Thursday’s Pasta Puttanesca With Mixed Olives and Walnuts is a flavorful way to skip meat. Contributed by California Walnut Commission
Photo: 7-Day Menu Planner
Photo: 7-Day Menu Planner

7 Day Menu Planner

12/ 10

Family Sunday

Family day is a terrific day to serve Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Winter Vegetables (see recipe). Serve the combo entree with a spinach salad and dinner rolls. Make or buy apple crisp for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and apple crisp for Monday.

12/ 11

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Use the leftovers for Chicken, Black Beans and Corn Salad Wrap. Mix cooked shredded chicken with some rinsed canned corn, reduced-sodium black beans, shredded lettuce and salsa. Serve rolled up in warm whole-grain tortillas. Add sliced avocado alongside. Scoop the leftover crisp for dessert.

12/ 12

Kids Tuesday

Wrap it up again tonight because the kids will love Easy Beef Roll-Ups. Spread 6 (6- or 7-inch) whole-grain tortillas with chive-and-onion cream cheese (or plain reduced-fat cream cheese), slices of deli roast beef, shredded lettuce and thin slices of tomato. Roll and cut into 3 pieces. Add carrot salad. For dessert, make chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk, stirring in tiny marshmallows and sliced bananas for a kid’s kind of dessert.

12/ 13

Budget Wednesday

Try Cajun Meatloaf With Roasted Sweet Potatoes (see recipe) for a low-cost dinner. Serve with peas and carrots (frozen) and cornbread (from mix). For dessert, fresh pears are in season.

12/ 14

Meatless Thursday

Your no-meat dinner of Pasta Puttanesca With Mixed Olives and Walnuts (see recipe) is a flavorful way to skip meat. Alongside, add an arugula salad and whole-grain rolls. A little strawberry ice cream is dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

12/ 15

Express Friday

Try Oven-Baked Open-Faced Turkey Reuben Sandwiches tonight. Heat a rimmed baking sheet to 450 degrees in the oven. Bring 1/3 cup cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons sugar to a boil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Stir to dissolve sugar; add 1 (16-ounce) bag coleslaw mix; cover and cook, tossing occasionally, 8 to 10 minutes or until coleslaw is tender. Remove lid; simmer 1 to 2 minutes or until liquid has evaporated. Combine 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Coat each of 8 slices of rye bread with cooking spray; divide and spread mayonnaise mixture on each slice. Divide and layer 8 slices Swiss cheese, coleslaw and 1 pound thinly sliced turkey on bread slices. Gently compress each sandwich; transfer to heated baking sheet. Bake 10 minutes or until toasted on bottom. Serve with sweet potato chips. For dessert, enjoy fresh pineapple.

12/ 16

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Sauteed Scallops make a great meal for guests as well as the host, thanks to the flavor and the simplicity. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add 1 pound bay scallops and cook 1 to 2 minutes or until opaque throughout. Stir in 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, 1 tablespoon chopped flatleaf parsley, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 3/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve over rice. Garnish with fresh parsley. Add steamed zucchini, a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. Top the leftover ice cream with warm fudge sauce for dessert.

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Sheet Pan Roasted Chicken and Winter Vegetables (Sunday)

1 pound small red, gold or purple potatoes

8 ounces baby carrots

8 ounces fresh green beans

8 ounces Brussels sprouts, halved

1 medium onion, cut into lengthwise slices

3 cloves garlic, sliced

4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts

Juice and zest of 1 lemon

5 sprigs fresh thyme plus more for garnish

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, combine potatoes, carrots, greens beans, Brussels sprouts, onion and garlic. Microwave on high for 8 minutes. Drain well. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons oil; toss to coat. Spread evenly onto a sheet pan lined with foil. Place in oven for 25 minutes; remove from oven. Place chicken on top of vegetables and drizzle with remaining oil. Sprinkle juice, zest, thyme, salt and pepper evenly over chicken and vegetables. Roast 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender and chicken reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees. Let chicken rest 3 minutes before slicing.

To serve: Transfer chicken to cutting board and slice into servings. Place in center of a serving platter; place vegetables around chicken. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Serves 8.

Per serving: 269 calories (percent calories from fat, 33), 27 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 10 grams fat (1.7 grams saturated fat), 73 milligrams cholesterol, 402 milligrams sodium.

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Cajun Meatloaf With Roasted Sweet Potatoes (Wednesday)

2 pounds ground turkey breast

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/3 cup ketchup

1 large green bell pepper, chopped

2 ribs celery, finely chopped

1 tablespoon salt-free Cajun seasoning (such as Tony Chachere’s or McCormick)

1/4 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon hot sauce

2 pounds sweet potatoes, halved and cut into 1/2-inch slices

Coarse salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/4 cup salsa

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix turkey, oil, ketchup, bell pepper, celery, Cajun seasoning, onion powder and hot sauce. Shape into a 9-by-4-inch oval loaf. Place loaf in roasting pan. In another large bowl, combine potatoes, salt, pepper and oil and toss to coat. Arrange potatoes around meatloaf. Bake 65 to 70 minutes or until loaf’s internal temperature reaches 165 degrees and potatoes are tender. Spoon salsa over meatloaf in the last 10 minutes of cooking. Remove from oven; let stand 5 minutes. Slice loaf and serve. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.) Serves 8.

Per serving: 273 calories (percent calories from fat, 16), 29 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (0.6 gram saturated fat), 77 milligrams cholesterol, 281 milligrams sodium.

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Pasta Puttanesca With Mixed Olives and Walnuts (Thursday)

1 pound spaghetti or linguine

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 (14-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes

3/4 cup pitted and coarsely chopped mixed olives (green and black)

2 tablespoons drained capers

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3/4 cup coarsely chopped toasted walnuts

Fresh chopped basil

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Heat oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add garlic; cook 1 more minute. Stir in tomatoes, olives, capers, tomato paste and red pepper; bring to a boil. Reduce to low heat; simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Toss with hot pasta. Sprinkle with walnuts; garnish with basil and parmesan, and serve. Serves 6.

Per serving: 481 calories (percent calories from fat, 32), 14 grams protein, 69 grams carbohydrate, 5 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), no cholesterol, 389 milligrams sodium.

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