Sunday (Family) — Prepare your own leg of lamb and serve it with herb roasted dijon potatoes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix 5 tablespoons Dijon mustard, two tablespoons olive oil, one clove minced garlic and 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning in a large bowl. Add two pounds red potato chunks; toss to coat. Spoon into a shallow baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 35 to 40 minutes, or until tender; stir occasionally.
Add a grape tomato and broccoli floret salad (halve the tomatoes) tossed with light vinaigrette. Have dinner rolls on the side. For dessert, top slices of angel food cake with strawberries.
Plan ahead: Save enough lamb, tomato-broccoli salad and cake for Monday. Save enough strawberries for Tuesday.
Shopping list: leg of lamb, Dijon mustard, olive oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, red potatoes, cooking spray, grape tomatoes, fresh broccoli, light vinaigrette, dinner rolls, angel food cake, strawberries.
Monday (Heat and Eat) — Make lamb sandwiches on rosemary (or another) bread. Brush the bread with olive oil and layer it with leftover lamb slices, drained roasted red peppers (from a jar), crumbled goat cheese and arugula. Serve with leftover tomato-broccoli salad. Drizzle chocolate syrup over the leftover cake for dessert.
Shopping list: rosemary or other bread for sandwiches, olive oil, jarred roasted red peppers, goat cheese, arugula, chocolate syrup.
Tuesday (Meatless) — Prepare tomato soup with orzo and white beans for a flavorful no-meat dinner. In a medium pot, cook 1 large chopped onion, 1 small chopped green bell pepper, 2 minced cloves garlic and 1 teaspoon dried oregano in 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium 6 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Add 1/3 cup orzo, 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained reduced-sodium white beans, 2 (14-ounce) cans vegetable broth, coarse salt and pepper to taste; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cook 7 to 9 minutes, or until orzo is tender but still firm.
Stir 3 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan into the soup and ladle into bowls.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches. For dessert, spoon leftover strawberries over fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
Shopping list: onion, green bell pepper, garlic, dried oregano, olive oil, orzo, canned diced Italian-seasoned tomatoes, canned reduced-sodium white beans, vegetable broth, coarse salt, pepper, parmesan, bread and cheese for sandwiches, fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Wednesday (Budget) — This really good tuna noodle casserole went over big at our house. Serve the updated family favorite with a spinach salad and crusty bread. Tropical fruit is good for dessert.
Shopping list: cooking spray, medium no-yolk noodles, butter, red bell pepper, onion, fresh mushrooms, flour, 1 percent milk, 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, canned water-packed albacore tuna, coarse salt, black pepper, panko bread crumbs, fresh spinach, crusty bread, tropical fruit.
Thursday (Express) — Pick up a rotisserie chicken (or two) and serve it with baked potatoes topped with hot cauliflower and cheese with low-fat sauce (frozen). Add whole-grain rolls. Stop by the deli and get brownies for something sweet.
Plan ahead: Save 2 cups chopped chicken for Friday and enough brownies for Saturday.
Shopping list: rotisserie chicken, potatoes to bake, frozen cauliflower and cheese with low-fat sauce, whole-grain rolls, deli brownies.
Friday (Kids) — Let the kids help prepare tex-mex chicken pot pie. The whole family will enjoy it with deli carrot-raisen salad. Peaches are dessert.
Shoppingl ist: reduced-fat burrito-size flour tortillas, canned condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup, any packaged frozen vegetables for soup, canned diced mild green chiles, cilantro, cooking spray, deli carrot-raisin salad, peaches.
Saturday (Easy Entertaining) — Our guests enjoyed shrimp and sugar snap peas in curried coconut sauce. Serve it over jasmine rice. Add a bibb lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, warm the leftover brownies and top with leftover ice cream and chocolate sprinkles.
Shopping list: butter, shrimp, sugar snap peas or snow peas, curry powder, garlic powder, coarse salt, canned light coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen), white wine, lime, cornstarch, green onions, jasmine rice, bibb lettuce, baguettes, chocolate sprinkles.
REALLY GOOD TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE (Wednesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: about 30 minutes, plus noodles
6 ounces medium no-yolk noodles
2 teaspoons butter, divided
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
2 tablespoons flour
1 1/4 cups 1 percent milk
1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
1 (9-ounce) can drained water-packed albacore tuna, flaked
1/2 teaspoon each coarse salt and black pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray; set aside. Cook noodles according to package directions; drain and set aside. Meanwhile, combine 1 teaspoon butter, bell pepper, onion and mushrooms in a large container. Cover and microwave 5 minutes on high (100 percent power); drain. Whisk together flour and milk in medium bowl until smooth. Stir into vegetable mixture; cover and microwave on high 2 minutes. Stir, re-cover, and cook 1 minute. Stir and continue cooking in 30-second increments until thickened. Remove from microwave, add cheese and stir until melted. Stir in tuna, cooked noodles, salt and pepper, and spoon into baking dish. Bake, covered, 25 minutes. Mix together panko crumbs and the remaining 1 teaspoon butter (melted); sprinkle over casserole and bake 5 more minutes or until bubbly.
Per serving: 357 calories, 28 grams protein, 7 grams fat (17 percent calories from fat), 3.2 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 509 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
TEX-MEX CHICKEN POT PIE (Friday)
Makes 6 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 45 minutes
2 reduced-fat, burrito-size flour tortillas
1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed, reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup
2 cups cooked chicken
1 (16-ounce) package frozen vegetables for soup (any mixture), thawed and drained
1 (4-ounce) can diced mild green chiles
1/3 cup chopped cilantro
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Line the bottom of a 9-inch pie plate with 1 warmed (see Note) tortilla. In a large bowl, mix soup, chicken, vegetables, chiles and cilantro. Spoon into lined pie plate. Top with the other warmed tortilla. Coat with cooking spray. Cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 more minutes or until top is golden and filling is hot. Cut into 6 wedges and serve immediately.
NOTE: To warm tortillas: Roll them in damp white paper towels and microwave on high (100 percent power) 20 seconds or until heated.
Per serving: 201 calories, 17 grams protein, 5 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 39 milligrams cholesterol, 615 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
SHRIMP AND SUGAR SNAP PEAS IN CURRIED COCONUT SAUCE (Saturday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: about 25 minutes
Cooking time: about 10 minutes, plus pasta
1 tablespoon butter
1 1/2 pounds medium or large shrimp, uncooked, cleaned and deveined
1/2 pound sugar snap peas or snow peas
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 (13.44-ounce) can light coconut milk (such as Thai Kitchen)
2 tablespoons white wine
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch
3 green onions, sliced
Melt butter in large skillet on medium-high. Add shrimp and peas; sprinkle with curry powder, garlic powder and salt. Cook and stir 5 minutes or until shrimp begins to turn pink. Stir coconut milk, wine and lime juice into cornstarch until it becomes smooth. Add to shrimp mixture. Bring to boil on medium heat 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Sprinkle with onions.
Per serving: 168 calories, 17 grams protein, 6 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 9 grams carbohydrate, 148 milligrams cholesterol, 459 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.