> Family Sunday
Make today's family meal as simple as possible with a smoked turkey breast. Alongside, enjoy Mediterranean quinoa salad (see recipe), steamed green beans, a red-tip lettuce salad and sourdough bread. Slice angel food cake and top the slices with strawberries and light whipped cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and strawberries for Monday.
Shopping list: Smoked turkey breast, quinoa, apricot or mango chutney, lime, coarse salt, olive oil, golden or natural raisins or both, canned garbanzo beans, red or orange bell pepper, red onion, parsley, fresh mint, black pepper, green beans, red-tip lettuce, sourdough bread, angel food cake, strawberries, light whipped cream.
> Budget Monday
Turn leftover smoked turkey into economical and flavor-packed smoked turkey tetrazzini (see recipe). Serve it with a spinach salad and garlic bread. For dessert, enjoy leftover strawberries.
Plan ahead: Save enough tetrazzini for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Fettuccine, buttery spread (such as Smart Balance), fat-free chicken broth, package sliced fresh mushrooms, onion, flour, pepper, hot sauce, 1 percent milk, dry white wine, cooking spray, Parmesan cheese, fresh spinach, garlic bread.
> Heat and eat Tuesday
Don't you love it when a delicious leftover such as smoked turkey tetrazzini is ready to reheat for a fast dinner? To round out the meal, add a lettuce wedge and whole-grain rolls. Refreshing peach sorbet is dessert.
Shopping list: Lettuce, whole-grain rolls, peach sorbet.
> Express Wednesday
Stir up some BLT pasta. Cook 12 ounces rigatoni pasta according to directions. Drain and rinse under cold water. Transfer it to a large bowl. Meanwhile, cook 4 slices Canadian bacon on medium-high in a large skillet. Set aside. Using the same skillet, lower heat to medium (leaving any bacon drippings) and add 1 (5- to 7-ounce) package arugula; stir 45 seconds or until wilted. Transfer to pasta bowl. Return skillet to medium and add 1 pint halved grape tomatoes and 2 tablespoons olive oil; cook 2 minutes. Add to pasta and arugula and toss. Chop the bacon and sprinkle over top. Season with pepper; toss again and serve. Serve with mixed greens and multigrain bread. For a simple dessert, fresh tropical fruit works well.
Shopping list: Rigatoni pasta, Canadian bacon, packaged arugula, grape tomatoes, olive oil, pepper, salad greens, multigrain bread, fresh tropical fruit.
> Kids Thursday
Be a hero and serve the kids chicken ranch tacos. Heat 1 (5-ounce) package taco shells (10 shells) in oven as directed on package. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, place 3 cups diced cooked chicken breast. Sprinkle with 1 (1.25-ounce) envelope reduced-sodium taco seasoning; toss to coat. Microwave chicken, uncovered, on high (100 percent power) 2 to 3 minutes or until hot. Stir in 1/2 cup reduced-fat or regular ranch dressing. Spoon warm chicken mixture into heated shells. Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomato and shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese. Add a kid-favorite, carrot sticks, for munching. For dessert, have Popsicles.
Shopping list: Taco shells, cooked chicken breast, reduced-sodium taco seasoning, reduced-fat or regular ranch dressing, lettuce, tomato, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, carrot sticks, Popsicles.
> Meatless Friday
Look for mushroom lover's burgers (frozen, such as Morningstar Farms or another brand) for an easy no-meat dinner. Serve on whole-wheat buns with such favorite toppings as lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise (low-fat) and mustard. Add frozen oven fries on the side. Grapes are good for dessert.
Shopping list: Frozen mushroom lover's burgers (such as Morningstar Farms or another brand), whole-wheat buns, lettuce, tomato, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard, frozen oven fries, grapes.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite guests for easy paella (see recipe), which lives up to its name. Add a romaine salad and sourdough bread. For dessert, top fat-free vanilla ice cream with caramel sauce and toasted pecans.
Shopping list: Olive oil, reduced-fat kielbasa sausage, onion, rice, fat-free chicken broth, large uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp, sofrito sauce (in the Hispanic food section), frozen tiny green peas, fresh parsley, romaine, sourdough bread, fat-free vanilla ice cream, caramel sauce, pecans.
MEDITERRANEAN QUINOA SALAD (Sunday)
Makes 6 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 20 minutes for quinoa; standing time: 10 minutes; chilling time: 1 hour
1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1/3 cup apricot or mango chutney
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup golden or natural raisins, or a mixture of both
1/2 cup canned rinsed garbanzo beans
1/2 cup diced red or orange bell pepper
1/3 cup minced red onion
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Rinse quinoa for 2 minutes under cold running water; drain well. Bring water to boil in a large saucepan. Add quinoa, cover and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Fluff with fork and cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk together chutney, lime juice, salt and oil. Stir in cooled quinoa, raisins, beans, bell pepper, onion, parsley, mint and black pepper. Toss to mix. Cover; chill at least 1 hour.
Per cup: 266 calories, 6g protein, 7g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 0.9g saturated fat, 45g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 142mg sodium, 4g fiber.
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SMOKED TURKEY TETRAZZINI (Monday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 45 minutes, plus pasta
12 ounces fettuccine
2 tablespoons buttery spread (such as Smart Balance)
2 tablespoons fat-free chicken broth
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 medium coarsely chopped onion
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1/4 teaspoon hot sauce
3 cups 1 percent milk
2 to 3 cups diced smoked turkey
1 cup dry white wine or fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet on medium-high, melt buttery spread. Add broth, mushrooms and onion; cook 7 to 10 minutes or until softened. Gradually stir in flour, pepper and hot sauce until smooth; add milk and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat; stir in turkey and wine. Layer a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, coated with cooking spray, with half of pasta, turkey mixture and cheese. Repeat layers. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until bubbly and golden.
Per serving: 337 calories, 21g protein, 8g fat (22 percent calories from fat), 4g saturated fat, 42g carbohydrate, 45mg cholesterol, 453mg sodium, 2g fiber.
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EASY PAELLA (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 25 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
8 ounces sliced reduced-fat kielbasa sausage
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup rice
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
1/2 cup water
12 large uncooked peeled and deveined shrimp
2/3 cup sofrito sauce
3/4 cup frozen tiny green peas, thawed
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add sausage and onion; cook 4 minutes or until onion is golden. Add rice, broth and water; bring to boil. Cover and cook about 17 minutes or until rice is almost tender. Add shrimp; cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in sofrito sauce and peas; cook, stirring 1 minute or until rice is tender and shrimp are pink. Remove from heat; stir in parsley and serve.
Per serving: 345 calories, 25g protein, 5g fat (11 percent calories from fat), 1g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrate, 131mg cholesterol, 1,164mg sodium, 2g fiber.