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> Family Sunday

The flavor and aroma of roast chicken are hard to beat for family day. Add mashed potatoes, gravy, frozen peas and carrots, a green salad and biscuits. Bake a deep-dish apple pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken for Monday and enough pie for Tuesday.

Shopping list: Chicken to roast, potatoes to mash, gravy, frozen peas and carrots, salad greens, biscuits, deep-dish apple pie.

> Heat and eat Monday

Use the leftover chicken for chicken, butternut squash and noodle casserole. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together 1 (18.3-ounce) carton butternut squash soup (such as V-8 or another brand), 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas (thawed), 2 cups shredded leftover chicken and 2 cups cooked, wide no-yolk noodles. Mix well; spoon into a 1 1/2 -quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes or until bubbling. Stir chicken mixture; sprinkle with 2 tablespoons panko crumbs. Coat top with cooking spray. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste. Bake 5 more minutes or until crumbs are golden.

Serve the casserole with a mixed green salad and whole-grain rolls. Enjoy plums for dessert.

Shopping list: Carton butternut squash soup (such as V-8 or another brand), frozen green peas, wide no-yolk noodles, cooking spray, panko crumbs, coarse salt, pepper, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, plums.

> Budget Tuesday

No breaking the budget tonight with penne with bacon and mushrooms for dinner. Cook 8 ounces penne pasta according to directions. Meanwhile, cook 4 slices bacon in large nonstick skillet on medium; remove. Discard all but 1 tablespoon fat from skillet. Add 1/2 medium thinly sliced onion and 8 ounces sliced mushrooms to skillet; cook 5 minutes or until onion is golden. Add 1 clove minced garlic and 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper. Cook 30 seconds, or until fragrant. Add 1 (6-ounce) package spinach; cover and cook 2 minutes, or until wilted. Stir occasionally. Drain pasta; reserve 1/2 cup water. Add pasta to skillet with some of the water; toss. Add more water as necessary. Crumble bacon on top of pasta and serve pasta with Parmesan. Add a lettuce wedge and garlic bread. Leftover pie is for dessert.

Shopping list: Penne pasta, bacon, onion, sliced mushrooms, garlic, crushed red pepper, packaged spinach, Parmesan, lettuce, garlic bread.

> Meatless Wednesday

Cheesy Mexican eggplant (see recipe) is perfect for a no-meat dinner. Serve with rice and a spinach salad. For dessert, munch on sugar cookies.

Shopping list: Eggplants, cooking spray, black pepper, no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce, taco sauce, cumin, shredded Mexican-blend cheese, fresh cilantro, rice, fresh spinach, sugar cookies.

> Kids Thursday

The kids will give you a big hug with chicken tortilla casserole (see recipe) for dinner. Serve with celery sticks and dip. Red and green grapes are an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough casserole for Friday.

Shopping list: Cooking spray, canned 98 percent fat-free/45 percent less-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup, canned chopped green chilies, reduced-fat sour cream, skim milk, cooked chicken breast, corn tortillas, red bell pepper, can diced tomatoes, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, celery, dip, red and green grapes.

> Express Friday

For a quick meal, heat the leftover chicken tortilla casserole for dinner. Add a packaged green salad on the side. Try kiwifruit for dessert.

Shopping list: Packaged greens, kiwifruit.

> Easy entertaining Saturday

Invite guests for pistachio chicken with couscous and greens (see recipe). Add asparagus, a Boston lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. Surprise everyone with pineapple sundaes for dessert. Top fat-free vanilla ice cream with crushed pineapple in juice or pineapple topping.

Shopping list: Unsalted pistachios, panko crumbs, olive oil, boneless skinless chicken breasts, coarse salt, pepper, fat-free Greek yogurt, onion, cumin, couscous, Swiss chard, asparagus, Boston lettuce, whole-grain rolls, fat-free vanilla ice cream, crushed pineapple in juice or pineapple topping.

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THE RECIPES

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CHEESY MEXICAN EGGPLANT (Wednesday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 1 hour; standing time: 10 minutes

2 eggplants (2 1/2 pounds total), cut into 1/2 -inch rounds

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided

2 cups no-salt-added or regular marinara sauce

1 (8-ounce) bottle taco sauce

1/2 teaspoon cumin

2 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese, divided

1/3 cup chopped cilantro, divided

Heat broiler. Place half the eggplant on broiler rack; coat evenly with cooking spray, then sprinkle with half the pepper. Broil 4 inches from heat, 4 to 8 minutes per side, or until lightly browned and tender. Repeat with remaining eggplant and pepper.

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In medium bowl, stir marinara and taco sauce with cumin. Spread 1/2 cup mixture in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Cover with half the eggplant. Spoon on 1 1/4 cups sauce; top with 1 cup cheese and 1/4 cup cilantro. Repeat layering with remaining eggplant, sauce and cheese; cover with foil. Bake 40 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining cilantro. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Per serving: 153 calories, 9g protein, 6g fat (36 percent calories from fat), 3.5g saturated fat, 14g carbohydrate, 15mg cholesterol, 407mg sodium, 5g fiber.

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CHICKEN TORTILLA CASSEROLE (Thursday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 1 hour; standing time: 5 minutes

1 (10 3/4 -ounce) can 98 percent fat-free/45 percent less-sodium condensed cream of chicken soup

1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 (8-ounce) container reduced-fat sour cream

1/2 cup skim milk

2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast

8 (6- or 7-inch) yellow corn tortillas, torn into bite-size pieces (such as La Tortilla Factory Whole Grain and Corn tortillas or another brand)

1 medium chopped red bell pepper

1 (14.5-ounce) can drained diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cups 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix soup, chilies, sour cream and milk until blended. Stir in chicken, tortillas and bell pepper. Stir in tomatoes and 1 cup cheese. Spoon and spread mixture in dish. Cover with foil. Bake 45 to 55 minutes. Uncover; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake uncovered 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and mixture is bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes.

Per serving: 272 calories, 23g protein, 10g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 5.3g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, 65mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 3g fiber.

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PISTACHIO CHICKEN WITH COUSCOUS AND GREENS (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 30 to 40 minutes; standing time for couscous: 20 minutes

1/2 cup unsalted pistachios, finely chopped

1/2 cup panko crumbs

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1/4 teaspoon coarse salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 cup fat-free Greek yogurt

1 large finely chopped onion

1 teaspoon cumin

1 cup couscous

1 small bunch Swiss chard, stems discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (about 6 cups)

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine pistachios, panko and 1 tablespoon oil. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Brush chicken with yogurt and coat with pistachio mixture, pressing gently to help it adhere. Place chicken on a rimmed baking pan lined with nonstick foil. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees and it is golden.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion; cook, stirring, 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Stir in cumin; cook 1 minute. Transfer to medium bowl. Add couscous and toss to combine. Add 1 cup tap water; cover and let sit 20 minutes. Heat remaining tablespoon oil in skillet on medium. Add chard and cook, tossing occasionally, 3 to 5 minutes or until tender. Fluff the couscous with a fork; fold in the chard. Serve with chicken. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Per serving: 584 calories, 49 protein, 22g fat (34 percent calories from fat), 3.2g saturated fat, 50g carbohydrate, 109mg cholesterol, 451mg sodium, 5g fiber.

email: menuplanner@mindspring.com