Super Bowl Sunday

For the football crowd, make red and white chili (see recipe). Serve it with samosas (such as Sukhi's or another brand). The frozen turnovers come in a variety of flavors and are great for appetizers. All you do is bake them. Alongside, add stuffed celery and baby carrots to munch on. Serve with corn bread (from a mix). For an easy dessert, blueberries and sliced pound cake are perfect.

Plan ahead: Save enough chili, celery, carrots and blueberries for Monday.

Shopping list: Cooked chicken breast, canned navy beans, fat-free chicken broth, onion, red bell pepper, fresh jalapeno pepper, garlic, dried oregano, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, avocado, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh chives, frozen samosas, celery and stuffing, baby carrots, corn bread mix, blueberries, pound cake.


Kids Monday

Use the leftover chili and make chili tacos for the kids. Heat taco shells and spoon hot leftover chili into them. Garnish them with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Add leftover celery and carrots for some crunch. Stir leftover blueberries into instant vanilla pudding for dessert.

Shopping list: Taco shells, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, instant vanilla pudding.


Budget Tuesday

Not only does this sweet and spicy tomato and pepper chicken stew (see recipe) save money, it has great flavor. Serve it over basmati rice. Add romaine and flatbread. Keep dessert light and enjoy pears.

Plan ahead: Save enough stew for Wednesday.

Shopping list: Olive oil, boneless skinless chicken thighs, green bell pepper, onions, garlic, chili powder, garam masala, nutmeg, ground ginger, coarse salt, light brown sugar, canned diced tomatoes, fat-free chicken broth, raisins, apple cider vinegar, canned navy beans, fresh parsley, basmati rice, romaine, flatbread, pears.


Heat-and-eat Wednesday

The leftover stew will be even better since the flavors have had a chance to blend. Serve it with mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, try peaches.

Shopping list: Salad greens, whole-grain rolls, peaches.


Express Thursday

This pasta puttanesca will be on the table in no time. Toss 8 ounces any cooked pasta with 1 (6-ounce) can drained and flaked tuna in oil, 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce and 1/4 cup chopped black olives. Serve with packaged greens and Italian bread. Serve fresh pineapple chunks for dessert.

Shopping list: Any pasta, canned tuna in oil, marinara sauce, black olives, packaged greens, Italian bread, fresh pineapple chunks.


Meatless Friday

Make your no-meat meal special and serve gnocchi with sauteed Swiss chard. Cook 1 pound gnocchi according to directions. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 small thinly sliced onion, and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until tender. Add 4 cloves thinly sliced garlic, stirring 1 to 2 minutes or until golden. Add 1 bunch Swiss chard (tough stems discarded and leaves cut into 1-inch strips), 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and cook 3 to 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until tender. Toss gnocchi with chard mixture; sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.) Serve with mixed greens. Enjoy plums for dessert.

Shopping list: Gnocchi, olive oil, onion, garlic, Swiss chard, coarse salt, pepper, Parmesan, salad greens, plums.


Easy entertaining Saturday

Halibut with spinach, oranges and olives (see recipe) makes a favorite meal for guests. Serve with couscous, sugar snap peas and sourdough bread. For dessert, fat-free chocolate ice cream with strawberry sauce makes a festive dessert.

Shopping list: Olive oil, halibut or cod fillets, coarse salt, pepper, white wine vinegar, honey, navel orange, sweet onion, green olives, packaged baby spinach, couscous, sugar snap peas, sourdough bread, fat-free chocolate ice cream, strawberry sauce.

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Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 6 hours on low

4 cups cooked chicken breast

3 (15.5-ounce) cans rinsed navy beans

1 cup fat-free chicken broth

1 large chopped onion

1 large chopped red bell pepper

1 seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Diced avocado, reduced-fat sour cream and chopped chives for garnish

Place all ingredients in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cover and cook 5 to 6 hours on low or until sauce is slightly thickened. Garnish as desired.

Per serving: 329 calories, 35g protein, 4g fat (11 percent calories from fat), 1.1g saturated fat, 38g carbohydrate, 60mg cholesterol, 903mg sodium, 10g fiber.

** ** **


Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 45 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 pounds well-trimmed boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 chopped green bell pepper

2 medium chopped onions

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 tablespoons chili powder

2 teaspoons garam masala

1/8 teaspoon nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

2 teaspoons light brown sugar

1 (14.5-ounce) can undrained diced tomatoes

1 cup fat-free chicken broth

1/2 cup raisins

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

2 (14.5-ounce) cans rinsed navy beans

4 tablespoons chopped parsley

In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium until hot. Add chicken and stir. Cook 5 minutes, stirring often, or until chicken is browned on all sides. Add bell pepper, onions and garlic. Cook 6 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until vegetables are softened. Add chili powder, garam masala, nutmeg, ginger, salt and sugar. Cook and stir another 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, broth, raisins and vinegar; stir. Raise heat to medium-high and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 25 minutes or until chicken is tender and cooked through. Add beans; cook 3 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with parsley.

Per serving: 422 calories, 35g protein, 10g fat (21 percent calories from fat), 2g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 94mg cholesterol, 1,035mg sodium, 11g fiber.

** ** **


Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 10 minutes

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 (6-ounce) skinless halibut or cod fillets

3/4 teaspoon coarse salt, divided

1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

2 teaspoons honey

1 peeled navel orange, white pith removed, cut into rounds

1/4 thinly sliced sweet onion

1/4 cup sliced green olives

1 (5-ounce) package baby spinach

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Sprinkle fish with half the salt and pepper; cook 3 to 5 minutes per side or until golden brown and opaque throughout. In a large bowl, whisk together the vinegar, honey, remaining oil, and remaining salt and pepper. Add orange to bowl along with the onion, olives and spinach; gently toss to combine. Serve with fish. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Per serving: 264 calories, 33g protein, 10g fat (35 percent calories from fat), 1.6g saturated fat, 10g carbohydrate, 83mg cholesterol, 688mg sodium, 2g fiber.