7day menu planner
SUNDAY: Prepare your boneless leg of lamb for family day. Serve with Baked Dijon Potato Wedges. Heat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut 4 medium red potatoes into wedges. In a medium bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 ½ teaspoons paprika, 1 teaspoon cumin and ½ teaspoon garlic powder; mix well. Add potatoes to bowl; toss to coat. Spread potatoes in a single layer on baking sheet covered with nonstick foil. Bake 15 minutes; turn potatoes. Bake 10 to 15 more minutes or until tender. Add fresh green beans, a spinach salad and sourdough bread. Fresh strawberries topped with whipped cream are dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough cooked lamb, green beans and strawberries for Monday. MONDAY: Lamb, Green Beans and Gnocchi make good use of leftovers. Cook gnocchi according to package directions; drain. In same pot, heat a little canola oil. Add some minced garlic and cook until golden. Add chopped leftover lamb, leftover green beans and gnocchi; toss to coat and heat through. Serve with mixed salad greens and garlic bread. Sprinkle chia seeds over leftover strawberries for dessert.
Tip: Chia seeds are the tiny black seeds of the chia plant and are high in manganese, phosphorus, copper, selenium, iron, magnesium and calcium. Look for them with the health foods or on the spice aisle at the grocery store.
TUESDAY: Skip meat for TexMex Layered Bean Salad. In a 3½-quart-size, straight-sided salad bowl, layer salad as follows: 1 large red or yellow bell pepper (seeded and chopped),
⅓ cup red onion (chopped), 1 (16-ounce) bag iceberg lettuce, carrot and cabbage salad mix (or make your own), 1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend, 2 (15-ounce) cans three-bean salad, drained. Set aside. Mix together ½ cup mayonnaise, ½ cup sour cream and 2 tablespoons finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. Spread over top of salad. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Just before serving, sprinkle top with ½ cup crumbled tortilla chips and 1 sliced avocado. Add crusty rolls. Fresh nectarines are always a welcome dessert. WEDNESDAY: Turn ordinary roasted chicken into Rotisserie Chicken With Apricot Glaze. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small pan on medium-high; add 2 thinly sliced shallots and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in ½ cup apricot preserves, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, ½ teaspoon hot sauce and ¼ teaspoon Creole seasoning. Reduce heat to low and cook 5 minutes or until heated. Brush glaze over 1 plain deli roast chicken. Place it on rack of nonstick foil-lined roasting pan. Bake 15 minutes. Serve with
Tex-Mex Layered Bean Salad
potatoes o’brien, packaged salad greens and biscuits. Enjoy fresh tropical fruit for dessert. THURSDAY: Economical meatloaf is always welcome at our table, and Dear Abby’s Meatloaf (see recipe) has made a lot of readers happy over the years. It’s packed with flavor and easy on the budget. Serve it with mashed potatoes, fresh zucchini, a lettuce wedge and whole-grain rolls. Fresh blueberries topped with whipped cream are dessert. FRIDAY: No kid will be able to resist Soft and Crunchy Tacos (see recipe). Serve them with corn-on-the-cob. How about fresh peaches for dessert, sprinkled with toasted coconut? SATURDAY: Serve your guests Warm Greek Shrimp Salad (see recipe) for a summertime treat. Add couscous and flatbread. Start your meal with your gazpacho. For dessert, pair chocolate wafer cookies with fresh raspberries.
THE RECIPES Dear Abby’s Meatloaf
2 pounds lean ground beef (see
1 cup seasoned Italian bread
½ cup finely chopped onion ⅓ cup ketchup ⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Ground black pepper to taste and coarse salt, if desired (see notes)
4 strips bacon, if desired
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients except bacon. Shape meat mixture into a loaf and place in a 9-by-5-inch pan. Arrange bacon strips on top of loaf. Bake 60 minutes or until internal temperature is 160 degrees.
Makes 10 slices. Notes: For testing purposes, I used 93 percent lean ground beef, ½ teaspoon pepper and no salt.
Nutrition information: Each slice contains approximately 227 calories, 23 g protein, 10 g fat, 11 g carbohydrate, 92 mg cholesterol, 428 mg sodium and 1 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 1.
Soft and Crunchy Tacos
8 taco shells 8 fajita-size whole-wheat flour
1 cup shredded cheddar
cheese, divided use
1 pound lean ground beef 1 (1.25-ounce) packet taco
¾ cup water
1 cup shredded romaine
1 cup taco sauce
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put taco shells on a baking sheet; spread tortillas on another baking sheet. Sprinkle each tortilla with 1 tablespoon cheese; set aside. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium and add beef; cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until slightly thickened.
Meanwhile, put baking sheets in oven; bake 3 minutes or until cheese melts. Center a taco shell in each flour tortilla and bring up sides of tortillas. Fill tacos with beef mixture, then romaine, remaining cheese and taco sauce. Serve immediately. Makes 8 tacos. Nutrition information: Each taco (prepared with reduced-fat cheese and reduced-sodium seasoning) contains approximately 287 calories, 16 g protein, 9 g fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 36 mg cholesterol, 807 mg sodium and 2 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Warm Greek Shrimp Salad
1 (8- to 10-ounce) package
baby spinach leaves
1 small red onion, chopped 1 medium red bell pepper,
1 pound large uncooked
½ cup Greek-style vinaigrette (or another vinaigrette), divided use ⅓ cup halved kalamata olives 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
(yellow part only) Crumbled feta cheese for
Place spinach in a large salad bowl; set aside.
Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add onion and pepper; cook 4 minutes or until softened. Add shrimp and ¼ cup dressing. Cook 3 minutes or until shrimp are just opaque. Remove from heat. Stir in olives, remaining dressing, lemon juice and lemon zest. Immediately pour over the spinach; toss to coat and slightly wilt spinach. Sprinkle with feta cheese and serve.
Makes 4 servings. Nutrition information: Each serving without cheese contains approximately 278 calories, 25 g protein, 16 g fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 183 mg cholesterol, 733 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2. Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: