Make family time special with beef, pepper and mushroom kebabs (see recipe). Serve the kebabs with two packages of long-grain and wild rice and add snow peas on the side, along with sourdough bread. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Prepare 2 extra kebabs (meat only), save enough rice, any snow peas and some pie for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
You’re in for a treat with this beef and red pepper stir-fry using Sunday’s leftovers. Slice the cooked beef into 1/2-inch pieces. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil (or another oil) on medium-high; stir-fry 1 large red bell pepper (cut into thin strips) and 2 cups fresh broccoli florets for 5 minutes. Add any leftover snow peas, 1 (8-ounce) can drained pineapple tidbits, the beef and any stir-fry sauce. Cook and stir until heated through. Serve over leftover rice and garnish with sliced green onions if desired. Add a mixed greens salad and a baguette. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
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Save some food dollars with Mexican turkey burgers on whole-grain hamburger buns. Top the burgers with canned green chilies (drained), salsa, shredded lettuce and reduced-fat sour cream. Add corn and bean salad on the side. Combine canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes (drained), canned reduced-sodium black beans (rinsed), canned no-salt-added corn (rinsed) and some chopped red onion. Toss with Italian dressing and serve. Scoop fat-free strawberry ice cream for dessert.
Skip meat tonight in favor of stuffed baked potatoes. Slash the tops of the potatoes and spoon hot canned vegetarian chili over them. Garnish with reduced-fat sour cream, any shredded cheddar cheese and chopped green onions. Add a lettuce wedge with crumbled blue cheese and hard-cooked egg wedges on the side and crusty bread. For dessert, peaches are light.
Expect a big hug when you feed the kids these oven-fried chicken tenders. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat chicken tenders with cooking spray and then dredge them in mashed potato flakes (not granules). Sprinkle with seasoned salt. Bake 15 minutes, turning once. The kids’ favorite, tater tots (frozen), can go alongside. Add a deli carrot salad and soft bread sticks. Let’s have pears for dessert.
Look for Boston Market (or another brand) chicken potpie in the frozen food case. Serve mixed vegetables on the side along with a packaged green salad. Buy tapioca pudding for dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for your own grilled grouper. Serve it along with roasted root vegetables (see recipe) and a romaine salad. Lemon meringue tarts (see recipe) are perfect for dessert.
BEEF, PEPPER AND MUSHROOM KEBABS
1 pound boneless beef top sirloin steak, cut 1-inch thick
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 large green, red or yellow bell pepper, cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces
12 large mushrooms
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
Trim fat from beef; cut into 1-1/4-inch pieces. In large bowl, whisk together juice, oil, water, mustard, honey, oregano and pepper; add beef, bell pepper and mushrooms, tossing to coat. Alternately thread pieces of beef, bell pepper and mushrooms on each of 4 (12-inch) metal skewers. Meanwhile, place kebabs over medium, ash-covered coals. Grill kebabs, covered, 8 to 11 minutes (over medium heat on preheated gas grill, 9 to 11 minutes) for medium-rare (145 degrees) to medium doneness (160 degrees), turning occasionally; season with salt. Note: To broil, place kebabs on rack in broiler pan so surface of meat is 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 9 to 12 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally; season with salt.
Per serving: 198 calories, 25 grams protein, 8 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 222 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Yield: 4 servings
ROASTED ROOT VEGETABLES
12 ounces fresh whole white mushrooms (without stems)
4 ounces shiitake mushrooms (without stems)
2 pounds mixed root vegetables (such as sweet potatoes, parsnips and carrots), cut into 1-inch pieces
2 medium onions, cut into 1-inch wedges
12 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 1/2 teaspoons dried rosemary
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In two shallow roasting pans, arrange vegetables in a single layer. Combine oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Drizzle over vegetables; turn to coat. Roast, stirring once, for 15 minutes; exchange shelves of pans (for more even cooking). Roast 15 more minutes or until tender.
Per serving: 213 calories, 5 grams protein, 8 grams fat (30 percent calories from fat), 0.6 grams saturated fat, 35 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 398 milligrams sodium, 7 gram fiber.
Yield: 6 servings
LEMON MERINGUE TARTS
1 (10-ounce) package frozen puff pastry shells
1 (3-ounce) package lemon pudding mix
1 percent milk for pudding mix (check directions for amount)
1 teaspoon lemon zest (yellow part only)
2 egg whites
1/4 cup sugar
Bake pastry shells according to directions. Cook pudding mix according to directions for pie filling (using 1 percent milk). Stir in lemon zest. Cool to room temperature. Spoon about 1/3 cup pudding into each pastry shell. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg whites until frothy, using an electric mixer at high speed. Add sugar gradually, beating until soft peaks form. Spoon evenly over pudding in each shell and spread to edges. Place on baking sheet. Bake 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool and serve.
Per serving: 315 calories, 8 grams protein, 14 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 42 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 357 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Yield: 6 servings