Seven-Day Menu Planner

9/ 7

Family Sunday

Enjoy family day with CAESAR BEEF KEBABS (see recipe) on the menu. Serve the juicy kebabs with RICE tossed with sliced green onions and chopped red bell pepper.

Add fresh steamed YELLOW SQUASH, a MIXED GREENS SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS to the feast. For dessert, top ANGEL FOOD CAKE with FRESH RASPBERRIES and light whipped cream.

PLAN AHEAD: Prepare 2 extra kebabs and save enough raspberries for Monday.

9/ 8

Heat-and-Eat MondayUse Sunday’s leftover beef kebabs for SOUTHWESTERN BEEF HASH. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 3 cups frozen O’Brien potatoes for 5 minutes on medium-high. Stir in 1 cup salsa and the leftover diced kebabs. Continue cooking 8 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are lightly browned; stir occasionally. Garnish with sliced green onions and ripe olive slices. Serve with a crisp LETTUCE WEDGE and CORNBREAD (from a mix). Spoon leftover RASPBERRIES over fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cornbread for Tuesday; save enough ice cream for Saturday.

9/ 9

Budget Tuesday

Beans are a tasty money-saver, as FIESTA BLACK BEAN “PAELLA” proves. Cook 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package yellow rice mix according to directions. To the cooked rice, add 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and 1 cup frozen petite green peas (thawed). Let stand, covered, 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook 6 to 8 ounces smoked turkey sausage (cut into 1/4-inch slices) on medium until lightly browned; stir in 2 medium chopped plum tomatoes to the sausage. Add to rice mixture; toss lightly and serve.

Add a GREEN SALAD and warm the leftover CORNBREAD. For dessert, enjoy FRESH PINEAPPLE.

9/ 10

Express Wednesday

Before summer escapes, serve an all-time favorite, BACON, LETTUCE AND TOMATO SANDWICHES, on whole-grain toast. Use garden tomatoes and spread a little low-fat mayonnaise on the toast. Add deli POTATO SALAD and DILL PICKLES to the plate. FRESH SLICED PEACHES are about the best dessert ever.

9/ 11

Meatless Thursday

Stay cool tonight with TEX-MEX SPUDS. Microwave 4 (6- to 8-ounce) baking potatoes 8 to 12 minutes (or about 6 minutes per pound). Slash the tops and top with guacamole, salsa and reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with a bowl of CORN CHOWDER and add BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS. For dessert, enjoy sliced CANTALOUPE.

PLAN AHEAD: Bake extra potatoes for Friday.

9/ 12

Kids Friday

Treat the kids to ooey-gooey CHICKEN CHEDDAR GRILL. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Layer French bread (sliced in half lengthwise) with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, sliced deli chicken (or turkey), drained mild salsa and more cheese. Place on a cookie sheet and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted; slice.

Serve with OVEN POTATO WEDGES. Cut leftover baked potatoes into wedges, coat with cooking spray and bake at 425 degrees until hot.

Add deli CARROT SALAD. Slice WATERMELON for dessert.

9/ 13

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Surprise your guests with LEMONY SHRIMP RISOTTO (see recipe). Serve the easy dish with a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and ITALIAN BREAD. For dessert, CHILI CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (see recipe) with leftover fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM will be another surprise. Garnish with fresh RASPBERRIES if desired.

SHOPPING LIST: lemons, fat-free chicken broth, dry white wine, butter, olive oil, shallot, arborio rice, frozen petite green peas, shelled and deveined medium shrimp or packaged frozen medium shrimp, coarse salt, pepper, parmesan cheese, Boston lettuce, Italian bread, package chocolate fudge brownie mix, ancho chili pepper powder, chipotle chili pepper powder, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, chocolate chips or chunks, cooking spray, fresh raspberries if desired.

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THE RECIPES

CAESAR BEEF KEBABS (Sunday)

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: for grilling: 10 to 12 minutes; for broiling: 8 to 10 minutes; plus potatoes

INGREDIENTS

1 pound boneless beef top sirloin, 1-inch thick

4 small new potatoes (about 1/2 pound), cut into quarters

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

1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup non-creamy Caesar dressing (such as Ken’s)

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Microwave potatoes on high (100 percent power) 2 to 4 minutes or just until tender. Cool slightly. Cut beef into 1 1/2-inch pieces. In a large bowl, combine beef, potatoes, bell pepper and onion. Reserve 2 tablespoons dressing; set aside. Pour remaining dressing over kebab mixture and toss to coat. Alternately thread beef and vegetables onto metal skewers. Grill, uncovered, 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium; turn occasionally. Season with salt and pepper. Drizzle kebabs with reserved dressing just before serving.

Note: To broil, put kebabs on rack in broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat for 8 to 10 minutes.

Per serving: 249 calories, 23 grams protein, 11 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 299 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1.

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LEMONY SHRIMP RISOTTO (Saturday)

Servings: Makes about 8 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

INGREDIENTS

Juice of 1 large lemon

4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons butter

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 medium shallot, minced

2 cups arborio rice

2 teaspoons lemon zest (yellow part only)

1 cup frozen petite green peas (thawed)

1 pound medium shrimp (with or without tails), shelled and deveined, or 1 (12-ounce) package cooked frozen medium shrimp, thawed

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground pepper

Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

In covered 2-quart pan, heat juice, broth and wine to boiling.

Meanwhile, in a 3-quart baking dish, microwave butter, olive oil and shallot, uncovered, for 2 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until shallot softens. Add rice; stir well to coat. Cook on high 1 minute. Stir hot liquid and lemon zest into rice mixture. Cover and cook on medium (50 percent power) 15 minutes or until most of liquid is absorbed; stir once. Stir in peas, shrimp, salt and pepper. Cover and cook on medium 3 to 4 minutes or just until shrimp turn opaque throughout and rice is tender but still firm; stir once. Garnish with parmesan and serve.

Per cup: 246 calories, 12 grams protein, 3 grams fat (11 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 758 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 2 1/2.

** ** **

CHILI-CHOCOLATE BROWNIES (Saturday)

Servings: Makes 48 brownies

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: 28 to 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 (19.8-ounce, or family size) package chocolate fudge brownie mix

1 1/2 teaspoons ancho chili pepper powder

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili pepper powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup chocolate chips or chunks

Fresh raspberries for garnish, if desired

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare brownie mix according to package directions, stirring ancho and chipotle chili powders, cinnamon and vanilla extract into dry mix. Gently stir in chocolate chips. Spread batter into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 28 to 30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with fudgy crumbs. Cool in pan. Cut into squares; garnish with raspberries if desired.

Per brownie: 92 calories, 1 gram protein, 5 grams fat (45 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 40 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Carb choices: 1.

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