> Family Sunday
Marinated flank steak (see recipe) is always a good family meal. Serve the flavorful steak with roasted red potatoes, green beans and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, top fat-free vanilla ice cream with strawberry sauce.
Plan ahead: Save enough steak for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.
Shopping list: Balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, Dijon mustard, garlic, sugar, flank steak, red potatoes to roast, green beans, whole-grain rolls, fat-free vanilla ice cream, strawberry sauce.
> Heat and eat Monday
Make steak roll-ups tonight. For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers; mix well, cover and refrigerate. For filling: Cut leftover steak into thin slices and then into strips. Stir-fry 1 medium red bell pepper and 1 onion, each thinly sliced, about 4 minutes. Add steak; stir-fry 1 minute or until hot.
Meanwhile, warm 4 fat-free burrito-size whole-grain tortillas and spoon meat and vegetables onto them. Top with sauce, roll and eat.
Serve with canned black-eyed peas. Oatmeal cookies are good for dessert.
Shopping list: Reduced-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, red bell pepper, onion, fat-free burrito-size whole-grain tortillas, canned black-eyed peas, oatmeal cookies.
> Express Tuesday
For an easy meal, try a chicken Caesar salad. In a large bowl, combine 1 (10-ounce) bag of salad greens; 1 (10-ounce) package refrigerated cooked Italian (or other flavor) chicken breast (cut into bite-sized pieces); 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese; 1/4 cup reduced-fat Caesar salad dressing; and pepper to taste. Toss to coat. Serve with canned bean soup and crackers. Enjoy plums for dessert.
Shopping list: Packaged salad greens, packaged refrigerated cooked Italian (or other flavor) chicken breast, Parmesan cheese, reduced-fat Caesar salad dressing, pepper, canned bean soup, crackers, plums.
> Budget Wednesday
Food scientist Shirley Corriher knows a thing or two about cooking, and her recipe for fall-apart-tender slow roast pork proves that. Place a 4-pound, bone-in pork shoulder (butt) in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle 1/3 cup less-sodium Worcestershire sauce over pork. Press 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar all over pork. Pour 1 cup apple juice around the sides of pork (not over sugar). Cover; cook on high 30 minutes. Reduce to low and cook 7 to 8 hours. Shred pork and serve with sauce. (Adapted from "CookWise," Shirley Corriher; William Morrow, 1997.) Serve with coleslaw, pickled jalapeno pepper slices and cornbread (from a mix). Scoop the leftover ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pork for Thursday.
Shopping list: Pork shoulder, less-sodium Worcestershire sauce, light brown sugar, apple juice, coleslaw, pickled jalapeno slices, cornbread mix.
> Kids Thursday
Let the kids help prepare pork tortilla wraps with the leftover pork and softened corn tortillas. Serve them with celery and carrot sticks along with their favorite dip. For dessert, try "cuties" (clementines or mandarin oranges).
Shopping list: Corn tortillas, carrot and celery sticks, dip, clementines or mandarin oranges.
> Meatless Friday
Skip meat tonight and try this potato-vegetable frittata (see recipe). Serve with a spinach salad and toasted whole-grain English muffins. For dessert, sliced pears are easy.
Shopping list: Olive oil, red onion, zucchini, eggs, Parmesan cheese, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, fresh parsley, potato, salsa, fresh spinach, whole-grain English muffins, pears.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite guests for cocoa-crusted chicken (see recipe). Serve it with rice and broccoli spears. Add a red-tipped lettuce salad and sourdough bread. Enjoy fruit tarts for dessert.
Shopping list: Dark cocoa powder, brown sugar, coarse salt, smoked paprika, cayenne pepper, boneless chicken breasts (cutlets), buttery spread (such as Smart Balance), rice, broccoli spears, red-tipped lettuce, sourdough bread, fruit tarts.
MARINATED FLANK STEAK (Sunday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Refrigeration time: 6 hours to overnight; cooking time: 17 to 21 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 pounds flank steak
In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil, basil, mustard, garlic and sugar; mix well. Place steak in a resealable plastic bag. Pour marinade over steak; close bag and refrigerate 6 hours to overnight, turning to coat steak several times. Remove steak; discard marinade. Grill steak, uncovered, over medium coals 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium, turning occasionally. Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Carve crosswise into thin slices and serve.
Per serving: 169 calories, 24g protein, 7g fat (41 percent calories from fat), 3g saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 48mg cholesterol, 67mg sodium, no fiber.
POTATO-VEGETABLE FRITTATA (Friday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium sliced red onion
1 medium zucchini, sliced crosswise
3 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped cooked potato
Salsa for garnish
In a large, nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and zucchini and cook 5 minutes or until almost softened.
Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites. Add cheeses and parsley. Stir potatoes into mixture in skillet, then pour egg mixture over top. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom is golden and top is set. Cut into 4 wedges and serve with salsa.
Per serving: 227 calories, 19g protein, 11g fat (44 percent calories from fat), 4.7g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 157mg cholesterol, 384mg sodium, 2g fiber.
COCOA-CRUSTED CHICKEN (Saturday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 10 minutes
1 tablespoon dark cocoa powder
2 tablespoons brown sugar
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 1/2 pounds thinly cut boneless chicken breasts (cutlets)
2 tablespoons buttery spread (such as Smart Balance)
Mix cocoa, brown sugar, salt, paprika and cayenne in a small bowl. Sprinkle cocoa mixture over cutlets until well coated. Heat buttery spread on medium in a large nonstick skillet; cook chicken in 2 batches until browned on both sides and cooked through.Per serving: 178 calories, 24g protein, 6g fat (32 percent calories from fat), 1.5g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrate, 73mg cholesterol, 403mg sodium, no fiber.