For a special family day, beef burgundy (see recipe) will please everyone. Serve it over (no-yolk) noodles with green peas (frozen), mixed greens and whole-grain bread. For dessert, angel food cake with a dab of chocolate ice cream is easy. Plan ahead: Save enough beef burgundy, any leftover peas and cake for Monday; save enough ice cream for Tuesday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Thin the leftover beef burgundy with no-salt-added beef broth for beef vegetable soup; add any leftover peas and other vegetables hiding in your refrigerator to the soup. Add coarse salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a lettuce wedge and whole-grain crackers. Slice the leftover cake and top with any berries for dessert.
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It’s burger night, and the kids will love turkey burgers topped with pizza sauce on whole-grain buns. Serve them with oven fries (frozen) and add orange sections on chopped lettuce on the side. Leftover ice cream for dessert will bring on happy faces.
Skip meat tonight for mushroom and pepper frittata. In a large ovenproof skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium. Cook 1 medium chopped onion and 1 medium chopped red bell pepper 3 minutes. Add 8 ounces sliced shiitake mushrooms; cover and cook 1 minute. Stir and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer to a bowl. Heat broiler. In a large bowl, whisk 8 eggs, 1/4 cup water, 3/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. In same skillet, heat 1 more tablespoon canola oil. Add egg mixture and 1/4 cup freshly sliced basil leaves and cook 1 minute; reduce heat to medium-low. Sprinkle vegetable mixture over eggs. Cover and cook 5 to 6 minutes or until just the edges are puffed. Sprinkle 1/4 cup more Asiago cheese over top; broil 1 minute. Serve with whole-grain toast and fresh tropical fruit.
Make it quick with Palermo pizza tonight. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Top a packaged 12-inch cooked pizza crust with canned eggplant appetizer (caponata), sliced olives, sliced red onion, sliced plum tomatoes and freshly grated parmesan. Sprinkle with dried oregano. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until hot. Serve with packaged salad greens. For an easy dessert, try red and green grapes.
Get out the slow cooker again for southwestern chicken soup (see recipe). Serve with sliced avocado on a lettuce salad and crusty bread. Slice kiwifruit for dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Expect extended applause when you serve white fish provencal (see recipe) for friends. Serve with baked risotto. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a 10-inch ovenproof skillet on medium; add 1 small minced onion and cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add 3/4 cup arborio rice; cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Stir in 1 (14-ounce) can no-salt-added chicken broth; bring to boil. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bake, covered, 30 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Add brussels sprouts and dinner rolls. Complete your outstanding meal with orange ginger cheesecake. Stir a little grated fresh ginger into some orange marmalade and spoon over a cheesecake.
Yield: 8 servings
1 (8-ounce) package baby carrots
3/4 teaspoon dried marjoram
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
2 pounds lean beef stew meat, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup no-salt-added beef broth
1 cup burgundy or other dry red wine
2 cloves garlic, minced
1(8-ounce) package halved fresh mushrooms
1/4 cup quick-mixing flour, such as Wondra
Place carrots in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle marjoram and pepper over beef. Add to slow cooker. Add broth, burgundy, garlic and mushrooms. Cover and cook on low 6 hours. Remove about 1/2 cup liquid from cooker; mix with flour. Pour back into cooker and continue cooking on low about 30 more minutes or until thickened and beef and carrots are tender. Ladle into bowls and serve. Per serving: 216 calories, 24 grams protein, 8 grams fat (34 percent calories from fat), 3 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 75 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Southwestern Chicken Soup
Yield: about 15 cups
4 1/2 cups no-salt-added chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed
1 (10-ounce) package frozen shoepeg corn, partially thawed
1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into thin strips
1/2 teaspoon garlic pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
Less-sodium seasoned salt to taste
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, mix together the broth, tomatoes with juice, chilies, beans, corn, both bell peppers, onion, chicken and garlic pepper. Cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and continue cooking 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Stir in the cumin and add seasoned salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Per cup: 115 calories, 12 grams protein, 1 gram fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 29 milligrams cholesterol, 142 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
White Fish Provencal
Yield: 6 servings
1 1/2 pounds halibut fillets (or other firm white fish)
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place fish in single layer in baking dish coated with cooking spray. Lightly season fish with salt and pepper. Bake 12 minutes. If fish is more than 1-inch thick, increase cooking time to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in medium saucepan on medium. Add onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes, olives, wine, basil, garlic powder and thyme. Simmer, uncovered, 3 minutes. Remove fish from oven. Spoon sauce over fish. Return to oven; bake 5 minutes longer or until fish is opaque throughout. Serve immediately.
Per servings: 182 calories, 22 grams protein, 7 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 1 gram saturated fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 279 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.