Seven-day menu planner

Rice pilaf
Rice pilaf

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Turkey breast to roast, sweet potatoes, sweet onions (such as Vidalia), extra-virgin olive oil, garlic-pepper blend, coarse salt, fresh brussels sprouts, butter, fresh jalapeno pepper, garlic, sugar, pickled beets, bread pudding.


Fat-free chicken broth, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, canned white beans, sliced fresh mushrooms, fresh spinach, refrigerated cheese tortellini, parmesan cheese, lettuce, crackers.


French bread, honey-mustard salad dressing, deli ham, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, deli carrot salad, cupcakes, peaches.


Deli tuna salad, packaged mixed greens, grapes, walnuts, whole-grain rolls, peanut butter cookies.


Canned reduced-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), fat-free chicken broth, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, fresh rosemary, crushed red pepper, coarse salt, freshly ground pepper, short pasta such as ditalini or tubetti, spinach, eggs, crusty bread, fresh pineapple spears.


Canola oil, fresh white mushrooms, canned sloppy Joe sauce, whole-grain hamburger buns, canned vegetarian baked beans, salad greens, fat-free vanilla ice cream, coconut, chocolate chips.


Orange juice, honey, olive oil, fresh cilantro, seasoned salt, garlic powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, boneless pork chops, onion, carrots, celery, garlic, wild rice, fat-free chicken broth, long-grain rice, fresh parsley, Bibb lettuce, sourdough rolls, fresh strawberries, light whipped cream.



Preparation time: about 10 minutes. Cooking time: about 30 minutes.

1 (16- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed

4 (14-ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth

1 (14-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 large clove garlic, minced

11/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

Pinch of crushed red pepper

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

3/4 cup short pasta such as ditalini or tubetti

In a Dutch oven, combine chickpeas, broth, tomatoes, 1 tablespoon oil, garlic, rosemary and red pepper. Bring to boil on high; reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 20 minutes. Transfer half the soup to a blender or processor and process until smooth. Return pureed soup to pot; season with salt and pepper. Bring to boil again over high heat. Add pasta and cook, stirring often, 10 minutes or until the pasta is just tender. Ladle into bowls, garnish with remaining oil and serve immediately. Makes about 12 cups.

Per cup: 79 calories, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 593 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 1 starch.

Side dish


Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: less than 1 hour.

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

1 cup celery, sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup wild rice

2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth

1 cup long-grain rice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil on medium in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic and cook 6 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add wild rice and broth. Bring to boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 25 minutes. Add long-grain rice. Cover and cook on low 20 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in parsley; serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 154 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 gram fat (7 percent calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 387 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 2 starch.

Main dish


Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: about 20 minutes.

2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth

2 (141/2-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

1 (15-ounce) can white beans, rinsed

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

3 cups fresh spinach, coarsely chopped

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini

1 cup cooked (leftover) turkey, chopped

Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

In a Dutch oven, mix together broth, tomatoes with juice, beans and mushrooms. Heat to boiling on medium-high; reduce heat to low. Add spinach and tortellini; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Add turkey. Cook 5 minutes or until tortellini is tender and soup is hot. Garnish with parmesan. Makes 5 servings.

Per serving: 323 calories, 22 grams protein, 6 grams fat (16 percent calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 1,029 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 2 1/2 starch, 2 vegetable, 2 lean meat.

Universal UClick

SUNDAY (Family)

Keep family day simple with your own roast turkey breast. Pair it with oven-roasted sweet potatoes and onions. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine 21/4 pounds (about 4 medium) sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces), 1 pound sweet onions (such as Vidalia), 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon garlic-pepper blend and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; toss to coat. Bake 35 minutes or until tender; stir occasionally. While the potatoes bake, prepare spicy brussels sprouts. Halve and then shred 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 small, fresh, seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add sprouts; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cook 1 minute. Serve immediately. Add pickled beets alongside. Finish the meal with warm bread pudding. Plan ahead: Save enough turkey for Monday and Tuesday; save enough bread pudding for Monday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Use some of the leftover turkey in turkey tortellini soup (see recipe). Add a lettuce wedge and crackers on the side. Warm the leftover bread pudding for dessert.


Call the kids for Dagwood deli sandwiches. Cut a one-pound loaf of French bread into 4 to 6 equal pieces and then halve horizontally. Brush cut sides of bread with honey-mustard salad dressing. Layer bottom half with thinly sliced deli ham, thinly sliced (leftover) turkey, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese slices, sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Top with remaining bread. Secure with wooden picks, cut in half and serve. Add deli carrot salad on the side. Buy cupcakes and serve them with peaches for dessert.


Make it a quick meal tonight with deli tuna salad on packaged mixed greens (stir grape halves and toasted walnuts into the tuna salad for extra flavor) and add whole-grain rolls on the side. Munch on peanut butter cookies for dessert.


Carry on with this week's soup theme and serve economical chickpea and pasta soup (see recipe). Add a spinach salad with egg wedges and crusty bread. Fresh pineapple spears are good for dessert.

FRIDAY (Meatless)

These mushroom sloppy Joes prove that you don't need meat to have good flavor. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium. Add 1 pound chopped fresh white mushrooms; cook and stir 8 minutes or until browned and liquid has evaporated. Stir in 1 (151/2-ounce) can sloppy Joe sauce. Cook mixture 3 minutes or until thick. Divide and spoon mushroom mixture among 4 split and toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve immediately with canned vegetarian baked beans. Add a mixed greens salad. Bring some happiness with fat-free vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and chocolate chips for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday. Tip: Check the labels of sloppy Joe sauces and buy the lowest-sodium one.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Invite friends for honey orange pork chops. Mix 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons marinade; set aside. Place 4 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops in resealable plastic bag; add unreserved marinade; turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 to 3 hours, turning several times; remove pork; discard marinade. Broil or grill on medium 3 to 4 minutes per side or until 145 degrees, brushing with reserved 3 tablespoons marinade halfway through cooking. Serve the chops with rice pilaf (see recipe). Add a Bibb lettuce salad and sourdough rolls. Layer leftover ice cream with fresh strawberries in stemmed glasses and top with a dollop of light whipped cream for a festive dessert.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at Read Susan's blog:

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