> Family Sunday
Gather the family for herbed pork tenderloin (see recipe). Slice and serve it over mixed greens. Add roasted red potatoes and crusty rolls on the side. For dessert, spoon fresh raspberries over slices of angel food cake. Top it off with light whipped cream.
Plan ahead: Prepare an extra plain pork tenderloin and save some raspberries for Monday.
Shopping list: Flatleaf parsley, fresh rosemary, Dijon mustard, olive oil, pork tenderloin, salad greens, red potatoes, crusty rolls, fresh raspberries, angel food cake, light whipped cream.
> Heat and eat Monday
Everyone line up for pork paninis! Heat a ridged grill pan or large nonstick skillet on medium. Meanwhile, lay 8 ( 1/2 -inch-thick) slices from a round country white bread loaf on a cutting board; coat one side with cooking spray. Turn 4 slices; spread other side with 1 tablespoon bottled mango chutney. Turn and top remaining 4 slices with 2 slices each cooked, leftover pork, slices of red onion, drained roasted red peppers (from a 12-ounce jar) and 4 slices Jarlsberg or other cheese. Cover with other slices bread, chutney side down. Grill 4 to 5 minutes, turning once, until cheese melts. Remove to cutting board and halve.
Serve with baked chips and a spinach salad. Fat-free vanilla ice cream topped with leftover raspberries is a perfect dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
Shopping list: Round country white bread loaf, cooking spray, bottled mango chutney, red onion, jar roasted red peppers, Jarlsberg or other cheese, baked chips, fresh spinach, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
> Meatless Tuesday
Serve breakfast for dinner and enjoy no-meat huevos rancheros. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, combine 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed black beans, 1 tablespoon each olive oil and lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon cumin; mix well. Brush 4 corn tortillas with more olive oil; bake tortillas on a rimmed baking sheet 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp. In a large nonstick skillet, fry 4 large eggs in olive oil until whites and yolks are set. Serve eggs on the tortillas, along with the bean mixture, salsa, crumbled feta cheese, diced avocado and cilantro. (Adapted from Fine Cooking magazine.) Add hash-browned potatoes. Juicy nectarines are your dessert.
Shopping list: Canned black beans, olive oil, lime, cumin, corn tortillas, eggs, salsa, crumbled feta cheese, avocado, cilantro, hash-browned potatoes, nectarines.
> Kids Wednesday
Call it pizza baked potatoes and then call the kids. Bake 4 medium potatoes; meanwhile, heat 1 1/2 cups chunky spaghetti sauce. Spoon sauce over slashed hot baked potatoes. Divide and sprinkle with 1 cup shredded part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. Garnish with the kids' favorite pizza toppings. (Adapted from "101 Things to Do With a Potato" by Stephanie Ashcraft; Gibbs Smith; $9.99.) Serve with deli carrot salad. For dessert, fresh apricots are quick.
Shopping list: Baking potatoes, chunky spaghetti sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, kids' favorite pizza toppings, deli carrot salad, fresh apricots.
> Budget Thursday
Try Chicken Marbella (see recipe) for a low-cost meal. Serve it with brown rice, a lettuce wedge and whole-grain bread. Fresh peaches are dessert.
Shopping list: Dry white wine, brown sugar, dried oregano, red wine vinegar, coarse salt, pepper, garlic, capers, prunes, pitted green olives, skinless chicken legs, skinless bone-in chicken thighs, fresh flatleaf parsley, brown rice, lettuce, whole-grain bread, peaches.
> Express Friday
Make it quick and cool tonight with roast beef sandwiches with tarragon coleslaw. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups packaged angel hair coleslaw mixture, 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, 2 teaspoons dried or 2 tablespoons fresh chopped tarragon, 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cut 1 (16-inch) French bread baguette in half lengthwise. Spread with a buttery spread on bottom half. Divide 8 ounces lower-sodium, thinly sliced deli roast beef evenly over bottom of baguette. Arrange slaw mixture over beef, along with 8 thin slices of tomato; top with other half of baguette. Cut into 4 servings. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)
Serve with frozen oven fries. Enjoy fresh blueberries for dessert.
Shopping list: Packaged angel hair coleslaw mixture, green onions, dried or fresh tarragon, low-fat mayonnaise, pepper, French bread baguette, buttery spread, lower-sodium deli roast beef, tomatoes, frozen oven fries, fresh blueberries.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite friends for a special dinner of chicken breasts with mushroom sauce (see recipe). Serve the creamy chicken over no-yolk noodles and add frozen petite green peas, a red-tipped lettuce salad and sourdough bread on the side.
Make mango splits for dessert. Place mango slices on a dessert plate (or banana split dish); spoon leftover fat-free vanilla ice cream in center of the mango slices; drizzle with caramel sauce and top with light whipped cream.
Shopping list: Chicken tenders, butter, salt, ground black pepper, morel mushrooms, white mushrooms, fat-free chicken broth, whipping cream, flatleaf parsley, no-yolk noodles, frozen petite green peas, red-tipped lettuce, sourdough bread, mangoes, caramel sauce, light whipped cream.
HERBED PORK TENDERLOIN
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons olive oil
1 (1- to 1 1/4 -pound) pork tenderloin
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a small bowl, combine parsley, rosemary, mustard and oil. Rub over all sides of pork. Place on a rimmed baking sheet, foil-lined and coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes, or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove from oven. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into medallions.
Per serving: 196 calories, 25g protein, 10g fat (46 percent calories from fat), 2.4g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 75mg cholesterol, 108mg sodium, no fiber.
Makes 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 6 hours on low
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar, divided
1/4 teaspoon each coarse salt and pepper
6 cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon rinsed capers
1/2 cup prunes
1/3 cup pitted green olives
1 1/2 pounds skinless chicken legs
2 pounds skinless bone-in chicken thighs
1/2 cup fresh flatleaf parsley
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, whisk together the wine, brown sugar, oregano, 2 tablespoons of the vinegar, salt and pepper. Add garlic, capers, prunes and olives, and mix to combine. Add the chicken, nestling it among the olives and prunes. Cover; cook on low 5 to 6 hours. Gently stir in remaining vinegar and the parsley before serving. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)
Per serving: 216 calories, 23g protein, 9g fat (39 percent calories from fat), 2.4g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 80mg cholesterol, 291mg sodium, 1g fiber.
CHICKEN BREASTS WITH MUSHROOM SAUCE
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 20 minutes
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 1/2 pounds chicken tenders
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 ounces morel mushrooms, sliced (or other mushrooms)
4 ounces white mushrooms, sliced
2 cups fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup whipping cream
Flatleaf parsley sprigs, if desired
Heat 2 teaspoons butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper. Add chicken to pan; cook 2 minutes per side; remove to a plate and keep warm. Melt remaining butter on medium-high. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until moisture evaporates, stirring frequently. Remove mushrooms from pan. Add broth; bring to boil to loosen browned bits. Cook until reduced to 1 cup (about 5 minutes). Return mushrooms to pan. Stir in cream; cook 2 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Serve chicken with sauce. (Adapted from "Cooking Light Mix & Match Low Calorie Cookbook," Rachel Quinlivan, R.D., editor; Oxmoor House, $24.95.)
Per serving: 212 calories, 26g protein, 11g fat (46 percent calories from fat), 5.4g saturated fat, 2g carbohydrate, 97mg cholesterol, 397mg sodium, 1g fiber.