Sunday (Family) — Buy a Honeybaked Ham (or another spiral sliced ham) today for the family’s feast. Serve the easy entree with this squash-rice casserole casserole . Add a mixed greens salad and whole-grain bread. Finish your feast with a slice of key-lime pie.
Plan ahead: Save enough ham, casserole and pie for Monday and enough ham (if necessary) for Tuesday.
Shopping list: HoneyBaked Ham (or another spiral sliced) ham, onion, zucchini squash, rice, fat-free chicken broth, fat-free sour cream, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, coarse salt, pepper, eggs, salad greens, whole-grain bread, Key lime pie.
Monday (Heat and Eat) — Use the leftover ham for grilled ham and Swiss sandwiches. Mix 1/3 cup rinsed and drained refrigerated sauerkraut with 1/4 cup Dijon mustard and 2 tablespoons honey. Spread on rye bread and layer with the leftover ham and Swiss cheese. Grill on both sides in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray. Add dill pickles. Serve with the heated leftover casserole. Slice some leftover pie for dessert.
Shopping list: refrigerated sauerkraut, Dijon mustard, honey, rye bread, Swiss cheese, cooking spray, dill pickles.
Tuesday (Budget) — Saving some pennies will be fun (and tasty) with low-cost linguine with mushrooms. Add a green salad and garlic bread. Fresh pineapple chunks are a juicy dessert.
Tip: If desired, add 1/2 cup diced ham to the linguine and mushrooms.
Shopping list: linguine, frozen petite green peas, olive oil, onion, garlic, packaged sliced white mushrooms, packaged assorted sliced mushrooms (gourmet blend), fat-free chicken broth, half-and-half, coarse salt, pepper, salad greens, garlic bread, fresh pineapple.
Wednesday (Express) — Make it cool and quick with romaine and tomato salad with chicken. Dress a packaged Caesar salad with low-fat Caesar dressing, chopped tomatoes and thinly sliced red onions. Top with packaged cooked, sliced chicken breast and any croutons. Serve the simple salad with canned bean soup, if desired. Add bread sticks. For dessert, fresh apricots are in order.
Shopping list: packaged Caesar salad, low-fat Caesar dressing, tomatoes, red onion, packaged cooked, sliced chicken breast, any croutons, canned bean soup if desired, crackers, fresh apricots.
Thursday (Meatless) — No one will complain about no-meat kasha, bean and corn tacos. Cook and stir 1/2 cup whole kasha in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high 2 minutes or until hot and slightly toasted; spoon into a bowl.
Lower heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to same skillet and heat until hot. Stir in 1 1/2 cups chopped onion and 1 cup chopped green bell pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add 2 tablespoons chili powder and 1 tablespoon minced garlic; cook and stir 1 minute or until fragrant. Add reserved kasha and 2 cups boiling water. Simmer, covered, 7 minutes or until kasha is almost tender. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans, 1 cup thawed frozen corn and 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Cook 3 more minutes or until kasha is tender.
Divide and spoon into 8 taco shells. Top with any shredded cheese, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and reduced-fat sour cream. All you need are nectarines for dessert.
Tip: Kasha is the roasted form of buckwheat. Look for it in the grains section or in the ethnic foods section. Kasha usually comes as whole or medium granulation.
Shopping list: whole kasha, olive oil, onion, green bell pepper, chili powder, garlic, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, frozen corn, coarse salt, taco shells, any shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, reduced-fat sour cream, nectarines.
Friday (Kids) — The kids will love having cheeseburgers on whole-grain buns tonight. Serve them with baked chips and deli carrot-raisen salad. For dessert, wow your little angels with watermelon cake.
Shopping list: any beef and cheese for cheeseburgers, whole-grain buns, baked chips, deli carrot-raisin salad, cooking spray, miniature semisweet chocolate chips, package super-moist white cake mix, canola oil, eggs, unsweetened cherry or strawberry Jell-O, container whipped fluffy white frosting, green and red food colors, green jelly beans if desired. Saturday (Easy Entertaining) — Invite guests for Moroccan beef kababs tonight. In a large bowl, combine 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 3 cloves minced garlic, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1 teaspoon paprika and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper; mix well.
Meanwhile, add 1 1/4 pounds boneless beef top-sirloin steak (cut into 1-inch-by-1 1/4-inch cubes), 1 medium onion (cut into 1-inch pieces) and 1 medium green bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces) to marinade.
Toss to coat. Alternately thread meat and vegetables onto 4 (12-inch) skewers.
Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once. Season with coarse salt to taste.
Serve with couscous and red-tip lettuce salad. Add pita bread. All you’ll want for dessert is light lemon sorbet
Shopping list: cilantro, olive oil, garlic, cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, boneless beef top-sirloin steak, onion, green bell pepper, coarse salt, couscous, red-tip lettuce, pita bread, lemon sorbet.
SQUASH RICE CASSEROLE (Sunday)
Makes 10 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 30 minutes
1 medium onion, chopped
8 cups zucchini squash, sliced (about 2 1/2 pounds)
2 cups cooked rice (cooked with fat-free chicken broth)
1 cup fat-free sour cream
1 cup shredded, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
Microwave onion on high (100 percent power) in large microwave-safe bowl 3 minutes. Add squash and microwave 10 to 12 minutes or until softened. Drain; partially mash with potato masher. Combine zucchini mixture, cooked rice, sour cream, cheddar cheese, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs in a large bowl; mix well. Spoon mixture into a 9-by-13-inch microwave-safe baking dish. Microwave on high 10 to 12 minutes or until bubbly. Heat broiler. Sprinkle with remaining parmesan. Broil 1 to 3 minutes or until lightly browned.
Per serving: 148 calories, 9 grams protein, 4 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 2 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 49 milligrams cholesterol, 466 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 25 minutes, plus linguine
8 ounces linguine
1 cup frozen petite green peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced white mushrooms
1 (4-ounce) package assorted sliced mushrooms (gourmet blend)
1/2 cup ham, diced (if desired)
3/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
Cook linguine according to directions (omitting oil). Place peas in colander; drain linguine over peas. Return linguine and peas to pot.
Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add onion and cook 8 minutes or until softened and golden. Stir occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Add mushrooms and cook 10 minutes or until tender; stir occasionally. Stir in ham (if desired), broth, half-and-half and salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Cook 3 minutes or until slightly thickened, stirring occasionally. Add mushroom sauce to linguine and peas. Toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Per serving (without ham): 328 calories, 13 grams protein, 7 grams fat (18 percent calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrate, 6 milligrams cholesterol, 214 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
Per serving (with ham): 371 calories, 17 grams protein, 10 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 56 grams carbohydrate, 17 milligrams cholesterol, 424 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
By Susan Nicholson