7-Day Menu Planner

Honey Mustard Salmon

(Random House/Christine Han)
Honey Mustard Salmon (Random House/Christine Han)

A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families.

SUNDAY: Prepare your own leg of lamb and serve it with Herb-Roasted Dijon Potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic and ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning. Add 2 pounds red potato chunks; toss to coat. Spoon into a shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until tender; stir occasionally. Add a grape tomato and broccoli floret salad (halve the tomatoes). Tossed with a light vinaigrette and add dinner rolls on the side. For dessert, top slices of angel food cake with strawberries.

Plan ahead: Save enough lamb, salad and cake for Monday. Save enough strawberries for Tuesday.

MONDAY: Make Lamb Sandwiches on rosemary (or another) bread: Brush the bread with olive oil and layer it with lamb slices, drained roasted red peppers (from jar), crumbled goat cheese and arugula. Serve with leftover tomato-broccoli salad. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the leftover cake for dessert.

TUESDAY: Prepare Tomato Soup With Orzo and White Beans for a flavorful no-meat dinner: In a medium pot, cook 1 large onion (chopped), 1 small green bell pepper (chopped), 2 cloves garlic (minced) and 1 teaspoon dried oregano in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium heat for 6 minutes or until softened. Add 1/3 cup orzo, 2 (14 ½-ounce) cans diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes, 1 (15-ounce) can white beans (drained and rinsed), 2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth, coarse salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 7 to 9 minutes or until orzo is tender but still firm. Stir 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan into the soup and ladle into bowls. Serve with grilled-cheese sandwiches. For dessert, spoon leftover strawberries over vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save leftover ice cream for Friday.

WEDNESDAY: This Really Good Tuna Casserole (see recipe) went over big-time at our house. Serve this update of a family favorite with a spinach salad and crusty bread. Tropical fruit is good for dessert.

THURSDAY: Pick up a rotisserie chicken (or two) And serve it with baked potatoes topped with hot cauliflower with cheese sauce (from frozen). Add whole-grain rolls. Stop by the bakery or deli for brownies for something sweet.

Plan ahead: Save 2 cups chopped chicken for Friday and enough brownies for Saturday.

FRIDAY: Let the kids help prepare Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie (see recipe) using the leftover chicken. The whole family will enjoy it with deli carrot-raisin salad. Peaches are your dessert.

SATURDAY: Our guests enjoyed Honey Mustard Salmon (see recipe) with salad greens. Serve with jasmine rice and add a baguette. For dessert, warm the leftover brownies, top with leftover ice cream and sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles.


Really Good Tuna Casserole

6 ounces medium egg noodles

2 teaspoons butter, divided use

1 small red bell pepper, chopped

½ medium onion, chopped

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 ¼ cups milk

½ cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

1 (9-ounce) can water-packed albacore tuna, drained and flaked

½ teaspoon coarse salt

½ teaspoon ground black pepper

1/3 cup panko crumbs

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon butter, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms in a large container and microwave on 100% power for 30 seconds; drain. Whisk together flour and milk until smooth. Stir into vegetable mixture; cover and microwave on high for 2 minutes. Stir, re-cover and cook for 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 30-second increments until thickened. Remove from microwave, add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in tuna, cooked noodles, salt and pepper; spoon into baking dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Melt the remaining butter and mix it with the panko crumbs; sprinkle over casserole and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with no-yolk noodles, 1 % milk and reduced fat cheese) contains approximately 357 calories, 28 g protein, 7 g fat, 46 g carbohydrate, 45 mg cholesterol, 508 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 3

Tex-Mex Chicken Pot Pie

2 burrito-size flour tortillas, warmed

1 (10 ¾-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup

2 cups cooked chicken, chopped

1 (16-ounce) package frozen vegetables for soup, thawed and drained

1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles

1/3 cup chopped cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with 1 warmed tortilla (see note).

In a large bowl, mix soup, chicken, vegetables, chiles and cilantro. Spoon into lined pie plate. Top with the other warmed tortilla. Coat with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 more minutes or until top is golden and filling is hot. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving (prepared with reduced-fat tortillas and reduced-fat soup) contains approximately 204 calories, 17 g protein, 5 g fat, 23 g carbohydrate, 39 mg cholesterol, 621 mg sodium and 4 g fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: 1½

Honey Mustard Salmon

4 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon filets (skin on)

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly cracked pepper

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

1 tablespoon honey

2 cloves minced garlic

½ teaspoon paprika

Juice of ½ lemon for serving

Heat oven to 450 degrees OR heat an air fryer to 400 degrees.

Season the salmon with salt and pepper on all sides.

In a small bowl, whisk together the mustard, honey, garlic and paprika to make a glaze.

Brush on sides and top of salmon.

Bake for 10 to 14 minutes (or until salmon reaches desired doneness) or air-fry at 400 for 6 to 8 minutes (or until salmon reaches desired doneness).

Serve with a squeeze of lemon juice. (Adapted from "Big Bites," Kat Ashmore, Rodale)

Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 209 calories, 30 g protein, 6 g fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 66 mg cholesterol, 679 mg sodium and no fiber.

Carbohydrate choices: ½

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

[email protected]

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