Treat the family to chicken and potatoes with pearl onions and carrots (see recipe) for a perfect comfort meal. Serve the combo with a mixed green salad and biscuits. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken with vegetables and pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Bone-in, skinless chicken breasts, herbs de Provence, garlic powder, black pepper, red potatoes, frozen pearl onions, baby carrots, crimini mushrooms, reduced-sodium chicken broth, salad greens, biscuits, Boston cream pie.
>Heat and eat Monday
Heat the leftover chicken and vegetables and serve it over couscous for an easy meal. Add a romaine salad and bread sticks. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Shopping list: Couscous, romaine, bread sticks.
White turkey chili (see recipe) won't break the food budget bank. Enjoy it with a spinach salad and cornbread (from a mix). How about grapes for dessert?
Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Wednesday. Save some grapes for Thursday.
Shopping list: Any canned white beans, ground turkey breast, jalapeno peppers, green bell peppers, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, fat-free chicken broth, lime, fresh cilantro, salt, green onions, fresh spinach, cornbread mix, grapes.
Kids will come running for chili dogs. Spoon the leftover chili over the kids' favorite hot dogs on a whole-grain bun. Crunch on celery sticks alongside.
Make a special dessert, s'more puffs, for lots of fun. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 round buttery crackers on a baking sheet. Top each with 1 milk chocolate kiss and half a large marshmallow. Bake 8 minutes or just until marshmallows begin to melt. Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before eating. (From "1,001 Ways to Cook Southern," Susan Hernandez Ray, Editor; Oxmoor House; $34.95.)
Shopping list: Kids' favorite hot dogs, whole-grain hot dog buns, celery sticks, buttery crackers, milk chocolate kisses, large marshmallows.
Buy some deli tuna salad and make tuna salad sandwiches. Before you spread it on whole-grain bread, stir in some leftover halved grapes. Add a lettuce leaf to the sandwich, too. Serve with bean soup. Add plums for dessert.
Shopping list: Deli tuna salad, whole-grain bread, lettuce, bean soup, plums.
For a delicious no-meat dinner, try Mediterranean bulgur with chickpeas. In a large serving bowl, combine 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), 2 diced plum tomatoes, 1 small diced zucchini and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over all; cover with foil. Let stand 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Stir in 1 (15.5-ounce) can rinsed chickpeas, 2 cups cooked broccoli florets, 3/4 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons each fresh lemon juice and olive oil; mix well and serve.
Add sliced cucumbers and flatbread to round out the meal. Orange sorbet is good for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough sorbet for Saturday.
Shopping list: Bulgur (cracked wheat), plum tomatoes, zucchini, fresh parsley, canned chickpeas, broccoli florets, reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, lemon, olive oil, cucumbers, flatbread, orange sorbet.
>Easy entertaining Saturday
Make dinner special for your guests with pork roast with apples and sage (see recipe). Serve with brown rice, green beans, a Boston lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, serve the leftover sorbet along with butter cookies.
Shopping list: Fresh sage, garlic, coarse salt, black pepper, boneless pork loin roast, jar pork gravy or bistro au jus (such as Heinz), Gala apples, brown rice, green beans, Boston lettuce, whole-grain rolls, butter cookies.
** ** **
CHICKEN WITH POTATOES WITH PEARL ONIONS AND CARROTS (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 6 to 7 hours on low
6 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts
1 tablespoon herbs de Provence
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 pounds small red potatoes
3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed
2 cups baby carrots
8 ounces crimini mushrooms
1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with herbs de Provence, garlic powder and pepper. Add potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove bones and serve.
Per serving: 215 calories, 23g protein, 3g fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.6g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrate, 57mg cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 3g fiber.
** ** **
WHITE TURKEY CHILI (Tuesday)
Makes about 8 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours on low
3 (15.5-ounce) cans any rinsed white beans
1 pound ground turkey breast
2 seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
2 seeded and chopped green bell peppers
1 seeded and chopped poblano pepper
1 large chopped onion
4 cloves minced garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin, divided
3/4 teaspoon ground coriander, divided
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 thinly sliced green onions
Set aside 1 can of the beans. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine remaining beans, turkey (crumble before adding), jalapenos, bell peppers, poblano, onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander and broth; mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours; stir once halfway through and break up any clumps.
Meanwhile, mash reserved rinsed beans. After 6 hours, stir in mashed beans, remaining cumin and coriander, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Ladle into bowls; garnish with green onions. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.)
Per cup: 240 calories, 23g protein, 2g fat (7 percent calories from fat), 0.4g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrate, 36mg cholesterol, 242mg sodium, 9g fiber.
** ** **
PORK ROAST WITH APPLES AND SAGE (Saturday)
Makes 10 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours on low
4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (2 3/4 - to 3-pound) boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed
1 (12-ounce) jar pork gravy or bistro au jus (such as Heinz)
4 medium Gala apples, divided
Mix sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over top of pork. Place gravy in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Core 2 apples and coarsely chop; add to gravy. Place pork on top. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours. Core and cut remaining apples into 8 wedges each; add to cooker the last hour of cooking. Remove pork and apple wedges to a tray; tent with foil. Let stand. Remove chopped apples with slotted spoon to food processor; puree. Add 1 cup cooking liquid to apple puree. Slice pork; serve with apple wedges and apple gravy. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)
Per serving: 247 calories, 28g protein, 9g fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3.8g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrate, 74mg cholesterol, 464mg sodium, 2g fiber.