Zesty roasted chicken and potatoes (see recipe) is perfect for family day. Serve it with green beans with sliced almonds and biscuits. Buy a coconut cake for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save two plain chicken breasts for Monday and enough cake for Tuesday.
Shopping list: Boneless skinless chicken breasts, small red potatoes, low-fat mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, pepper, garlic, fresh chives, cooking spray, green beans, sliced almonds, biscuits, coconut cake.
>Heat and eat Monday
For a quick meal, make Tex-Mex chicken and rice. Cook yellow rice mix as directed on the package. Five minutes before it's done, stir in the two chopped leftover chicken breasts, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes and green chilies. Heat through. Serve the combo with guacamole and reduced-fat sour cream. Make flan from a mix for dessert.
Shopping list: Packaged yellow rice mix, canned reduced-sodium black beans, canned diced tomatoes and green chiles, guacamole, reduced-fat sour cream, flan mix.
Keep an eye on the budget and enjoy tuna noodles Romanoff. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook and drain 8 ounces no-yolk noodles as directed. In a large bowl, mix noodles with 2 (6-ounce) cans drained albacore tuna, 1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, 2 tablespoons rinsed capers, 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream, 1 cup 1 percent milk, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Spoon into an 8-by-8-inch (2-quart) baking dish coated with cooking spray.
In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup panko crumbs, 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese and 2 tablespoons melted buttery spread. Sprinkle over tuna mixture. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until hot and bubbly. (Adapted from "Betty Crocker Country Cooking," Jeff Nowak, editorial director; Wiley, 2009.)
Serve the one-dish dinner with broccoli and crusty rolls. Slice the leftover cake for dessert.
Shopping list: No-yolk noodles, canned albacore tuna, sliced mushrooms, capers, reduced-fat sour cream, 1 percent milk, coarse salt, pepper, cooking spray, panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese, buttery spread, broccoli, crusty rolls.
Feast on vegetable stew (see recipe) tonight. Serve with a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Make instant banana pudding with 1 percent milk for dessert. Stir sliced bananas into the pudding for a flavor boost.
Shopping list: Canned no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, medium red potatoes, celery, carrots, parsnips, leeks, vegetable broth, coarse salt, dried thyme, dried rosemary leaves, cornstarch, romaine, whole-grain rolls, instant banana pudding, 1 percent milk, bananas.
Buy refrigerated pork barbecue (such as Lloyd's) and serve it on toasted whole-grain buns topped with dill pickle slices. Add deli potato salad and deli coleslaw. For dessert, try red and green grapes.
Plan ahead: Save enough barbecue for Friday.
Shopping list: Refrigerated pork barbecue (such as Lloyd's), whole-grain buns, dill pickle slices, deli potato salad, deli coleslaw, red and green grapes.
Kids are always in a hurry to eat, so BBQ pizza is right up their alley. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a large, thin, ready-to-eat whole-grain pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread 2/3 cup barbecue sauce over crust, leaving a 1/2 -inch border. Top with leftover barbecue pork, 1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper, 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella and 4 thinly sliced plum tomatoes. Sprinkle freshly grated Parmesan over the top. Bake 10 minutes or until cheese melts and crust is hot and crisp. Slice into wedges and serve.
Add carrot salad alongside. For dessert, fresh pineapple spears are fun.
Shopping list: Thin ready-to-eat whole-grain pizza crust, barbecue sauce, yellow bell pepper, shredded part-skim mozzarella, plum tomatoes, Parmesan, carrot salad, fresh pineapple spears.
Easy entertaining Saturday
Invite very special guests for seared ginger-balsamic salmon with hot and sour slaw (see recipe). Serve with brown rice and bread sticks. For dessert, almond cookies and fat-free vanilla ice cream are perfect together.
Shopping list: Salmon fillets with skin, coarse salt, pepper, olive oil, toasted or regular sesame oil, fresh ginger, crushed red pepper, red bell pepper, bag shredded broccoli slaw, rice wine vinegar or sake, less-sodium soy sauce, sugar, less-sodium Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar, lemon, light brown sugar, brown rice, bread sticks, almond cookies, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
>Zesty Roasted Chicken and Potatoes (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 to 35 minutes
8 boneless skinless chicken breasts (2 to 2 1/2 pounds)
1 1/4 pounds small red potatoes, cut into quarters
1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 cloves minced garlic
Chopped chives for garnish
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking pan with cooking spray. Place chicken and potatoes in pan. In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except chives; brush over 6 chicken breasts and the potatoes. (Coat remaining 2 chicken breasts with cooking spray to use Monday.) Roast uncovered 30 to 35 minutes or until potatoes are tender and internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees. Arrange on a serving platter; garnish with chives. (Adapted from "Betty Crocker Cookbook," Grace Wells, senior editor, Wiley, 2011.)
Per serving: 205 calories, 26g protein, 4g fat (19 percent calories from fat), 0.7g saturated fat, 15g carbohydrate, 73mg cholesterol, 355mg sodium, 2g fiber.
** ** **
>VEGETABLE STEW (Wednesday)
Makes about 9 1/2 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 to 9 hours on low; 20 minutes on high
2 (14.4-ounce) cans no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes (such as Muir Glen)
4 medium red potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
4 medium ribs celery, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (2 cups)
3 medium carrots, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces (1 1/2 cups)
2 medium parsnips, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
2 medium leeks, cut into 1/2 -inch pieces
1 (14-ounce) can vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
3 tablespoons cornstarch
3 tablespoons cold water
Place all ingredients, except cornstarch and water, in a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker. Cover; cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until vegetables are tender. Mix cornstarch and water; gradually stir into stew until blended. Increase heat to high; cover and cook 20 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until thickened.
Per cup: 97 calories, 2g protein, no fat, no saturated fat, 22g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 318mg sodium, 4g fiber.
** ** **
>SEARED GINGER-BALSAMIC SALMON WITH HOT AND SOUR SLAW (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: About 25 minutes
Cooking time: Less than 20 minutes
4 (6-ounce) salmon fillets with skin
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
1 teaspoon toasted or regular sesame oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh ginger
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 medium chopped red bell pepper
1 (9-ounce) bag shredded broccoli slaw
1 1/2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar or sake and 1 1/2 teaspoons water, mixed together
For hot and sour dressing:
1/4 cup less-sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons less-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1 cup water
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 tablespoons firmly packed light brown sugar
Season salmon with salt and pepper. Set aside. In a wok or heavy skillet, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil and the sesame oil on medium-high until hot, but not smoking. Add ginger and crushed red pepper and stir-fry 10 seconds or until fragrant. Add red bell pepper and toss lightly. Add broccoli slaw; toss lightly and pour in the rice wine vinegar/water mixture. Stir and cover. Cook on medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine hot and sour dressing ingredients. Uncover skillet and add the hot and sour dressing to slaw mixture. Toss lightly and spoon into a serving bowl.
Heat remaining 2 teaspoons olive oil in a 12-inch nonstick skillet on medium-high until very hot (about 10 seconds). Arrange salmon in skillet, skin side up. Partially cover; sear 5 to 6 minutes or until browned. Turn salmon; cook 1 to 2 minutes more or until opaque throughout. Remove salmon skin. Portion slaw onto 4 plates; top with salmon.
Wipe any oil from skillet; reheat skillet on medium. For glaze: Add water, balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, ginger and brown sugar to skillet; stir to combine. Simmer on medium-high 6 to 8 minutes, or until thickened and reduced to 1/3 cup. Carefully pour the glaze over salmon. (Adapted from "Simple Asian Meals," Nina Simonds; Rodale, 2012.)
Per serving: 394 calories, 39g protein, 14g fat (31 percent calories from fat), 2.2g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrate, 80mg cholesterol, 937mg sodium, 3g fiber.