Sunday: Your own balsamic marinated flank steak is just what the family ordered.
In a small bowl, combine:
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1 1/2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 clove minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon sugar
Mix well; pour into a resealable plastic bag.
Add 1 (1 1/2-pound) flank steak. Seal bag and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight; turn occasionally.
To grill, remove steak; discard marinade. Grill on medium, covered, 11 to 21 minutes for medium- to medium-rare doneness; turn occasionally.
Remove from grill; let stand 5 minutes. Carve crosswise into thin slices.
To complete this meal prepare your own oven-roasted potatoes and carrots and add a romaine salad and whole-grain salad.
Plan ahead: Save enough steak for Monday. Save enough cake and cook enough potatoes for Tuesday.
Shopping list: balsamic vinegar, olive oil, fresh basil, Dijon mustard, garlic, sugar, flank steak, potatoes and carrots to roast, romaine, whole-grain rolls, coconut cake.
Monday (Heat and Eat) — Make steak tacos tonight. For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers; mix well, cover and refrigerate.
For the filling: Cut leftover steak into thin slices and then into strips. Stir-fry 1 medium red bell pepper and 1 onion, each thinly sliced, 4 minutes in 2 teaspoons canola oil. Add steak; stir-fry 1 minute or until hot. Warm 4 burrito-size flour tortillas and spoon meat and vegetables into them. Top with sauce and roll.
Serve with canned reduced-sodium pinto beans. Tropical fruit is dessert.
Shopping list: reduced-fat sour cream, cilantro, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, red bell pepper, onion, canola oil, burrito-size flour tortillas, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, tropical fruit.
Tuesday (Meatless) — Skip meat tonight and try this potato-vegetable frittata. Serve with a spinach salad and toasted whole-grain english muffins. For dessert, enjoy cake.
Shopping list: olive oil, red onion, zucchini, eggs, parmesan, shredded part-skim mozzarella, parsley, salsa, fresh spinach, whole-grain English muffins.
Wednesday (Budget) — Chini with beans will work for an economical meal. Spoon it over cornbread (from a mix) squares and top it with reduced-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro. Serve with mixed greens. Fresh pineapple chunks are good for dessert.
Shopping list: 95 percent lean ground beef, onion, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, no-salt-added tomato juice, canned condensed tomato soup, chili powder, coarse salt, pepper, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, green onions, cornbread mix, reduced-fat sour cream, cilantro, salad greens, fresh pineapple.
Thursday (Kids) — Treat the kids to chix stix. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Brush all sides of chicken tenders (1 pound) with low-fat mayonnaise and then coat all sides with 1/2 to 3/4 cup panko crumbs. Place on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake 15 minutes or until golden and chicken registers 165 degrees. Make a dip with half low-fat mayonnaise and half honey-mustard sauce.
Serve with mashed potatoes and green beans. Add soft rolls. For dessert, munch on peanut butter cookies
Shopping list: chicken tenders, low-fat mayonnaise, panko crumbs, honey-mustard sauce, mashed potatoes, green beans, soft rolls, peanut butter cookies.
Friday (Express) — For a quick meal, try frozen Asiago cheese tortelloni (such as Lean Cuisine) or another flavor. Add a packaged Italian salad and garlic bread Tapioca pudding is dessert.
Shopping list: Asiago Cheese Tortelloni (such as Lean Cuisine) or another flavor, Italian salad, garlic bread, tapioca pudding.
Saturday (Easy Entertaining) — Invite guests for maple-glazed salmon. Serve with aromatic jasmine rice and sugar snap peas. Add a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, buy a Key lime pie.
Shopping list: salmon fillets, coarse salt, butter, maple syrup, fresh chives, jasmine rice, sugar snap peas, Boston lettuce, baguettes, key lime pie.
POTATO-VEGETABLE FRITTATA (Tuesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: about 15 minutes
Cooking time: less than 20 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium red onion, sliced
1 medium zucchini, sliced
3 whole eggs
6 egg whites
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 cup leftover cooked potatoes, chopped
Salsa for garnish
In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and zucchini and cook 5 minutes or until almost softened. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together whole eggs, egg whites, parmesan, mozzarella and parsley. Stir potatoes into mixture in skillet, then pour egg mixture over top. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom is golden and top is set. Cut into 4 wedges and serve with salsa.
Per serving: 238 calories, 19 grams protein, 11 grams fat (42 percent calories from fat), 4.7 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 157 milligrams cholesterol, 385 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
CHILI WITH BEANS (Wednesday)
Makes 8 cups
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: less than 20 minutes, plus 4 hours on high
2 pounds 95 percent lean ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato juice
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed tomato soup
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
Shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese and sliced green onions for garnish
In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef 8 minutes or until no longer pink. Microwave onion on high 10 minutes or until softened; drain. Place cooked beef, onion, beans, juice, soup, chili powder, salt and pepper in 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on high 4 hours. Mix well, ladle into bowls and garnish with cheese and onions.
Per cup: 262 calories, 31 grams protein, 6 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 551 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.
MAPLE-GLAZED SALMON (Saturday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: less than 10 minutes
Cooking time: less than 10 minutes
6 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup maple syrup, divided
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Heat broiler. Sprinkle salmon evenly with salt. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium. Add salmon, skin side up; cook 2 minutes. Place salmon, skin side down, on broiler rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in broiler pan lined with foil and brush salmon with half the syrup. Broil 5 inches from heat 5 to 7 minutes or until syrup caramelizes. Brush with remaining syrup; sprinkle with chives.
Per serving: 236 calories, 30 grams protein, 8 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 287 milligrams sodium, no fiber.