Family Sunday

Prepare apple-glazed lamb chops for family day. Trim fat from 4 (6-ounce) lean lamb rib chops; set chops aside. Combine v cup unsweetened apple juice, 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar and n teaspoon dry mustard in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chops and marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours; turn bag occasionally. Heat broiler; remove chops from bag and reserve marinade. Place chops on broiler rack coated with cooking spray and place rack in broiler pan. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat 9 minutes per side or to desired doneness, basting frequently with marinade. Serve the chops with brown rice and green beans. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, top angel food cake with strawberries.

Shopping list: Lean lamb rib chops, unsweetened apple juice, light brown sugar, dry mustard, cooking spray, brown rice, green beans, dinner rolls, angel food cake, strawberries.

New Year’s Eve (Monday)

For an amazing meal, serve your guests porcini-dusted tenderloin with wine sauce (see recipe) and make it a special New Year’s Eve celebration. Alongside, add oven-roasted potato wedges, a mixed green salad and whole-grain rolls. Ring in 2013 with a toast, serving chocolate cake and hot fudge sauce with fat-free vanilla ice cream for a grand finale.

Plan ahead: Save some cake for Tuesday, enough ice cream for Thursday and some fudge sauce for Saturday.

Shopping list: Lower-sodium beef broth, dried porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, pepper, center-cut beef tenderloin roast, fresh tomatoes, dry red wine, coarse salt, potatoes to roast, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, chocolate cake, hot fudge sauce, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Budget Tuesday

Make New Year’s Day fun and economical with lots of good luck thrown in while you enjoy Smoked Sausage Creole with black-eyed peas (see recipe). Serve with a lettuce wedge and cornbread muffins (from a mix). Slice the leftover cake for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough muffins for Wednesday; save enough Smoked Sausage Creole for Thursday.

Shopping list: Canola oil, onion, red bell pepper, reduced-fat or regular smoked turkey sausage, carrot, less-sodium Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, bay leaf, fat-free chicken broth, no-salt-added tomato paste, orzo pasta, canned black-eyed peas, zucchini, lettuce, cornbread mix.

Express Wednesday

It’s time to take it easy, so use your slow cooker for chili, using McCormick’s (or another brand) chili slow-cooker mix. Serve it with a romaine salad and leftover muffins. Keep dessert light with grapefruit sections.

Shopping list: Slow-cooker chili mix and ingredients, romaine, grapefruit.

Heat and eat Thursday

Dinner will be ready as soon as you warm the leftover Smoked Sausage Creole. Add a spinach salad and crusty rolls on the side. Leftover ice cream is dessert.

Shopping list: Fresh spinach, crusty rolls.

Meatless Friday

Serve this simple Italian white bean soup for an easy meal. Puree 1 (19-ounce) can rinsed cannellini beans and 2 cups vegetable broth in a blender (or use an immersion blender) until smooth. Transfer to a large saucepan. Add another can of rinsed beans, 2 more cups broth, z cup chopped onion, 3 cloves minced garlic, 6 seeded and diced plum tomatoes, 2 teaspoons dried basil, 1v teaspoons dried thyme and n teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil on medium-high; reduce heat and simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until desired doneness. (Recipe adapted from American Institute for Cancer Research.) Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and a red-tipped lettuce salad. Try fresh pineapple spears for dessert.

Shopping list: Canned cannellini beans, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, plum tomatoes, dried basil, dried thyme, pepper, bread and cheese for sandwiches, red-tipped lettuce, fresh pineapple.

Easy entertaining Saturday

Serve your guests pan-roasted scallops with sesame sauce (see recipe) with rice and snow peas on the side. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, top peppermint ice cream with leftover fudge sauce.

Shopping list: Sea scallops, green onion, garlic, low-sodium soy sauce, unseasoned rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, dark (toasted) sesame oil, crushed red pepper, canola oil, black pepper, rice, snow peas, sourdough bread, peppermint ice cream.

The Recipes

Porcini-dusted tenderloin with wine sauce (Monday)

Preparation time: 25 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 50 minutes for beef; 30 to 45 minutes for sauce; standing time: 10 to 15 minutes for sauce; 15 to 20 minutes for beef

1 (14-ounce) can lower-sodium beef broth

1 cup dried porcini mushrooms, divided

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon pepper

1 center-cut beef tenderloin roast (2 to 3 pounds)

3 cups fresh tomatoes, seeded and finely diced

1 cup dry red wine

Coarse salt and additional pepper

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Bring broth to a boil in medium saucepan; remove from heat. Stir in b cup mushrooms; let stand 10 to 15 minutes, or until mushrooms are softened. Place remaining v cup mushrooms in food processor container. Cover; process until finely ground. Combine ground mushrooms, cheese and pepper; press evenly onto all surfaces of beef roast. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Insert ovenproof meat thermometer so tip is centered in thickest part of beef. Do not add water or cover. Roast 35 to 40 minutes for medium-rare; 45 to 50 minutes for medium-done.

Meanwhile, add tomatoes and wine to mushroom mixture; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until sauce is reduced to 2z cups and is a rich, brown color; stir occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, as desired. Remove roast when meat thermometer registers 135 degrees for medium-rare; 150 degrees for medium. Transfer roast to carving board; tent loosely with foil. Let stand 15 to 20 minutes. Carve roast into slices. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Serve with porcini wine sauce. Makes 5 to 8 servings (4 ounces cooked weight).

Per serving: 304 calories, 39g protein, 11g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 4.2g saturated fat, 8g carbohydrate, 100mg cholesterol, 259mg sodium, 2g fiber.

Smoked sausage Creole with black-eyed peas (Tuesday)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 medium onion, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 pound reduced-fat or regular smoked turkey sausage,

cut into a-inch slices

1 large carrot, cut into a-inch slices

1 tablespoon less-sodium Old Bay seasoning

a teaspoon garlic powder

h teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 bay leaf

2 (14-ounce) cans fat-free chicken broth

g cup water

3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste

1 cup orzo pasta

2 (14-ounce) cans rinsed black-eyed peas

1 large zucchini, quartered lengthwise and

sliced a inch thick

Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high. Add onion and bell pepper; cook and stir 4 minutes. Add sausage and carrot; cook and stir 5 minutes or until sausage is browned. Stir in Old Bay seasoning, garlic powder, red pepper, bay leaf, broth, water and tomato paste. Return to boil, stirring frequently. Add orzo and peas; stir. Reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes. Add zucchini; cook 5 more minutes or until orzo and zucchini are tender, stirring frequently. Remove bay leaf before serving. Makes about 10 cups.

Per cup (using reduced-fat smoked turkey sausage): 263 calories, 15g protein, 9g fat (32 percent calories from fat), 1.9g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 45mg cholesterol, 632mg sodium, 5g fiber.

Pan-roasted scallops with sesame sauce (Saturday)

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes

16 medium or 12 large sea scallops (about 1f pounds)

1 green onion, sliced (white and green sections

reserved separately)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon unseasoned rice vinegar

3 teaspoons sugar

a teaspoon cornstarch

1 tablespoon dark (toasted) sesame oil

h teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 teaspoon canola oil

h teaspoon black pepper

Bring scallops to room temperature (about 10 minutes). In a small bowl, whisk together white pieces of onion, garlic, soy sauce, rice vinegar, sugar, cornstarch, sesame oil and crushed red pepper; set aside. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add scallops; sprinkle with pepper. Cook 3 minutes on one side, or until golden. Turn; cook 2 or 3 more minutes, or until browned. Transfer to a plate; keep warm. Whisk sauce and add to skillet. Cook 45 seconds, or until sauce boils and thickens slightly; remove pan from heat. Divide scallops among 4 dinner plates and drizzle some sauce over each portion. Sprinkle with green onion pieces for garnish. Makes 4 servings. (Adapted from Health magazine.)

Per serving: 162 calories, 18g protein, 5g fat (30 percent calories from fat), 0.8g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 34mg cholesterol, 752mg sodium, no fiber.

Susan Nicholson can be reached by email at and is on Twitter: @7DayMenu.