7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For December 22, 2013

Sunday Family

Prepare APPLE-GLAZED LAMB CHOPS for family day. Trim fat from 4 (6-ounce) lean lamb rib chops; set aside. Combine 1/4 cup unsweetened apple juice, 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar and 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard in a large resealable plastic bag; add chops and marinate in refrigerator 2 hours. Turn bag occasionally. Heat broiler; remove chops from bag; reserve marinade. Place chops on broiler rack coated with cooking spray and then in broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for 9 minutes per side or to desired doneness, basting frequently with marinade; discard marinade.

Serve the chops with ROSEMARY AND GARLIC ROAST FINGERLING POTATOES. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, place 2 pounds unpeeled fingerling potatoes and 10 cloves peeled garlic. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Drizzle with 1/4 cup olive oil; toss to coat. Transfer potatoes and garlic to a medium baking dish; roast 15 minutes or until potatoes are crusty on the outside and fork tender. Remove from oven, sprinkle with 2 sprigs minced fresh rosemary leaves and return to oven for 7 to 10 more minutes. (Adapted from "My Family Table," John Besh; Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2011.)

Add STEAMED GREEN BEANS and DINNER ROLLS. For dessert, top ANGEL FOOD CAKE with fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM.

Save enough cake for Monday and enough ice cream for Wednesday.

Shopping List

lean lamb rib chops, unsweetened apple juice, light brown sugar, dry mustard, cooking spray, fingerling potatoes, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, olive oil, fresh rosemary, green beans, dinner rolls, angel food cake, fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Monday Budget

TURKEY SAUSAGE CHOWDER is a good way to save a few bucks. Bring 6 cups 1 percent milk to a simmer in a large pot. Add 1 (16-ounce) package frozen mixed vegetables, 3 medium cubed red potatoes and 1 small chopped onion. Return to a simmer; cover and cook 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, remove casings from 12 ounces sweet Italian turkey sausage and form into 3/4-inch balls. Stir into pot. Simmer 4 to 5 minutes or until sausage and potatoes are cooked through. Serve the hearty chowder with a ROMAINE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Top the leftover CAKE with fresh PINEAPPLE.

Save enough chowder for Thursday.

Shopping List

1 percent milk, frozen mixed vegetables, red potatoes, onion, sweet Italian turkey sausage, romaine, whole-grain rolls, fresh pineapple.

Tuesday Easy Entertaining/New Year's Eve

Invite friends to welcome the New Year and serve them MEDITERRANEAN STUFFED CHICKEN BREASTS. Serve the chicken with COUSCOUS tossed with fresh lemon juice, olive oil, chopped plum tomatoes and fresh chopped mint. Add a SPINACH AND SLICED FRESH MUSHROOM SALAD and BAGUETTES. For dessert, make or buy a CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE. Enjoy a glass of champagne to welcome 2014!

Save enough cake for Thursday.

Shopping List

boneless, skinless chicken breasts, crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese, kalamata olives, capers, paprika, olive oil, couscous, lemons, plum tomatoes, fresh mint, spinach, mushrooms, baguettes, chocolate layer cake, champagne.

Wednesday Meatless/New Year's Day

To guarantee good luck in the New Year, make this AVOCADO AND BLACK-EYED PEA FRITTATA. Serve with MIXED GREENS and CORNBREAD (from a mix). For dessert, scoop the leftover ICE CREAM.

Shopping List

onion, canola oil, avocado, canned black-eyed peas, eggs, reduced-fat sour cream, coarse salt, pepper, cumin, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, plum tomatoes, salad greens, cornbread mix.

Thursday Heat and Eat

Take it easy and warm the leftover CHOWDER for tonight. Add a LETTUCE AND TOMATO SALAD and CRACKERS on the side. Leftover CHOCOLATE CAKE is dessert.

Shopping List

lettuce, tomatoes, crackers.

Friday Express

You deserve another night off, so pick up COLD CUTS from the deli for sandwiches. Add WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. While you're there, buy some CARROT SALAD and BAKED BEANS. To prepare the sandwiches, make sure you have LETTUCE, TOMATOES, low-fat MAYONNAISE, SPICY MUSTARD and PICKLES on hand. If you want dessert, make instant VANILLA PUDDING with 1 percent milk.

Shopping List

deli cold cuts, whole-grain bread, deli carrot salad, deli baked beans, lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat mayonnaise, spicy mustard, pickles, instant vanilla pudding, 1 percent milk.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Serve your guests SHRIMP SCAMPI tonight with ANGEL HAIR PASTA. Add fresh steamed SNOW PEAS and GARLIC BREAD to your menu. For dessert, CHERRY COBBLER with light whipped cream seals the deal.

Shopping List

unpeeled large shrimp, butter, red bell pepper, garlic, white wine or fat-free chicken broth, fresh parsley, lemon, coarse salt, black pepper, paprika, angel hair pasta, fresh snow peas, garlic bread, cherry cobbler, light whipped cream.