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story.lead_photo.caption Ranch Burgers

SUNDAY: Celebrate Father's Day with Ranch Burgers (see recipe). Garnish the plate with a small spinach salad with strawberries if desired. On the side, add baked beans, deviled eggs, pickles and olives. For dessert, chocolate layer cake and vanilla ice cream go down easy. We sure do love our dads!

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.

MONDAY: The whole family will enjoy Chicken Linguine Alfredo. Cook 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package refrigerated linguine according to package directions; drain. Return to pot; add 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package cooked carved chicken breast (such as Perdue or another brand). Stir in 3/4 cup Alfredo sauce mixed with 1/3 cup sour cream and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg. Cook over low heat 3 to 4 minutes or until heated; serve immediately. Add carrot sticks and soft rolls. For a light dessert, bite into a juicy nectarine.

TUESDAY: It's hard to resist Tuna Melts for flavor and simplicity. Buy 2 cups tuna salad from the deli and spread it over whole-wheat English muffin halves; top them with a tomato slice and a slice of Swiss cheese. Broil 6 inches from the heat for 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve with baked sweet potato chips and add a packaged green salad to the meal. Peaches are the right dessert.

WEDNESDAY: Tonight, make a meal of Stuffed Baked Potatoes. Scrub, pierce and microwave 4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes 10 to 12 minutes on 100 percent power. Wrap potatoes in paper towels and then in a terry cloth towel and let stand for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large skillet on medium. Add 1 medium onion (chopped) and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Add 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 clove garlic (minced); cook 1 minute. Add 2 cups mild salsa and 1 (15- to 19-ounce) can black beans (rinsed) and cook 5 minutes or until hot. To serve, split potatoes and divide bean mixture among them. Top with chopped fresh cilantro and plain yogurt. Serve with coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Fresh blueberries topped with leftover vanilla ice cream and granola make a great dessert.

Tip: Wrapping potatoes in towels helps prevent soggy potatoes.

THURSDAY: Turkey Soup (see recipe) was a hit at our house. Serve the vegetable-packed dish with a spinach salad and cornbread. Make instant butterscotch pudding for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough soup for Friday.

FRIDAY: Dinner is almost on the table because you're heating leftover soup. Serve it with ever-popular grilled-cheese sandwiches. Add a tomato salad. How about plums for dessert?

SATURDAY: Your guests will enjoy Shrimp Scampi (see recipe) with angel-hair pasta, along with fresh green beans and a Boston lettuce salad. For dessert, blueberry cobbler is always popular.


Ranch Burgers

1 pound ground beef

1/4 cup soft bread crumbs

1 egg white

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 medium red onion, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices

1 tablespoon canola oil, divided use

4 whole-grain hamburger buns, split and toasted

Romaine lettuce

Tomato slices

1/4 cup ranch dressing

In a medium bowl, combine beef, bread crumbs, egg white and seasoned salt; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 4 (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Brush onion slices with 1/2 teaspoon oil. Place patties and onion on grid over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill, covered, 7 to 10 minutes or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. Grill onions 11 to 13 minutes or until tender, brushing with remaining oil; turn occasionally. Line bottom of each bun with lettuce. Place tomatoes and burgers on romaine. Spoon dressing on burgers; top with onions and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each burger (made with 93 percent lean beef and reduced-fat ranch) contains approximately 340 calories, 29 g protein, 12 g fat, 30 g carbohydrate, 62 mg cholesterol, 884 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 2.

Turkey Soup

1 pound ground turkey breast

2 ribs celery, sliced

1 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup shredded carrots

2 1/2 cups tomato juice

1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth

2 cups frozen cut green beans

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

1 medium tomato, chopped

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 bay leaf

Heat a large 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. Transfer 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 or on high 3 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.

Makes 8 cups.

Nutrition information: Each cup (prepared with reduced-sodium tomato juice and unsalted broth) contains approximately 115 calories, 15 g protein, 1 g fat, 10 g carbohydrate, 39 mg cholesterol, 409 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1/2.

Shrimp Scampi

2 teaspoons olive oil

3/4 pound uncooked peeled medium shrimp

1 tablespoon chopped green onion

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, or 1/2 teaspoon dried

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add shrimp, onion, garlic, basil, lemon juice and salt. Cook and stir 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are pink. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 95 calories, 17 g protein, 3 g fat, 1 g carbohydrate, 137 mg cholesterol, 222 mg sodium and no fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 0.

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

Food on 06/13/2018

Print Headline: 7-day menu planner

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