For a special family day, Beef Burgundy (see recipe) will please everyone. Serve it over no-yolk noodles with tiny green peas (frozen), a mixed green salad and whole-grain bread. For dessert, angel food cake with fat-free chocolate ice cream is easy.
Plan ahead: Save enough Beef Burgundy and any leftover peas plus some cake for Monday; save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Baby carrots, dried marjoram, black pepper, lean beef stew meat, low-sodium beef broth, Burgundy or other dry red wine, garlic, fresh mushrooms, quick-mixing flour (such as Wondra), no-yolk noodles, frozen tiny green peas, salad greens, whole-grain bread, angel food cake, fat-free chocolate ice cream.
Heat and eat Monday
Thin the leftover stew with low-sodium beef broth for beef vegetable soup; add any leftover vegetables hiding in your refrigerator to the soup. Serve with a lettuce wedge and crackers. Slice the leftover cake and top with berries for dessert.
Shopping list: Low-sodium beef broth, lettuce, crackers, any berries.
It's burger night, and the kids will love the turkey burgers topped with pizza sauce on whole-grain buns that you prepare. Serve them with oven fries (frozen) and add orange sections on chopped lettuce on the side. Some leftover ice cream for dessert will bring on happy faces.
Shopping list: Turkey burgers, pizza sauce, whole-grain buns, frozen oven fries, orange sections, lettuce.
Skip meat tonight for mushroom and pepper frittata. In a large oven-proof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium. Cook 1 each medium chopped onion and red bell pepper for 3 minutes. Add 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms; cover and cook 1 minute. Stir and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Heat broiler.
In a large bowl, whisk 8 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. In same skillet, heat 1 more tablespoon oil. Add egg mixture and 1/4 cup fresh sliced basil leaves and cook 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle mushrooms over eggs. Cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until just the edges are puffed. Sprinkle 1/4 cup more Asiago cheese over top; broil 1 minute. Serve with whole-grain toast and fresh tropical fruit.
Shopping list: Canola oil, onion, red bell pepper, shiitake mushrooms, eggs, Asiago cheese, salt, pepper, fresh basil, whole-grain bread, fresh tropical fruit.
Make it quick with Palermo pizza tonight. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Top a 12-inch store-bought fully cooked pizza crust with canned eggplant appetizer (caponata), some sliced ripe olives, red onion slices, sliced plum tomatoes and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with some dried oregano. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until hot. Serve with a packaged green salad. For an easy dessert, try red and green grapes.
Shopping list: Store-bought fully cooked pizza crust, canned eggplant appetizer (caponata), sliced ripe olives, red onion, plum tomatoes, Parmesan cheese, dried oregano, packaged green salad, red and green grapes.
Get out the slow cooker again for Southwestern chicken soup (see recipe). Serve with a sliced avocado on lettuce salad and crusty bread. Slice kiwifruit for dessert.
Shopping list: Fat-free chicken broth, canned diced tomatoes, canned chopped green chilies, canned pinto beans, frozen shoepeg corn, red and green bell pepper, onion, boneless, skinless chicken breast, garlic pepper, cumin, seasoned salt, avocado, lettuce, crusty bread, kiwifruit.
Easy entertaining Saturday
Expect extended applause when you serve baked halibut with avocado lemon cream sauce (see recipe) for friends. Serve with baked risotto. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch oven-proof skillet on medium; add 1 small minced onion and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add 3/4 cup Arborio rice; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth; bring to boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Bake, covered, 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
Add sugar snap peas and dinner rolls. Complete your wonderful meal with orange ginger cheesecake. Stir a little grated fresh ginger into some orange marmalade and spoon over a store-bought cheesecake.
Shopping list: Hass avocados, lemon, onion powder, garlic salt, dairy coffee creamer or half-and-half, eggs, salsa, flour, halibut fillets, olive oil, butter, onion, Arborio rice, fat-free chicken broth, dried Italian seasoning, salt, pepper, sugar snap peas, dinner rolls, fresh ginger, orange marmalade, store-bought cheesecake.
BEEF BURGUNDY (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: About 8 hours on low
1 (8-ounce) package baby carrots
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds lean beef stew meat cut into 1 1/2 -inch pieces
1 cup low-sodium beef broth
1 cup Burgundy or other dry red wine
2 cloves minced garlic
1 (8-ounce) package halved fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup quick-mixing flour, such as Wondra
Place carrots in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle marjoram and pepper over beef. Add to slow cooker. Add broth, wine, garlic and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low 7 hours. Remove about 1/2 cup liquid from cooker; mix with flour. Pour back into cooker and continue cooking on low about 30 more minutes or until thickened and beef and carrots are tender. Ladle into bowls and serve.
Per serving: 216 calories, 24g protein, 8g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 3g saturated fat, 7g carbohydrate, 71mg cholesterol, 75mg sodium, 1g fiber.
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SOUTHWESTERN CHICKEN SOUP (Friday)
Makes about 15 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour on high; 6 to 7 hours on low
4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1 (14 1/2 -ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed pinto beans
1 (10-ounce) package frozen shoepeg corn, partially thawed
1 medium chopped red bell pepper
1 medium chopped green bell pepper
1 medium chopped onion
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
Seasoned salt to taste
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, mix together the broth, tomatoes with juice, chilies, beans, corn, both peppers, onion, chicken and garlic pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in the cumin and add seasoned salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Per cup: 112 calories, 14g protein, 1g fat (9 percent calories from fat), no saturated fat, 11g carbohydrate, 26mg cholesterol, 285mg sodium, 4g fiber.
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BAKED HALIBUT WITH AVOCADO LEMON CREAM SAUCE (Saturday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: About 30 minutes
For the sauce:
2 ripe Hass avocados, halved, pitted and peeled, divided
1 1/2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
3/4 cup dairy coffee creamer or half-and-half, divided
For the halibut:
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup flour
6 (6-ounce) halibut fillets, skin removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
For the sauce: In a food processor, combine 2 avocado halves, juice, onion powder and garlic salt; process until chopped. With machine running, slowly add 1/4 cup of the cream; process until smooth. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
For the halibut: Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add remaining cream and the salsa; whisk until blended. Place flour in another bowl. Lightly coat halibut with flour; coat with egg mixture. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add half the fillets; cook 3 minutes per side or until browned on both sides. Transfer to large baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining fillets, adding more oil if needed. Bake until fillets are just cooked through, about 10 minutes.
Cut remaining 2 halves avocado into thin slices. Place halibut on plates and spoon sauce around edge; garnish with avocado slices.
Per serving: 424 calories, 40g protein, 20g fat (43 percent calories from fat), 2.8g saturated fat, 19g carbohydrate, 125mg cholesterol, 237mg sodium, 5g fiber.