> Family Sunday
Grilling days are here, so enjoy your grilled chicken for family day. Alongside, add delicious, Indian-spiced curried potatoes (see recipe), green beans and sourdough bread. Blueberry and citrus sorbet "layer cake" (see recipe) is a pretty and refreshing summertime dessert.
Plan ahead: Grill enough chicken for Monday.
Shopping list: Chicken to grill, potatoes, canola oil, cumin seeds, fresh ginger, turmeric, cayenne pepper, ground coriander, salt, garam masala, lemon, green beans, sourdough bread, walnuts, blueberry preserves or jam, orange sorbet, lemon or other citrus sorbet, fresh blueberries.
> Heat and eat Monday
Use the leftover chicken in chicken spaghetti (see recipe). Serve it with broccoli, a lettuce wedge and multigrain bread. Fresh nectarines are your dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken spaghetti for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Multigrain spaghetti (such as Barilla Plus), 2 cans condensed reduced-sodium, reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup (such as Healthy Request), 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cabot), onion, green bell pepper, jar diced pimentos, 25 percent less-sodium seasoned salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, cooking spray, broccoli, lettuce, multigrain bread, nectarines.
> Express Tuesday
You can reap the rewards of your hard work and enjoy leftover chicken spaghetti tonight. Add a packaged green salad and crusty bread to the meal. Juicy watermelon is a cool dessert.
Shopping list: Packaged greens, crusty bread, watermelon.
> Budget Wednesday
I've never tried a pulled pork recipe I didn't like, and this one is no exception. In a medium bowl, combine 1 (10.5-ounce) can condensed French onion soup, 1 cup barbecue sauce, 1/4 cup cider vinegar and 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar; mix until blended. Trim and cut 1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless pork shoulder roast into 2 or 3 pieces. Place in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker; pour barbecue mixture over pork. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Remove pork, shred and return to cooker. Serve the pork with sauce on whole-wheat buns; top with sliced jalapeno peppers if desired. Add coleslaw. Enjoy fresh blueberries for dessert.
Plan ahead: Make enough some pulled pork for Thursday.
Shopping list: Can condensed French onion soup, barbecue sauce, cider vinegar, brown sugar, boneless pork shoulder roast, whole-wheat buns, sliced jalapeno peppers if desired, coleslaw, fresh blueberries.
> Kids Thursday
The kids can help you make barbecue wraps. Heat the leftover pulled pork and spoon onto warm fat-free whole-wheat tortillas. Roll and eat. Add corn on the cob on the side. For dessert, try red and green grapes.
Shopping list: Fat-free whole-wheat tortillas, corn on the cob, red and green grapes.
> Meatless Friday
Pasta shells with chickpea-tomato sauce is an easy, no-meat dinner. Cook 12 ounces medium pasta shells according to directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium in a large nonstick skillet. Add 2 cloves minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; cook 30 seconds or until fragrant. Add 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed chickpeas and cook 5 minutes. Add 1 (14.5-ounce) can crushed tomatoes and 1 (14.5-ounce) can vegetable broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly. Add 1 sprig fresh basil; cook 5 minutes. Remove basil. Add sauce to drained pasta; toss to mix. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan and garnish with more basil. (Adapted from recipe at www.marthastewart.com.) Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread. Plums for dessert.
Shopping list: Medium pasta shells, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, canned chickpeas, canned crushed tomatoes, vegetable broth, fresh basil, Parmesan, fresh spinach, garlic bread, plums.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Enjoy grilled steaks with garden fresh vegetables. Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Brush mixture on 2 boneless beef top loin steaks (1 inch thick), about 1 1/2 pounds, and 2 each medium yellow and zucchini squash (sliced 3/4 inch thick, diagonally). Grill beef 15 to 18 minutes, and vegetables until tender, turning occasionally.
Serve with roasted red potatoes, mixed greens and crusty rolls. Wouldn't peach shortcake be good for dessert?
Shopping list: Olive oil, dried Italian seasoning, boneless beef top loin steaks, yellow and zucchini squash, red potatoes, salad greens, crusty rolls, peach shortcake.
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CURRIED POTATOES (Sunday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 10 minutes, plus potatoes
4 medium potatoes (about 1 1/2 pounds), peeled, cubed
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon cumin seed
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper or more to taste
1 tablespoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon garam masala
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Cook potatoes in boiling water 8 to 10 minutes or until tender; drain and set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add cumin seed. Cook 10 to 15 seconds or until roasted. Add ginger; cook and stir 5 seconds. Add cooked potatoes. Sprinkle with turmeric, cayenne, coriander, salt, garam masala and lemon juice. Using a wide spatula, stir in a lifting and turning motion to coat potatoes with the spices. Avoid breaking the potatoes. Stir-fry 3 to 5 minutes or until potatoes are lightly roasted. (Adapted from "The Indian Vegan Kitchen Cookbook," Madhu Gadia, M.S., R.D.; Perigee Publishing, $18.95.)
Per serving: 157 calories, 3g protein, 7g fat (41 percent calories from fat), 0.6g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 104mg sodium, 2g fiber.
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BLUEBERRY AND CITRUS SORBET "LAYER CAKE" (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes; freezing time: 2 hours to overnight
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons blueberry preserves or jam, divided
1 pint orange sorbet, slightly softened
1 pint lemon or other citrus sorbet, slightly softened
1 cup fresh blueberries
Line the bottom and sides of an 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with a double layer of waxed paper, folding the paper to fit smoothly. In a small bowl, mix together walnuts and 1/4 cup preserves; set aside. Spoon orange sorbet into the lined pan, smoothing the top to make an even layer. Spread the reserved walnut-preserves mixture evenly over sorbet. Spoon lemon sorbet evenly over preserves and smooth the top. Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Freeze 2 hours to overnight. Just before serving, in a medium bowl, stir remaining 2 tablespoons preserves until smooth; fold in fresh blueberries. Invert the cake on a chilled serving plate. Remove the pan and paper; spoon about 1/4 of the blueberry mixture down the center of the cake. Cut into 8-inch slices. Serve on chilled dessert plates; top each slice with a spoonful of the remaining fresh berry mixture. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 201 calories, 1g protein, 5g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 0.5g saturated fat, 38g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 1mg sodium, 2g fiber.
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CHICKEN SPAGHETTI (Monday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes, plus spaghetti; standing time: 5 minutes
1 (14.5-ounce) package multigrain spaghetti, broken into 2- or 3-inch pieces (such as Barilla Plus)
2 (10.75-ounce) cans condensed reduced-sodium, reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup (such as Healthy Request)
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese (such as Cabot), divided
1 small onion, finely diced
1/4 cup finely diced green bell pepper
1 (4-ounce) jar drained diced pimentos
1 teaspoon 25 percent less-sodium seasoned salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or according to taste
3 cups diced cooked chicken breast
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. In a large bowl, combine cooked spaghetti, soup and 1 1/2 cups of the cheese. Stir in onion, bell pepper, pimento, seasoned salt, black pepper and cayenne pepper. Mix well. Add chicken and reserved pasta water (as needed) and mix. Spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with remaining cheese. Bake 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes and serve.
Per serving: 394 calories, 35g protein, 9g fat (20 percent calories from fat), 3.8g saturated fat, 44g carbohydrate, 63mg cholesterol, 681mg sodium, 5g fiber.