7 Day Menu Planner

Sunday’s Lamb Skewers With Mint Yogurt are a perfect meal for family day. Contributed by McCormick and Co./Lindsay Landis

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Sunday’s Lamb Skewers With Mint Yogurt are a perfect meal for family day. Contributed by McCormick and Co./Lindsay Landis


Family Sunday

Present Lamb Skewers With Mint Yogurt (see recipe) for family day. Serve it with herb-roasted potatoes: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning. Add 2 pounds red potatoes, cut into bite-size chunks; toss to coat. Spoon into a shallow baking pan lined with nonstick foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until fork tender; stir occasionally.

Add a tomato and broccoli floret salad (buy extra cherry tomatoes and halve them), tossed with a light vinaigrette. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, top slices of angel food cake with peaches and vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough lamb, tomato-broccoli salad and cake for Monday. Save enough peaches for Tuesday and enough ice cream for Tuesday and Friday.


Heat-and-Eat Monday

Make Lamb Sandwiches on Focaccia (or another) Bread. Brush the bread with olive oil and layer it with leftover lamb, roasted red peppers, goat cheese and arugula. Serve with leftover tomato-broccoli salad. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the leftover cake for dessert.


Meatless Tuesday

Prepare Tomato Soup With Orzo for a flavorful no-meat entree. In a medium pot, cook 1 large chopped onion, 1 small chopped green bell pepper, 2 cloves minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried oregano in 1 tablespoon olive oil for 6 minutes or until softened. Add 1/3 cup orzo, 2 (14.5-ounce) cans undrained diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed white beans, 2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted vegetable broth, coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cook 7 to 9 minutes or until orzo is tender but still firm. Stir 3 tablespoons Parmesan into the soup and ladle into bowls.

Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches. For dessert, spoon leftover peaches over leftover ice cream.


Microwave Wednesday

For this week's wild card, use your microwave to help prepare a Tuna Casserole. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook 6 ounces medium no-yolk egg noodles according to package directions; drain.

Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon butter, 1 small chopped red bell pepper, 1/2 medium chopped onion and 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms in a large microwavable container. Microwave on high (100 percent power) 5 minutes or until softened; drain. In a small bowl, whisk together 2 tablespoons flour and 1 1/4 cups 1 percent milk until smooth. Stir into vegetable mixture; cover and microwave on high 2 minutes. Stir, then cover and cook 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 30-second increments until thickened.

Remove from microwave, add 1/2 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese and stir until melted. Stir in 1 (9-ounce) can drained water-packed light tuna (flaked), 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cooked noodles; spoon into baking dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Mix together 1/3 cup dried bread crumbs and 1 teaspoon melted butter; sprinkle over casserole and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.

Serve this update of a family favorite with a romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Pears are good for dessert.


Express Thursday

Pick up a Rotisserie Chicken and serve it with stuffed potatoes (from frozen) and broccoli with cheese sauce (from frozen). Add mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Stop by the bakery for peanut butter cookies for a sweet.

Plan ahead: Buy an extra chicken and save 2 cups chopped chicken for Friday.


Kids Friday

Let the kids help prepare Chicken Pot Pie (see recipe) from the leftover chicken. The whole family will enjoy it with a lettuce-and-tomato salad. Then, everyone will line up for warmed deli brownies topped with leftover ice cream and chocolate sprinkles.


Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your guests Walnut Crusted Salmon Fillets (see recipe) and add rice, fresh green beans and baguettes. For dessert, buy a cheesecake to keep it simple.

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Lamb skewers with mint yogurt (Sunday)

Mint yogurt:

1 cup plain low-fat yogurt

2 tablespoons fresh mint

1/8 teaspoon cumin


1/4 cup lemon juice

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

2 teaspoons dried thyme

1 teaspoon garlic powder

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper

2 pounds lean boneless leg of lamb, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

8 ounces cherry tomatoes

2 small onions, cut into wedges

For the mint yogurt: Combine yogurt, mint and cumin in a small bowl; refrigerate until ready to serve.

For the skewers: Mix juice, oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Reserve half for basting. Place lamb in large resealable plastic bag. Add half marinade; toss to coat. Refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. Remove lamb; discard marinade from bag. Alternately thread lamb, tomatoes and onion wedges onto skewers. Grill on medium-high heat 10 to 12 minutes or until desired doneness, turning occasionally and brushing with reserved marinade. Serve with mint yogurt. Serves 8.

Per serving: 186 calories (percent calories from fat, 37), 23 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 8 grams fat (2.3 grams saturated fat), 66 milligrams cholesterol, 197 milligrams sodium.

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Chicken Pot Pie (Friday)

2 burrito-sized flour tortillas

1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

2 cups cooked chopped chicken

1 (16-ounce) package frozen vegetables for soup, thawed and drained

1 (4-ounce) can chopped mild green chilies

1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with 1 warmed (see note) tortilla. In a large bowl, mix soup, chicken, vegetables, chilies and cilantro. Spoon into tortilla-lined pie plate. Top with the other warmed tortilla. Coat with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 more minutes or until top is golden and filling is hot. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately. Serves 6.

Note: To warm tortillas, roll them in damp white paper towels and microwave on high (100 percent power) 20 seconds or until warm.

Per serving: 209 calories (percent calories from fat, 15), 19 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 3 grams fat (0.9 gram saturated fat), 42 milligrams cholesterol, 649 milligrams sodium.

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Walnut Crusted Salmon Fillets (Saturday)

1 1/2 cups walnuts

3 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs

3 tablespoons finely grated lemon zest

1 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

6 (3-ounce) skin-on salmon fillets

Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Place walnuts in food processor; coarsely chop. Add breadcrumbs, lemon zest, oil and dill; pulse until crumbly (mixture should stick together). Season with salt and pepper; set aside. Arrange salmon, skin side down, on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush tops with mustard. Spoon 1/3 cup walnut mixture over each fillet; gently press mixture into surface of salmon. Cover with plastic wrap; refrigerate up to 2 hours. Unwrap and bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes, or until salmon flakes with a fork. Just before serving, sprinkle each piece with 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Serves 6.

Per serving: 327 calories (percent calories from fat, 64), 23 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 24 grams fat (2.7 grams saturated fat), 40 milligrams cholesterol, 145 milligrams sodium.