A spiral-sliced ham is always welcome for family day. This rice-onion tart (see recipe) is the perfect accompaniment. Round out your dinner with a romaine salad and whole-grain bread. Finish with Easy Cheesecake (see recipe) for your award-winning dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough ham for Monday; save enough cheesecake for Tuesday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use the leftover ham for grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on pumpernickel bread. Serve with deli split pea soup and deli coleslaw. Scoop strawberry ice cream for dessert.
For an easy no-meat dinner, try escarole and white beans. In a large pot, on medium heat, cook 2 chopped onions and 2 chopped garlic cloves in 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add 2 heads chopped escarole and 1/2 cup unsalted vegetable broth. Cook until softened. Add 2 cups marinara sauce and 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium white beans; heat through. Serve with a lettuce wedge and hard-cooked egg slices and whole-grain bread. Leftover cheesecake is your dessert.
Say the word “steak,” and the kids will come running for Mom’s stuffed cubed steaks. Spread 1/2 cup prepared bread-stuffing mix on each cubed steak. Roll up; secure with wooden picks. Brown in some butter in a nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 cup unsalted beef broth. Cover and simmer on low or 30 minutes or until tender. Serve the kid-pleaser with mashed potatoes (frozen), peas and carrots (frozen) and soft rolls. Let them nibble on apple slices for dessert.
Make it a quick meal with bean burritos (frozen). Top them with salsa and reduced-fat sour cream. serve with boil-in-a-bag brown rice. Add a salad of sliced oranges on lettuce. Finish with instant lemon pudding made with 1 percent milk.
Enjoy the flavor and low cost of harvest drumsticks (see recipe). Serve them over thin spaghetti and add mixed greens and garlic bread for a fine meal. Dessert? It’s fresh pineapple spears.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Your guests will enjoy tilapia fillets with mustard-pecan topping. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise and 2 tablespoons brown mustard. With paper towels, pat 1 pound tilapia fillets lightly to dry. Arrange fish fillets on prepared baking sheet. Spread mayonnaise mixture over each fillet; sprinkle with 1/4 cup finely chopped pecans; press down gently. Bake for 12 to 15 minutes, until fish is opaque throughout. Serve with couscous, fresh green beans and baguettes. Carrot cake is always a favorite dessert.
Yield: 8 servings
1 tablespoon butter
4 cups sliced sweet onions (such as Vidalia)
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
3 cups cooked rice
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-inch removable-bottom pan (tart pan) with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet on medium, heat butter. Add onions and cook 10 minutes; stir in brown sugar. Continue cooking 8 to 10 more minutes or until onions are browned and caramelized; stir occasionally. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine rice, parmesan and lightly beaten eggs. Spread mixture evenly into tart pan. Distribute onions over rice mixture and top with cheddar cheese and pecans. Bake 12 to 15 minutes, or until pecans are toasted, and serve.
Per serving: 292 calories, 12 grams protein, 16 grams fat (47 percent calories from fat), 6.2 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 94 milligrams cholesterol, 237 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Yield: 12 servings
For the cheesecake:
3/4 cup 1 percent milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup reduced-fat baking mix (such as Bisquick)
2 (8-ounce) packages less-fat cream cheese (softened and cut into cubes)
For the topping:
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
2 cups any fresh berries
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9 1/2-by-2-inch pie plate with cooking spray. Place milk, vanilla, eggs, sugar and baking mix in a blender; cover and blend on high for 15 seconds. Add cream cheese and blend 2 more minutes. Pour into pie plate. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Refrigerate until cool. In a small bowl, combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla; mix well and spread over cooled cheesecake. Slice and serve with berries.
Per serving: 252 calories, 7 grams protein, 12 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 7.4 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 69 milligrams cholesterol, 253 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Yield: 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds skinless, bone-in chicken drumsticks
1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 1/2 tablespoons canola oil
1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, lightly drained
2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
1 small onion, chopped
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 cup dry red wine
8 ounces multigrain thin spaghetti
2 medium zucchini, sliced
Sprinkle chicken with Italian seasoning, salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until browned on all sides, turning often. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine tomatoes, bacon, onion, garlic and wine. Add chicken; cook on high 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until tender. Meanwhile, cook spaghetti according to directions; drain. Stir in zucchini to slow cooker during last 5 minutes of cooking. Serve mixture over pasta.
Per serving: 340 calories, 24 grams protein, 9 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 78 milligrams cholesterol, 464 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.