Seven-Day Meny Planner

9/ 6

Express Sunday

Make it a relaxed Sunday and buy a deli MEAT AND CHEESE PLATTER. Serve the variety of sliced meats and cheeses with deli COLESLAW on the side. Add BAKED CHIPS, low-fat MAYONNAISE, MUSTARD, LETTUCE and PICKLES.

Try this SUMMER TOMATO AND ONION SALAD. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon sugar; mix to dissolve sugar. On a serving platter, layer 1 medium thinly sliced red onion and 1 pound sliced ripe tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing and 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese.

Add assorted SANDWICH BREADS. Don’t forget deli BROWNIES for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Buy enough coleslaw for Monday and enough brownies for Wednesday.

9/ 7

Family Monday (Labor Day)

You won’t overexert yourself on Labor Day if you use your slow cooker for BBQ PULLED PORK (see recipe) and serve it on whole-grain HAMBURGER BUNS. Serve the barbecue with SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER POTATO SALAD (see recipe), a favorite at our house. Add leftover COLESLAW.

Celebrate further with BLUE ANGEL CAKE. Split 1 (14-ounce) angel food cake in half horizontally. Place bottom half on cake plate. Combine 1/2 cup any fruit jam or jelly and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Microwave on high (100 percent power) for 45 seconds or until jelly is melted. Fold in 2 cups fresh blueberries. Spread 1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping (thawed) on bottom layer of cake; spoon about two-thirds of blueberry mixture over topping. Cover with top cake layer. Spread with additional 1/2 cup whipped topping and spoon remaining blueberry mixture over topping. Garnish with fresh blueberries and fresh mint leaves.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough barbecue, potato salad and cake for Tuesday.

9/ 8

Heat-and-Eat Tuesday

Use your leftovers for BBQ TACOS. Heat the barbecue and spoon into taco shells; top with jalapeno peppers. Serve with leftover POTATO SALAD, PICKLES and add canned less-sodium vegetarian BAKED BEANS. Slice the leftover CAKE for dessert.

9/ 9

Meatless Wednesday

Forget meat tonight and enjoy CHILI-WALNUT EGG PUFF. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup egg substitute and 1 whole egg into large bowl. Over eggs, sift combined 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Whisk together until completely blended. Mix in 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese and 1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts and 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies. Pour into baking dish. Bake about 35 minutes or until puffy and set, and knife inserted near center comes out clean.

Serve with HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (frozen) and add a SPINACH SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Sweeten the finish with leftover BROWNIES for dessert.

9/ 10

Kids Thursday

Kids will like the flavors of MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE (see recipe). Serve with GUACAMOLE on SHREDDED LETTUCE with reduced-fat SOUR CREAM. How about a fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM CONE for dessert?

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

9/ 11

Budget Friday

Hold down the food budget with canned CORNED BEEF HASH. Serve with HARD-COOKED EGG WEDGES, deli CARROT SALAD and RYE BREAD. Fresh NECTARINES are a juicy dessert.

9/ 12

Easy Entertaining Saturday

CARIBBEAN SPICED COD WITH BROWN RICE is just as delicious as it is easy. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium. Add 1 medium diced red bell pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons jerk seasoning; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice, 2 cups boiling water and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Place 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets on top of rice mixture. Sprinkle cod with 1/2 teaspoon more jerk seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cod is opaque throughout and rice is tender.

Add fresh GREEN BEANS, a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and BAGUETTES. Top leftover ICE CREAM with toasted coconut.

** ** **

THE RECIPES

BBQ PULLED PORK (Monday)

3 pounds pork loin

1 package slow cooker barbeque pulled pork seasoning (such as McCormick or another brand)

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar

1/3 cup cider vinegar

Divide pork into 3 pieces; place in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix together seasoning, ketchup, sugar and vinegar until blended. Pour over pork. Cover and cook 6 hours on low. Remove pork from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks and return to cooker; heat with sauce and serve. Makes 10 servings.

Per serving: 250 calories, 26 grams protein, 7 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 68 milligrams cholesterol, 633 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Carb count: 1.

** ** **

SOUTH OF THE BORDER POTATO SALAD (Monday)

2 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered according to size

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup cider vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1/8 teaspoon hot sauce

1 (8 3/4-ounce) can shoepeg corn, rinsed

1 medium carrot, shredded

1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 small red onion, thinly sliced

Cook potatoes in boiling water 10 minutes or until tender; drain and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Pour over potatoes; toss gently. Cover with foil. Refrigerate 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator; add corn, carrot, red bell pepper, olives and onion; toss gently. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 186 calories, 3 grams protein, 7 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb count: 2.

** ** **

MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE (Thursday)

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup minced onion

2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 (1.25-ounce) package mild or regular less-sodium taco seasoning mix

8 corn tortillas

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed

2 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

2 cups mild chunky salsa

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; stir in chicken, chilies and seasoning mix. Set aside. Layer half the tortillas in baking dish. Top with chicken mixture, beans and 1 cup cheese. Layer with remaining tortillas. Top with salsa and remaining cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 266 calories, 25 grams protein, 9 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 790 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb count: 1 1/2.

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