> Family Sunday
The family will enjoy baked walnut-coated chicken. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat 4 chicken cutlets in a mixture of 3 tablespoons flour and 1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper; then dip into 2 beaten egg whites. Next, roll chicken in 1 cup finely chopped walnuts. Bake on a nonstick foil-lined baking sheet for 10 to 15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through.
Serve with baked sweet potatoes and cauliflower. Add crusty rolls to round out the feast. Buy a berry cobbler for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough cobbler for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Chicken cutlets, flour, coarse salt, pepper, eggs, walnuts, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, crusty rolls, berry cobbler.
> Kids Monday
All the "kids" at our house liked Mama Mia meatball pizza (see recipe). Serve the kids' favorite with chopped lettuce. Pears make a good dessert.
Shopping list: Pizza sauce, package of two (8-inch) whole-grain thin pizza crusts, frozen Italian-style meatballs, provolone cheese, Gruyere cheese, lettuce, pears.
> Express Tuesday
Buy and heat bratwurst for a fast meal. Smear it with spicy brown mustard. Serve with red potato wedges (refrigerated) and sauerkraut (refrigerated and rinsed). Add pumpernickel bread. Heat the leftover cobbler and top it with fat-free vanilla ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.
Shopping list: Bratwurst, spicy brown mustard, refrigerated red potato wedges, refrigerated sauerkraut, pumpernickel bread, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
> Budget Wednesday
Smoky split pea soup (see recipe) is easy on the budget. Serve the flavorful soup with grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches. Why not have peaches for dessert?
Plan ahead: Prepare enough soup for Thursday night.
Shopping list: Green split peas, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, onion, dried thyme, smoked turkey parts, coarse salt, pepper, bread and cheese for sandwiches, tomatoes, peaches.
> Heat and eat Thursday
You've done the work, now relax and reheat the leftover soup for an easy dinner. Serve with a Caesar salad and cornbread (from a mix). Enjoy leftover ice cream for dessert.
Shopping list: Caesar salad, cornbread mix.
> Meatless Friday
Skip meat for grilled pesto avocado sandwiches. Spread prepared pesto on 8 slices whole-grain bread. Top 4 slices with sliced tomatoes, sliced avocado and shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Top with remaining slices bread. Coat sandwiches with cooking spray and place in a nonstick skillet on medium heat. Grill each side 2 to 3 minutes, or until cheese is melted and sandwiches are golden brown.
Serve with spinach salad with fresh orange sections. Instant butterscotch pudding made with 1 percent milk is dessert.
Shopping list: Prepared pesto, whole-grain bread, tomatoes, avocado, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, cooking spray, fresh spinach, oranges, instant butterscotch pudding, 1 percent milk.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
For your lucky guests, prepare lamb loin chops with Madeira and cherries (see recipe). Serve the delicious chops with rice, fresh asparagus spears, a Boston lettuce salad and sourdough bread. For dessert, accompany peach sorbet with chocolate wafer cookies.
Shopping list: Lemon, olive oil, dried tarragon, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, lamb loin chops, Madeira wine or red grape juice, dried cherries, fat-free chicken broth, butter, rice, fresh asparagus spears, Boston lettuce, sourdough bread, peach sorbet, chocolate wafer cookies.
MAMA MIA MEATBALL PIZZA (Monday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes
4 tablespoons pizza sauce
1 package of two (8-inch) whole-grain thin pizza crusts
1 cup frozen Italian-style meatballs, thawed and halved
1/4 cup shredded provolone cheese
1/4 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Spread 2 tablespoons pizza sauce on each crust. Divide the meatballs between the 2 pizzas, cut sides down. Blend the two cheeses; top each pizza with half the cheese mixture. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, or until crusts are golden brown and cheese is melted. Slice with a pizza cutter or use kitchen shears. (Adapted from "Hypertension Cookbook for Dummies," Rosanne Rust and Cindy Kleckner; Wiley, 2012.)
Per serving: 371 calories, 18g protein, 18g fat (44 percent calories from fat), 8.3g saturated fat, 34g carbohydrate, 33mg cholesterol, 837mg sodium, 3g fiber.
SMOKY SPLIT PEA SOUP (Wednesday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 7 to 8 hours on low
1 pound green split peas, rinsed
4 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 cloves minced garlic
1 large chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
6 cups water
1 1/2 pounds smoked turkey parts, skin removed
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine the split peas, carrots, parsnips, celery, garlic, onion, thyme and water. Add turkey and cover; cook 7 to 8 hours on low. Transfer turkey parts to a plate. When cool enough to handle, shred the meat; discard bones and any remaining skin. Stir the meat back into the soup along with the salt and pepper, and serve. Per serving: 400 calories, 37g protein, 5g fat (12 percent calories from fat), 1.4g saturated fat, 55g carbohydrate, 58mg cholesterol, 723mg sodium, 20g fiber.
LAMB LOIN CHOPS WITH MADEIRA AND CHERRIES (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 2 hours
Cooking time: About 15 minutes; standing time: 10 minutes
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 1/2 teaspoons dried tarragon, divided
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
4 boneless lamb loin chops, cut 1 1/4 inches thick, trimmed (about 1 pound)
2/3 cup Madeira wine or red grape juice
2/3 cup dried cherries, finely chopped
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
2 tablespoons lemon zest (yellow part only), plus extra for garnish
2 tablespoons butter, halved
In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, 1 1/2 teaspoons tarragon, garlic, salt and pepper. Place chops in resealable plastic bag, pour in marinade and turn to coat. Marinate for 2 hours. Remove chops and discard marinade. Pat chops dry with paper towels. In a large nonstick skillet with cover, heat remaining oil on medium-high. Brown chops for 2 minutes on each side. Cover and reduce heat to low. Cook 2 to 6 minutes, turning twice or until desired doneness. Remove from pan, cover and let stand for 10 minutes; pour off liquid from skillet.
Add Madeira and cherries to skillet; stir and cook 3 to 4 minutes, scraping up browned bits from skillet, until liquid is almost absorbed. Stir in broth, remaining 1 teaspoon tarragon and lemon zest; cook additional 2 minutes. Mix in butter and stir until sauce looks shiny. Spoon sauce on plates and top each plate with a chop. Garnish with grated lemon zest.
Per serving: 374 calories, 22g protein, 18g fat (43 percent calories from fat), 6.7g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, 79mg cholesterol, 447mg sodium, 2g fiber.