Offer a marinated flank steak for the family using a dry or prepared marinade and follow the directions on the package. Grill the steak (1 1/2 pounds) for 11 to 21 minutes on a medium grill for medium rare to medium doneness. To serve, thinly slice across the grain. On the side, serve triple corn bake. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine 1 (16-ounce) can cream-style corn, 1 (16-ounce) can rinsed and drained no-salt-added corn kernels, 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, 1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix (such as Jiffy or another brand), 8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream and 1 lightly beaten egg; mix well. Spoon into baking dish; bake 30 minutes. Serve with steamed fresh zucchini. Add mixed greens. For dessert, make strawberry ice cream sandwiches with pound cake slices and strawberry ice cream for the filling. Plan ahead: Save enough steak, corn bake and cake for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Use the leftover steak in Mediterranean wraps. In a bowl, add steak (cut into strips), drained roasted red peppers (sliced) from a 12-ounce jar and 1/2 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese; stir to mix. Spread 1 side of 4 large fat-free flour tortillas with 2 tablespoons refrigerated ranch dip. Top each tortilla with fresh baby spinach (from a 5-ounce bag), followed with the steak mixture, keeping spinach and steak 1 inch from the edge. Start at the edge nearest you and roll tightly. Cut in half diagonally and serve. Heat the leftover triple corn bake and add carrot sticks to nibble on. Slice the leftover pound cake for dessert.
Baked potatoes with vegetables is a light dinner. Steam 4 cups frozen or fresh mixed vegetables. Stuff 4 baked potatoes with the vegetables and top with reduced-fat sour cream mixed with dried or fresh chopped oregano leaves and dried or fresh chopped basil leaves. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste. Serve with a romaine salad with egg slices and whole-grain bread. For dessert, fresh pineapple sprinkled with coconut is easy.
We never mind saving money when south of the border chicken chili (see recipe) is on the menu. Serve with a crisp lettuce wedge and cornbread (from a mix). Enjoy leftover ice cream for an easy dessert.
Calling all kids for macaroni and cheese with ham (see recipe). Add a deli carrot salad and soft rolls. Show the children how to make instant chocolate pudding with 1 percent milk and then drizzle it with chocolate syrup.
Rather than cook, try a lower-sodium frozen entree tonight that’s high in nutrients and load it up with any vegetables you have on hand. Add a packaged Italian salad and garlic bread. For dessert, peaches sprinkled with nutmeg is always good.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Serve your lucky guests chicken with olive picadillo salsa (see recipe). Accompany the flavor-packed chicken with black beans and packaged yellow rice. Add a romaine salad and baguettes. For dessert, berries in lime syrup is perfect. Heat 1/3 cup sugar and 1/4 cup water to boil until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; stir in 1/4 cup fresh lime juice. Refrigerate until cold. Refrigerate 6 cups strawberries cut in half. Pour syrup over berries, add lime zest (green part only) and toss to coat. Garnish with thin strips of lime peel if desired.
Macaroni And Cheese With Ham
Yield: 10 servings
16 ounces elbow macaroni
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups 1 percent milk, divided
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
2 cups shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese
1 (4-ounce) can mild chopped chilies
4 ounces diced ham
Cook macaroni according to directions, but without oil. Meanwhile, melt butter in pan over medium heat. Whisk in flour; cook 2 minutes. Whisk in 1 cup milk. Gradually whisk in remaining milk, 1 cup at a time, until smooth. Add salt. Simmer, whisking for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in cheese and chilies. Drain pasta; return to pot. Stir in cheese sauce and ham and serve.
Per serving: 312 calories, 17 g protein, 9 g fat (26 percent calories from fat), 5.4 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrate, 31 mg cholesterol, 404 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.
Chicken With Olive Picadillo Salsa
Yield: 4 servings
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 (6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
1 to 3 teaspoons salt-free or other jerk seasoning, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium red or green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes and green chilies with liquid (such as Rotel)
3/4 cup whole Spanish olives stuffed with pimientos, halved
1/2 cup golden or dark raisins
1 tablespoon capers, drained
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken; sprinkle chicken with half the jerk seasoning. Cook 4 minutes. Turn; sprinkle remaining seasoning over chicken. Continue to cook 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate; cover with foil. To skillet, add onion, bell pepper and garlic. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, olives, raisins, capers and Worcestershire sauce. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer 5 minutes. Return chicken to skillet along with collected juices, turning to coat. Continue cooking about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Transfer chicken to serving platter; top with olive mixture and serve.
Per serving: 356 calories, 38 g protein, 11 g fat (28 percent calories from fat), 1.9 g saturated fat, 26 g carbohydrate, 109 mg cholesterol, 865 mg sodium, 3 g fiber.
South Of The Border Chicken Chili
Yield: 6 servings
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup small chopped red or green bell pepper
1 (1.25- to 1.5-ounce) package white chicken chili seasoning mix (such as McCormick)
1 cup water
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium cannellini beans, undrained
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies, drained
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can no-salt-added whole kernel corn, rinsed
Shredded cheddar cheese, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro and reduced-fat sour cream for garnishes.
Heat oil in large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chicken and bell pepper; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in seasoning mix, water, both beans, tomatoes and corn. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 10 minutes. Cook chicken until no longer pink or the temperature registers 165 degrees, and serve.
Per serving: 249 calories, 23 g protein, 5 g fat (17 percent calories from fat), 0.6 g saturated fat, 33 g carbohydrate, 48 mg cholesterol, 936 mg sodium, 8 g fiber.