Use this simple marinade for broiled flank steak. In a resealable plastic bag, combine 1/2 cup dry red wine, 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Add 1 (1 1/4- to 1 1/2-pound) flank steak to bag, turn to coat and marinate overnight. Remove steak; discard marinade and pat steak dry. Broil 13 to 18 minutes for medium-rare to medium, 2 to 3 inches from heat. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing crosswise across grain. Serve with lemony lentil salad with feta (see recipe), tomato wedges topped with fresh sliced basil and whole-grain bread. Buy a chocolate layer cake for dessert. Plan ahead: Save leftover steak and tomato wedges and enough lentil salad for Monday. Save enough cake for Tuesday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
There will be no fuss, no muss tonight with leftover lentil salad. Slice any leftover steak and arrange on top of the salad, along with any leftover tomatoes on the side. Add whole-wheat pita bread. For dessert, any type of melon slices are refreshing.
Save some pennies tonight and serve black bean chili. In a large pot, combine 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium rinsed black beans, 1 (10- to 12-ounce) can drained chicken breast (or 2 cups cooked), 2 cups lightly drained salsa and 2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies. Heat through, ladle into bowls, and offer fresh chopped cilantro and reduced-fat sour cream for garnishes. Serve with mixed greens and cornbread (from a mix). Slice the leftover cake for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Wednesday.
The kids won't be able to resist Southwestern pizza. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Spoon the leftover chili over a large, thin, ready-to-bake pizza crust. Top with shredded 50 percent light jalapeño cheddar cheese (such as Cabot or other brand). Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted. Slice and serve with deli carrot salad. For dessert, try red and green grapes.
For a no-meat dinner, try mushroom fettuccine with sun-dried tomatoes (see recipe). Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Fresh pineapple spears make a good dessert.
For a super-quick meal, try any brand of frozen crab cakes and refrigerated hash-browned potatoes. Add deli coleslaw and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, pears are simple.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
This sesame-crusted cod with green beans (see recipe), with its mild flavor, is guest-friendly. Serve it with a Boston lettuce salad, oven-roasted potatoes and baguettes. Buy a lemon meringue pie for dessert.
Lemony Lentil Salad With Feta
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup chopped fresh dill
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and pepper (or to taste)
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 cups cooked brown lentils
1 cup crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (4 ounces)
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup diced seedless cucumber
1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
Whisk lemon juice, dill, mustard, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Gradually whisk in oil. Add cooked lentils, feta, bell pepper, cucumber and onion; toss to coat and serve.
Per serving: 166 calories, 8 g protein, 9 g fat (47 percent calories from fat), 1.9 g saturated fat, 15 g carbohydrate, 4 mg cholesterol, 221 mg sodium, 5 g fiber.
Yield: makes 10 servings
Mushroom Fettuccine With Sun-Dried Tomatoes
12 ounces fettuccine
1/2 cup thinly sliced marinated sun-dried tomatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 (16-ounce) bag frozen bell peppers and onions
2 teaspoons minced garlic
12 ounces fresh mushrooms (mix of shiitake and white button, stems discarded and halved)
3 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
3 tablespoons flour
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
1 cup shredded reduced-fat or regular Jarlsberg cheese
Cook pasta according to directions. With paper towels, remove excess oil from tomatoes; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add bell peppers and onions; cook 2 minutes or until thawed. Add garlic; cook 30 seconds. Add mushrooms; cook 5 minutes or until tender. In a medium bowl, whisk milk, flour, salt and pepper until blended; add to skillet, along with sun-dried tomatoes. Bring to boil; boil 2 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat, add cheese and stir until melted. Drain pasta and place in a large bowl; add sauce and toss to mix. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 298 calories, 16 g protein, 6 g fat (17 percent calories from fat), 2.4 g saturated fat, 47 g carbohydrate, 12 mg cholesterol, 91 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
Yield: makes 8 servings
Sesame-Crusted Cod With Green Beans
1 pound fresh or frozen (and thawed) cod fillets, 3/4-inch thick
Coarse salt and pepper
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
12 ounces fresh thin green beans
1 medium orange, halved and sliced
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pat fish dry with paper towels; cut into 4 pieces. Place on unheated broiler pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix together butter and seeds. Reserve 1 tablespoon butter mixture. Brush fish with half remaining butter mixture. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat source for 4 minutes; turn. Brush with other half butter mixture. Broil 5 more minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Meanwhile in a large skillet, cook and cover green beans and orange in reserved butter mixture on medium-high for 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook, uncovered, 5 more minutes or until beans are crisp-tender, stirring often. Serve fish on bean mixture. (Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens: New Cookbook (16th Edition),” Jan Miller, editor; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.)
Per serving: 216 calories, 23 g protein, 9 g fat (37 percent calories from fat), 4.2 g saturated fat, 12 g carbohydrate, 64 mg cholesterol, 119 mg sodium, 4 g fiber.
Yield: makes 4 servings