> Family Sunday
Celebrate family day with dijon lamb chops. Remove excess fat from 12 loin lamb chops; arrange in a single layer on broiler pan coated with cooking spray. In small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/4 teaspoon crushed whole peppercorns. Spread over chops. Broil 4 inches from heat 5 minutes; turn and broil 4 to 6 more minutes for medium-rare or until desired doneness.
Serve the chops with new potatoes tossed with chopped fresh dill and a little butter. Add asparagus, mixed greens and baguettes. Buy a Key lime pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Loin lamb chops, cooking spray, Dijon mustard, dried rosemary, whole peppercorns, new potatoes, fresh dill, butter, asparagus, salad greens, baguettes, key lime pie.
> Budget Monday
Just the boost your food budget needed: Try this economical tomato Florentine pasta bake (see recipe). Serve it with a lettuce wedge and garlic bread. Finish with leftover pie.
Shopping list: Canola oil, ground turkey breast, onion, canned no-salt-added or regular tomato sauce, canned no-salt-added or regular tomato paste, dried oregano, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, penne or other tube pasta, frozen chopped spinach, cooking spray, part-skim ricotta cheese, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, lettuce, garlic bread.
Plan ahead: Save enough pasta bake for Tuesday.
> Heat and eat Tuesday
No cooking tonight, just reheat last night's pasta bake for a quick meal. Garnish it with sliced avocados. Add a romaine salad and Italian bread. Enjoy a juicy fresh peach for dessert.
Shopping list: Avocados, romaine, Italian bread, fresh peaches.
> Kids Wednesday
The kids will love salsa verde chicken and rice (see recipe) just as much as the adults. Serve it with black beans and warm corn tortillas. Munch on oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough salsa verde chicken and rice for Thursday and enough cookies for Friday.
Shopping list: Boil-in-bag brown rice, avocados, salsa verde, canned diced green chilies, lime, cooked chicken breast or canned chicken breast, can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Request), reduced-fat sour cream, cooking spray, Monterey Jack cheese, cilantro, tomatoes, black beans, corn tortillas, oatmeal raisin cookies.
> Express Thursday
Make chicken tacos for a quick meal. Heat the leftover salsa verde chicken and rice. Spoon it into warmed taco shells. Garnish with a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with steamed carrots. For a cool dessert, fat-free vanilla ice cream does the trick.
Shopping list: Taco shells, reduced-fat sour cream, carrots, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
> Meatless Friday
Pasta with pink sauce couldn't be any easier for a no-meat meal. Combine 2 cups any red pasta sauce with 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream. Simmer about 5 minutes and top any pasta with the sauce. Garnish with chopped fresh basil. (Adapted from "Awesome Recipes and Kitchen Shortcuts," Sam Zien; Wiley Publishing, $19.95.)
Serve the easy meal with a spinach salad with hard-cooked egg slices and crusty rolls. A slice of cantaloupe with a leftover cookie is your dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough cantaloupe for Saturday.
Shopping list: Any red pasta sauce, heavy whipping cream, any pasta, fresh basil, fresh spinach, eggs, crusty rolls, cantaloupe.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite friends for delicious citrus salmon with orange relish (see recipe). Serve it with brown rice, a Boston lettuce salad and multigrain rolls. A scoop of leftover ice cream over a slice of leftover cantaloupe is a refreshing dessert.
Shopping list: Oranges, olive oil, dried thyme, salmon fillets, brown sugar, paprika, salt, red bell pepper, honey, red onion, fresh parsley, ground ginger, brown rice, Boston lettuce, multigrain rolls.
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TOMATO FLORENTINE PASTA BAKE (Monday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: About 35 minutes, plus pasta; standing time: 5 minutes
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 1/3 pounds ground turkey breast
3/4 cup finely chopped onion
2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added or regular tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular tomato paste
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
8 ounces penne or other tube pasta
1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese (about 2 cups)
3/4 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium. Add turkey and onion and cook 7 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and onion is softened. Stir in tomato sauce, tomato paste, water, oregano, sugar, cinnamon, garlic powder and red pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions; drain. Stir pasta and well-drained spinach into sauce and mix well. Spread 1/2 of the mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread ricotta evenly over pasta. Top with remaining pasta mixture. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through; let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 352 calories, 33g protein, 8g fat (21 percent calories from fat), 4g saturated fat, 38g carbohydrate, 75mg cholesterol, 232mg sodium, 4g fiber.
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SALSA VERDE CHICKEN AND RICE (Wednesday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 40 minutes, plus rice
2 (3.5-ounce) bags boil-in-bag brown rice
2 ripe avocados
3/4 cup salsa verde
1 (4-ounce) can drained, diced green chilies
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
2 cups chopped cooked chicken breast or 1 (12-ounce) can drained chicken breast
1 (10 3/4 -ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of chicken soup (such as Healthy Request)
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese (about 4 ounces)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Chopped tomatoes for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook rice according to directions. Cut avocados in half; scoop pulp into a medium bowl and mash with the salsa verde, diced green chilies and lime juice. Stir in hot cooked rice. Meanwhile, heat a medium saucepan on low; mix together the chicken, soup and sour cream. Cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until blended and slightly heated. Spoon rice mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon chicken mixture over rice. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until cheese melts and is bubbly. Sprinkle with cilantro and top with tomatoes. (Adapted from Southern Living magazine.)
Per serving: 365 calories, 19g protein, 17g fat (43 percent calories from fat), 6.6g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrate, 59mg cholesterol, 411mg sodium, 4g fiber.
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CITRUS SALMON WITH ORANGE RELISH (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 30 minutes to 2 hours
Cooking time: 10 to 15 minutes
For the Salmon:
1/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme, divided
4 (4- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon salt
For the Orange Relish
1/2 teaspoon orange zest (orange part only)
2 peeled, seeded oranges, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Heat oven to 400 degrees. For the salmon: mix juice, oil and 1 teaspoon thyme in small bowl. Place salmon and marinade in a large resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 minutes to 2 hours. Meanwhile, mix all relish ingredients together in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve. In a small bowl, mix brown sugar, paprika and remaining thyme and salt. Remove salmon; discard marinade. Rub salmon with paprika mixture. Place salmon on foil-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Serve salmon with relish.
Per serving: 218 calories, 25g protein, 4g fat (18 percent calories from fat), 0.7g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrate, 65mg cholesterol, 376mg sodium, 2g fiber.