Be prepared for heaps of praise from the family with this garlic-rosemary chicken, a French classic. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove and discard giblets and neck from a 5- to 6-pound roasting chicken; trim excess fat. Starting at neck cavity, including drumsticks, loosen skin with your fingers. Place several sprigs of fresh rosemary and crushed garlic cloves under skin of breast and drumsticks. Lift wing tips up and over back; tuck under.
Place chicken, breast-side up, on broiler pan. Insert meat thermometer into meaty part of thigh, not touching bone. Bake 30 minutes; reduce heat to 350 degrees and bake 1 hour 15 minutes more or until thermometer registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes.
Slice chicken, discard skin and serve with your own oven-browned potatoes. Add fresh Brussels sprouts with lemon. Steam the sprouts, then toss with some olive oil, fresh lemon juice and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a yellow layer cake.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.
(Heat and Eat)
Turn Sunday’s leftover chicken into Asian chicken with vegetables and noodles (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and whole-grain rolls. Slice leftover cake for dessert.
Treat the kids to chili pizza. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown 1/2 pound each ground turkey breast and lean ground beef in a nonstick skillet on medium 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 (1.25-ounce) packet less-sodium chili seasoning mix, 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans; cook 8 minutes on medium or until heated.
Arrange 8 fat-free burrito-size tortillas in a circle on a 12-inch pizza pan, overlapping edges where necessary. Spoon ground meat mixture onto tortillas. Top with 1 cup 50 percent reduced-fat shredded cheese. Bake 5 to 8 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Slice into wedges and serve with deli carrot-raisin salad. How about Animal Crackers and peaches for dessert?
Skip the meat and enjoy linguine with parsley and parmesan (see recipe) for an easy meal. Serve with a romaine salad and garlic bread. Scoop fat-free strawberry ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
Call it a hero, grinder, submarine or poor boy, and it’s still a great sandwich no matter where you live. Split a small loaf of French or Italian bread. Spread bottom with deli coleslaw and add a variety of sliced deli meats. Then layer cheese, pickles, lettuce, tomatoes and whatever else the cook is in the mood for. Serve your masterpiece with deli potato salad. Pears are dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough coleslaw for Friday.
Save money and enjoy Catfish Allison (see recipe) from friend and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Susan Puckett. She takes us on a tour of the Delta area in Mississippi in her new book Eat Drink Delta. Serve the dollar-stretcher with hash-browned potatoes (frozen) and leftover coleslaw. With catfish, you must have cornbread. For dessert, make instant vanilla pudding with skim milk.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Serve your guests braised pork medallions with apples, a perfect fall entree. Slice 1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin into 8 slices and season on both sides with 1/2 teaspoon pepper and 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Brown pork on both sides, remove from pan and set aside.
To skillet, add 1 small chopped onion and 1 large cored and coarsely chopped apple; cook 6 minutes or until soft. Add 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice to skillet. Reduce heat to low. Return pork to skillet, cover and simmer 5 minutes.
Serve with brown rice and sugar snap peas. Add whole-grain rolls. For dessert, spoon frozen or fresh strawberries over leftover ice cream.