Treat the family to baked chicken with feta (see recipe). Alongside, serve orzo, steamed fresh zucchini and whole-grain bread. Buy a lemon meringue pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Prepare enough plain chicken and save enough pie for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use the leftover cooked chicken for chicken and black bean quesadillas for an easy meal. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1 1/4 cups canned rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, 1/2 cup salsa and 3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Spread 1/4 of mixture on lower half of each of 4 large fat-free tortillas. Top each with 1/2 cup cooked (leftover) chicken cut into strips. Fold down upper half of tortillas to cover filling. Coat outsides of tortillas with butter-flavor cooking spray. Place on baking sheet; bake 10 to 15 minutes or until heated and cheese is melted. Serve with extra salsa. Add a sliced avocado salad (on shredded lettuce). Enjoy leftover pie for dessert.
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Keep it simple with a beef Caesar salad. Combine 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest (yellow part only) and prepared Caesar dressing from a 10-ounce packaged salad kit; set aside the croutons and parmesan cheese from the kit. Cut 12 ounces (1/4-inch thick) deli roast beef into 2-by-3/4-inch strips. In a large serving bowl, combine beef, salad greens and 1 cup grape tomatoes (halved). Pour dressing over mixture; toss to coat. Garnish with croutons and parmesan cheese. Serve with bean soup and crackers. Add peaches for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough peaches for Thursday.
With lots of crunch and good flavor, no-meat Asian noodles with broccoli and carrots (see recipe) is sure to please. Serve it with a spinach salad and whole-grain bread. Plums are your dessert.
Say “pizza,” and say no more to the kids. This grilled chicken pizza will bring them to the table in a hurry. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place a 10-inch prebaked pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread 1 cup pizza sauce over crust. Top with 1 (6-ounce) package refrigerated grilled chicken breast strips (such as Tyson or another brand) and 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and edge of crust is golden. Serve with deli carrot salad. For dessert, tapioca pudding topped with leftover diced peaches is simple.
Keep food costs down with ham steak (cook according to package directions). Toss 1 cup chopped fresh pineapple with 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro to go alongside the ham. Add black-eyed peas (canned and rinsed), coleslaw and biscuits. Kiwifruit is a colorful dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Serve your guests easy and delicious beef stroganoff (see recipe) for a special meal. Serve it over no-yolk noodles. Add green beans, a romaine salad and sourdough bread. Fruit tarts are a perfect dessert.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.
Baked Chicken With Feta
Yield: 6 servings
6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 2 pounds)
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, divided
1 (3.5-ounce) package reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese with basil and tomato
1/4 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Flatten chicken to 1/2-inch thickness. Coat chicken with cooking spray and season with salt and pepper on both sides. Arrange chicken on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon lemon juice. Top with cheese; drizzle with remaining lemon juice. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and juices are clear and registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with bell pepper and parsley.
Per serving: 206 calories, 35 grams protein, 6 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 2 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 103 milligrams cholesterol, 393 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Asian Noodles With Broccoli And Carrots
Yield: 6 servings
12 ounces multigrain thin spaghetti
1 bunch fresh broccoli (about 1 1/2 pounds) cut into bite-size florets
2/3 cup creamy peanut butter
2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 cup shredded carrots
1/2 cup sliced green onions
Crushed red pepper for garnish
Cook pasta according to directions; add broccoli the last 6 minutes of cooking. In a medium bowl, combine peanut butter, soy sauce, vinegar and garlic; mix well. Drain pasta and broccoli, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water. Return spaghetti/broccoli mixture to pot. Add reserved water to peanut butter mixture and stir until smooth. Add to pasta; toss to mix and coat. Top with carrots and green onions and toss again. Garnish with red pepper if desired and serve.
Per serving: 312 calories, 15 grams protein, 12 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 305 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.
Yield: 4 servings
1 pound top round steak
1 clove garlic, minced
4 teaspoon canola oil, divided
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
8 ounces whole crimini mushrooms, sliced 1/2-inch thick
1 (3/4-ounce) envelope less-sodium brown gravy mix
1 cup cold water
1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
4 cups no-yolk noodles (about 5 ounces), cooked
Cut steak in half lengthwise, then crosswise into 1/4-inch wide strips. Toss with garlic. Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high until hot. Add half of beef; stir-fry 1 minute or until outside surface is no longer pink. (Do not overcook.) Remove. Repeat with remaining beef. Season with salt and pepper. In same skillet, heat remaining oil on medium-high until hot. Add mushrooms; cook and stir 2 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat. Add gravy mix and water to skillet; blend well. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer 1 minute or until sauce is thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in beef; heat through. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Serve with noodles.
Per serving: 389 calories, 31 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 389 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.