> Family Sunday
With roast chicken on the menu for family day, it's an old fashioned Sunday meal. Serve the homey entree with browned butter smashed potatoes with butternut squash (see recipe). Add fresh broccoli, a spinach salad and dinner rolls. Buy a lemon meringue pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Chicken to roast, Yukon gold potatoes, butternut squash, coarse salt, butter, fresh sage, 1 percent milk, fresh broccoli, fresh spinach, dinner rolls, lemon meringue pie.
> Heat and eat Monday
Use the Sunday leftover chicken for chicken, black bean and corn salad wrap. Mix shredded chicken with rinsed canned corn, rinsed canned reduced-sodium black beans, shredded lettuce and salsa. Serve rolled up in warm whole-grain tortillas. Add sliced avocado to the plate. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Shopping list: Canned corn, reduced-sodium black beans, lettuce, salsa, whole-grain tortillas, avocado.
> Kids Tuesday
Let's roll again for the kids' easy turkey roll-ups. Spread 6 (6- or 7-inch) whole-grain tortillas with chive and onion cream cheese (or plain less-fat cream cheese), slices of deli turkey, shredded lettuce and thin slices of tomato. Roll and cut into 3 pieces. (Adapted from "Fix-It and Enjoy-It! Potluck Heaven," by Phyllis P. Good; Good Books, $24.95.) Add carrot salad on the side. For dessert, make instant chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk and stir in tiny marshmallows and sliced bananas for a kid kind of dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough carrot salad for Wednesday.
Shopping list: Whole-grain tortillas, chive and onion cream cheese or plain less-fat cream cheese, deli sliced turkey, lettuce, tomatoes, carrot salad, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, tiny marshmallows, bananas.
> Budget Wednesday
Save some money and enjoy pulled pork with onions tonight. Place 1 (3-pound) trimmed pork shoulder (cut into 3 pieces) in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. In a large bowl, combine 3 halved and sliced onions, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, 1 teaspoon pepper, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/3 cup cider vinegar, 1 cup chili sauce and 3 minced canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce; mix well and spoon over pork. Cover and cook 7 to 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Transfer pork to cutting board; shred with two forks and stir back into sauce. (Adapted from Eating Well magazine.) Serve on whole-grain buns. Top with sliced jalapeno peppers if desired. Add pinto beans and leftover carrot salad on the side. Enjoy pears for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough pulled pork for Friday.
Shopping list: Pork shoulder, onions, sugar, garlic, dried oregano, pepper, coarse salt, cider vinegar, chili sauce, canned chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, whole-grain buns, sliced jalapeno peppers, pinto beans, pears.
> Meatless Thursday
You'll never miss meat with cottage casserole (see recipe). Serve it with a romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Fat-free strawberry ice cream is dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
Shopping list: Bow tie or elbow pasta, package fresh spinach, cooking spray, no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce, reduced-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta cheese, green onions, coarse salt, pepper, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, romaine, whole-grain bread, fat-free strawberry ice cream.
> Express Friday
To continue the "eating out of hand" theme for this week, how about pork tacos? Heat the leftover pork and spoon it into heated taco shells; top with deli coleslaw. Serve with baked chips. Fresh pineapple is a simple dessert.
Shopping list: Taco shells, deli coleslaw, baked chips, fresh pineapple.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Shrimp fettuccine Alfredo (see recipe) makes a great meal for guests as well as the hostess because of the flavor and the simplicity. Add roasted asparagus, a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. Top the leftover ice cream with fat-free warm fudge sauce.
Shopping list: Refrigerated fettuccine, medium shrimp, green onions, garlic, olive oil, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, half-and-half, less-fat cream cheese, black pepper, coarse salt, fresh parsley, asparagus, Boston lettuce, baguettes, fat-free fudge sauce.
BROWNED BUTTER SMASHED POTATOES WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH (Sunday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 20 minutes
1 pound (3 medium) yellow-flesh potatoes, cut into 3/4 -inch pieces
1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
3 tablespoons butter, divided
8 to 10 sage leaves, julienned (stacked, rolled and cut across into 1/4 -inch pieces)
1/2 cup 1 percent milk (or more if needed)
In a 3-quart saucepan, cover potatoes and squash with water; add half the salt. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and cook 12 to 15 minutes or until tender.
Meanwhile, add 2 tablespoons butter and sage to a small skillet over medium heat. While tilting pan and watching closely, cook about 3 minutes or until butter foams and begins to brown; keep warm. Thoroughly drain potatoes and squash; return to pan and shake 1 to 2 minutes over low heat to remove moisture. Roughly mash with hand masher, leaving mixture chunky. Over low heat, gently mix in remaining butter and enough milk for desired consistency. Season with remaining salt. Spoon into serving bowl; drizzle with brown butter and sage.
Per serving: 152 calories, 3g protein, 6g fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3.8g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrate, 16mg cholesterol, 227mg sodium, 3g fiber.
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COTTAGE CASSEROLE (Thursday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: About 1 hour, plus pasta; standing time: 5 minutes
12 ounces bow tie or elbow pasta
1 (8- to 10-ounce) package fresh spinach leaves, chopped
4 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce
1 (15-ounce) container reduced-fat cottage cheese or part-skim ricotta cheese
3/4 cup chopped green onions
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
Cook pasta according to directions; drain. In a large bowl, microwave spinach 3 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until wilted; drain well and set aside. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In bowl with spinach, add cooked pasta, sauce, cottage or ricotta cheese, green onions, salt and pepper; mix well. Spoon into baking dish. Top with cheddar cheese. Cover with nonstick foil. Bake 35 minutes. Uncover; bake 20 more minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 376 calories, 24g protein, 6g fat (15 percent calories from fat), 2.6g saturated fat, 57g carbohydrate, 13mg cholesterol, 733mg sodium, 4g fiber.
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SHRIMP FETTUCCINE ALFREDO (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 10 minutes, plus pasta
1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
1 pound peeled and deveined medium shrimp
2 chopped green onions
2 cloves minced garlic
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/3 cup half-and-half
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) less-fat cream cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Cook pasta according to directions; drain and reserve 1/4 cup water. In a medium bowl, combine shrimp, onions and garlic; toss to mix. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add shrimp mixture; cook 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque throughout. Remove from skillet; keep warm. Reduce heat to medium. Add reserved 1/4 cup water, Parmigiano-Reggiano, half-and-half, cream cheese and pepper. Cook 2 minutes or until cheeses melt. Combine pasta, cheese mixture and shrimp mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.
Per serving: 378 calories, 28g protein, 12g fat (29 percent calories from fat), 5.2g saturated fat, 40g carbohydrate, 167mg cholesterol, 579mg sodium, 3g fiber.