Seven-Day Menu Planner

6/ 19

Family Sunday

Surprise dear old Dad with a big hug and a special meal of Grilled Shrimp Skewers (see recipe). Serve the medley over couscous along with a mixed greens salad and sourdough bread. Buy a banana cream pie for dessert.

PLan ahead: Save enough pie for Tuesday.

6/ 20

Kids Monday

Kids will come running for Sloppy Joes. Use a mix and follow the directions. Serve on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve with baked oven fries (frozen) and steamed fresh carrots. Enjoy sliced mangoes for dessert.

Tips: The adults might like some jalapeno peppers on their entree.

6/ 21

Meatless Tuesday

Skip meat for Layered Enchilada Casserole. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a 1 1/2-quart baking dish, spoon 1/2 cup tomatoes from 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Arrange 3 (6-inch, 9 total) corn tortillas over tomatoes, overlapping slightly (tear tortillas to fit dish). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (2 1/2 cups total) shredded Monterey Jack cheese; top with one-third of 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium rinsed black beans. Spread 1 cup tomatoes over beans. Repeat layers twice, ending with tomatoes; sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top. Cover loosely with nonstick foil; bake 35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with a lettuce wedge. Slice the leftover PIE for dessert.

6/ 22

Budget Wednesday

We're always in the mood for chili, and this White Chili (see recipe) is especially good. Serve it with a spinach salad and cornbread (from a mix). Lighten up with fresh strawberries for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chili and cornbread for Thursday.

6/ 23

Heat-and-Eat Thursday

Heat the leftover Chili and serve it over brown rice. Add salad greens and leftover cornbread. Plums are a light dessert.

Plan ahead: Cook enough rice for Saturday.

6/ 24

Express Friday

Enjoy a Grilled Muffuletta for a quick meal. Coat both sides of 8 slices rustic or sourdough bread with cooking spray. Layer 4 slices reduced-fat provolone or mozzarella cheese over four of the slices; top with olive spread or tapenade, thinly sliced deli ham, mortadella and Genoa salami, and another slice of cheese. Top with remaining 4 slices bread. Cook sandwiches in a preheated panini maker about 3 minutes or until golden and cheese is melted. Serve with deli coleslaw. A slice of papaya is dessert.

Tip: Sandwiches may be cooked in a preheated ridged grill pan or skillet on medium. Place heavy skillet on top of sandwiches to flatten; cook 3 minutes. Turn; continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden.

6/ 25

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your lucky guests Grilled Beef Kebabs (see recipe) over leftover brown rice for dinner tonight. Add your own grilled vegetables, a caesar salad and crusty bread. Buy Fruit tarts for dessert.

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Grilled Shrimp Skewers (Sunday)

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons less-sodium seasoned salt

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks

Mix oil, Italian seasoning and seasoned salt in small bowl until well blended. Alternately thread shrimp and vegetables onto skewers. Grill over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning frequently and brushing generously with oil mixture. Serves 4.

NOTE: If using wooden skewers, soak thoroughly in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with shrimp and vegetables to prevent burning when on the grill.

Per serving: 171 calories (percent calories from fat, 39), 21 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (1.1 grams saturated fat), 159 milligrams cholesterol, 368 milligrams sodium.

White Chili (Wednesday)

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Pinch crushed red pepper

2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained

1/4 cup minced fresh jalapeno peppers

1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed

5 cups hot unsalted chicken broth

3/4 cup chopped onion

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch chopped cilantro leaves, divided

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, toss the chicken with the flour until evenly coated. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, white pepper and crushed red pepper; add to slow cooker and mix well. Add the green chilies, jalapeno peppers, beans, hot broth and onion. Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half the cilantro. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining cilantro. Makes 8 cups.

Per cup: 298 calories (percent calories from fat, 8), 26 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrate, 15 grams fiber, 3 grams fat (0.5 gram saturated fat), 36 milligrams cholesterol, 261 milligrams sodium.

Grilled Beef Kebabs (Saturday)

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons pepper sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef top sirloin (1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Coarse salt to taste

In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, oil, pepper sauce, garlic and optional crushed red pepper. Add beef; toss to coat. Alternately thread beef and bell pepper pieces onto 6 (10-inch) metal skewers. Grill kebabs on medium, uncovered, 8 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium, turning occasionally. Salt to taste. Serves 6.

Per serving: 153 calories (percent calories from fat, 38), 21 grams protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 6 grams fat (1.8 grams saturated fat), 56 milligrams cholesterol, 50 milligrams sodium.