Seven-Day Menu Planner

7/ 31

Family Sunday

Grilling days are here, so put your own grilled chicken on the menu. For the perfect accompaniment, try Horseradish Potato Salad (see recipe) and pickled beets (from a jar). Add crusty bread.

Make this easy pineapple angel food cake for dessert. Mix 1 package (4-serving size) instant vanilla pudding with 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple and juice; stir in 1 cup frozen whipped topping (thawed). Set aside. Slice a 10-ounce round angel food cake horizontally into three layers. Place bottom layer, cut-side up, on a cake platter. Spread 1 1/3 cups of pudding mixture onto cake layer; cover with middle cake layer and 1 cup pudding mixture; top with remaining cake layer and spread with remaining pudding. Garnish with fresh strawberry slices. Refrigerate 1 hour or until ready to serve.

Plan ahead: Grill enough chicken, cook 6 slices bacon and save enough cake for Monday.

8/ 1

Heat-and-Eat Monday

Use the leftover chicken for Chicken Wedge Salad. In a small bowl, mix 3/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/3 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese. Cut a chilled medium head of iceberg lettuce into 6 wedges. Place each wedge on a dinner plate. Divide and arrange leftover chicken (cut into strips), 2 chopped apples, 3/4 cup finely chopped red onion and 3/4 cup toasted walnuts around each wedge. Drizzle with dressing and top with crumbled leftover bacon. (Adapted from “Betty Crocker: Fast From-Scratch Meals,” Grace Wells and Cathy Swanson, senior editors; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.)

Add tomato-basil soup and crackers to round out the meal. Slice the leftover cake for dessert.

8/ 2

Express Tuesday

Make a summertime favorite, Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwiches (on whole-grain toast) for a quick meal. Serve with O’Brien potatoes (frozen). Summertime peaches are a delicious dessert.

8/ 3

Budget Wednesday

For a low-cost meal, try Baked Beef and Rice Alfredo. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef for 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Transfer to an 8-by-8-inch baking dish lined with 2 layers paper towels (to drain beef); discard towels. Stir in 1 (5.6- to 6.2-ounce) package quick-cooking long-grain and wild rice blend and seasoning packet; mix well. Top with 3 or 4 cups any frozen vegetable blend (thawed). Combine 1 1/4 cups hot water and 1 cup refrigerated light Alfredo sauce; pour over ground beef mixture. Cover with foil; bake 35 to 40 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.

Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread. Any fresh melon is dessert.

8/ 4

Kids Thursday

Kids can’t resist Spaghetti and Meatballs, and moms can’t resist the convenience. Cook spaghetti according to package directions; drain and set aside. Microwave a 16-ounce package of frozen meatballs according to directions.

Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat a 24- to 26-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce on medium-low for 10 minutes or until hot; stir occasionally. Add cooked meatballs. Serve over spaghetti; sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Add carrot sticks and soft rolls. Raspberries are always a favorite dessert.

8/ 5

Meatless Friday

Tex-Mex Bake (see recipe) was a hit at our house. Serve it with avocado slices, lettuce wedges and warmed fat-free flour tortillas. Try mangoes for dessert.

8/ 6

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your guests Polynesian Pork (see recipe) over couscous for a culinary trip to the tropics. Add .

Make Blueberry and White Chocolate “Napoleons” for dessert. In medium bowl, beat 1 (3.4-ounce) package white chocolate or vanilla instant pudding into 1 1/2 cups cold 1 percent milk about 2 minutes or until well-blended; let stand 5 minutes. Remove 1/3 cup pudding to a small bowl; cover and refrigerate. Into the remaining pudding, stir in 1 cup fresh blueberries. Cut 1 (11.75-ounce) frozen and thawed poundcake into 12 slices; toast until golden. Place one cake slice on each of 6 serving plates. Spoon berry-pudding mixture onto cake slices, dividing evenly. Top each with another slice cake. Garnish each with about 1 tablespoon of reserved pudding and 1 tablespoon blueberries, and serve.

** ** **


Horseradish Potato Salad (Sunday)

2 1/2 pounds small red potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1/4 cup 1 percent milk

3 tablespoons prepared horseradish

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 green onions, thinly sliced diagonally

Cook potatoes in a large pot with enough water to cover them; bring to boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 12 minutes or until fork-tender.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, with wire whisk, mix mayonnaise, milk, horseradish, lemon juice, salt, pepper and all but 1 tablespoon onions until blended. Drain potatoes. Add hot potatoes to dressing bowl, gently stirring with rubber spatula to combine. Serve, or cover and refrigerate. Sprinkle with remaining onions when ready to serve. Serves 10.

Per serving: 100 calories (percent calories from fat, 7), 2 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 1 gram fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 311 milligrams sodium.

** ** **

Tex-Mex Bake (Friday)

4 cups cooked brown rice

1 1/2 cups shredded 50 percent light jalapeno cheddar cheese, divided

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 cup sliced green onions

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine rice, 1 cup cheese, chilies, sour cream, green onions, salt and pepper; stir until blended. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Spoon rice mixture into dish; top with remaining cheese. Cover with nonstick foil and bake 15 minutes; remove foil and bake 15 more minutes or until bubbly. Serves 5.

Per serving: 341 calories (percent calories from fat, 33), 16 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 13 grams fat (7.7 grams saturated fat), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 520 milligrams sodium.

Polynesian Pork (Saturday)

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon coarse salt

1 teaspoon curry powder

1 (4- to 4 1/2-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast 1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 cup mango chutney

1 (6-ounce) can pineapple juice

Garnishes: toasted sesame seeds, sweetened flaked coconut, chopped fresh cilantro

Add flour to a large oven bag; twist end and shake to coat. Sprinkle salt and curry powder evenly over pork; rub evenly with garlic. Cover and chill 30 minutes. Spread chutney over roast. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place roast inside oven bag; pour pineapple juice over roast and twist end of bag. Close bag with tie; cut six 1/2-inch slits in top of bag. Place bag in large baking dish, tucking ends of bag in dish. Bake 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until pork is tender. Serve with desired garnishes. Serves 15-17.

Per serving: 161 calories (percent calories from fat, 27), 25 grams protein, 4 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 5 grams fat , 1.5 grams saturated fat, 75 milligram cholesterol, 503 milligrams sodium.

Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.

Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.