> Family Sunday
Celebrate family day with cumin-pepper flank steak with horseradish chimichurri (see recipe) on the menu. Add roasted red potatoes, sauteed sliced carrots, a spinach salad and whole-grain flour tortillas alongside. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough steak and pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Flatleaf parsley, green onions, prepared horseradish, red wine vinegar, olive oil, coarse salt, garlic, flank steak, cumin, black pepper, red potatoes, carrots, fresh spinach, whole-grain flour tortillas, Boston cream pie.
> Monday heat and eat
Make steak stir-fry with the leftover flank steak (cut into bite-size pieces). Stir-fry the steak with frozen stir-fry vegetables and bottled stir-fry sauce. Spoon your creation over brown rice. Add bread sticks on the side. A piece of leftover pie is dessert.
Shopping list: Frozen stir-fry vegetables, bottled stir-fry sauce, brown rice, bread sticks.
> Budget Tuesday
Pappardelle with turkey ragu (see recipe) is an economical and tasty meal. Add mixed greens and garlic bread. For dessert, try pears.
Shopping list: Pappardelle or linguine pasta, carrots, fat-free chicken broth, olive oil, onion, garlic, ground turkey breast, dried or fresh rosemary, coarse salt, pepper, no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce, Parmesan cheese, salad greens, garlic bread, pears.
> Meatless Wednesday
Cuban black bean and potato soup makes a perfect no-meat meal. Combine 3 1/2 cups sofrito (a seasoned sauce with vegetables) with 3 cups rinsed low-sodium black beans in a blender; blend until smooth. Pour into a Dutch oven. Add 7 cups water and 3 more cups rinsed black beans, 2 1/2 cups diced potatoes (3 medium), 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon cumin, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 bay leaf and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to simmer; reduce heat to medium-low and continue simmering, covered, 20 minutes or until potatoes are soft. Remove bay leaf. Garnish each serving with diced red onion and diced green bell pepper. (Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine.)
Serve with plantain chips and Cuban bread. Make flan (from a mix) for dessert.
Shopping list: Sofrito (in the Hispanic food section), low-sodium black beans, potatoes, white wine vinegar, cumin, dried oregano, bay leaf, coarse salt, red onion, green bell pepper, plantain chips, Cuban bread, flan mix.
> Express Thursday
Make it quick tonight with a pan-fried ham steak, refrigerated potatoes with onions and a spinach souffle (frozen). Add multigrain bread. Chunky applesauce is your dessert.
Shopping list: Ham steak, refrigerated potatoes with onions, frozen spinach souffle, multigrain bread, chunky applesauce.
> Kids Friday
The kids will run to dinner for chicken and cheese quesadillas. Evenly top 4 (8-inch) fat-free whole-grain flour tortillas with 1/4 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup shredded cooked chicken, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and 1 tablespoon canned chopped mild green chilies. Cover each with another tortilla; press down gently. One at a time, brown in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high 2 minutes per side or until golden and cheese melts. Cut into wedges and serve. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)
Serve with vegetarian refried beans and baby carrots with dip. Slice kiwifruit for dessert.
Shopping list: Fat-free whole-grain flour tortillas, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, cooked chicken, fresh cilantro, canned chopped mild green chilies, canned vegetarian refried beans, baby carrots, dip, kiwifruit.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Take your guests to the south of France and serve fish Provencal (see recipe). Add mashed potatoes to catch the juices. Steamed fresh Brussels sprouts, a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes round out the meal.
For dessert, travel to Italy for Italian poundcake. Mix 1 (18-ounce) jar apricot preserves with 1/4 cup amaretto liqueur (or apricot nectar) and heat until warm. Drizzle over sliced poundcake. Add a dollop of light whipped cream and toasted sliced almonds for garnish.
Shopping list: Firm whitefish such as halibut or striped bass, olive oil, onion, canned diced tomatoes, kalamata olives, dry white wine, dried basil, garlic powder, dried thyme, red potatoes to mash, fresh Brussels sprouts, Boston lettuce, baguettes, apricot preserves, amaretto liqueur or apricot nectar, poundcake, light whipped cream, sliced almonds.
CUMIN-PEPPER FLANK STEAK WITH HORSERADISH CHIMICHURRI (Sunday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 10 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
2/3 cup flatleaf parsley leaves
2 tablespoons each chopped green onions and water
1 tablespoon each prepared horseradish and red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1 peeled garlic clove
1 1/2 -pound flank steak, trimmed
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon olive oil
For the chimichurri: Place all ingredients in food processor; process until smooth.
For the steak: Rub steak with cumin, salt and pepper. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add steak to pan; cook 3 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Remove from pan; let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve chimichurri with steak. (Adapted from "Cooking Light Complete Meals in Minutes," Heather Averett, senior editor; Oxmoor House, $29.95.)
Per serving: 206 calories, 25g protein, 11g fat (48 percent calories from fat), 4g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 53mg cholesterol, 285mg sodium, 1g fiber.
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PAPPARDELLE WITH TURKEY RAGU (Tuesday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 20 minutes
12 ounces pappardelle or linguine pasta
2 medium chopped carrots
1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth, divided
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast
1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary or 2 teaspoons fresh
1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper
2 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta according to directions; drain. In large bowl, cover carrots and 1 tablespoon broth and microwave 2 minutes on high.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium until hot. Add carrots, onion and garlic to skillet. Cook 6 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add turkey, rosemary, salt and pepper. Cook 6 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink. Add remaining broth; simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Stir in marinara sauce; reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, 4 minutes to blend flavors. Spoon sauce over pasta; serve with Parmesan.
Per serving: 355 calories, 33g protein, 3g fat (8 percent calories from fat), 0.6g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrate, 63mg cholesterol, 261mg sodium, 3g fiber.
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FISH PROVENCAL (Saturday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 30 minutes
1 1/2 pounds firm whitefish such as halibut or striped bass
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (14-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes
1/2 cup kalamata olives, sliced lengthwise
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in a single layer in large baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat oil in medium saucepan on medium heat. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, olives, wine, basil, garlic powder and thyme; simmer 3 minutes. Spoon sauce over fish. Bake 5 more minutes or until fish is opaque throughout.
Per serving: 173 calories, 22g protein, 6g fat (33 percent calories from fat), 0.9g saturated fat, 6g carbohydrate, 56mg cholesterol, 337mg sodium, 1g fiber.