Seven-Day Menu Planner

11/ 9

Family Sunday

This MUSHROOM AND BEEF SKILLET STEW (see recipe) is just right for a fall family meal. Serve it with RICE and a MIXED GREENS SALAD. Add BAGUETTES.

Make the WORLD’S EASIEST CHOCOLATE CAKE for dessert. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together 1 egg white, 1 (12-ounce) can diet cola and 1 (2-layer size) package chocolate cake mix until moistened. Pour mixture into pan; bake 30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Garnish with light whipped cream.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cake for Monday.

TIP: Be good to yourself and cut the cake into 36 servings. No kidding.

11/ 10

Express Monday

Make it quick tonight with REUBEN WRAPS. Spread burrito-size fat-free flour tortillas with reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing. Top with deli coleslaw and thinly sliced corned beef and Swiss cheese slices. Roll and cut diagonally in half. Eat as is or heat in microwave.

Serve with deli GERMAN POTATO SALAD and DILL PICKLES. Top leftover CAKE with fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

11/ 11

Meatless Tuesday

Try a frozen no-meat LASAGNA for an easy meal. Serve it with a ROMAINE SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. For dessert, top fresh PINEAPPLE with toasted COCONUT.

PLAN AHEAD: Toast enough coconut and refrigerate it until Friday.

TIP: To toast coconut, spread it on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 5 to 10 minutes or until golden; watch carefully or it will burn.

11/ 12

Budget Wednesday

TURKEY BURGERS WITH FETA AND HERBS (see recipe) puts a new spin on the usual burgers. Serve the update with frozen OVEN FRIES. Buy TAPIOCA PUDDING for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save 2 burgers and enough tapioca for Thursday night.

11/ 13

Heat-and-Eat Thursday

You’ll have TURKEY PITAS in no time. Stuff whole-grain pitas with 2 heated and crumbled leftover turkey burgers. Mix some plain yogurt with chopped cucumbers and spoon into pitas. Add BAKED CHIPS. Top leftover warmed TAPIOCA PUDDING with chocolate sauce.

11/ 14

Kids Friday

Round up the gang for SMOKEY JOE’S COWBOY QUESADILLAS. Spread 2 tablespoons salsa over each of 4 burrito-size fat-free tortillas; top each with 1/4 cup chopped smoked turkey, 2 tablespoons frozen corn (thawed), 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro and 3 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Top each with another tortilla and press down. Heat a nonstick skillet on medium until hot. Add 1 quesadilla; cook 2 minutes on each side or until crisp. Repeat procedure with remaining quesadillas. Cut each one into 6 wedges.

Serve with CELERY STICKS. Dip APPLE SLICES into vanilla yogurt for dessert.

11/ 15

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Serve your guests ASIAN-GLAZED SALMON. For the glaze, combine 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar, 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce and 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard; reserve 2 tablespoons. Set aside. Place 4 (5-ounce) skinless salmon fillets on unheated rack of broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Broil 4 inches from heat 8 to 12 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout; carefully turn halfway through cooking time. Brush with glaze during last 2 to 3 minutes of broiling. For sauce, combine reserved glaze with 3 tablespoons rice vinegar; serve sauce with salmon.

Alongside, RED POTATOES and BUTTERED FRESH SLICED CARROTS WITH PARSLEY are colorful. Add a RED-TIP LETTUCE SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. For dessert, RUM-RAISIN BANANA SAUCE OVER ICE CREAM (see recipe) will be a welcome finish.

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THE RECIPES

MUSHROOM AND BEEF SKILLET STEW (Sunday)

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes; standing time: 3 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1 pound flank steak

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

1 pound small white mushrooms or medium white mushrooms, cut in half (about 6 cups)

1 large yellow, orange or red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch squares

1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise, sliced 1-inch thick

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, lightly drained

Season steak on both sides with salt and pepper. In a large, heavy skillet, heat 1 1/2 teaspoons oil over medium-high. Add steak; cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until well-browned on both sides and internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove to cutting board; let stand 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in same skillet. Add mushrooms, bell pepper, zucchini and garlic; cook and stir 3 minutes or until mushrooms begin to release their juices. Stir in tomatoes and cook 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender. On cutting board, slice steak thinly across grain and then in half; stir into vegetable mixture along with juices from board. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 288 calories, 30 grams protein, 13 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 95 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1.

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TURKEY BURGERS WITH FETA AND HERBS (Wednesday)

Servings: Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 to 26 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

2 1/4 pounds ground turkey (not turkey breast)

6 ounces (1/2 cup) part-skim ricotta cheese

3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

3 ounces (1/2 cup) crumbled feta cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil

4 whole-grain hamburger buns

Lettuce, tomatoes, red onion, dill pickle slices for garnish

Break turkey into small pieces in a large bowl; add ricotta cheese, parsley, salt and pepper. Using your hands, knead mixture until thoroughly combined. Gently mix in feta until just combined. Divide mixture into 6 portions. Form each into loose ball, then pat lightly into 3/4-inch-thick patty; place on large plate. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium until just smoking. Cook 3 to 4 minutes. Turn; cook 3 to 4 more minutes or until lightly browned. Reduce heat to low, partially cover and continue to cook 14 to 18 minutes or until burgers register 160 degrees. Transfer to plate; let stand 5 minutes.

Serve 4 burgers on buns (reserve 2 for Thursday) with lettuce, tomatoes, red onions and dill pickle slices. (Adapted from “The Make-Ahead Cook,” editors at America’s Test Kitchen; America’s Test Kitchen, 2014.)

Per serving (1 patty, 1 bun): 447 calories, 42 grams protein, 21 grams fat (41 percent calories from fat), 6.8 grams saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 122 milligrams cholesterol, 828 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 1 1/2.

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RUM-RAISIN BANANA SAUCE OVER ICE CREAM (Saturday)

Servings: Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

INGREDIENTS

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

3 tablespoons water

1 tablespoon rum or 1/2 teaspoon rum extract

1/4 cup golden raisins

1 teaspoon butter

4 small, firm-ripe bananas, halved crosswise, then lengthwise

2 cups fat-free (leftover) vanilla ice cream

In a large nonstick skillet, combine brown sugar, water and rum or extract. Cook, stirring, over medium-high heat for 2 minutes until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in raisins; reduce heat to medium. Stir in butter; simmer 1 minute. Remove from heat. Add bananas. Baste bananas until evenly coated. Serve warm in a stemmed dessert dish with ice cream.

Per serving: 336 calories, 5 grams protein, 1 gram fat (3 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 78 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 84 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Carb choices: 5.

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