> Family Sunday
Aromatic and delicious, mustard pork chops with smashed potatoes and peas (see recipe) will be a family favorite. Serve the combination with green beans, mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, try fat-free strawberry ice cream.
Shopping list: Red potatoes, frozen green peas, green onions, olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, boneless pork chops, dry white wine or fat-free chicken broth, Dijon mustard, green beans, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, fat-free strawberry ice cream.
> Meatless Monday
Try this veggie chili (see recipe) for an easy, delicious no-meat dinner. Serve it with a lettuce wedge with blue cheese crumbles and cornbread (from a mix). Fresh pineapple spears are a simple dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Carrot, onion, canola oil, packet 30 percent less-sodium chili seasoning, no-salt-added tomato sauce, no-salt-added V-8 juice, no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, reduced-sodium canned black beans, canned Great Northern beans, zucchini, yellow squash, frozen whole kernel corn, fresh cilantro, low-fat sour cream, green onions, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, blue cheese crumbles, cornbread mix, fresh pineapple.
> Kids Tuesday
Let the kids help you make tacos from the leftover chili for a kid-friendly meal. Serve with pinto beans, shredded lettuce and diced avocado to round out the meal. Peaches work for dessert.
Shopping list: Taco shells, pinto beans, lettuce, avocado, peaches.
> Budget Wednesday
For a lower-cost dinner, enjoy rotini with caramelized onions and broccoli. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 2 large onions (cut into 1/2 -inch slices); cook 12 minutes or until browned. Add 1 cup water and 2 teaspoons dried tarragon; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until most of liquid has evaporated.
Meanwhile, cook 12 ounces rotini pasta according to directions; add 5 cups fresh broccoli florets 3 minutes before the end of cooking time. Drain broccoli and pasta and pour back into pot. Add onion mixture to pot, along with 2 ( 3/4 -ounce) wedges Laughing Cow light sun-dried tomato and basil cheese; stir until cheese is melted and well-blended. Season with coarse salt and pepper. Drizzle with more oil if desired.
Serve with romaine and hard-cooked egg slices and whole-grain bread. Grapes are your dessert.
Shopping list: Olive oil, onions, dried tarragon, rotini, fresh broccoli, Laughing Cow light sun-dried tomato and basil cheese, coarse salt, pepper, romaine, eggs, whole-grain bread, grapes.
> Family Thursday
Celebrate Thanksgiving with the family with the traditional turkey, oven-baked candied sweet potatoes (see recipe), tiny green peas with pearl onions (frozen) and this homestyle cranberry sauce. Mix 1 cup each water and sugar in medium saucepan; bring to boil on medium-high heat. Add 1 (12-ounce) package rinsed and drained fresh cranberries, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon orange zest; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Simmer 10 minutes or until cranberries burst and sauce begins to thicken, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Cool to room temperature. Cover; refrigerate until ready to serve. Add dinner rolls. Finish the feast with a small piece of pumpkin pie topped with light whipped cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey for Friday and enough pie for Saturday.
Tip: Cranberry sauce can be made a week ahead. Refrigerate; stir before serving.
Shopping list: Turkey, brown sugar or Splenda brown sugar blend, pumpkin pie spice, sweet potatoes, cooking spray, orange, pure vanilla extract, butter, frozen tiny green peas with pearl onions, sugar, fresh cranberries, cinnamon, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie, light whipped cream.
> Heat and eat Friday
Use some of the leftover turkey in turkey 'n bacon ranch pizza. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-by-15-inch cookie sheet with cooking spray. Unroll 1 (11-ounce) can refrigerated pizza dough on cookie sheet; starting at center, press dough into a 10-by-15-inch rectangle. Spread 1/2 cup ranch dressing over dough. Top with 2 cups chopped leftover turkey, 4 slices crisp cooked bacon (crumbled), 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 1 large chopped plum tomato, 1 cup each shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake 13 to 16 minutes or until crust is golden and cheese is melted. Cut into 8 wedges. Serve with carrot sticks. Enjoy plums for dessert.
Shopping list: Cooking spray, refrigerated pizza dough, ranch dressing, bacon, onion, plum tomato, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, part-skim mozzarella cheese, carrot sticks, plums.
> Express Saturday
For a change of pace, try stuffed baked potatoes tonight. Bake potatoes at 400 degrees until tender. Split and fill with your sauteed fresh spinach and some crumbled goat cheese. Sprinkle with toasted pecans. (Adapted from Real Simple magazine.) Serve with deli egg salad on red-tip lettuce. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, slice the leftover pie.
Shopping list: Potatoes to bake, fresh spinach, goat cheese, pecans, deli egg salad, red-tip lettuce, whole-grain rolls.
MUSTARD PORK CHOPS WITH SMASHED POTATOES AND PEAS (Sunday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: About 15 minutes, plus potatoes
1 pound medium red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (10-ounce) package frozen green peas
2 thinly sliced green onions
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 (5- or 6-ounce) boneless pork chops (about 3/4 inch thick)
3/4 cup dry white wine or fat-free chicken broth
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Cook potatoes in boiling water 10 to 12 minutes. Add peas during the last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain and gently smash with the onions, 1 tablespoon oil, salt and pepper.
Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in a large skillet on medium. Cook chops 4 to 6 minutes per side or until golden brown; transfer to plates; keep warm. Add the wine or broth to skillet and simmer for 3 minutes, stirring to reduce by half. Whisk in mustard and spoon sauce over pork. Serve with potatoes and peas.
Per serving: 409 calories, 34g protein, 15g fat (33 percent calories from fat), 3.5g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, 75mg cholesterol, 564mg sodium, 6g fiber.
VEGGIE CHILI (Monday)
Makes about 7 1/2 cups
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 40 minutes
1 large chopped carrot
1 medium chopped onion
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 (1.25-ounce) packet 30 percent less-sodium chili seasoning
1/2 cup no-salt-added tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added V-8 juice
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed Great Northern beans
1 medium diced zucchini
1 medium diced yellow squash
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn, thawed
Water as needed
Toppings: chopped fresh cilantro, low-fat sour cream, chopped green onions, shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, chopped tomatoes
Cook carrots and onion 7 minutes in hot oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Stir in chili seasoning. Cook 2 minutes. Stir in tomato sauce, juice, tomatoes, both beans, both squash and corn. If too thick, add water as desired. Bring to boil; cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes. Serve with desired toppings.
Per cup: 170 calories, 8g protein, 2g fat (9 percent calories from fat), 0.1g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 213mg sodium, 6g fiber.
OVEN-BAKED CANDIED SWEET POTATOES (Thursday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 55 minutes
1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar or Splenda brown sugar blend (see package for amount)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tablespoon orange juice
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter, cut into small pieces
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix brown sugar and pumpkin pie spice in a large bowl. Add potatoes; toss to mix. Spread in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Mix juice and vanilla; pour over sweet potatoes. Dot with butter. Cover; bake 40 minutes. Remove from oven and stir. Bake, uncovered, 15 minutes longer or until potatoes are fork-tender.
Per serving: 152 calories, 2g protein, 2g fat (12 percent calories from fat), 1.2g saturated fat, 32g carbohydrate, 5mg cholesterol, 82mg sodium, 4g fiber.