Make family day fuss-free with oven-fried dijon chicken (see recipe). Serve with your scalloped potatoes, sugar snap peas, a spinach salad and crusty bread. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Prepare enough plain bone-in, skinless chicken thighs for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use the leftover (cooked) plain chicken thighs for chicken enchiladas with avocado corn salad. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Microwave 8 (6-inch) corn tortillas according to package directions until pliable. Divide shredded cooked chicken thighs among tortillas, then divide 3/4 cup (of 2 cups total) shredded cheddar-jack Mexican-style cheese and top with more chicken. Roll and place seam-side down in a single layer in an 11-by-7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Pour 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce over all; sprinkle with remaining 1 1/4 cups cheese. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, combine 1 diced avocado, 1 pint halved grape tomatoes, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed no-salt-added corn kernels, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, and coarse salt and pepper to taste; toss gently. Serve with enchiladas. Add canned reduced-sodium pinto beans on the side. For dessert, orange sections are easy.
Pinch a few pennies with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches on the menu. Serve with heated stewed tomatoes (canned) drizzled with olive oil and a mixed greens salad. Enjoy red and green grapes for dessert.
For a fast meal, try stuffed pitas with tuna caponata. Mix drained albacore tuna and caponata (eggplant appetizer in jar or can). Stuff into lettuce-lined whole-wheat pita bread. Serve with fresh vegetable sticks and deli minestrone soup topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Tropical fruit is good for dessert.
Basil and garlic tortellini (see recipe) is an alternative to meat tonight. Serve with a romaine salad and garlic bread. For a light dessert, Pineapple chunks with toasted coconut is good.
Kids always welcome burger night when they can choose their favorite kind. Whatever the choice, serve them on whole-grain buns along with lettuce and tomato. Add oven-fried potato wedges (frozen). Make them “eggs” on toast for dessert. Toast 4 slices frozen cinnamon French toast according to directions. When cool, place on serving plates. Using an ice cream spade (not a scoop), top each slice with fat-free vanilla ice cream. Make two shallow depressions in ice cream with back of a spoon. Place 2 apricot halves (from 15-ounce can of apricots in light syrup), round-side up, in depressions. Spoon apricot syrup over “eggs” and serve.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for fettuccine and spinach with gorgonzola sauce (see recipe), a company-friendly pasta. Serve with an arugula salad and baguettes. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.