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Family Sunday
The family always welcomes a beef roast for dinner. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 3 cloves minced garlic and teaspoon cracked black pepper; press onto a 4-pound round tip beef roast. Place roast on rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast 2 to 2 hours for medium-rare to medium doneness (with an internal temperature of 145 degrees to 160 degrees). Let stand 10 minutes and slice.
Serve it with oven-browned potatoes. Alongside, add glazed carrots (cooked carrots tossed with apricot preserves), a spinach salad and dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a berry cobbler and top it with fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough roast and cobbler for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Garlic, black pepper, round tip beef roast, potatoes, fresh carrots, apricot preserves, fresh spinach, dinner rolls, berry cobbler, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Heat and eat Monday
Use the beef leftovers for a chef's salad. Cut beef and 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese into thin strips. Arrange beef and cheese on lettuce-lined plates along with tomato wedges, rinsed canned chickpeas, hard-cooked egg slices and jarred drained pickled beets. Top with your favorite light salad dressing. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, enjoy the leftover cobbler with light whipped cream.
Shopping list: 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, canned chickpeas, eggs, jarred pickled beets, any light salad dressing, whole-grain rolls, light whipped cream.
Kids Tuesday
Serve the kids all-grown-up spaghetti with marinara. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a medium saucepan on medium-low. Add 1 medium finely chopped onion and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until softened. Add 1 (28-ounce) can undrained diced tomatoes, 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning, 1 teaspoon sugar, teaspoon coarse salt and teaspoon pepper. Bring to simmer on medium-high; reduce heat to medium and simmer 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook 1 pound spaghetti according to directions. Drain and serve topped with sauce. (Adapted from "Family Circle: Healthy Family Dinners," Regina Ragone, food director; Wiley Publishing, 2011.)
Serve with celery sticks and soft rolls. Top leftover ice cream with chocolate sprinkles for dessert.
Shopping list: Olive oil, onion, garlic, canned diced tomatoes, no-salt-added tomato sauce, Italian seasoning, sugar, coarse salt, pepper, spaghetti, celery sticks, soft rolls, chocolate sprinkles.
Meatless Wednesday
Greek salad pitas (see recipe) are a great no-meat meal. Serve the pitas with baked chips. For dessert, peaches are simple.
Shopping list: Olive oil, lemon, dried oregano, sugar, coarse salt, cucumber, green bell pepper, kalamata olives, red onion, pitas, hummus, Boston lettuce, tomatoes, reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, baked chips, peaches.
Express Thursday
For a quick meal tonight, stop by the deli for turkey and swiss on rye sandwiches. While you're there, pick up some broccoli salad and coleslaw. Tapioca pudding is dessert.
Shopping list: Deli turkey and Swiss on rye sandwiches, broccoli salad, coleslaw, tapioca pudding.
Budget Friday
Poor man's beef stroganoff (see recipe) says it all when it comes to flavor and budgeting. Serve it over no-yolk noodles. Add a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Red and green grapes are an easy dessert.
Shopping list: Butter, onion, garlic, 95 percent lean ground beef, sliced crimini mushrooms, coarse salt, black pepper, flour, lower-sodium beef broth, reduced-fat sour cream, no-yolk noodles, romaine, whole-grain rolls, red and green grapes.
Easy entertaining Saturday
Any guest will appreciate the flavors of grilled salmon with apricot-mustard glaze (see recipe). Serve it with brown rice tossed with toasted chopped walnuts, fresh broccoli, a bibb lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, fruit sorbet and butter cookies go well together.
Shopping list: Salmon fillets, garlic, kosher salt, black pepper, apricot nectar, apricot preserves, Dijon mustard, white wine vinegar, honey, cooking spray, brown rice, walnuts, fresh broccoli, bibb lettuce, baguettes, fruit sorbet, butter cookies.

The Recipes

Greek salad pitas (Wednesday)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
h teaspoon coarse salt
? cup cucumber, peeled and chopped
s cup green bell pepper, chopped
cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red onion, chopped
4 (6-inch) warmed pitas, halved
1 (8-ounce) container hummus
4 leaves Boston lettuce, halved
2 large ripe tomatoes (about 1 pound),
each cut into 8 slices
3 ounces reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese (about ? cup)
In a medium bowl, whisk the oil with lemon juice, oregano, sugar and salt. Stir in cucumber, bell pepper, olives and onion to make a "salad." Spread the inside of each pita with hummus. Top with lettuce leaf, 2 tomato slices and about 1/8 of the cucumber salad; sprinkle with feta. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 439 calories, 15g protein, 21g fat (42 percent calories from fat), 4.1g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 8mg cholesterol, 1,000mg sodium, 7g fiber.

Poor man's beef stroganoff (Friday)
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 20 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, chopped
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
4 ounces crimini mushrooms, sliced
o teaspoon coarse salt
h teaspoon black pepper
o cup flour
1o cups lower-sodium beef broth
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium-high. Stir in onion and garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Add beef, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Stir in flour; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Slowly stir broth into beef mixture; stir in sour cream. Reduce heat to low; simmer 7 to 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Makes 4 servings.
Per serving: 316 calories, 30g protein, 16g fat (46 percent calories from fat), 9g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 101mg cholesterol, 308mg sodium, 1g fiber.

Grilled salmon with apricot-mustard glaze (Saturday)
Preparation time: 10 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 15 minutes
For the salmon:
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets (about 1 inch thick)
1 teaspoons garlic, minced
teaspoon kosher salt
teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the glaze:
o cup apricot nectar
o cup apricot preserves
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoons white wine vinegar
1 teaspoons honey
o teaspoon kosher salt
o teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat grill. Sprinkle salmon with garlic, salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. Meanwhile, in a small pan, combine nectar, preserves, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until reduced to cup (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat; set aside.
Place salmon, skin side up, on a grill rack coated with cooking spray. Grill 2 minutes; carefully turn and grill 2 minutes or until fish flakes easily with a fork or until desired degree of doneness. Top each fillet with 1 tablespoon glaze; grill 30 seconds and serve. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)
Per serving: 294 calories, 36g protein, 8g fat (25 percent calories from fat), 1.4g saturated fat, 18g carbohydrate, 80mg cholesterol, 568mg sodium, no fiber.