A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Keep it simple today and prepare your own roast turkey breast. Add canned whole-berry cranberry sauce on the side. Serve with New Potatoes and Green Beans With Dill Sauce (see recipe). Add a romaine salad and dinner rolls. For dessert, make Peach Shortcake by spooning Nutella on shortcake shells and covering with sliced peaches. Garnish with light whipped cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, half the cranberry sauce, and enough peaches and shortcakes for Monday.
Tip: Shortcake shells are often found in the produce aisle.
MONDAY: Make simple Turkey-Cranberry Wraps for dinner tonight. Heat 6 large flour tortillas according to package directions. Mix together leftover cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons spicy brown mustard and ½ teaspoon ground ginger. Spread evenly on one side of each tortilla. Top with thinly sliced or chopped leftover turkey breast, 3 sliced green onions, 2 tablespoons toasted pecans and 1 cup shredded lettuce. Roll and serve with plantain chips. Add pickles, olives and celery sticks to munch on. Dessert is leftover shortcakes topped with leftover peaches.
TUESDAY: Save some money tonight and prepare Cajun Beef Skillet (see recipe). Serve with coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Pears are dessert.
WEDNESDAY: You'll be glad you made Spaghetti With Arugula Pesto for dinner tonight. Cook 12 ounces whole-grain spaghetti according to package directions; reserve ½ cup cooking water. Meanwhile, with the motor running, peel and drop 2 medium cloves of garlic into a food processor fitted with the metal blade; process until minced. Stop the machine and add ½ cup toasted pine nuts and 4 cups arugula; process until finely minced. With motor running, add 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil in a thin stream. Scrape down sides of bowl. Add 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and season freshly ground black pepper to taste. Toss with spaghetti; add enough reserved pasta liquid to make the pasta a little saucy. Divide among pasta bowls; top with diced plum tomatoes. (Adapted from 50 Best Plants on the Planet, Cathy Thomas, Chronicle Books) Add a spinach salad with hard-cooked egg wedges and Italian bread. Enjoy fresh strawberries for dessert.
Plan ahead: Buy enough strawberries for Thursday.
THURSDAY: Make it quick tonight with Pierogies Picante. In a large pan, heat 1 (16.9-ounce) package frozen potato-and-onion pierogies in boiling water for 5 minutes or until they float; drain. Meanwhile, in a medium skillet combine 1 (15-ounce) can chili with beans and 1 cup salsa or picante sauce. Cook and stir on medium-high for 4 minutes or until bubbly. Stir in 1 cup frozen corn; reduce heat to medium. Cook and stir 7 minutes or until hot. Spoon chili sauce over hot pierogies; sprinkle with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Serve with a packaged green salad and whole-grain rolls. Make instant lemon pudding for dessert. Top with leftover strawberries.
FRIDAY: You and the kids will appreciate letting them pick their favorite frozen or take-and-bake pizza for tonight. Dip baby carrots and celery sticks into light ranch dressing as an accompaniment. Plums are your dessert.
SATURDAY: Invite guests for Pan-Roasted Halibut (see recipe). Serve with Greek Rice-Stuffed Tomatoes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Slice tops off of 8 large tomatoes and remove a thin slice from bottom (for stability). Scoop out insides of tomatoes and discard. Turn tomatoes over on paper towels to drain. In a large bowl, combine 3 cups cooked rice, ½ cup minced red onion, ¾ cup crumbled Greek feta, ½ cup chopped parsley and ½ teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Divide rice mixture evenly and fill tomatoes, drizzle with 3 tablespoons olive oil and place in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through. Add a Boston lettuce salad and sourdough bread. For dessert, spoon hot fudge sauce over vanilla ice cream.
New Potatoes and Green Beans With Dill Sauce
1 extra-large vegetable bouillon cube
2 tablespoons flour
2 pounds small new potatoes, quartered
½ pound fresh green beans, trimmed
½ teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh chopped dill
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Bring 1 ¾ cups water and bouillon cube to a boil in a large skillet, stirring until cube dissolves; cool slightly. Whisk flour gradually into ¼ cup water; add to broth and cook over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, 2 minutes or until mixture is slightly thickened. Reduce heat to medium; add potatoes and cook, covered, 15 minutes. Add beans and cook, covered, 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in pepper, dill and lemon juice. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 213 calories, 6 g protein, no fat, 48 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 373 mg sodium and 7 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
Cajun Beef Skillet
½ pound lean ground beef
1 cup chopped onion
1 (14 ½-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 teaspoons Cajun spice mix
8 ounces thin spaghetti, broken into 4-inch pieces
1 (10-ounce) package frozen sliced okra
Cook beef and onion in a nonstick skillet for 6 minutes on medium or until beef is no longer pink and onions are softened; drain. Add tomatoes, 2 ½ cups water and spice mix and bring to a boil. Stir in spaghetti. Gently boil 6 minutes uncovered or until liquid has thickened and spaghetti is limp, stirring often. Reduce heat to low, stir in okra and cook 6 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed but still saucy.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 381 calories, 22 g protein, 7 g fat, 58 g carbohydrate, 32 mg cholesterol, 213 mg sodium and 5 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 4.
4 (6-ounce) halibut (or cod) filets
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ teaspoon coarse salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 ½ to 2 cups panko
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1 (10-ounce) package fresh spinach
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Brush fish with melted butter; season with salt and pepper. Coat fish evenly with panko, pressing to adhere. Cook fish in hot oil in a large oven safe skillet on medium-high for 3 minutes. Turn; add tomatoes. Transfer skillet to oven and bake 10 minutes or just until fish is opaque.
Meanwhile, place spinach in a microwave safe bowl; add 2 teaspoons water, cover and microwave on 100% power for 2 to 3 minutes or until wilted; drain. Serve fish over spinach. (Adapted from Martina's Kitchen Mix by Martina McBride, Time Inc.)
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 395 calories, 37 g protein, 18 g fat, 21 g carbohydrate, 106 mg cholesterol, 452 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.5.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email:
Food on 05/15/2019
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner