Keep family day simple with your own roast turkey breast. Pair it with oven-roasted sweet potatoes and onions. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine 21/4 pounds (about 4 medium) sweet potatoes (peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces), 1 pound sweet onions (such as Vidalia), 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 3/4 teaspoon garlic-pepper blend and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; toss to coat. Bake 35 minutes or until tender; stir occasionally. While the potatoes bake, prepare spicy brussels sprouts. Halve and then shred 1 pound fresh brussels sprouts. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 small, fresh, seeded and chopped jalapeño pepper and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add sprouts; cook 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar and cook 1 minute. Serve immediately. Add pickled beets alongside. Finish the meal with warm bread pudding. Plan ahead: Save enough turkey for Monday and Tuesday; save enough bread pudding for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use some of the leftover turkey in turkey tortellini soup (see recipe). Add a lettuce wedge and crackers on the side. Warm the leftover bread pudding for dessert.
Call the kids for Dagwood deli sandwiches. Cut a one-pound loaf of French bread into 4 to 6 equal pieces and then halve horizontally. Brush cut sides of bread with honey-mustard salad dressing. Layer bottom half with thinly sliced deli ham, thinly sliced (leftover) turkey, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese slices, sliced tomatoes and shredded lettuce. Top with remaining bread. Secure with wooden picks, cut in half and serve. Add deli carrot salad on the side. Buy cupcakes and serve them with peaches for dessert.
Make it a quick meal tonight with deli tuna salad on packaged mixed greens (stir grape halves and toasted walnuts into the tuna salad for extra flavor) and add whole-grain rolls on the side. Munch on peanut butter cookies for dessert.
Carry on with this week's soup theme and serve economical chickpea and pasta soup (see recipe). Add a spinach salad with egg wedges and crusty bread. Fresh pineapple spears are good for dessert.
These mushroom sloppy Joes prove that you don't need meat to have good flavor. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil over medium. Add 1 pound chopped fresh white mushrooms; cook and stir 8 minutes or until browned and liquid has evaporated. Stir in 1 (151/2-ounce) can sloppy Joe sauce. Cook mixture 3 minutes or until thick. Divide and spoon mushroom mixture among 4 split and toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve immediately with canned vegetarian baked beans. Add a mixed greens salad. Bring some happiness with fat-free vanilla ice cream with toasted coconut and chocolate chips for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday. Tip: Check the labels of sloppy Joe sauces and buy the lowest-sodium one.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for honey orange pork chops. Mix 1/3 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1/4 cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon fresh chopped cilantro leaves, 1 tablespoon seasoned salt, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon cumin and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper in a small bowl. Reserve 3 tablespoons marinade; set aside. Place 4 (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops in resealable plastic bag; add unreserved marinade; turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 to 3 hours, turning several times; remove pork; discard marinade. Broil or grill on medium 3 to 4 minutes per side or until 145 degrees, brushing with reserved 3 tablespoons marinade halfway through cooking. Serve the chops with rice pilaf (see recipe). Add a Bibb lettuce salad and sourdough rolls. Layer leftover ice cream with fresh strawberries in stemmed glasses and top with a dollop of light whipped cream for a festive dessert.