Add a Mediterranean touch with cucumber, olive salad

SUNDAY: Family Day

Treat the family and serve them grilled chicken, your potato salad and this beautiful cucumber, kalamata and tomato salad (see recipe). Add the crispy rolls. Buy a yellow layer cake for dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough cake for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: broiler chicken, ingredients for your potato salad, seedless cucumbers, small red and yellow tomatoes, red onion, kalamata olives, olive oil, red wine vinegar, coarse salt, pepper, Greek feta, crispy buns, yellow layer cake.

MONDAY: Economy cooking

How about a barbecue meatloaf (see recipe) for dinner tonight? Serve comfort food with mashed potatoes, green beans and whole grain rolls. For dessert, cut the rest of the cake and garnish with blueberries.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough meatloaf for Wednesday.

SHOPPING LIST: 93% lean ground beef, dry breadcrumbs, onion, barbecue sauce, prepared mustard, chili powder, garlic powder, coarse salt, pepper, eggs, cooking spray, mashed potatoes, green beans , whole grain rolls, blueberries.

TUESDAY: The children’s favorite

Turkey and Raisin Picadillo Sliders (see recipe) are a big hit with kids. Serve the small sandwiches with oven fries and celery sticks. Try peaches for a simple dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, onion, garlic, bay leaves, cumin, chili powder, ground allspice, ground turkey breast, coarse salt, pepper, canned no-salt-added tomato paste, raisins golden browns, whole grain rolls, baked potato chips, celery, peaches.

WEDNESDAY: Heat and Eat

Here’s your favorite part of leftover meatloaf: meatloaf sandwiches! Use whole grain bread and brush it with a little low-fat mayonnaise and a layer of lettuce. Serve the sandwich with hash browns and coleslaw. Slice the kiwis for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: whole grain bread, low fat mayonnaise, lettuce, hash browns, coleslaw, kiwi fruit.

THURSDAY: Meal without meat

Gnocchi in tomato sauce are perfect for a meatless dinner. Add a package of gnocchi (16 to 18 ounces) to a pot of boiling water; cook as directed and remove with a slotted spoon when they float to the top. Add a package (6 ounces) of baby spinach to the water once the gnocchi have been removed. Boil spinach 1-2 minutes; remove with a slotted spoon; drain. Put aside. Meanwhile, puree one (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic. (I used my immersion blender for easy cleanup.) Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper to skillet; cook 1 minute, stirring. Add the tomatoes to the skillet. Cook 4 minutes to thicken. Stir the cooked gnocchi and spinach into the skillet. Divide mixture among four bowls; top each with 2 tablespoons shredded part-skim mozzarella and 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil.

Serve with a green salad with egg wedges and garlic bread. How about a banana pudding for dessert?

SHOPPING LIST: packaged gnocchi, packaged baby spinach, canned diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, olive oil, crushed red pepper, shredded part skim mozzarella, fresh basil, green salad, eggs, garlic bread garlic, banana pudding.

FRIDAY: Express meal

Prepare a quick meal of Thai beef and noodle salad. Put one package (33/4 ounces) of cellophane noodles and 3/4 cup of halved snow peas in a large bowl. Pour 4 cups of boiling water over everything. Let stand 10 minutes or until noodles are tender. Drain; rinse under cold running water and drain again. Shake colander to remove excess water; return to bowl. Combine 1/4 cup white vinegar, 2 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt in a jar; shake to dissolve the sugar. Pour dressing over noodles and snow peas. Add 8 ounces thick sliced ​​deli roast beef (cut into strips), 11/2 cup sliced ​​seedless cucumber and 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint. Garnish with chopped peanuts and serve.

On top, add wrapped salad leaves and sesame bread sticks. Enjoy pears for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: cellophane noodles, snow peas, white vinegar, sugar, fresh ginger, coarse salt, deli roast beef, cucumber, fresh mint, peanuts, packaged greens, sesame breadsticks, pears.


Invite friends over for a plaice à la parma. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Brush one side of four (6 ounce) plaice fillets with olive oil; sprinkle each with the spice mixture. Wrap a slice of prosciutto around the center of each tenderloin; put aside. In 8×11-inch baking dish, arrange eight tomato slices in single layer; drizzle with another teaspoon of oil. Microwave on high power 1 minute. Place plaice in single layer over tomatoes; cover with waxed paper. Microwave on high power for 3 minutes or until completely opaque. Remove from microwave; let stand 2 minutes, covered.

Serve with roasted red potatoes, steamed zucchini slices, arugula salad and sourdough bread. For dessert, raspberry sorbet and butter cookies are company dishes.

SHOPPING LIST: dried rosemary, coarse salt, pepper, plaice fillets, olive oil, prosciutto, tomatoes, roasting red potatoes, zucchini, arugula, sourdough bread, raspberry sorbet, butter biscuits.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: [email protected] Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The menu planner can also be accessed at Read Susan’s blog:

And check out Susan’s book! “7-Day Menu Planner for Dummies” is now on the shelves. Order yours from today!

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Makes: 12 servings (1 cup)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

3 large seedless cucumbers, chopped

5 small red and yellow tomatoes, sliced

1 small red onion, cut into half moons

1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved

1/3 cup olive oil

1/4 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/3 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese

In a large serving bowl, combine all the vegetables. In a small bowl, whisk together oil, vinegar, salt and pepper; pour over cucumber mixture and toss to coat well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Garnish with feta before serving. (Adapted from “Y’all Come Over: Charming Your Guest With New Recipes, Heirloom Treasures, and True Southern Hospitality”, Rebecca Lang, Rizzoli International Publications.)

Per serving: 114 calories, 1 gram protein, 10 grams fat (79% calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbs, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 311 milligrams sodium, 1 gram of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 0.5.


Makes: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes to 1 hour

1 1/2 pounds 93% lean ground beef

1/2 cup dry breadcrumbs

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/3 cup barbecue sauce, divided

1 tablespoon prepared mustard

1 1/2 teaspoons chilli powder

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 egg whites

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine the beef, breadcrumbs, onion, 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce, mustard, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and egg whites. Shape mixture into 9” x 5” loaf on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. Spread the rest of the barbecue sauce on top of the bread. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. To slice.

Per serving: 254 calories, 26 grams protein, 9 grams fat (34% calories from fat), 3.3 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrates, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 391 milligrams sodium, 1 gram of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 1.


Yields: 8 cursors

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

1 tablespoon rapeseed oil

1 medium onion, chopped

8 garlic cloves, minced

3 bay leaves

1 tablespoon of cumin

1 teaspoon chilli powder

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 1/4 pounds ground turkey breast

Coarse salt to taste

Freshly ground pepper to taste

1 can (6 ounces) no salt added tomato paste

3/4 cup water

1/2 cup golden raisins

8 whole grain buns

Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Heat the oil over medium heat in a Dutch oven. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add bay leaves, cumin, chili powder and allspice; mix for 1-2 minutes. Add the turkey, salt and pepper. Cook 5 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Stir in tomato paste, water and raisins; cook for 5 minutes to blend the flavors. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes or until thickened. Toast the rolls in the oven until lightly browned. Remove the bay leaves. Spoon the turkey mixture over the buns and serve.

TIP: If too thick, add more water.

Per serving: 237 calories, 21 grams protein, 5 grams fat (18% calories from fat), 0.7 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrates, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 223 milligrams sodium, 2 grams of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 2.

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