Seven-day menu planner

 

Plan your meals a week at a time or pick and choose your favorites. Each meal comes with a shopping list.

Shopping List

Sunday

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mojo marinade (such as Goya or Badia), onion, fresh parsley, canola oil, limes, corn-on-the-cob, lettuce, Cuban bread, flan.

Monday

Canned reduced-sodium black beans, crusty bread, fresh pineapple, coconut.

Tuesday

Reduced-fat blue cheese dressing, whole-grain fat-free tortillas, rice, barbecued shredded chicken (such as Lloyd’s or another brand), lettuce, jar roasted red peppers, deli coleslaw, fresh cherries.

Wednesday

Olive oil, celery, carrot, onion, garlic, vegetable broth, refrigerated reduced-fat cheese tortellini, canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans, packaged baby spinach, nutmeg, pepper, packaged green salad, garlic bread, fresh apricots.

Thursday

Pizza, red bell peppers, ranch dressing, fresh strawberries, orange juice, fat-free vanilla ice cream, pure vanilla extract.

Friday

Packaged romaine, packaged oven-roasted chicken breast, oranges, red onion, creamy poppy seed dressing, sliced almonds, whole-grain rolls, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, light whipped cream.

Saturday

Lamb chops, olive oil, garlic, dried oregano, wild rice, orzo, butter, onion, frozen petite green peas, coarse salt, pepper, green onions, fresh spinach, goat cheese, almonds, crusty rolls, peaches, sugar, lemon, cinnamon, ginger, pure vanilla extract, unsalted butter, flour, baking powder, 1 percent milk.


Side dish

WILD RICE AND ORZO

Makes 8 servings. Preparation time: about 10 minutes. Cooking time: about 15 minutes, plus time to cook rice and orzo.

1 cup wild rice

1 cup orzo

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups frozen petite green peas, thawed

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup green onions, sliced

Cook rice and orzo separately according to package directions. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large nonstick skillet. Add onion; cover and cook on medium 15 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in peas, salt and pepper and cook 1 minute. Drain rice and orzo; pour into serving dish. Stir in onion mixture and green onions and serve.

Per serving: 199 calories, 7 g protein, 2 g fat (10 percent calories from fat), 1 g saturated fat, 38 g carbohydrate, 4 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 166 mg sodium. Carb choices: 2 1/2.


Dessert

TEXAS PEACH COBBLER

Makes 10 servings. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Baking time: 45 minutes.

12 to 14 (about 3 1/2 pounds) ripe medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced

3 tablespoons sugar

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 teaspoons cinnamon

3/4 teaspoon ginger

3/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 1/4 cups flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 cup 1 percent milk

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine peaches, sugar, lemon juice, cinnamon, ginger and vanilla extract; set aside. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, melt unsalted butter in oven. In a separate bowl, mix together flour sugar, baking powder and add the milk. Mix until lightly blended. Spoon mixture over melted butter. Don’t stir. Pour the peach mixture over batter. Bake 45 minutes. As the cobbler bakes, the batter oozes up and around fruit, for a cobbler with a moist, golden-brown crust.

Per serving: 243 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fat (19 percent calories from fat), 3.1 g saturated fat, 47 g carbohydrate, 13 mg cholesterol, 3 g fiber, 92 mg sodium. Carb choices: 3.

Source: Adapted from “Smoke and Spice,” by Cheryl and Bill Jamison (Harvard Common Press).


Main dish

MOJO CHICKEN

Makes 8 servings. Preparation time: less than 20 minutes; marinating time: 2 hours. Cooking time: 16 minutes.

8 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

6 tablespoons mojo marinade (such as Goya or Badia)

1 cup onion, finely chopped

1/2 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

8 teaspoons fresh lime juice, divided

Lime wedges for garnish

Combine chicken breasts with mojo marinade; marinate in refrigerator 2 hours, turning occasionally. Combine onion and parsley; set aside. Remove chicken and pat dry; discard marinade. Cook chicken in 2 batches. For each batch, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 4 pieces chicken; cook 4 minutes on each side or until no longer pink. Drizzle each breast with 1 teaspoon lime juice; top each serving with 2 tablespoons onion mixture. Serve with lime wedges.

Per serving: 207 calories, 30 g protein, 7 g fat (33 percent calories from fat), 1.1 g saturated fat, 3 g carbohydrate, 91 mg cholesterol, 1 g fiber, 370 mg sodium. Carb choices: 0.


Universal UClick

SUNDAY (Family)

The family will enjoy another version of mojo chicken (see recipe). Serve with corn-on-the-cob and a lettuce wedge. Add Cuban bread. For dessert, buy or make flan. Plan ahead: Save enough chicken, topping and corn for Monday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

For a simple meal, top heated canned reduced-sodium (rinsed) black beans with slices of leftover chicken and the onion/parsley topping. Alongside, add leftover corn and crusty bread. For dessert, fresh pineapple garnished with toasted coconut will work.

TUESDAY (Express)

We might all sing the blues sometimes, but not when Blues Wraps are for dinner. Spread 1/2 cup reduced-fat blue cheese dressing almost to edge of 4 (10-inch) whole-grain fat-free tortillas. Spread 2 cups cooked rice and 2 cups barbecued shredded chicken (such as Lloyd’s or another brand) evenly over dressing; top each with lettuce leaf. Place 1 drained, roasted red pepper (from 7 ounce jar) on lettuce. Fold edge of each tortilla up about 1 inch over filling; roll each tortilla tightly to make wrap. Cover with waxed paper and microwave tortillas 1 to 2 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until hot. Serve with deli coleslaw. Enjoy fresh cherries for dessert.

WEDNESDAY (Meatless)

Try tortellini soup for a no-meat dinner. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-low in a 4-quart pot. Stir in 2 ribs chopped celery, 1 medium chopped carrot, 1 medium chopped onion and 4 cloves minced garlic; cover and cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add 3 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth and 2 cups water. Bring to boil; stir in 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated reduced-fat cheese tortellini and cook according to directions. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans, 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Heat through. Serve with a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Fresh apricots are dessert.

THURSDAY (Kids)

Take the night off and buy the kids a pizza for dinner. They’ll like dipping red bell pepper strips into ranch dressing on the side. For dessert, make a strawberry vanilla smoothie. In a blender, combine 1 cup fresh strawberries, 1 cup orange juice, 1 cup fat-free vanilla ice cream, 1 cup ice cubes and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Blend until smooth. Plan ahead: Buy enough strawberries and save enough ice cream for Saturday.

FRIDAY (Budget)

Save some electricity and prepare strawberry and chicken salad tonight. Toss 1 (10-ounce) package torn romaine (or 8 cups) with 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package oven-roasted chicken breast, 3/4 cup orange sections, 2 cups sliced leftover fresh strawberries, 1/2 medium sliced red onion and 1/2 cup creamy poppy seed dressing. Garnish with toasted sliced almonds. Serve with whole-grain rolls. For dessert, top instant chocolate pudding (1 percent milk) with light whipped cream.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Serve your guests broiled lamb chops. Brush the chops with a mixture of olive oil, garlic and dried oregano. Broil 1-inch-thick chops 3 to 4 inches from heat for 7 to 11 minutes; turn once. Serve with wild rice and orzo (see recipe). Add spinach salad garnished with goat cheese and toasted sliced almonds along with crusty rolls. This Texas peach cobbler (see recipe) served with leftover ice cream got rave reviews from the guests.

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

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