Green bean salad completes a Sunday family meal

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SUNDAY: Family Day

Make Family Day special and serve a baked turkey breast. As an accompaniment, a salad of green beans with cherry tomatoes and feta (see recipe) will have everyone cleaning their plate. Add a mixed green salad, deviled eggs and whole grain rolls to your feast. Make your own or buy your own fresh blueberry cobbler and top with vanilla ice cream for a divine dessert.

PLAN AHEAD: Save enough turkey for Monday.

SHOPPING LIST: turkey breast, green beans, coarse salt, cherry tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh mint, fresh parsley, lemon, pepper, Greek feta, mesclun, ingredients for deviled eggs, whole grain rolls, blueberry pie, vanilla ice cream.

MONDAY: Heat and Eat

Use leftover turkey in Turkey and Bulgur Salad (see recipe). Serve it with hummus and pita bread. Enjoy the apricots for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: bulgur, tomatoes, cucumber, red onion, flat parsley, lemon, olive oil, cumin, coarse salt, pepper, red tip lettuce, hummus, pita bread, apricots.

TUESDAY: The children’s favorite

Let the kids celebrate dinner with a burger night. They may want to add cheese along with their favorite toppings. How about some (frozen) oven fries on the side? Spread cream cheese on celery sticks and top with raisins. Microwave s’mores for dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: burgers, buns, cheese, toppings, frozen oven fries, celery, cream cheese, raisins and marshmallows, graham crackers and chocolate for s’mores.

WEDNESDAY: Meal without meat

Prepare a special meatless dinner with butterfly pasta with alfredo sauce (see recipe). Add spinach salad and garlic bread. Fresh strawberries make a juicy dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: butterfly pasta, frozen peas, butter, garlic, flour, half and half, white pepper, coarse salt, nutmeg, parmesan, fresh spinach, garlic bread, fresh strawberries.

THURSDAY: Economy

For a low cost dinner, try roast sausage, peppers and onions. Roast all the no-breakfast sausage links in a 400 degree oven with quartered peppers and onions for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Slice the sausage before serving.

Add hash browns (frozen), a wedge of lettuce and rye bread to complete the meal. Sprinkle the peaches with nutmeg for an easy dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: All sausage links other than breakfast, peppers, onions, frozen hash browns, lettuce, rye bread, peaches, nutmeg.

FRIDAY: Express cooking

Try frozen meatless lasagna for an easy meal. Add a packed green salad and Italian bread. Plums are a simple dessert.

SHOPPING LIST: frozen meatless lasagna, packaged green salad, Italian bread, plums.

SATURDAY: Easy Fun

Invite special friends over for Chicken Dijon: Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a medium skillet. Brown 1 pound chicken cutlets; remove to a plate. In the same skillet, whisk together 1 can (103/4 ounces) low-sodium condensed cream of chicken, 3/4 cup water and 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard. Add cutlets; cover and simmer about 5 minutes or until no longer pink in center.

Serve the chicken with brown rice, steamed broccoli drizzled with lemon juice, Boston lettuce salad and a baguette. A simple dessert, meringue cookies and pineapple sorbet, is a perfect ending.

SHOPPING LIST: canola oil, chicken cutlets, canned low sodium condensed cream of chicken, Dijon mustard, brown rice, fresh broccoli, lemon, Boston lettuce, baguette, meringue cookies, lemon sorbet ‘pineapple.

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 7daymenuplanner.com. Read Susan’s blog: makingthemenu.com.

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

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GREEN BEAN SALAD WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND FETA (Sunday)

Makes: 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5-8 minutes

1 1/2 pounds green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-2 inch pieces

1 tbsp plus 1/4 tsp coarse salt, divided

12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon pepper

2 ounces Greek feta cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)

In a large saucepan over high heat, bring 2 liters of water to a boil. Add green beans and 1 tbsp salt; return to boil and cook 5 to 8 minutes or until beans are bright green. Meanwhile, fill a large bowl halfway with ice and water. Drain the beans in a colander and immediately transfer to an ice bath. Drain when the beans are no longer hot to the touch. Dry well. Place beans, tomatoes, oil, mint, parsley, juice, pepper and 1/4 tsp salt in a bowl and toss to combine. Transfer to a serving platter; sprinkle with feta and serve. (Adapted from “The Complete Summer Cookbook”, America’s Test Kitchen.)

Per serving: 153 calories, 4 grams protein, 12 grams fat (63% calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 340 milligrams sodium, 4 grams of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 1.

TURKEY AND BULGUR SALAD (Monday)

Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes; rest time: 30 minutes

1 cup bulgur

2 cups boiling water

12 ounces cooked turkey breast, cut into bite-size pieces

2 medium tomatoes, coarsely chopped

1 small cucumber, seeded and thinly sliced

1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

1/3 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon cumin

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

Red tip lettuce leaves

Place bulgur in medium bowl; pour boiling water over the bulgur, cover and leave for 30 minutes. Drain well. In large bowl, combine bulgur, turkey, tomatoes, cucumber, onion and parsley; mix gently. In a small bowl, whisk together the juice, oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Drizzle dressing over bulgur mixture; mix well. Pour over the lettuce leaves and serve.

Per serving: 337 calories, 32 grams protein, 9 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrates, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 266 milligrams sodium, 6 grams of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 2.

BUTTERFLY PASTA WITH ALFREDO SAUCE (Wednesday)

Makes: 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

8 ounces of butterfly pasta

1/2 cup frozen green peas

1 1/2 teaspoons of butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons flour

1 cup half and half

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 cup parmesan cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; place the peas in a colander and pour the pasta over them to drain. Put back in the pot. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat; add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Whisk the flour into the mixture. Slowly add half and half until well blended. Whisk together salt, pepper and nutmeg; bring to a boil, whisking frequently. Simmer 5 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add sauce to pasta; stir to combine and coat. Serve.

Per serving: 310 calories, 14 grams protein, 4 grams fat (11% calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrates, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 304 milligrams sodium, 2 grams of fiber. Number of carbohydrates: 4.

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