For today’s family feast, prepare leg of lamb with lemon sauce (see recipe). On the side, serve roasted red potatoes and fresh baby carrots. Add a Bibb lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls to round out the meal. For your finale, cherry dream will get everyone's attention. Cut 1 (10-ounce) angel food cake into cubes; sprinkle cubes on bottom of a 9-by-9-inch baking dish. In a medium bowl, fold 11/3 cups reduced-fat frozen whipped topping (thawed) into 1 (21-ounce) can of light cherry pie filling. Spoon mixture evenly over cubes. Let chill, covered, several hours or overnight. Garnish each serving with a sprig of mint. Plan ahead: Prepare the dessert the day before. Save enough lamb, any baby carrots and enough dessert for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Warm the leftover lamb and serve with any mashed potatoes. Buy or make brown gravy. Add any leftover carrots to frozen mixed vegetables to brighten the plate; season with a little butter. Serve with crusty rolls. Offer leftover cherry dream for dessert.
With a few store-bought ingredients, you can have sweet and sour red cabbage with apples and ham in no time. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add 2 medium cored Granny Smith apples cut into 1/2-inch wedges; cook 2 minutes, stirring often. Add 3 tablespoons packed light brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon allspice; cook 4 minutes. Add 1 (16-ounce) jar drained sweet and sour red cabbage (such as Aunt Nellie's) and 1 (8-ounce) package cooked diced ham. Cook and stir until hot. Serve with pickled beets and rye bread. Gingersnaps are a quick dessert.
The kids will be happy to eat tortilla bake (see recipe). On the side, add stuffed celery (with reduced-fat cream cheese) Spoon crushed pineapple over fat-free vanilla ice cream for a smooth dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
My friend Valerie Phillips, a Salt Lake City journalist, has included many of her favorite economical soup and stew recipes in her new book, Soup's On! They include this chickpea and spinach soup (see recipe). Add a Romaine salad and cheese toast (any shredded cheese on whole-grain English muffins) to the meal. For dessert, make your own baked apples.
Jazz up veggie burgers (frozen) with sliced red onion, Dijon mustard and goat cheese on a crusty French roll. Add oven fries (frozen) and French-cut green beans (frozen). Make peach crisp for dessert. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place 2 (29-ounce) cans drained sliced peaches in a shallow 2-quart baking dish. In a large bowl, combine 1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 1/3 cup quick or old-fashioned oats, 1/3 cup chopped walnuts and 1 teaspoon cinnamon; mix well. Add 2 tablespoons butter and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle mixture over peaches. Bake 30 minutes or until golden. Plan ahead: Save enough crisp for Saturday.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Our guests really enjoyed this Parmesan broiled grouper. Place 1 pound grouper fillet (cut into 4 portions) in a single layer in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, mix together 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 1/2 teaspoons softened butter, 1 1/2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1 medium pressed garlic clove, 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt and a dash of hot sauce; spread over fillets. Broil fillets 6 inches from heat for 10 to 11 minutes (according to thickness) or until fish is lightly browned and flakes with fork. Serve fish with couscous and your own broiled tomatoes. Add a mixed green salad and baguettes. For dessert, warm the leftover peach crisp and top with leftover ice cream.