Surprise the family with Cajun baked turkey breast. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Loosen skin from breast of a 4-to-7-pound bone-in turkey breast to form a pocket. In a small bowl, combine 4 tablespoons canola oil, 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce, 2 cloves minced garlic and 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning. Rub half the mixture under skin and remaining mixture on outside of breast. Place breast on rack in roasting pan. Roast 1 1/4 to 1 3/4 hours, or until a thermometer inserted in thickest part of breast registers 165 degrees. Remove from oven; loosely tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes before slicing. Discard skin. Serve with packaged black beans and rice, coleslaw and baguettes. Buy a coconut cake for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and cake for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use the turkey leftovers for grilled turkey and provolone cheese sandwiches on whole-grain bread. Serve with baked chips and a lettuce wedge. Slice the leftover cake for dessert.
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Baked curried jasmine rice and lentil pilaf over spinach (see recipe) will please everyone. For dessert, grapes.
Try frozen veggie burgers for a quick meal tonight. Enjoy them on toasted whole-grain buns with lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, mayonnaise and mustard. Serve with oven fries (frozen). Lime sherbet for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough sherbet for Saturday.
The kids will love chicken orzo. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium. In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise and 1 (0.87-ounce) package onion gravy mix. Coat both sides of 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast cutlets in mixture and place in skillet. Add remaining mixture to pan and cook 1 minute on each side until chicken begins to brown. Stir in 1 1/2 cups water, 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chilies with liquid and 8 ounces orzo. Cover and cook 4 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 4 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of liquid is absorbed and orzo is tender. For dessert, apple slices.
Try orange beef with rice (see recipe). Serve it with mixed greens and crusty bread. Strawberries are your dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Pasta with shrimp and asparagus in tarragon cream sauce (see recipe) is a special treat. Add an arugula salad and sourdough bread. Leftover sherbet and pirouettes (rolled cookies) are good for dessert.
Curried Jasmine Rice
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup jasmine rice
4 1/4 cups water
1 cup brown lentils
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cinnamon stick
4 (1/8-inch-thick) slices fresh ginger, peeled
1 to 2 teaspoons red curry paste
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
8 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
4 green onions, sliced
Place rack in lower third of oven; heat to 350 degrees. Melt butter on medium-high in a large ovenproof Dutch oven; add rice and cook, stirring 2 minutes or until lightly toasted. Add water. Stir in lentils, garlic, cinnamon stick, ginger, curry paste and salt; bring to boil, stirring to dissolve curry paste. Cover the pot tightly with lid or foil. Transfer to oven and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until the rice and lentils are tender and water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, removing cinnamon stick and ginger slices. Serve on a bed of spinach; garnish with green onions.
Per serving: 391 calories, 19 grams protein, 3 grams fat (7 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 73 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 399 milligrams sodium, 10 grams fiber
Orange Beef With Rice
Yield: 5 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound lean ground beef
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms
1 cup shredded carrots
1 (6-ounce) package long-grain and wild rice
3/4 cup orange juice
1 (14-ounce) can lower-sodium beef broth
In a large pot, heat canola oil on medium-high. Add beef and onion. Cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes; drain. Add garlic, mushrooms and carrots. Cook 5 more minutes or until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are softened. Add rice mix and seasoning packet, orange juice and broth; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until liquid has been absorbed, and serve.
Per serving: 354 calories, 24 grams protein, 12 grams fat (32 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 36 grams carbohydrate, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 524 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Pasta With Shrimp And Asparagus
Yield: 6 servings
8 ounces linguine
2 tablespoon butter
2 cups asparagus, trimmed and sliced diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium leek, cleaned and thinly sliced
1 cup half-and-half
1 tablespoon tarragon
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 pound large shrimp, peeled and deveined
Cook linguine and drain, reserving 1/4 cup of the cooking water. Melt butter in large, deep skillet on medium heat. Add asparagus and leeks; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in half-and-half, tarragon, lemon peel, lemon juice and salt. Bring to boil. Stir shrimp into skillet. Reduce heat to low; simmer 5 minutes or just until shrimp turn pink. Add linguine and reserved pasta cooking water; toss to coat well.
Per serving: 304 calories, 21 grams protein, 10 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 5.5 grams saturated fat, 35 grams carbohydrate, 131 milligrams cholesterol, 454 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.