chopped

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 cup unsalted vegetable broth

1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

3/4 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

2 (15-ounce) cans chickpeas, rinsed

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes with juice

1 1/2 cups water or unsalted vegetable broth

1 cup couscous

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add zucchini, onion, carrot and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Stir in broth, ginger, cumin, coriander, salt, cinnamon, pepper, chickpeas and tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened; stir occasionally.

Meanwhile, bring water or additional broth to boil in medium pot; remove from heat. Add couscous; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Serve stew over couscous.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 300 calories, 12 g protein, 5 g fat, 51 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 707 mg sodium and 9 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 3 1/2.

Baked Spaghetti

8 ounces dried spaghetti

1 tablespoon butter

1 (24-ounce) carton reduced-fat cottage cheese

3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided use

3 cups red pasta sauce with meat

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 400 degrees.

Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and mix with butter to coat.

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange cooked spaghetti in an even layer in dish. Spread cottage cheese over spaghetti. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup parmesan cheese. Heat pasta sauce until bubbly. Spoon sauce over cheeses. Top with mozzarella cheese and remaining parmesan cheese. Cover with nonstick foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 312 calories, 22 g protein, 11 g fat, 32 g carbohydrate, 28 mg cholesterol, 850 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

Chicken and Vegetable Udon Soup

1/2 (7-ounce) package Japanese-style udon noodles (such as Simply Asia)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon fresh ginger

8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast or tenders, cut into bite-size pieces

4 cups unsalted chicken stock or broth

1 cup diced carrots

2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1 1/2 cups julienned fresh snow peas

1/2 cup sliced mushrooms

2 tablespoons thinly sliced green onions

Cook udon noodles as directed on package. Drain well.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large saucepan over medium-high. Add garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Add chicken and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Add stock, carrots, soy sauce and salt. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until carrots are tender-crisp. Stir in snow peas and mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes or until snow peas are tender-crisp. Divide noodles into 6 soup bowls. Ladle soup into each bowl and garnish with green onions.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 225 calories, 14 g protein, 4 g fat, 29 g carbohydrate, 24 mg cholesterol, 400 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:

susan@7daymenu.com

Food on 11/08/2017