On Tuesday, it’s breakfast for dinner with Hash Brown Egg Cups. Contributed by Time Inc. Books/Jennifer Causey

Seven Day Menu Planner


Family Sunday

Make a family-friendly Pot Roast (see recipe) for today’s gathering. Accompany the flavorful combination with mashed red-skinned potatoes, steamed sliced zucchini, a mixed green salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, scoop lemon sherbet.

Plan ahead: Save enough beef, vegetables, mashed potatoes and sherbet for Monday.


Heat-and-Eat Monday

Slice and heat the leftover beef and vegetables and make Open-Face Beef Sandwiches. Pile the heated leftover peppers and onions, along with the broth and sliced beef, over whole-grain bread.

Make potato patties with the leftover potatoes: Mix them with a lightly beaten egg, dust with flour and pan-fry in a nonstick skillet until heated through and browned on both sides. Add a spinach salad. Leftover sherbet is your dessert.


Wild Card Tuesday

Sometimes you want Breakfast for Dinner, so Hash Brown Egg Cups (see recipe) are fun for a change. Serve them with crisp bacon slices and a green salad. Strawberries over angel food cake are a terrific dessert.


Meatless Wednesday

Make Tex-Mex Stuffed Potatoes for dinner and skip the meat. Bake four large potatoes, slash the tops, squeeze ends and top the potatoes with a heated mixture of 1 cup drained salsa, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and 1 (11-ounce) can rinsed corn with peppers. Add a dollop of plain yogurt. Serve with a packaged Caesar salad and whole-grain rolls. Dessert is fresh pineapple garnished with shredded coconut.


Express Thursday

Make it quick tonight with this Turkey Reuben Loaf. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread bottom half of a split loaf of Italian bread with reduced-fat Russian dressing. Top with rinsed and drained refrigerated sauerkraut, deli sliced turkey and Swiss cheese. Replace top, wrap in foil and bake 30 minutes. Cut into serving-size portions and serve with deli German potato salad and pickled beets. Applesauce is a light dessert.


Kids Friday

Surprise the kids with Pasta Sundaes tonight. Cook 8 ounces spaghetti according to directions; drain. Fill 4 ice cream sundae glasses half full with the spaghetti. Divide and pour 2 cups heated marinara sauce over the spaghetti. Top with 1 or 2 meatballs (from frozen) and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add a chopped lettuce salad on the side. For dessert, make instant chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk. Stir in some sliced bananas for a different flavor.


Easy Entertaining Saturday

“Yum, yum!” will be what your guests say when you serve them Almond-Chive Salmon (see recipe). Serve with rice pilaf (from mix), fresh carrots, a red-tipped lettuce salad and baguettes. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.

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Pot Roast (Sunday)

2 large onions, cut into 8 wedges

2 cloves garlic, peeled

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck roast

1 (0.7-ounce) package Italian dressing mix

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

1/2 cup unsalted beef broth

Coarse salt and black pepper to taste

Place onions and garlic in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Rub roast evenly with salad dressing mix; place on top of onions. Add bell peppers and broth. Cover and cook on low 8 hours or high 5 hours. Remove roast and vegetables. Strain cooking liquid; skim fat. Heat defatted broth in microwave on high (100 percent power) 1 minute per cup of broth or until hot. Let roast stand 5 minutes. Slice roast across grain, salt and pepper to taste, and serve with vegetables and heated broth. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 188 calories (percent calories from fat, 26), 27 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 5 grams fat (2 grams saturated fat), 52 milligrams cholesterol, 368 milligrams sodium.

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Hash Brown Egg Cups (Tuesday)

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 small yellow onion, finely diced

4 cups frozen sweet potato tots, thawed

2 cups frozen potato tots, thawed

8 eggs

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon pepper

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Melt butter in a medium nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, 5 or 6 minutes or until softened. Add all potato tots and cook, using a wooden spoon to stir and break up potatoes, 10 minutes or until potatoes resemble hash browns. Remove from heat. Line a large colander with several paper towels; add hash brown mixture. Cover with paper towels and squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Transfer mixture to large bowl. Coat 8 medium muffin tins with cooking spray. Divide hash brown mixture evenly among cups (a few tablespoons each). Press down mixture into bottom and up sides of cups, creating a tight nest. Spray again. Bake 20 minutes. Remove from oven; crack 1 egg into each cup. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Return to oven; bake 6 to 8 minutes or until whites are set and yolks are desired degree of doneness; serve warm. (Adapted from “Siriously Delicious” by Siri Daly, Oxmoor House. Reprinted with permission from Time Inc. Books, a division of Meredith Corporation, New York, NY. All rights reserved.) Makes 8 egg cups.

Per egg cup: 272 calories (percent calories from fat, 56), 9 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (6.5 grams saturated fat), 201 milligrams cholesterol, 602 milligrams sodium.

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Almond-Chive Salmon (Saturday)

1/4 cup sliced almonds

2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (yellow part only)

2 (1-ounce) slices whole-grain or white bread, without crust and torn

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets, about 1 inch thick

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 lemon wedges

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine almonds, chives, parsley, lemon zest and bread in a food processor with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Process until finely chopped. Sprinkle salmon with pepper and remaining salt. Top fillets evenly with bread-crumb mixture; press gently to adhere. Place salmon on baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork or desired doneness. Serve with lemon wedges. Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 295 calories (percent calories from fat, 35), 38 grams protein, 9 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 11 grams fat (1.6 grams saturated fat), 80 milligrams cholesterol, 420 milligrams sodium.