> Family Sunday
For a simple meal on family day, bake a turkey breast and serve it with baked corn. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 1 (15-ounce) can cream-style corn, 3/4 cup 1 percent milk, 1 lightly beaten egg, 3 tablespoons melted butter, 1 tablespoon each sugar and flour. Mix well; transfer to a 2-quart casserole coated with cooking spray. Bake 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Add broccoli with a squeeze of lemon juice, mixed greens and whole-grain bread.
Enjoy a shortcut version of one my childhood dessert favorites, Lazy Daisy Cake. Make a one-layer yellow or white cake (from a mix) as directed in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. For the topping: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup each shredded sweetened coconut, firmly packed light brown sugar and quick or old-fashioned oats (uncooked), 3 tablespoons milk and 2 tablespoons melted butter. Spread mixture evenly over hot cake. Broil about 4 inches from heat for 1 to 2 minutes or until topping is bubbly. Cool completely on a rack before serving.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and cake for Monday.
Shopping list: Turkey breast, canned cream-style corn, 1 percent milk, egg, butter, white sugar, flour, cooking spray, broccoli, lemon, salad greens, whole-grain bread, yellow or white cake mix, shredded sweetened coconut, light brown sugar, quick or old-fashioned oats.
> Heat and eat Monday
Slice the leftover turkey, top with gravy and serve with baked sweet potatoes, zucchini and cornbread (from a mix). Cut some leftover cake for dessert.
Plan ahead: Bake extra sweet potatoes for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Gravy, sweet potatoes to bake, zucchini, cornbread mix.
> Kids Tuesday
The kids will go for sweet and juicy drumsticks. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Combine 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1/3 cup each orange marmalade and barbecue sauce and 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce; mix well. Place 8 skinless chicken drumsticks in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish lined with foil. Sprinkle with some salt and pepper. Pour sauce over chicken; bake 1 hour, basting occasionally. Increase temperature to 400 degrees; bake 15 more minutes.
Serve with baked sweet potato wedges (using leftover potatoes), petite green peas (frozen), celery sticks and soft rolls. Enjoy peaches for dessert.
Shopping list: Lemon, orange marmalade, barbecue sauce, Worcestershire sauce, skinless chicken drumsticks, salt, pepper, frozen petite green peas, celery sticks, soft rolls, peaches.
> Meatless Wednesday
We couldn't get enough of baked risotto with spinach and peas (see recipe). Serve it with a red-tipped lettuce salad with sliced eggs and garlic bread. Slice mangoes for dessert.
Shopping list: Butter, shallot, coarse salt, pepper, dry white wine, vegetable broth, Arborio rice, frozen petite green peas, baby spinach, Parmesan, red-tipped lettuce, eggs, garlic bread, mangoes.
> Express Thursday
Make dinner quick with corned beef-wich with horseradish slaw. Layer thinly sliced corned beef on dark rye or pumpernickel bread and top with a mixture of packaged coleslaw mix, thin red bell pepper strips and prepared vinaigrette accented with prepared horseradish. Close sandwich and slice on the diagonal. Serve with baked chips and dill pickles. How about nectarines for dessert?
Shopping list: Corned beef, dark rye or pumpernickel bread, packaged coleslaw mix, red bell pepper, prepared vinaigrette, prepared horseradish, baked chips, dill pickles, nectarines.
> Budget Friday
Economical quesadilla pie (see recipe) hits the spot. Serve with sliced avocado and tomatoes on lettuce. Add cherries for dessert.
Shopping list: Chicken breast, chunky salsa, low-fat sour cream, whole-grain tortillas, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, baby spinach, avocado, tomatoes, lettuce, cherries.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Serve friends mustard-crusted tilapia (see recipe). Alongside, add couscous pilaf. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup each finely chopped onion and any bell pepper; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup fat-free chicken broth to boil in a medium saucepan; gradually stir in 1 cup whole-wheat couscous. Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork. Stir in onion mixture, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper. Transfer to a serving bowl; garnish with 2 tablespoons toasted walnuts. Add green beans and baguettes. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.
Shopping list: Cooking spray, tilapia fillets, spicy brown mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon, garlic powder, dried oregano, Parmesan, Italian bread crumbs, olive oil, onion, any bell pepper, fat-free chicken broth, whole-wheat couscous, salt, black pepper, walnuts, green beans, baguettes, fruit tarts.
> BAKED RISOTTO WITH SPINACH AND PEAS (Wednesday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 35 minutes
2 tablespoons butter
1 chopped shallot
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup frozen petite green peas, thawed
4 ounces baby spinach, roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan plus more for garnish
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In an ovenproof Dutch oven, heat butter on medium. Add shallot, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring often, 3 to 5 minutes or until softened. Add wine and cook, stirring 2 to 3 minutes or until almost evaporated. Add broth and rice and bring to boil. Cover; place in oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender and creamy. Add the peas, spinach, Parmesan, remaining salt and remaining pepper; stir to combine. If too thick, stir in up to 1/4 cup hot water. Sprinkle with more parmesan before serving. (Adapted from Real Simple magazine.)
Per serving: 198 calories, 5g protein, 5g fat (23 percent calories from fat), 3g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 13mg cholesterol, 755mg sodium, 2g fiber.
> QUESADILLA PIE (Friday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
2 to 2 1/2 cups cooked, chopped chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chunky salsa, divided
1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
3 (7 1/2 -inch) whole-grain tortillas
1 1/2 cups 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup baby spinach
In a large bowl, combine chicken, 1/2 cup salsa and the sour cream. Spread 1/2 cup salsa in a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Press 1 tortilla into pie plate; top with half the chicken mixture. Sprinkle with an even layer of cheese and half the spinach. Repeat, reserving 1/4 cup cheese. Top with final tortilla; spread with remaining 1/2 cup salsa and sprinkle with reserved cheese. Cover with foil; bake 25 minutes or until cheese melts. To serve, slice into wedges.
Per serving: 249 calories, 25g protein, 8g fat (30 percent calories from fat), 3.9g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrate, 56mg cholesterol, 618mg sodium, 2g fiber.
> MUSTARD-CRUSTED TILAPIA (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 tilapia fillets (5 to 6 ounces each)
2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon each garlic powder and dried oregano
2 teaspoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian bread crumbs
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a glass baking dish with cooking spray. Place tilapia into prepared dish; bake 10 minutes. Meanwhile, stir together the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, garlic powder, oregano and cheese. Remove tilapia from oven; spread with mustard paste and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Return to oven; bake 5 more minutes or until the topping is bubbly and golden.
Per serving: 153 calories, 29g protein, 3g fat (16 percent calories from fat), 1g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrate, 72mg cholesterol, 158mg sodium, no fiber.