Show your mother you learned your lessons well and prepare bacon, cheddar and tomato mini frittatas (see recipe) for her. Accompany the brunch with orange slices and strawberries. Add toasted whole-grain English muffins.
Try budget-friendly Tex-Mex pork and mushroom skillet tonight. From a 1.25-ounce packet of reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix, remove 1 tablespoon; set aside. Place remaining seasoning in a large resealable plastic bag. Quarter 1 1/2 pounds (1/2-inch-thick) boneless pork chops. Add several pieces of pork to bag; seal and shake until well-coated. Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining pork. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon (of 2 tablespoons total) canola oil on medium-high. Add half the pork; cook 4 minutes, turning frequently, until browned. Remove and repeat with 1 tablespoon oil and remaining pork. Add 1 pound thickly sliced fresh white mushrooms and 1 medium chopped onion; cook and stir 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes in puree, 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, 1/2 teaspoon sugar and reserved taco seasoning mix; bring to boil. Return pork to skillet. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes or until pork is tender. Serve half the mixture over rice. Add mixed greens and cornbread muffins (from a mix). For dessert, peaches are perfect. Plan ahead: Save half the Tex-Mex Pork and some muffins for Tuesday.
TUESDAY (Heat and Eat)
Tonight’s pork and mushroom chili is almost ready. From Monday’s leftover Tex-Mex Pork, remove the pork and cut it into smaller pieces. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium; add the chopped pork, the remaining Tex-Mex mixture, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium kidney beans, 1 cup salsa and 1/2 cup frozen corn. Cover and bring to simmer and cook 10 minutes or until hot. Garnish with shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese. Serve with a lettuce wedge and leftover muffins. Try pluots for dessert. Tip: Pluots are a cross between a plum and an apricot.
The kids will want seconds of grilled ham and cheese “French toast” (see recipe). Serve the sandwiches with cherry tomato halves. For a crunchy dessert, try apple slices.
Buy a deli lemon pepper (or regular) rotisserie chicken for a quick meal, and accompany it with hash-browned potatoes (refrigerated), peas and carrots (frozen) and deli coleslaw. Pineapple sherbet is an easy dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough sherbet for Friday.
You’ll enjoy chickpea, brown rice and tomato pilaf for a meat-free meal. In a large bowl, combine 4 cups cooked brown rice, 1 cup diced plum tomatoes, 1 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/2 cup chopped flatleaf parsley, 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest, 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, dash of pepper and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium chickpeas; mix well. Cover and chill until serving time. Serve with salad greens and pita bread. Leftover sherbet is dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
You won’t have leftovers when you serve risotto with mozzarella, tomatoes and basil (see recipe) to your guests. It’s a keeper. Serve with a spinach salad and Italian bread. Buy an ice cream pie for dessert.
Grilled Ham And Cheese ‘french Toast’
4 teaspoons all-fruit peach jam
8 slices whole-grain bread
3 ounces thinly sliced deli ham
3 ounces thinly sliced provolone cheese
4 teaspoons honey mustard
1 percent milk
1 tablespoon canola oil, divided
Spread 1 teaspoon jam over each of 4 bread slices. Top each evenly with the ham and cheese. Spread 1 teaspoon mustard over each of the 4 remaining bread slices. Place firmly on the ham and cheese; set aside. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a large bowl. Dip the sandwiches in the egg mixture, turning carefully to coat. Heat half the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the sandwiches and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottoms are golden brown. Add the remaining oil, flip the sandwiches, and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until the bottoms are golden and cheese melts. Slice and serve warm.
Per serving: 347 calories, 21 grams protein, 15 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 5.6 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 164 milligrams cholesterol, 736 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 4 servings
Bacon, Cheddar And Tomato Mini Frittatas
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon bacon and chive seasoning (such as McCormick)
1 cup 50 percent light shredded cheddar cheese, divided
2 plum tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, milk and seasoning. Add 1/2 cup cheese; mix well. Coat 12 regular-size muffin cups generously with cooking spray. Spoon about 1/4 cup egg mixture into each cup. Sprinkle with tomatoes and remaining 1/2 cup cheese. Bake 20 minutes or just until eggs are set. Run small knife around each cup to loosen frittatas. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Per serving: 77 calories, 7 grams protein, 5 grams fat (55 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 130 milligrams cholesterol, 179 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Yield: makes 12 mini fritattas
Risotto With Mozzarella, Tomatoes And Basil
4 1/2 cups unsalted chicken broth
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
2 cups chopped leeks
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine or unsalted chicken broth
1/4 cup half-and-half
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup halved grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
2 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
In a medium pan, bring the broth to a simmer (do not boil); keep warm. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large saucepan over medium-high. Add leeks; cook 3 minutes or until tender. Add rice; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine and cook 1 minute or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total). Stir in half-and-half, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in tomatoes, basil and cheese. Divide and spoon into shallow bowls; drizzle each serving with remaining oil.
Per serving: 436 calories, 10 grams protein, 11 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 66 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 728 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Yield: 4 servings