Seven-Day Menu Planner

9/ 8 -- Family Sunday

Fire up the grill for FLATIRON STEAKS (or top blade steak), and offer HORSERADISH SAUCE on the side. Serve the steaks with POTATO GRATIN (see recipe). Add a ROMAINE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, top ANGEL FOOD CAKE with fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM.

PLAN AHEAD: Cook enough steak and save some potatoes and enough cake for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.

TIP: Use another grilling-type steak if the flatiron cut is not available.

9/ 9 -- Heat-and-Eat Monday

Make STEAK SALAD for dinner. Buy any packaged GREEN SALAD and any salad dressing and toss. Layer slices of leftover steak over top of salad. Sprinkle with crumbled gorgonzola cheese. Serve with leftover POTATO GRATIN and BREAD STICKS. For dessert, spoon SLICED PEACHES over leftover CAKE.

TIP: Add any available raw vegetables to the salad.

9/ 10 -- Meatless Tuesday

OVERSTUFFED POTATOES are on the menu tonight. Bake 4 (8-ounce) potatoes, slit the tops, squeeze the ends, and top with heated canned meatless chili. Garnish with shredded reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, fat-free sour cream and snipped chives. Serve with a MIXED GREEN SALAD and CORNBREAD (from a mix). Scoop leftover ICE CREAM for dessert.

9/ 11 -- Express Wednesday

Make it fast tonight with FISH WRAPS. Prepare any packaged frozen breaded fish according to directions. Meanwhile, warm fat-free whole-grain tortillas. Place fish in tortillas, top with deli coleslaw and wrap. Serve with HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (frozen) and petite GREEN PEAS (frozen). Bite into NECTARINES for dessert.

9/ 12 -- Kids Thursday

The kids can help prepare SOUTHWESTERN LAYERED SALAD. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Add 1 (11-ounce) can Southwestern-style corn (or other) with the liquid. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons less-sodium taco seasoning mix (from packet). Cook on medium 2 or 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until blended and thoroughly heated.

Meanwhile, on a large platter, arrange 6 cups torn romaine. Arrange beef mixture over lettuce. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend. Drizzle with 1/2 cup ranch dressing; top with 1 cup corn chips. Garnish with salsa.

Serve with CARROT AND CELERY STICKS. Add FRESH CHERRIES for dessert.

9/ 13 -- Budget Friday

This economical SPICY CHICKEN STEW (see recipe) goes into our “favorites” file. Add a GREEN SALAD on the side and CRUSTY ROLLS. KIWIFRUIT is an easy dessert.

9/ 14 -- Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your guests TANDOORI TURKEY WITH GRILLED ONIONS (see recipe). Serve with BASMATI RICE and FRESH GREEN BEANS. Add FLATBREAD. For dessert, buy FRUIT TARTS.

THE RECIPES

POTATO GRATIN (Sunday)

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour; standing time: 10 minutes

INGREDIENTS

4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes

1 clove garlic, smashed and peeled

1 tablespoon butter

2 cups freshly grated Gruyere cheese, divided

Nutmeg, freshly grated

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

Pepper to taste

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Wash and peel potatoes and pat dry. Slice 1/8 inch thick (use a mandolin if available); pat slices dry. Rub a 10-inch glass pie plate or gratin dish with garlic and butter. Layer potatoes in a circular pattern, covering bottom of dish. Sprinkle the layer with half the salt as well as the pepper and nutmeg to taste; cover with 1/2 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice with remaining ingredients, ending with cheese. Pour half-and-half over all. Bake uncovered about 1 hour or until bubbly and brown. Let stand 10 minutes loosely covered before serving. (Adapted from “Fast, Fresh and Simple,” Hope Cohen; Strawberryblonde Press, 2013.)

NOTE: The author suggests you cut the gratin in any shape you prefer. I liked it in wedges, even if the image is a square.

Per serving: 212 calories, 10 grams protein, 13 grams fat (53 percent calories from fat), 7.6 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 202 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

SPICY CHICKEN STEW (Friday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 cup brown rice

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 cup onion, chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces

1 teaspoon curry powder

2 teaspoons Caribbean jerk seasoning

1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper

1/4 cup dry red wine or fat-free chicken broth

2 tablespoons drained capers

1 (16-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed

1 (14.5-ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes with juice

Cook rice according to directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until tender. In a medium bowl, combine chicken, curry, jerk seasoning and black pepper. Add chicken mixture to skillet; cook 4 minutes. Stir in wine, capers, beans and tomatoes. Cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Serve over rice.

Per serving: 305 calories, 24 grams protein, 5 grams fat (13 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 43 grams carbohydrate, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 387 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

TANDOORI TURKEY WITH GRILLED ONIONS (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 30 minutes to 24 hours

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 (16-ounce) container plain fat-free yogurt

2 tablespoons canola oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 1/4 pounds turkey cutlets

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

2 small white onions

Whisk together yogurt, oil, garlic, curry powder and cinnamon. Pour marinade into a large resealable plastic bag. Season turkey with salt and pepper and add to bag. Seal and turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 24 hours (see NOTE). When ready to cook, heat grill or broiler.

Meanwhile, peel and cut onions into quarters. Remove turkey cutlets and place on grill or broiler. Brush with marinade if desired. Coat onions with cooking spray and place on grill or broiler. Grill turkey 4 to 5 minutes total, turning once and basting with marinade. Discard remaining marinade. Grill onions 5 minutes; turn and grill 5 to 7 minutes more or until soft.

NOTE: The longer the marinating time, the spicier the flavor.

Per serving: 227 calories, 37 grams protein, 4 grams fat (16 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 97 milligrams cholesterol, 93 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

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