> Family Sunday
Celebrate Dad's Day with flank steak with peppers. Combine 1/2 cup Italian dressing, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin. Place 1 (1 1/2 -pound) flank steak in a large resealable plastic bag. Pour 1/3 cup marinade over steak. (Save remaining marinade.) Turn to coat; marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight. Remove steak; discard its marinade. Brush 3 quartered yellow or green bell peppers with saved marinade. Grill steak 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium. Grill peppers 12 to 15 minutes, turning occasionally. Brush steak and peppers occasionally with marinade but not during last 5 minutes. Remove steak from grill; let stand 5 minutes; carve across grain into thin slices.
Serve with roasted potatoes and carrots, a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy brownies and fresh strawberries for dessert.
Plan ahead: Marinate the steak the day before. Save enough brownies for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Italian dressing, limes, honey, cumin, flank steak, peppers, potatoes and carrots, romaine, whole-grain rolls, brownies, strawberries.
> Meatless Monday
Mary Buescher of Minnesota won a prize in the 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off with her pineapple-black bean enchiladas (see recipe). Serve with a shredded lettuce salad and sliced kiwifruit for dessert.
Plan ahead: Prepare enchiladas the day before and refrigerate; add 10 minutes to baking time. Save enough enchiladas for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Cooking spray, canola oil, onion, red bell pepper, canned pineapple juice, canned black beans, canned chopped green chilies, salt, fresh cilantro, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, mild enchilada sauce, flour tortillas, reduced-fat sour cream, lettuce, kiwifruit.
> Heat and Eat Tuesday
Just heat the leftover enchiladas and serve with deli carrot salad, with leftover brownies for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save some carrot salad for Friday. Prepare Wednesday's stuffed peppers and refrigerate. Increase baking time by 10 minutes.
Shopping list: Deli carrot salad.
> Budget Wednesday
Picadillo-stuffed peppers (see recipe) are good with red, yellow or green bell peppers. Serve with buttered noodles, green salad and multigrain rolls. Grapes are for dessert.
Shopping list: Red, yellow or green bell peppers, mushroom and olive pasta sauce, lean ground beef, zucchini, onions, garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt, pepper, raisins, sliced green olives with pimentos, cider vinegar, cooking spray, butter, noodles, salad greens, rolls, grapes.
> Express Thursday
How about adult pizza for a change? Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place a prebaked 12-inch whole-grain thin pizza crust on a baking sheet; bake 5 minutes or until hot and crisp. Spread crust with 1/2 cup whipped cream cheese, 4 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon (cut into strips), 1 cup diced tomato, 1/3 cup diced red onion, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers and 2 tablespoons chopped parsley. Season with pepper. Slice and serve with a spinach salad. Enjoy pears for dessert.
Shopping list: Prebaked pizza crust, whipped cream cheese, smoked salmon, tomatoes, red onion, capers, fresh parsley, pepper, fresh spinach, pears.
> Kids Friday
Make chili dogs for the kids. Top cooked fat-free hot dogs (in a whole-grain buns) with hot canned vegetarian chili and shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Serve with leftover carrot salad. For dessert, top fresh blueberries with light whipped cream.
Shopping list: Hot dogs and buns, canned vegetarian chili, reduced-fat cheddar cheese, blueberries, light whipped cream.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite guests for pork stir-fry with asparagus and mint (see recipe). Serve it over jasmine rice with steamed baby bok choy and sesame bread sticks.
Make Thai tapioca pudding for dessert. Rinse 1/2 cup small pearl tapioca in a strainer for 15 to 20 seconds. Boil 1 1/2 cups; stir in tapioca. Reduce heat to medium and cook 10 to 12 minutes, until tapioca becomes translucent, stirring frequently. Stir in 14-ounce can light coconut milk, 1/3 cup sugar and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Simmer 5 to 7 minutes, until pudding becomes slightly thickened. Let cool 20 minutes. Top with sliced mango.
Shopping list: Canola oil, roasted red chili paste, fish sauce or soy sauce, sugar, onion, fresh asparagus, pork loin or thin pork chops, red bell pepper, fresh mint, jasmine rice, baby bok choy, sesame bread sticks, small pearl tapioca, light coconut milk, sugar, salt, mangoes.
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Pineapple-Black Bean Enchiladas (Monday)
Makes 8 enchiladas
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large chopped onion
1 medium chopped red bell pepper
1 (20-ounce) can pineapple tidbits in juice, drained, 1/3 cup juice reserved
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed black beans
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
3 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese (12 ounces), divided
10 ounces mild enchilada sauce
8 whole-wheat or multigrain ?our tortillas (8- or 9-inch)
1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream
8 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and bell pepper; cook 4 to 6 minutes or until softened. Stir in pineapple, beans, green chilies and salt. Cook and stir until thoroughly heated. Remove skillet from heat. Stir in cilantro and 2 cups of the cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon enchilada sauce onto each tortilla. Spoon about 3/4 cup vegetable mixture over sauce on each. Roll; place seam side down in baking dish. In small bowl, mix reserved pineapple juice and remaining enchilada sauce; pour over entire surface of enchiladas. Sprinkle with remaining 1 cup cheese. Cover tightly with nonstick foil. Bake 25 to 30 minutes; remove foil. Bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly. Top each enchilada with 1 tablespoon sour cream and 1 teaspoon cilantro. Serve immediately. (Adapted from 2006 Pillsbury Bake-Off ?nalist recipe.)
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Picadillo-Stuffed Peppers (Wednesday)
Makes 6 peppers
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 40 minutes
6 medium red, yellow or green bell peppers
1/2 cup water
1 (25-ounce) jar mushroom and olive pasta sauce, divided
1 pound lean ground beef
2 small diced zucchini (12 ounces)
1/2 cups chopped onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1/3 cup raisins
1/3 cup sliced green olives with pimentos
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cut off the top fourth of stem end of peppers; remove seeds. Stand peppers and tops in baking dish. Add water, cover, and microwave on high (100 percent power) 5 to 7 minutes or until peppers are softened. Stir 1 1/2 cups pasta sauce into water in dish. Meanwhile, cook beef, zucchini and onions in a large nonstick skillet on medium high for 7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are almost tender. Stir in garlic, cinnamon, cumin, salt and pepper; cook 1 minute or until fragrant. Remove from heat; stir in raisins, olives, vinegar and remaining sauce.
Spoon mixture into peppers; replace tops. Coat peppers with cooking spray. Bake, uncovered, 30 minutes or until sauce bubbles and pepper tops are lightly charred
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Pork Stir-Frywith Asparagus andMint (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 15 minutes
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons roasted red chili paste (see note)
2 tablespoons ?sh sauce or soy sauce
2 teaspoons sugar
1 medium onion, cut into f-inch slices
3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
3/4 pound pork (pork loin or thin pork chops), cut into thin strips 1/4 inch thick by 1 to 1/2 inches long
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin f-inch strips
1/3 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint leaves