Make family day a delicious one with lime chili-rubbed chicken breasts. In a small bowl, mix 2 teaspoons each chili powder and lime zest, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Rub both sides of 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts with canola oil, then with spice mixture. Grill 10 to 12 minutes or until thickest part of breast is 165 degrees. Serve with pinto beans, coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Buy a coconut pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Grill enough chicken and save beans and pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Chili powder, lime, coarse salt, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, boneless skinless chicken breasts, canola oil, pinto beans, coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, coconut pie.
Heat and eat Monday
Make tacos with heated, chopped leftover chicken and pinto beans mixed with salsa. Spoon mixture into taco shells. Top with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Alongside, add a shredded lettuce and diced avocado salad with a dollop of reduced-fat sour cream. Enjoy the leftover pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: If time permits, make Tuesday's chili tonight.
Shopping list: Salsa, taco shells, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, lettuce, avocado, reduced-fat sour cream.
We're always in the mood to try another chili recipe, and green chili chile's (see recipe) flavor measures up just fine. Serve it with mixed greens and cornbread (from a mix). Add chunky applesauce for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Thursday.
Shopping list: Canola oil, 95 percent lean ground beef, onion, chili powder, hot paprika, garlic, dark beer, salsa verde, canned diced green chiles, canned no-salt-added tomatoes, low-sodium pinto beans, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, salad greens, cornbread mix, chunky applesauce.
Skip meat for vegetable paella (see recipe). Add a mixed green salad and whole-grain bread. Try peaches for dessert.
Shopping list: Olive oil, garlic, onion, fresh green beans, carrots, canned white beans, frozen green peas, fresh spinach, tomatoes, long-grain rice, vegetable broth, paprika, saffron threads, salad greens, whole-grain bread, peaches.
Make the kids happy with leftover chili over spaghetti. Top with shredded cheese. Serve with baby carrots and soft rolls.
For dessert, stir sliced bananas into instant chocolate pudding made with skim milk.
Shopping list: spaghetti, cheese, baby carrots, soft rolls, bananas, instant chocolate pudding mix, skim milk.
Dinner will be quick tonight with deli egg salad spread on toasted whole-grain English muffins. Top sandwiches with sliced tomatoes, lettuce and Canadian bacon. Serve with baked chips. For dessert, try plums.
Shopping list: Deli egg salad, whole-grain English muffins, tomatoes, lettuce, Canadian bacon, baked chips, plums.
Easy entertaining Saturday
Treat guests to an extra-easy and extra-tasty dinner of salmon with curried mustard sauce (see recipe). Serve the delicious entree with brown rice, sugar snap peas, a red-tip lettuce salad and baguettes.
Surprise your guests with blueberry pudding pie for dessert. Fill a graham cracker crust nearly to the top with blueberries and gently spread with a layer of vanilla pudding. Chill until pudding is set; slice and serve.
Shopping list: Salmon fillets, extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, low-fat plain yogurt, Dijon mustard, curry powder, lemon, brown rice, sugar snap peas, red-tip lettuce, baguettes, graham cracker crust, blueberries, vanilla pudding.
>GREEN CHILI CHILE (Tuesday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 1 hour
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
3 cups chopped onion
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 teaspoons hot paprika
10 cloves minced garlic
2 (12-ounce) containers dark beer
1 cup salsa verde
2 (4-ounce) cans diced green chiles
2 (15-ounce) cans undrained no-salt-added tomatoes
2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed low-sodium pinto beans
1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Heat a large Dutch oven on medium-high. Add oil and heat; add beef; cook 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Add chopped onion, chili powder and paprika; cook 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in beer; bring to boil. Cook 15 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates. Add salsa, green chiles, tomatoes and beans; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)
Per serving: 309 calories, 22g protein, 8g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 2.2g saturated fat, 36g carbohydrate, 35mg cholesterol, 334mg sodium, 7g fiber.
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>VEGETABLE PAELLA (Wednesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 medium chopped onion
20 fresh green beans
1 diced carrot
1/2 cup drained canned white beans
1/2 cup frozen green peas
15 spinach leaves
2 medium diced tomatoes
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon paprika
Pinch saffron threads, if desired
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Add green beans, carrots, white beans, peas, spinach and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes or until carrots start to soften. Stir in rice, broth, paprika and saffron; bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer gently without stirring for 15 to 20 minutes or until rice is tender and most of the liquid has been absorbed. At the end of cooking, you can remove the pan from heat; cover the paella with a damp cloth for a few minutes to allow flavors to blend. (Adapted from "The Best 30-Minute Vegetarian Recipes," Marie-Claude Morin; Robert Rose Inc., $24.95.)
Per serving: 309 calories, 9g protein, 4g fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.7g saturated fat, 59g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 623mg sodium, 6g fiber.
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>SALMON WITH CURRIED MUSTARD SAUCE (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes
1 pound salmon fillets cut into 4 portions
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
Pinch of coarse salt and pepper
1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place salmon, skin side down, in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish lined with foil. Rub each fillet with oil; sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. In a small bowl, combine yogurt, mustard, curry powder and juice; mix well; reserve half and refrigerate. Spread remaining mixture evenly over salmon. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cooked through and golden on top. Serve with reserved sauce. (Adapted from "The Essential Guide to Healthy Healing Foods," Victoria Retelny, RD, LDN, and Jovanka JoAnn Milivojevic; Alpha Publishing, $19.95.)
Per serving: 204 calories, 26g protein, 9g fat (42 percent calories from fat), 1.7g saturated fat, 3g carbohydrate, 55mg cholesterol, 185mg sodium, no fiber.