Seven-day menu planner

 

SHOPPING LIST

Sunday

Turkey breast, butter, olive oil, arborio rice, onion, fat-free chicken broth, sliced fresh mushrooms, frozen petite green peas, parmesan cheese, black pepper, romaine, whole-grain rolls, store-bought or homemade cherry cobbler.

Monday

Low-fat mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, chutney, fat-free whole-grain tortillas, red onion, fresh spinach, lettuce, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday

Cooking spray, green cabbage, onion, Granny Smith apple, canola oil, garlic, bay leaf, juniper berries or fresh rosemary, cider vinegar, light brown sugar, whole-grain mustard, caraway seeds, smoked sausage links, pepper, beets, dark rye bread, pears.

Wednesday

Lean ground beef or turkey breast, jar tomato and basil pasta sauce, canned sliced mushrooms, dried basil, any refrigerated pasta, packaged green salad, garlic bread, tapioca pudding.

Thursday

Canola oil, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, dried thyme, vegetable broth, lentils, bay leaves, coarse salt, black pepper, can crushed tomatoes, fresh spinach, any shredded cheese, any dense bread, butterscotch sauce.

Friday

Canned vegetarian refried beans, fat-free burrito-size tortillas, mild salsa, lettuce, any shredded cheese, rice, carrot sticks, instant chocolate pudding, marshmallow cream, pecans, raisins.

Saturday

Cooking spray, cod fillets, low-fat mayonnaise, parmesan cheese, cayenne pepper, fresh zucchini, red bell pepper, orzo, fresh parsley, olive oil, garlic, packaged fresh baby spinach leaves, lemon, coarse salt, pepper, sugar, crusty bread, fruit tarts.


Side dish

Risotto with Peas and Mushrooms (Sunday)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 25 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup onion, chopped

3 cups fat-free chicken broth

8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms

1 cup frozen petite green peas

1/2 cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

In a 2-quart glass baking dish, cover and microwave butter and oil on high (100 percent power) 45 seconds to 1 minute or until melted; mix in rice and onion. Cover and microwave on high 4 minutes; stir after 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth; cover and microwave on high 10 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Add mushrooms; cover and microwave on high 8 minutes, stirring every 3 minutes. Stir in peas; cover and microwave on high 2 minutes. Keep covered and let stand 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 157 calories, 6 grams protein, 5 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 432 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.


Main dish

Cabbage with Smoked Sausage and Apples (Tuesday)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 8 hours on low

1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large Granny Smith apple, cored and chopped

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

4 juniper berries or 1 small sprig fresh rosemary

3 tablespoons cider vinegar

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

1 tablespoon whole-grain mustard

Generous pinch of caraway seeds

1 pound smoked sausage links, halved

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Coat the inside of a 4-quart or larger slow cooker with cooking spray. Layer cabbage, onion, apple, oil, garlic, bay leaf, juniper berries (or rosemary sprig), vinegar, sugar, mustard and caraway seeds in cooker. Mix well. Nestle the sausage pieces into the cabbage mixture so they don’t dry. Cover and cook on low, stirring the cabbage mixture several times, at least 6 hours, up to 8 hours. Season with pepper. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig (if using). Makes 6 servings.

Source: Adapted from “The Southern Slow Cooker," Kendra Bailey Morris; Ten Speed Press, 2013

Per serving: 241 calories, 12 grams protein, 12 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 91 milligrams cholesterol, 866 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.


Side dish

Garlic Spinach (Saturday)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 (10-ounce) package fresh baby spinach leaves

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Pinch of sugar

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Reduce heat to low; add garlic and cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes or until garlic is lightly golden. Add spinach; increase heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, about 3 minutes or until spinach is limp. Stir in lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar. Serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 50 calories, 2 grams protein, 4 grams fat (60 percent calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 176 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.


SUNDAY (Family)

Bake a turkey breast for family day. Keep your secret weapon (the microwave) to yourself as you prepare risotto with peas and mushrooms (see recipe). Add a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, buy or make a cherry cobbler.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, risotto and cobbler for Monday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

These turkey roll-ups make good use of leftover turkey. Mix together 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons chutney. Spread evenly over 8 (8-inch) fat-free whole-grain tortillas. Top with sliced turkey, thin slices of red onion and fresh spinach leaves. Roll tightly, cut in half, and serve with the leftover risotto. Add a lettuce wedge. Warm the leftover cobbler and top with fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.

TUESDAY (Budget)

Kendra Bailey Morris of Richmond, Va., is a cookbook author who knows a thing or two about Southern slow cooker recipes. In her new book, The Southern Slow Cooker, she gives a nod to the French and their choucroute garnie with her recipe for cabbage with smoked sausage and apples (see recipe). Serve the savory dish with beets and dark rye bread. For dessert, pears are easy.

Tip: Look for juniper berries at spice stores.

WEDNESDAY (Express)

Make a quick meat sauce with pasta. Cook 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey breast in a Dutch oven on medium 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Add 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce, 1 (4- to 6-ounce) can drained sliced mushrooms and 1 teaspoon dried basil to meat. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Serve over any refrigerated pasta. Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Tapioca pudding is a good dessert to complete your meal.

THURSDAY (Meatless)

Quick and easy is what we called lentil soup with tomatoes and peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add 1 1/2 cups each chopped onion and diced red bell pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add 4 cups vegetable broth or water, 1 cup rinsed and sorted lentils, 2 small bay leaves, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Mix in 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Remove bay leaves and serve. Accompany the soup with a spinach salad and cheese toast (use any shredded cheese on any dense bread and broil until the cheese melts). Leftover ice cream with butterscotch sauce is dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough butterscotch sauce for Friday.

FRIDAY (Kids)

The kids can prepare their own beany burritos. Heat canned vegetarian refried beans and spread on fat-free burrito-size tortillas. Cover beans with drained mild salsa, shredded lettuce and any shredded cheese. Roll, cut in half and serve with rice. Munch on carrot sticks alongside. Finish with Rocky Road parfait, a kid’s ooey-gooey dream. In a tall dessert or other glass, layer chocolate pudding (instant) with leftover butterscotch sauce, marshmallow cream, a few chopped pecans and some raisins; repeat and end with marshmallow cream.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Invite friends for parmesan baked fish. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 4 (12-by-18-inch) pieces of foil with cooking spray. Center 1 (4- to 6-ounce) cod fillet on each piece of foil. Top each with 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise, then 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Divide and top the fillets with 2 medium sliced zucchini and 1/2 medium red bell pepper cut into strips. Double-fold ends and top to seal, leaving enough space for heat circulation. Bake 18 to 22 minutes. Open packets away from your face. Serve with orzo tossed with chopped fresh parsley and garlic spinach (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, buy fruit tarts

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: susan@7daymenu.com.

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