Seven-Day Menu Planner

11/ 30

Family Sunday

Take the family on a culinary trip and enjoy SOUTHWESTERN PORK KEBABS. In a resealable plastic bag, toss together 8 boneless top-loin pork chops (cut into 1-inch cubes), 8 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix, 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces) and 1 large onion (cut into 1-inch pieces) until evenly coated. Alternately thread pork cubes with pepper and onion onto 8 skewers. Grill on medium-high 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until pork is browned and reaches 145 degrees.

Serve with MARMALADE SWEET POTATOES. Cook 2 medium, peeled sweet potatoes (cut into bite-size pieces) in water to cover for 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange marmalade and 1 tablespoon butter and toss to coat.

On the side, add GREEN PEAS (frozen), a MIXED GREENS SALAD and DINNER ROLLS to your meal. For dessert, top GINGERBREAD (from a mix) with light WHIPPED CREAM.

PLAN AHEAD: Prepare enough kebabs and save some gingerbread for Monday.

12/ 1

Heat-and-Eat Monday

STUFFED PITAS will be quick and easy. Heat leftover kebabs; chop and stuff them into whole-grain pitas spread with honey-mustard dressing. Serve with RICE tossed with fresh chopped parsley. Alongside, add SLICED CUCUMBERS in cider vinegar. Warm the leftover GINGERBREAD for dessert.

12/ 2

Kids Tuesday

BAKED PASTA (see recipe) has “kids” written all over it with its mild flavor and simple preparation. Serve it with CARROT and CELERY STICKS and SOFT ROLLS. For dessert, make instant CHOCOLATE PUDDING with 1 percent milk and let the kids stir sliced bananas into the pudding.

12/ 3

Express Wednesday

You’ll be eating MEATBALL STROGANOFF in no time. Whisk 1 (1.5-ounce) package stroganoff sauce mix into 2 cups water to blend. Pour into a large skillet; add 1 (1 1/2-pound) package fully cooked, frozen turkey meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until meatballs are hot. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Serve over no-yolk NOODLES. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Add a packaged GREENS SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS. Fresh PINEAPPLE is dessert.

12/ 4

Meatless Thursday

Enjoy a low-cost, no-meat dinner with SPINACH BAKED PENNE. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 10 ounces penne pasta according to directions; drain. In a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, combine cooked pasta and 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes; mix well. Top with 1 (16-ounce) package creamed spinach (thawed); sprinkle top with freshly grated parmesan. Cover tightly. Bake 40 minutes.

Add GREEN BEANS and GARLIC TOAST. Munch on RED and GREEN GRAPES for dessert.

12/ 5

Budget Friday

CORN CHOWDER (see recipe) is perfect for a chilly fall evening. Serve over BROWN RICE. Add GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICHES. Alongside, make dessert easy with KIWIFRUIT.

12/ 6

Easy Entertaining Saturday

There was no doubt that our guests enjoyed MOROCCAN CHICKEN (see recipe) — the proof was in the clean plates. Serve the savory chicken and sauce over COUSCOUS. Add STEAMED FRESH CARROTS to the plate with a SPINACH SALAD on the side. Serve with whole-grain PITA WEDGES. Buy a COCONUT CREAM PIE for dessert.

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BAKED PASTA (Tuesday)

INGREDIENTS

1/2 pound 95 percent lean ground beef

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce

1/2 cup water

1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated vegetable- or herb-filled tortellini

1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic on medium for 8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in pasta sauce and water. Arrange tortellini evenly on bottom of dish. Spoon beef mixture over tortellini; sprinkle cheese over beef mixture. Cover with nonstick foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.

Per serving: 404 calories (percent calories from fat, 25), 28 grams protein,49 grams carbohydrate, 6 grams fiber, 11 grams fat (4.7 grams saturated fat), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 908 milligrams sodium.

Carb choices: 3 1/2.

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CORN CHOWDER (Friday)

INGREDIENTS

1 medium onion, chopped

1/2 cup chopped green pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

3 cups frozen corn

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth

1 cup cubed, peeled potato

2 tablespoons flour

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk

1 cup reduced-fat shredded white cheddar cheese

2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

In a large saucepan, cook onion and pepper in hot canola oil until onion is softened. Stir in corn, broth and potato. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir milk into flour mixture; add to corn mixture in pan. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 more minute. Stir in cheese; heat until melted and smooth. Top each serving with bacon and parsley. (Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 16th Edition,” Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.) Serves 6.

Per serving: 231 calories (percent calories from fat, 28), 13 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrate, 4 grams fiber, 8 grams fat (3.1 grams saturated fat), 16 milligrams cholesterol, 596 milligrams sodium.

Carb choices: 2.

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MOROCCAN CHICKEN (Saturday)

INGREDIENTS

3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

5 cloves garlic, minced

1 to 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders or cutlets

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice

1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives

1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (yellow part only)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine parsley and garlic; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Separately, combine tomatoes with juice, olives and lemon rind; mix well. Spoon over chicken. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken and sauce immediately over couscous. Serves 4.

Per serving: 185 calories (percent calories from fat, 27), 26 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 2 grams fiber, 5 grams fat (1 gram saturated fat), 73 milligrams cholesterol, 590 milligrams sodium.

Carb choices: 1/2.