A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: Gather the family for Savory Beef Roast. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 3 cloves crushed garlic and ¾ teaspoon cracked black pepper and press evenly onto the surface of a 3- to 4-pound round tip roast (or sirloin tip roast). Place on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast uncovered 2 to 2 ½ hours for medium-rare (140 degrees) or 2 ½ to 3 hours for medium (155 degrees). Remove from oven, transfer to a carving board, tent with foil and let stand 10 to 15 minutes. Make gravy by stirring 1 (12-ounce) jar brown beef gravy, ¼ cup water and ¼ teaspoon Worcestershire sauce into pan drippings; cook on medium-low 3 to 5 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Carve roast into thin slices and serve it with gravy. Accompany the roast with brown rice (tossed with toasted sliced almonds) And green beans. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a carrot cake.
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. Combine 3 tablespoons of the salad dressing with 8 ounces thinly sliced cooked (leftover) beef and coat. Heat 1 minute in microwave on 50% power or until warm. Divide meat mixture among bottoms of buns. Add roasted red pepper strips, sliced artichoke hearts (water-packed) and sliced part-skim mozzarella cheese. Broil 2 or 3 minutes or until cheese is melted; add top buns and cut sandwiches in half. Serve with a mixed green salad. Figs are dessert — fresh is best, if available.
TUESDAY: Skip meat and enjoy fiber-packed Moroccan Vegetable Stew With Couscous (see recipe). Serve sliced cucumbers in plain yogurt alongside and add flatbread. Leftover cake is waiting for dessert.
WEDNESDAY: Make it quick tonight with Chili-Cheese Pierogies. In a 9-by-9-inch baking dish, combine 1 (16.9-ounce) package (any flavor) frozen perogies and ½ cup water. Cover and microwave on 100% power 5 minutes; drain. Spoon 1 (15-ounce) can turkey chili over perogies; 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 peaches for dessert.
Plan ahead: To save time, assemble Thursday's Baked Spaghetti tonight.
THURSDAY: Baked Spaghetti's mild flavor is totally kid-friendly. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cook 8 ounces spaghetti according to package directions; drain. Coat with 1 tablespoon butter. Meanwhile, coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange cooked spaghetti in an even layer in dish. Spread 1 (24-ounce) container cottage cheese over spaghetti. Sprinkle with ¼ cup parmesan cheese. Heat 3 cups red pasta sauce with meat until bubbly. Spoon sauce over cheese. Top with 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese and ¼ cup more parmesan cheese. Cover with nonstick foil. Bake 30 minutes. Remove cover and bake 15 more minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Add a chopped lettuce salad and bread sticks. For dessert, what kid would miss an oatmeal cookie?
FRIDAY: Save some pennies with Tuna Olive Salad (see recipe). Add bean soup and whole-grain rolls. Top strawberries with light whipped cream for dessert.
SATURDAY: Everyone enjoyed this easy Lemon Herb Baked Salmon With Bernaise Sauce (see recipe). Serve with orzo tossed with parmesan. Add steamed asparagus and sourdough bread. Dessert is easy when you buy a Key lime pie.
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 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
1 ½ teaspoons cumin
¾ teaspoon ground coriander
½ teaspoon coarse salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed
1 (14 ½-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes with liquid
1 ½ cups water or unsalted 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, pepper, cinnamon, chickpeas and tomatoes; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened; stir occasionally.
Meanwhile, bring water (or broth) to a 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 293 calories, 12 g protein, 5 g fat, 51 g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 565 mg sodium and 9 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.5.
Tuna Olive Salad
1 (15-ounce) can tuna in water, drained
¾ cup pitted kalamata olives, chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
2 teaspoons lemon zest
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Ground black pepper to taste
In a medium bowl, mix all ingredients (except greens) until combined. Serve tuna mixture on top of salad greens.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 240 calories, 26 g protein, 13 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate, 45 mg cholesterol, 985 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 0.
Lemon Herb Baked Salmon With Bearnaise Sauce
3 lemons, divided use
4 sprigs PLUS 1 ½ teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon, divided use
4 sprigs fresh dill
4 sprigs fresh thyme
2 pounds boneless salmon filet
1 ¼ teaspoons coarse salt, divided use
2 pinches ground white pepper, divided use
4 egg yolks
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
¾ cup plain Greek yogurt
10 dashes Tabasco sauce, or to taste
1 teaspoon lemon zest
Bring 1 inch water to a simmer in bottom of a double boiler or large saucepan. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Slice 2 lemons. Zest and juice remaining lemon; set aside. Arrange lemon slices, tarragon, dill and thyme on the baking dish. Top with salmon, skin side down. Sprinkle ½ teaspoon coarse salt and pinch of white pepper over salmon. Bake 20 to 22 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork.
Meanwhile, whisk the lemon juice and egg yolks in top of double boiler or metal bowl. Adjust heat under boiler so that the water is at a gentle simmer. Set bowl over simmering water until egg mixture is steaming hot and thickening, but not curdling along the edge, 2 ½ to 3 minutes. Remove from heat; whisk in butter. Whisk in yogurt. Whisk in chopped tarragon, Tabasco, remaining salt and pepper and 1 teaspoon lemon zest. Divide salmon among 8 dinner plates, discarding the skin. Top with bearnaise sauce and serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 284 calories, 36 g protein, 14 g fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 204 mg cholesterol, 534 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 11/06/2019
Print Headline: 7-day menu planner