Bake a turkey breast for family day. Keep your secret weapon (the microwave) to yourself as you prepare risotto with peas and mushrooms (see recipe). Add a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, buy or make a cherry cobbler.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, risotto and cobbler for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
These turkey roll-ups make good use of leftover turkey. Mix together 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons chutney. Spread evenly over 8 (8-inch) fat-free whole-grain tortillas. Top with sliced turkey, thin slices of red onion and fresh spinach leaves. Roll tightly, cut in half, and serve with the leftover risotto. Add a lettuce wedge. Warm the leftover cobbler and top with fat-free vanilla ice cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.
Kendra Bailey Morris of Richmond, Va., is a cookbook author who knows a thing or two about Southern slow cooker recipes. In her new book, The Southern Slow Cooker, she gives a nod to the French and their choucroute garnie with her recipe for cabbage with smoked sausage and apples (see recipe). Serve the savory dish with beets and dark rye bread. For dessert, pears are easy.
Tip: Look for juniper berries at spice stores.
Make a quick meat sauce with pasta. Cook 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey breast in a Dutch oven on medium 5 to 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Add 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce, 1 (4- to 6-ounce) can drained sliced mushrooms and 1 teaspoon dried basil to meat. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 10 minutes. Serve over any refrigerated pasta. Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Tapioca pudding is a good dessert to complete your meal.
Quick and easy is what we called lentil soup with tomatoes and peppers. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add 1 1/2 cups each chopped onion and diced red bell pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until vegetables are soft but not browned. Add 4 cups vegetable broth or water, 1 cup rinsed and sorted lentils, 2 small bay leaves, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Mix in 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes. Simmer 5 to 10 minutes to blend flavors. Remove bay leaves and serve. Accompany the soup with a spinach salad and cheese toast (use any shredded cheese on any dense bread and broil until the cheese melts). Leftover ice cream with butterscotch sauce is dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough butterscotch sauce for Friday.
The kids can prepare their own beany burritos. Heat canned vegetarian refried beans and spread on fat-free burrito-size tortillas. Cover beans with drained mild salsa, shredded lettuce and any shredded cheese. Roll, cut in half and serve with rice. Munch on carrot sticks alongside. Finish with Rocky Road parfait, a kid’s ooey-gooey dream. In a tall dessert or other glass, layer chocolate pudding (instant) with leftover butterscotch sauce, marshmallow cream, a few chopped pecans and some raisins; repeat and end with marshmallow cream.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for parmesan baked fish. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 4 (12-by-18-inch) pieces of foil with cooking spray. Center 1 (4- to 6-ounce) cod fillet on each piece of foil. Top each with 1 tablespoon low-fat mayonnaise, then 1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan cheese and sprinkle with cayenne pepper. Divide and top the fillets with 2 medium sliced zucchini and 1/2 medium red bell pepper cut into strips. Double-fold ends and top to seal, leaving enough space for heat circulation. Bake 18 to 22 minutes. Open packets away from your face. Serve with orzo tossed with chopped fresh parsley and garlic spinach (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, buy fruit tarts