Seven-day menu planner

9/ 11

Family Sunday

Prepare a large (5- to 6-pound) Baked Chicken for the family and serve with garlic pepper mashed potatoes. Cover 2 1/4 pounds baking potatoes with cold water. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain and return to pan. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Mash with potato masher, gradually adding 1/2 cup 2 percent milk and 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream.

Add fresh broccoli florets, a lettuce wedge and dinner rolls. Cool off with lime sherbet for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and mashed potatoes for Monday; save enough sherbet for Friday.

9/ 12

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Pesto Chicken and Rice Salad with Tuscan Relish is simple and delicious (see recipe). Add leftover potatoes, mixed greens and whole-grain bread. Fresh cherries are a summertime treat.

9/ 13

Kids Tuesday

Make Meatball Tacos for kid fare tonight. Cook frozen meatballs according to directions. Dice and heat them in canned taco sauce. Spoon into heated taco shells. Top with reduced-fat sour cream and 50 percent light shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with buttered noodles (no-yolk) and green beans. Banana pudding (instant banana pudding made with 2 percent milk and sliced bananas) is a tasty kids’ dessert.

9/ 14

Express Wednesday

Buy deli tuna salad and make a TunaPlatter on leaf lettuce with tomato wedges, hard-cooked egg slices and pickled beets surrounding the tuna. Sprinkle all with paprika. Serve with Italian dressing. Add baked potato chips and whole-wheat pita bread. Strawberry ice cream is a good dessert.

9/ 15

Budget Thursday

Catfish is economical and takes to bold seasonings such as in this Oven-Fried Catfish (see recipe). Serve with O’Brien potatoes (frozen), deli coleslaw and cornbread (from a mix). You’ll love nectarines for dessert.

9/ 16

Meatless Friday

Buy a frozen no-meat Lasagna for dinner. Serve with an antipasto salad. Arrange marinated artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, olives, sliced celery and cherry tomatoes on lettuce. Serve with Italian dressing. Add garlic bread. Scoop leftover sherbet for dessert.

9/ 17

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite guests for delicious Cajun Pecan Pork Chops (see recipe). Serve with roasted sweet potato wedges, fresh snow peas, a spinach salad and sourdough bread. Buy a cheesecake and top with fresh berries (any kind) for dessert.

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