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Sunday (Family) —Make Dad smile and serve him marinated beef roast today. He’ll like these yogurt and cheese mashed potatoes, too. Make your mashed potatoes with 1/4 cup snipped fresh chives, 8 ounces fat-free plain yogurt and 1/2 cup warmed 1 percent milk instead of the usual ingredients.
Also serve steamed sliced carrots, a lettuce wedge with blue cheese dressing and a diced tomato garnish, and crusty bread. For the finale, present warm peach cobbler topped with fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough beef and cobbler for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
Shopping list: beef rump roast, canola oil, reduced-sodium soy sauce, lemons, reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce, prepared mustard, garlic, cooking spray, freshly ground pepper, potatoes to mash, fresh chives, fat-free plain yogurt, 1 percent milk, carrots, lettuce, blue cheese dressing, tomato, crusty bread, peach cobbler, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Monday (Heat and Eat) — Use the beef leftovers for oven-baked fajitas. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine 2 tablespoons canola oil, 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons ground cumin and 1 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Add 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, 1 medium green bell pepper and 1 medium red bell pepper cut into thin strips and 1 thinly sliced onion.
Mix well. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes. Stir in 2 cups cooked (leftover) beef, cut into strips. Bake 10 more minutes. Serve beef mixture wrapped in warm fat-free whole-grain tortillas.
Add rice on the side and sliced avocado. Warm the leftover cobbler for dessert.
Shopping list: canola oil, chili powder, ground cumin, coarse salt, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, onion, fat-free whole-grain tortillas, rice, avocado.
Tuesday (Express) — It’s hard to resist tuna melts for flavor and simplicity. Buy 2 cups tuna salad from the deli and spread it over 4 whole-grain English muffin halves; top each with a tomato slice and a slice of Swiss cheese. Broil 6 inches from heat 5 minutes or until the cheese melts. Serve with baked potato chips and a packaged green salad. Spoon strawberries over leftover ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough strawberries for Wednesday.
Shopping list: deli tuna salad, whole-grain English muffins, tomatoes, sliced Swiss cheese, baked potato chips, packaged green salad, strawberries.
Wednesday (Meatless) — Tonight, make a meal of southwestern baked potatoes. Scrub, pierce and microwave 4 (8-ounce) baking potatoes 10 to 12 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until almost tender. Wrap potatoes in paper towels and then in a terrycloth towel 5 minutes (to absorb moisture).
Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 medium chopped onion and cook 10 minutes or until golden. Add 2 teaspoons cumin and 1 clove minced garlic and cook 1 minute. Add 2 cups mild salsa and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans and cook 5 minutes or until hot. To serve, split potatoes and divide bean mixture among them. Top with chopped cilantro and plain yogurt.
Serve with deli coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. Tapioca pudding is dessert.
Shopping list: baking potatoes, canola oil, onion, cumin, garlic, mild salsa, canned reduced-sodium black beans, cilantro, plain yogurt, deli coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, tapioca pudding.
Thursday (Kids) — The whole family will enjoy Mexican flatbread “pizza.” Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 4 flatbreads (label may say “flatbread wraps”) on an ungreased cookie sheet. Spread 1 tablespoon salsa over each flatbread. Divide and sprinkle each flatbread evenly with 1 cup shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend and 1/2 cup sliced ripe olives. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and bread is crisp. Sprinkle pizzas with 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes; top with avocado slices.
Serve with carrot sticks. For a light dessert, bite into a juicy nectarine.
Shopping list: flatbread (or “flatbread wraps”), salsa, shredded Colby-Monterey Jack cheese blend, ripe olives, cherry tomatoes, avocado, carrot sticks, nectarines.
Friday (Budget) — Turkey vegetable soup was a hit at our house. Serve with a spinach salad and cornbread (from a mix). Apricots are good for dessert.
Shopping list: cooking spray, ground turkey breast, celery, onion, carrots, no-salt-added tomato juice, fat-free chicken broth, frozen cut green beans, sliced fresh mushrooms, tomato, reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce, dried basil, dried oregano, coarse salt, pepper, garlic powder, bay leaf, fresh spinach, cornbread mix, apricots.
Saturday (Easy Entertaining) — Our guests ate all of the fettuccine with chicken, goat cheese and spinach, and so will your guests. Serve this winner with a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, enjoy lemon sorbet with chocolate wafer cookies.
Shopping list: dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc), shallots, goat cheese, coarse salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, olive oil, chicken tenders, packaged baby spinach, refrigerated fettuccine, fresh basil, Boston lettuce, baguettes, lemon sorbet, chocolate wafer cookies.
MARINATED BEEF ROAST (Sunday)
Makes 12 to 16 servings (3 ounces cooked weight)
Preparation time: 15 minutes; marinating time: 24 hours
Cooking time: 1 1/2 to 2 hours; standing time: 15 minutes
1 (3 to 4-pound) beef rump roast, well-trimmed
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/3 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons prepared mustard
10 garlic cloves, halved
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground pepper
Pierce roast with meat fork at 1-inch intervals and place in large resealable plastic bag. Combine oil, soy sauce, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and garlic and pour over roast. Seal bag and refrigerate up to 24 hours, turning occasionally. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Remove roast; discard marinade. Place roast on rack coated with cooking spray in broiler pan; sprinkle with pepper. Bake 30 to 35 minutes per pound, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until internal temperature registers 135 degrees. Remove from oven and let stand 15 minutes, covered, or until temperature reaches 145 degrees (for medium-rare). Slice thinly and serve.
Per serving: 161 calories, 25 grams protein, 6 grams fat (32 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 248 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
TURKEY VEGETABLE SOUP (Friday)
Makes 8 cups
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 6 hours on low
1 (1- to 1 1/4-pound) package ground turkey breast
2 ribs celery, sliced (about 1 cup)
1 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
2 1/2 cups no-salt-added tomato juice
1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
2 cups frozen green beans, cut
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 medium tomato, chopped
2 teaspoons reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 bay leaf
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray on medium. Add turkey, celery, onion and carrots; cook 10 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Add mixture to 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Add tomato juice, broth, green beans, mushrooms, tomato, Worcestershire sauce, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder and bay leaf. Mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours. Remove and discard bay leaf before serving.
NOTE: Thin soup with additional broth or water if desired.
Per cup: 106 calories, 16 grams protein, 1 gram fat (8 percent calories from fat), no saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 520 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
CHICKEN, GOAT CHEESE AND SPINACH (Saturday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 25 minutes
Cooking time: about 20 minutes plus pasta; Standing time: 2 minutes
1 cup dry white wine (such as sauvignon blanc)
2 small shallots, minced
5 ounces goat cheese, crumbled and at room temperature
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon pepper, divided
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 pound chicken tenders, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 (5- to 6-ounce) package baby spinach
9 ounces refrigerated fettuccine
2 tablespoons fresh basil
In a small saucepan, combine wine and shallots. Bring to boil on medium-high; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until liquid is reduced by half. Whisk in the goat cheese until smooth; season with half the salt and pepper; add the red pepper and set aside. Heat half the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken; cook 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove from skillet; let stand 2 minutes covered with foil. To skillet, add remaining oil and spinach; cook 2 minutes, turning with tongs, or until wilted.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to directions, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water; drain and place in a large bowl. Add goat cheese sauce, spinach and chicken with any juices. Add reserved cooking water until the sauce is the desired consistency. Stir in remaining salt and pepper; serve, topped with the basil.
(Adapted from “Fine Cooking Cook Fresh,” Carolyn Mandarano, editor; The Taunton Press, 2013.)
Per serving: 370 calories, 28 grams protein, 16 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 6.9 grams saturated fat, 26 gram carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 426 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.