> Family Sunday
Gather the family for juicy butterflied leg of lamb with herbs. Blend 1/2 cup olive oil and 1 tablespoon each dried basil, dried oregano and minced garlic. Rub half of herbed oil over a 3- to 4-pound boneless lamb leg (butterflied). Grill 6 inches over medium coals in covered grill for 20 to 25 minutes per side. Baste occasionally with remaining herbed oil. Remove lamb from grill; let stand 10 minutes; slice crosswise at a diagonal.
Serve it with brown rice tossed with toasted walnuts, green beans, mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Buy a peach cobbler for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough lamb and cobbler for Monday.
Shopping list: Olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic, boneless butterflied lamb leg, brown rice, walnuts, green beans, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, peach cobbler.
> Heat and eat Monday
Use the leftover cooked lamb in Tex-Mex lamb roll-ups. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a nonstick skillet, cook 1 clove minced garlic, 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper and 1/4 cup chopped celery for 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add 2 cups chopped lamb and cook 3 minutes or until hot. Soften 8 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas according to directions. Spoon lamb mixture into center of tortillas and roll. Place seam side down in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 2 cups salsa. Cover tightly with foil. Bake 20 minutes. Uncover and top with 1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese and bake, uncovered, 5 more minutes or until cheese melts. Garnish with reduced-fat sour cream and sliced green onions.
Serve with sliced avocado on shredded lettuce. Warm the leftover cobbler for dessert.
Shopping list: Garlic, green bell pepper, celery, fat-free flour tortillas, cooking spray, salsa, reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, green onions, avocado, lettuce.
> Budget Tuesday
Count the savings when you serve Italian-style chicken (see recipe). Serve the budget-friendly dish with a lettuce wedge and biscuits. Fresh pineapple chunks with toasted shredded coconut make a good dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough coconut for Wednesday and enough Italian-Style Chicken for Thursday.
Shopping list: Bone-in skinless chicken thighs, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, coarse salt, black pepper, onion, canned diced tomatoes, fat-free chicken broth, quick-cooking tapioca, canned cannellini beans, black olives, fresh basil, lettuce, biscuits, pineapple chunks, shredded coconut.
> Meatless Wednesday
You won't miss meat with hearty cauliflower and chickpea stew with couscous (see recipe) for dinner. Serve it with a romaine salad and flatbread. Top fat-free chocolate ice cream with leftover coconut for an easy dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.
Shopping list: Head cauliflower, olive oil, onion, cumin, ground ginger, coarse salt, black pepper, canned whole tomatoes, canned chickpeas, raisins, vegetable broth if desired, packaged baby spinach, couscous, romaine, flatbread, fat-free chocolate ice cream.
> Express Thursday
Dinner will be ready in minutes when you heat the leftover Italian-style chicken. Serve it with packaged greens and garlic bread. Scoop the leftover ice cream for dessert.
Shopping list: Packaged greens, garlic bread.
> Kids Friday
No kid will want to miss bean 'n' cheese enchiladas. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray; heat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor or blender, blend 1 1/2 cups low-fat cottage cheese until smooth. Transfer to a large mixing bowl. Stir in 1/2 cup (of 1 cup total) shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1 cup rinsed reduced-sodium canned black beans and 3/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Place about 1/3 cup mixture in 8 (7-inch) fat-free whole-grain tortillas; roll up. Place each tortilla in baking dish with seam side down. Top tortillas with 1/2 cup salsa and remaining 1/2 cup shredded cheese. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until thoroughly heated. (Adapted from "MyPlate for Moms," Elizabeth Ward; Loughlin Press, $15.95.) Add cherry tomato halves. Plums are your dessert.
Shopping list: Cooking spray, low-fat cottage cheese, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, reduced-sodium canned black beans, dried oregano, fat-free whole-grain tortillas, salsa, cherry tomatoes, plums.
> Easy entertaining Saturday
Wow your guests with chicken with Brussels sprouts and mustard sauce (see recipe). Serve it with rosemary roasted potatoes, a spinach salad and sourdough bread. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.
Shopping list: Olive oil, boneless skinless chicken breast halves, coarse salt, black pepper, fat-free chicken broth, apple juice, whole-grain Dijon mustard, butter, flatleaf parsley, Brussels sprouts, potatoes to roast, rosemary, fresh spinach, sourdough bread, fruit tarts.
ITALIAN-STYLE CHICKEN (Tuesday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours
2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 large thinly sliced onion
1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
1 cup fat-free chicken broth
2 tablespoons quick-cooking tapioca
2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed cannellini beans
1/2 cup rinsed sliced black olives
1/2 cup fresh basil torn into small pieces
Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Scatter onion over chicken. Stir together tomatoes, broth and tapioca; pour over onions. Cover and cook on high 4 1/2 hours or on low 6 1/2 hours. Stir in beans and olives; cook 30 more minutes on low. Stir in basil and serve. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.)
Per serving: 251 calories, 21g protein, 8g fat (29 percent calories from fat), 2g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrate, 57mg cholesterol, 506mg sodium, 6g fiber.
CAULIFLOWER AND CHICKPEA STEW WITH COUSCOUS (Wednesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 35 minutes
1 head cauliflower, cored and cut into small florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium chopped onion
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes
1 (15-ounce) can rinsed chickpeas
1/2 cup raisins
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1 (5- or 6-ounce) package baby spinach, chopped
1 cup couscous
Cover and microwave cauliflower on high 5 minutes; set aside. Heat oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 or 5 minutes or until softened. Add cumin, ginger, salt and pepper; cook 1 more minute, stirring, until fragrant. Add tomatoes with liquid (crush tomatoes with your hands as you add them), chickpeas, cauliflower, raisins and water or broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are tender and liquid has thickened slightly. Fold in the spinach; cook 1 or 2 minutes more or until spinach is wilted.
Meanwhile, cook couscous according to directions. Serve with stew. (Adapted from Real Simple magazine.)
Per serving: 467 calories, 17g protein, 9g fat (17 percent calories from fat), 1.1g saturated fat, 83g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 699mg sodium, 12g fiber.
CHICKEN WITH BRUSSELS SPROUTS AND MUSTARD SAUCE (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 25 minutes
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
4 (5- or 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breast halves
3/8 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth, divided
1/4 cup apple juice
2 tablespoons whole-grain Dijon mustard
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
12 ounces Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
Heat oven to 450 degrees. Heat a large ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon oil. Sprinkle chicken with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper; add to skillet. Cook 3 minutes or until browned. Turn; place skillet in oven. Bake 9 minutes or until cooked through. Remove skillet from oven and chicken from skillet; keep warm.
Heat skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup broth and the apple juice; bring to boil, scraping pan to loosen browned bits. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in mustard, 1 tablespoon butter and parsley. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add Brussels sprouts; cook 2 minutes or until lightly browned. Add remaining salt and 1/4 cup broth; cover and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Serve sprouts with chicken and sauce. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)
Per serving: 330 calories, 34g protein, 17g fat (46 percent calories from fat), 5.5g saturated fat, 11g carbohydrate, 106mg cholesterol, 641mg sodium, 4g fiber.