> Family Sunday
Prepare grilled pork chops for a simple family meal. Marinate 4 ( 3/4 -inch-thick) boneless pork chops in 3/4 cup Italian dressing and 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce 20 minutes to overnight. Grill chops (discard marinade), turning once, 8 to 11 minutes or until 155 degrees. Serve with baked potato salad (see recipe). Add deli coleslaw and whole-grain rolls.
For dessert, strawberry shortcake trifle is worth every bite. In a large bowl, mix together 1 quart sliced strawberries and 1/4 cup sugar. In a medium bowl, stir together 8 ounces frozen light whipped topping (thawed) and 1/3 cup strawberry topping (such as Smuckers). Cut a marbled or other pound cake (13 ounces) into 1-inch cubes. Place half the cake cubes in a large glass bowl. Spoon half the berries and juice evenly over cake. Spread half the topping over berries. Repeat once. Cover and refrigerate 4 hours to overnight. Garnish with more berries, if desired. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.)
Plan ahead: Prepare enough potato salad and save some strawberries for Monday.
Shopping list: Boneless pork chops, Italian dressing, Worcestershire sauce, red potatoes, nonfat Greek or regular plain yogurt, reduced-fat sour cream, red onion, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, chives, bacon, coarse salt, pepper, fresh parsley or dill, deli coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, strawberries, sugar, frozen light whipped topping, strawberry topping, marbled or other pound cake.
> Heat and eat Monday
On Labor Day, take it easy and enjoy your grilled chicken. Save your labor and serve the chicken with leftover potato salad and sesame rolls. Add a platter with sliced tomatoes, lettuce, celery sticks, pickles and hearts of palm. For dessert, enjoy leftover strawberries and brownies for an "official" sweet end to summer.
SHOPPING LIST: chicken to grill, sesame rolls, tomatoes, lettuce, celery, pickles, hearts of palm, brownies.
> Meatless Tuesday
It's always time for chili, especially an easy no-meat version like this three-bean chili (see recipe). Serve over brown rice. Add mixed greens and cornbread (from a mix). Slice watermelon for dessert.
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough chili for Thursday and enough watermelon for Friday.
SHOPPING LIST: Olive oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, red, orange or yellow bell peppers, zucchini, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, ketchup, dried oregano, canned black beans, small white beans, red kidney beans, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, brown rice, salad greens, cornbread mix, watermelon.
> Budget Wednesday
We liked the flavor of chipotle chicken pasta (see recipe) and you will, too. Serve it with a spinach salad and garlic bread. How about cantaloupe for dessert?
SHOPPING LIST: Whole-wheat rotelle or rotini pasta, canola oil, boneless, skinless chicken breast, red onion, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, fat-free half-and-half, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, salt, cilantro, fresh spinach, garlic bread, cantaloupe.
You'll have minimal work tonight because you will just heat the leftover chili and serve it over toasted biscuits. Add a packaged green salad. For dessert, take advantage of the fresh peaches still available.
SHOPPING LIST: biscuits, packaged green salad, fresh peaches.
> Kids Friday
Treat the kids to taco dogs tonight. Cook 8 low-fat hot dogs in boiling water; drain. In a microwave-safe bowl, combine 1 cup canned vegetarian refried beans, 1 cup 50 percent reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese and 1/2 cup mild salsa; mix well. Cover and microwave on high (100 percent power) 2 minutes or until heated; stir once. Spread mixture on 1 side of 8 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas; place hot dogs on tortillas. Top dogs with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, and roll. Serve with oven fries (frozen). Slice the leftover watermelon for dessert
SHOPPING LIST: Low-fat hot dogs, canned vegetarian refried beans, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, mild salsa, fat-free flour tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, frozen oven fries.
> Easy Entertaining Saturday
Invite guests for baked dijon tilapia. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix 1 tablespoon each Dijon mustard and olive oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder. Spread mixture over top of 4 (6-ounce) tilapia fillets. Sprinkle each fillet with some panko bread crumbs and sliced almonds. Bake 12 minutes or until tilapia is opaque throughout. Serve with corn-on-the-cob and a Boston lettuce salad. Buy a Key lime pie for dessert.
SHOPPING LIST: Dijon mustard, olive oil, fresh dill, pepper, garlic powder, tilapia fillets, panko bread crumbs, sliced almonds, corn-on-the-cob, Boston lettuce, key lime pie.
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BAKED POTATO SALAD (Sunday)
Makes 5 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 9 to 11 minutes; refrigeration time: 1 hour
1 1/2 pounds red potatoes
1/2 cup nonfat Greek or regular plain yogurt
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/3 cup minced red onion
1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup snipped chives
3 tablespoons crumbled cooked bacon
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Chopped fresh parsley or dill for garnish
Microwave unpricked potatoes in a covered container 9 to 10 minutes on high (100 percent power). Carefully remove container; drain and cool. Cut potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a medium bowl. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, sour cream, onion, cheese, chives, bacon, salt and pepper. Add to potatoes; mix well. Refrigerate one hour. Garnish with parsley or dill and serve.
Per serving: 204 calories, 11 grams protein, 7 grams fat (30 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 259 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
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THREE-BEAN CHILI (Tuesday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: about 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 20 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
3 tablespoons chili powder
2 medium chopped red, orange or yellow bell peppers
1 medium zucchini, halved lengthwise and sliced 1/4 inch crosswise
1 (14.5-ounce) can undrained fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
1/4 cup ketchup
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 (15-ounce) can each rinsed black beans, small white beans and red kidney beans
Shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese for garnish
Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add onion, garlic and chili powder; cook 3 minutes. Add peppers and zucchini; cook 5 minutes. Stir occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce, ketchup and oregano. Cook 8 minutes. Gently stir in all beans. Cover; cook 3 minutes. Ladle into bowls; garnish with cheese. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.)
Per serving: 270 calories, 13g protein, 4g fat (13 percent calories from fat), 0.5g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 721mg sodium, 13g fiber.
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CHIPOTLE CHICKEN PASTA (Wednesday)
Makes about 8 cups
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 12 minutes, plus pasta
8 ounces whole-wheat rotelle or rotini pasta
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 medium thinly sliced red onion
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (14.5-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes
3/4 cup fat-free half-and-half
2 (7.5-ounce) cans chipotle peppers in adobo sauce; seeded and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Cook pasta according to directions; drain, reserving 1/2 cup pasta water. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium until hot. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes, stirring once or twice. Add onion and garlic; cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, half-and-half, chipotle and salt. Simmer, uncovered, 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cilantro. Toss pasta with sauce; add reserved water as needed to thin sauce.
Per cup: 244 calories, 24g protein, 5g fat (16 percent calories from fat), 0.7g saturated fat, 28g carbohydrate, 54mg cholesterol, 328mg sodium, 4g fiber.