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Healthy Menu Plan for Empty Nesters

There’s no need to worry about using up leftovers with these recipes for one or two. Get seven days of healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners that are perfectly portioned for a downsized kitchen.

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Day 1 Breakfast: Peanut Butter Oatmeal

My son and I eat this peanut butter oatmeal recipe every day for breakfast. It's a hearty, healthy way to jump start our morning. — Elisabeth Reitenbach, Terryville, Connecticut
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Day 1 Lunch: Hummus & Veggie Wrap-Up

I had a vegan wrap that was similar to this once when I stopped at a diner while on a long and arduous walk. I enjoyed it so much that I modified it to my own taste and now have it for lunch on a regular basis. Everyone at work wants to know how to make it. —Michael Steffens, Indianapolis, Indiana
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Day 1 Dinner: Beef Burgundy Over Noodles

I got this delightful beef burgundy recipe from my sister-in-law many years ago and have used it ever since. Whenever I serve it to guests, they always request this. The tender beef, mushrooms and flavorful sauce are delicious over noodles. —Margaret Welder, Madrid, Iowa
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Day 2 Breakfast: Goat Cheese & Ham Omelet

As a busy working mom, my breakfast needs to require minimal prep. I often combine the egg mixture beforehand and refrigerate it overnight. Then all I have to do in the morning is heat up my skillet. My favorite part is the goat cheese filling, which gets nice and creamy from the heat of the omelet. —Lynne Dieterle, Rochester Hills, Michigan
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Day 2 Lunch: Beef Barley Soup for 2

Who knew you could simmer up such a hearty soup in 30 minutes? This is packed with my favorite homey veggies and savory roast beef.—Sue Jurack, Mequon, Wisconsin
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Day 2 Dinner: Tandoori Spiced Chicken Pita Pizza with Greek Yogurt and Cilantro

My family and I are big picnickers, and I'm always looking for new dishes to try in the great outdoors. The amazing flavors at our favorite Indian restaurant inspired these mini pizzas. —Angela Spengler, Tampa, Florida
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Day 3 Breakfast: Pumpkin Pie Smoothie

I wanted pumpkin pie for breakfast but without the effort. This smoothie delivers that wonderful pumpkin-cinnamon combo. Dress it up with a little whipped cream and a sprinkle of granola on top. —Alisa Christensen, Rancho Santa Margarita, California
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Day 3 Lunch: Chicken Gyros

This yummy chicken gyro recipe is a cinch to prepare. Just take tender chicken, coat it in a creamy cucumber-yogurt sauce, then tuck it into pita pockets. Some folks like lettuce and diced tomato on top. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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Day 3 Dinner: Herbed Lemon Pork Chops

Expect to get plenty of compliments on these fast, flavor-packed chops. They're tender and juicy. —Billi Jo Sylvester, New Smyrna Beach, Florida
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Day 4 Breakfast: Flaxseed Oatmeal Pancakes

I came up with this healthy and really tasty recipe because my husband loves pancakes. They have a great texture and cinnamon taste. —Sharon Hansen, Pontiac, Illinois
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Day 4 Lunch: Pear Chicken Salad with Maple Vinaigrette

Classic pear salad gets an innovative makeover with chicken and maple vinaigrette. We like to serve it over crisp romaine for a refreshing experience. —Chrysa Duran, Cambridge, Minnesota
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Day 4 Dinner: Beef Orange Stir-Fry

This dinner for two is loaded with lots of flavor and color. Red pepper flakes add a little kick to the orange beef sauce, and the tender veggies add a pop of color. — Taste of Home Test Kitchen
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Day 5 Breakfast: Ultimate Breakfast Burritos

I recently started eating healthier foods, and this is one of my favorite items for breakfast. The peppery eggs and crunchy veggies are sure to wake you up.—Pamela Shank, Parkersburg, West Virginia
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Day 5 Lunch: Veggie Salmon Chowder

This salmon chowder recipe came about as a way to use up odds and ends in my fridge. I thought other readers might enjoy a soup that began as an experiment but became a mainstay for me. —Liv Vors, Peterborough, Ontario
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Day 5 Dinner: Chicken Quinoa Bowls with Balsamic Dressing

I love this recipe because its simplicity allows me to spend time with my family while not sacrificing taste or nutrition. Plus the fresh spring flavors really shine through! —Allyson Meyler, Greensboro, North Carolina
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Day 6 Breakfast: Loaded Quinoa Breakfast Bowl

After I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2001, I embarked on a journey to improve my diet and live a healthier lifestyle. I began developing recipes that were not only deliciously satisfying but also anti-inflammatory and highly nutritious. —Chantale Michaud, Guelph, Ontario
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Day 6 Lunch: Crunchy Tuna Wraps

Packed with protein-rich tuna and fresh, crunchy veggies, these colorful wraps have sensational flavor—and they're good for you, too. —Edie Farm, Farmington, New Mexico
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Day 6 Dinner: Tasty Turkey and Mushrooms

Fresh mushrooms star in this tender turkey entree that comes together in 15 minutes. Served with a side of brown rice, it makes a light but satisfying dinner. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey
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Day 7 Breakfast: Southwest Tortilla Scramble

Here’s my version of a deconstructed breakfast burrito that’s actually good for you. Go for hefty corn tortillas in this recipe. Flour ones can get lost in the scramble. —Christine Schenher, Exeter, California
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Day 7 Lunch: Chicken Tzatziki Cucumber Boats

I’ve tended a garden for decades, and these colorful “boats” made from cucumbers hold my fresh tomatoes, peas and dill. It’s absolute garden greatness. —Ronna Farley, Rockville, Maryland
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Day 7 Dinner: Scallops with Chipotle-Orange Sauce

Kindle cozy conversation with these tender scallops in a spicy sauce. It’s a surefire recipe for warming up a twosome in no time! —Jan Justice, Catlettsburg, Kentucky

Peggy Woodward, RDN
Peggy is a Senior Food Editor for Taste of Home. In addition to curating recipes, she writes articles, develops recipes and is our in-house nutrition expert. She studied dietetics at the University of Illinois and completed post-graduate studies at the Medical University of South Carolina to become a registered dietitian nutritionist. Peggy has more than 20 years of experience in the industry. She’s a mom, a foodie and enjoys being active in her rural Wisconsin community.

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