> Family Sunday
There's hardly anything easier to prepare than a baked turkey breast, so serve your family this simple entree. Cheesy Meximac (see recipe) goes well on the side. Add a spinach salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, buy a Boston cream pie.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, Meximac and pie for Monday.
Shopping list: Turkey breast to roast, cooking spray, rotini pasta, green onions, red bell pepper, butter, flour, 1 percent milk, coarse salt, pepper, 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeno or pepper Jack cheese, canned Mexican-flavored corn, chili powder, fresh spinach, whole-grain rolls, Boston cream pie.
> Heat-and-eat Monday
Use the leftover turkey for turkey melts. Place 4 slices toasted multigrain bread on baking sheet. Spread each slice with 2 teaspoons grainy mustard. Top with 8 slices turkey and slices from 1 apple; divide 1 cup 50 percent reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese among sandwiches. Broil 6 inches from heat source until cheese melts. Serve with leftover Meximac and a romaine salad. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Shopping list: Multigrain bread, grainy mustard, apple, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, romaine.
> Valentine's Day
Expect a new tiara when your honey swoons over flank steak with romesco sauce (see recipe). Serve it with stuffed baked potatoes (frozen), packaged greens and dinner rolls.
Impress him further with berry crepes. Stack 4 crepes on a plate and cover with foil. Heat 8 to 10 minutes in a 300-degree oven along with 2 serving plates. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter. Add 1 cup fresh blueberries (or other berries), sections from 1 orange and its zest, and 2 tablespoons sugar. Cover; cook 2 to 3 minutes on medium or until the berries are heated through and sauce thickens. To assemble: Place crepe on warm plate. In one corner of crepe, spoon 1/4 fruit mixture. Fold in half, then again into fourths. Repeat, serving two crepes per person. Top with light whipped cream.
Shopping list: Almonds, whole-grain bread, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, smoked paprika, sherry vinegar, jar roasted red peppers, coarse salt, flank steak, black pepper, frozen stuffed baked potatoes, packaged greens, dinner rolls, crepes (look in the produce department), butter, fresh blueberries or other berries, orange, sugar, light whipped cream.
> Kids Wednesday
Treat the kids to sticky chicken legs. Brush chicken legs with orange marmalade and season with a little coarse salt and chili powder. Bake at 350 degrees in a foil-lined baking pan 25 minutes, or until chicken is 165 degrees. Serve with frozen oven fries and carrot salad. For a sweet finish, enjoy peaches.
Shopping list: Chicken legs, orange marmalade, coarse salt, chili powder, frozen oven fries, carrot salad, peaches.
> Meatless Thursday
For an easy no-meat dinner, enjoy vegetable tortillas. Spread hummus on fat-free whole-grain tortillas. Cover with diced zucchini, yellow squash, carrots and mushrooms. Sprinkle with reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese. Roll and microwave each tortilla on high 1 minute or until hot. Halve and eat. Serve with pinto beans. How about orange sections topped with toasted coconut for dessert?
Plan ahead: Save enough coconut for Saturday.
Shopping list: Hummus, fat-free whole-grain tortillas, fresh zucchini, yellow squash, carrots, mushrooms, reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, pinto beans, oranges, coconut.
> Budget Friday
For an easy meal, beef and cheese paninis (see recipe) are just right. Serve the one-dish meal with a lettuce wedge. Slice kiwifruit for dessert.
Shopping list: Butter, Vidalia or other sweet onion, 95 percent to 93 percent lean ground beef, less-sodium Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, dried oregano, pepper, seedless rye bread, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, Thousand Island salad dressing, lettuce, kiwifruit.
> Express Saturday
Make dinner a fast one and make or order in pizza. Add a mixed green salad with pear slices with crumbled bleu cheese. For dessert, top fat-free vanilla ice cream with leftover coconut.
Shopping list: Pizza, salad greens, pears, crumbled bleu cheese, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
CHEESY MEXIMAC (Sunday)
Makes 15 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: About 30 minutes, plus pasta
16 ounces rotini pasta
2 finely sliced green onions
1 medium diced red bell pepper
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces 50 percent reduced-fat shredded jalapeno or pepper Jack cheese, divided
1 (10-ounce) can rinsed Mexican-flavored corn
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook rotini according to directions. After 5 minutes, add green onions and bell pepper. Cook 2 more minutes, drain and set aside. In a medium saucepan, melt butter on medium. Whisk in flour until smooth. Gradually add milk, whisking constantly until smooth. Stir in salt and pepper; bring to simmer. Cook, simmering, 4 minutes. Remove from heat. Add half of cheese to milk mixture; whisk until smooth. Stir in corn, then combine with pasta in a large bowl. Pour half of mixture into prepared dish; top with half of remaining cheese. Repeat; top with remaining cheese. Sprinkle top with chili powder. Bake 25 minutes. Cool slightly before serving. (Adapted from "Family Circle Healthy Family Dinners," Regina Ragone, food director, Wiley, $19.99.)
Per serving: 189 calories, 10g protein, 4g fat (19 percent calories from fat), 2.3g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrate, 11mg cholesterol, 184mg sodium, 1g fiber.
FLANK STEAK WITH ROMESCO SAUCE (Tuesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 15 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
2 tablespoons sliced almonds
2 ( 3/4 -ounce) slices whole-grain bread, torn into 2-inch pieces
4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons minced garlic
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
1 (7-ounce) jar drained roasted red peppers
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1 (1-pound) flank steak
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat broiler. Arrange almonds and bread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Broil 1 minute or until lightly browned. Add to a food processor; process until coarsely ground. In a small skillet, heat oil, garlic and paprika on medium 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown. Add garlic mixture, sherry vinegar, red peppers and 1/8 teaspoon salt to bread mixture; process until smooth. Sprinkle steak evenly with remaining salt and the black pepper. Broil steak 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Serve with sauce. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)
Per serving: 259 calories, 27g protein, 13g fat (44 percent calories from fat), 3.1g saturated fat, 9g carbohydrate, 70mg cholesterol, 452mg sodium, 1g fiber.
BEEF AND CHEESE PANINIS (Friday)
Makes 4 paninis
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
1 tablespoon butter
1 large sliced Vidalia or other sweet onion
1 pound (95 percent to 93 percent lean) ground beef
1 tablespoon less-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 slices seedless rye bread
4 ounces thinly sliced 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1/4 cup light Thousand Island salad dressing
Heat butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-low. Add onion; cook 20 minutes on medium-low, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, combine beef, Worcestershire sauce, garlic powder, oregano and pepper in medium bowl. Shape 4 patties into the same shape as the bread. Heat electric grill or panini press on medium. Grill patties for 3 to 4 minutes. Remove to a plate. Place 4 slices rye on cutting board. Top each with 1 slice of cheese, beef patty, 1/4 of the onions, another slice of cheese and another slice of bread. Grill 2 sandwiches for 3 minutes on medium, then repeat with remaining sandwiches. Serve with salad dressing on the side.
Per panini: 455 calories, 39g protein, 17g fat (33 percent calories from fat), 7.2g saturated fat, 38g carbohydrate, 87mg cholesterol, 783mg sodium, 3g fiber.