July 23, 2014

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.

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.


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.

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