Seven-Day Menu Planner

11/ 23

Express Sunday

To keep it simple during this busy week, rely on a SPIRAL-SLICED HAM, POTATO SALAD and BAKED BEANS for an easy express meal. Add a LETTUCE WEDGE and PUMPERNICKEL BREAD. Finish the quick meal with COCONUT CAKE.

PLAN AHEAD: Cook Monday’s rice today, making enough for Friday. Save enough ham and cake for Tuesday.

11/ 24

Kids Monday

If you can’t be a cowboy, at least you can eat COWBOY BEANS AND RICE WITH FRANKS. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium until hot. Add 1/2 medium chopped onion and 1/2 medium chopped green bell pepper; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add 4 hot dogs (lowest sodium, lowest fat available, cut into 1-inch pieces), 3 cups cooked rice, 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans and 3/4 cup barbecue sauce; mix well. Reduce heat to low and simmer 6 or 7 minutes or until hot.

For some crunch, dip CELERY STICKS into ranch dressing. Add CORNBREAD MUFFINS (from a mix). PEARS are dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough muffins for Tuesday. Cook enough rice for Friday.

11/ 25

Budget Tuesday

Buy canned LENTIL SOUP and add some chopped (leftover) ham for extra flavor. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD and leftover MUFFINS. Slice leftover CAKE for dessert.

11/ 26

Meatless Wednesday

Enjoy the meaty texture of BARBECUE PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM SANDWICHES ON FOCACCIA. Slice focaccia into 6 squares, then slice horizontally and toast. Brush 6 portobello mushrooms with barbecue sauce and broil 3 minutes (gill-side down) or until tender.

To assemble, place 1 mushroom on bottom of focaccia and top with roasted red bell peppers cut into strips, 5 basil leaves and 1 tablespoon goat cheese. Top with remaining focaccia; cut in half and serve.

Serve with BAKED FRIES (frozen). PEACHES make a good dessert.

11/ 27

Thanksgiving

Lots of us like the traditional TURKEY, DRESSING, GRAVY AND CRANBERRIES for Thanksgiving. This year, try this CANDIED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE (see recipe) for a little change. Go back to tradition and serve PUMPKIN PIE with light whipped cream for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save the leftovers for Friday and any other future feasts.

11/ 28

Heat-and-Eat Friday

Use the leftover turkey for ASIAN TURKEY WRAPS (see recipe). Heat the leftover RICE. Leftover PIE is dessert. That was easy.

11/ 29

Easy Entertaining Saturday

For a change of pace, invite your guests for MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP (see recipe). Serve with TOMATO CAPER SALAD. Mix together 2 tablespoons rinsed capers, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil, coarse salt to taste and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Drizzle over 2 cups halved grape tomatoes; let stand for 15 minutes to 1 hour. Sprinkle with 6 shredded basil leaves. Serve over lettuce.

Add GARLIC BREAD. For dessert, sprinkle toasted coconut over FRESH PINEAPPLE.

** ** **

THE RECIPES

CANDIED SWEET POTATO CASSEROLE (Thursday)

Servings: Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar, divided

2 tablespoons orange juice

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1 1/2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, divided

3 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces

3 tablespoons butter, divided

1/4 cup flour

1/2 cup chopped pecans

2 cups miniature marshmallows

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mix 1/4 cup of the brown sugar, orange juice, vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of pie spice in a large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to coat. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Dot with 1 tablespoon butter. Cover and bake 45 minutes or until potatoes are slightly tender.

Meanwhile, mix flour, remaining brown sugar and remaining pie spice in medium bowl. Cut in remaining butter with fork until crumbly. Stir in pecans and marshmallows. Remove casserole from oven and stir gently to coat potatoes in syrup. Sprinkle evenly with marshmallow-crumb topping. Uncover and return to oven. Bake 7 to 10 minutes longer or until potatoes are tender and topping is golden brown.

Per serving: 275 calories, 3 grams protein, 8 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 9 milligrams cholesterol, 117 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 3 1/2.

** ** **

ASIAN TURKEY WRAPS (Friday)

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

1 tablespoon sesame seeds

1 tablespoon dark sesame oil

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 cups chopped leftover turkey breast (cooked)

3/4 cup sliced celery

6 radishes, sliced

3 green onions, sliced

3 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds

4 (8- to 10-inch) fat-free whole-grain tortillas

1 tablespoon fresh basil

Combine vinegar, sugar, sesame seeds, sesame oil and salt; mix well, then chill. Combine turkey, celery, radishes, onions and almonds. Drizzle chilled dressing over turkey mixture and toss to coat. Spoon evenly onto tortillas, sprinkle with basil and roll. Cut in half and serve immediately.

Per serving: 316 calories, 27 grams protein, 11 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 622 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 2.

** ** **

MEDITERRANEAN SHRIMP (Saturday)

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes, plus pasta

INGREDIENTS

8 ounces orzo pasta

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced

1 medium red bell pepper, thinly sliced

1 medium fresh zucchini, thinly sliced

1 pound medium shrimp, shelled and deveined

1/4 cup chopped fresh dill

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 ounces crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese

1/4 cup sliced black olives

Cook orzo pasta according to directions.

Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in zucchini and cook 2 minutes or until almost tender. Stir in shrimp, dill and black pepper. Cover and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Spoon over orzo, sprinkle with cheese and olives, and serve.

Per serving: 398 calories, 28 grams protein, 9 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 51 grams carbohydrate, 151 milligrams cholesterol, 608 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 3 1/2.

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