Take it easy and serve a smoked turkey breast for family day. Oven roasted red potatoes with pesto and tomatoes (see recipe) will be one of your favorites to go alongside. Steamed fresh zucchini and whole-grain rolls are add-ons. For dessert, buy a peach pie. Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and pie for Monday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Enjoy the Thai flavors in Bangkok turkey salad. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons canola oil, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice, 1 teaspoon soy sauce and 1/8 teaspoon hot sauce. To serve, divide 6 cups salad greens on four plates. Divide and arrange 1 cup seeded, scored and thinly sliced cucumbers over greens; top with 12 ounces leftover turkey cut into 1/4-by-2-inch strips and 1/4 cup chopped peanuts. Drizzle dressing evenly over each salad before serving. Add tomato rice soup and crackers. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.
Sweet and spicy couscous makes a delicious no-meat dinner. Prepare 2 cups couscous according to directions. Remove from heat and cool; then fluff with fork. Stir in 1 cup halved seedless grapes, 1/2 cup toasted pine nuts, 1/2 cup sliced dried apricots, 1/2 cup sliced green onions, 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 cup olive oil and 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice. Let stand at room temperature 30 minutes to blend flavors. Serve with mixed greens and flatbread. Make or buy lemon pudding for dessert.
Make it quick tonight with any frozen spaghetti and meatballs entree. Top the combo with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add packaged salad greens and garlic bread. For dessert, cantaloupe slices are always good. Plan ahead: Make Thursday’s ice cream sandwiches tonight.
Your buckaroos can help prepare Wild West sizzlin’ tacos tonight. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, toss 2 cups cooked chicken strips with 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon paprika to coat. In an 8-by-8-inch baking dish, place 4 stand-up taco shells (from a 4.7-ounce box) side by side. Fill each shell with the seasoned chicken. Divide 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips) evenly over chicken. Top each shell with 1/4 cup canned barbecue baked beans and 1/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Sprinkle with 2 (total) strips crumbled cooked bacon. Bake 8 minutes or until heated. Garnish with mild salsa if desired. Munch on celery sticks on the side. Make dessert special with black-and-white ice cream sandwiches (see recipe). Plan ahead: Save some ice cream sandwiches for Friday.
Make quick work of Mexican chicken and bean stew (see recipe) using a pressure cooker. Serve the flavorful stew with salad greens and cornbread (from a mix). Leftover ice cream sandwiches are a worthy dessert.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Prepare your own broiled lamb chops for guests. Accompany the chops with mango chutney. Add delicious brown rice royal. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high; add 1 (8-ounce) package sliced crimini mushrooms and 1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions; cook 10 minutes or until tender. Add 3 cups hot cooked boil-in-bag brown rice; stir to combine. Serve with fresh broccoli, mixed salad greens and sourdough bread. Buy a coconut cake for dessert.
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes With Pesto And Tomatoes
Yield: 6 servings
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds small red potatoes, quartered
1/2 cup unsalted chicken or vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup refrigerated pesto
Grape tomato halves for garnish
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Pour oil into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Add potatoes and spread to cover bottom of dish. Add stock. Season with salt and pepper. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven; place in serving dish and toss with pesto. Garnish with tomatoes.
Per serving: 204 calories, 4 grams protein, 10 grams fat (43 percent calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 287 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Black-And-White Ice Cream Sandwiches
Yield: 8 servings
16 (3 1/4-inch) sugar cookies
2 cups vanilla ice cream
2 cups chocolate ice cream
1/2 cup marshmallow creme
1/3 to 1/2 cup fat-free fudge sauce
On a flat surface, place 8 cookies; place 2 scoops (1/4 cup each) vanilla and chocolate ice creams side by side on cookies. Top with smooth side of remaining cookies, pressing together gently. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and freeze 6 to 24 hours or until firm. To serve, unwrap sandwiches and place on dessert plates. Spread 1 tablespoon marshmallow creme over each cookie. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat fudge sauce according to package directions or until just warm enough to drizzle over sandwiches, dividing evenly. TIP: Use melon baller or cookie dough scoop for scooping ice cream.
Per serving: 328 calories, 5 grams protein, 13 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 5.7 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 175 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Mexican Chicken And Bean Stew
Yield: 4 servings
8 skinless chicken legs (about 1 3/4 pounds)
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 small green bell peppers, finely chopped
2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 (16-ounce) can no-salt-added whole-kernel corn or hominy, rinsed
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed
Shredded carrots and reduced-fat pepper jack cheese for garnishes
Place chicken, onions, peppers, broth, chilies, garlic, oregano and chili powder in a 6-quart pressure cooker. Bring to full pressure as directed in owner's manual. Adjust heat to maintain recommended pressure; cook 15 minutes. Remove from heat. Allow pressure to drop gradually. Remove drumsticks from broth with a slotted spoon. Using two forks, shred meat off bones. Return meat to broth; stir in corn or hominy and beans. Reheat as necessary. Garnish with carrots and cheese. NOTE: To cook in slow cooker: Combine all ingredients and cook on low 6 hours.
Per serving: 402 calories, 35 grams protein, 9 grams fat (19 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 137 milligrams cholesterol, 680 milligrams sodium, 10 grams fiber.