Make family-day dining a tasty experience with sage and wild mushroom pork chops (see recipe). Alongside, add parsley-buttered potatoes, green beans and dinner rolls. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday.
Tell the kids that flashy fish tacos are for dinner and watch them hurry to the table. In a 1-quart baking dish, mix together 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon cumin; microwave on high (100 percent power) for 30 seconds. Stir in 2 (6-ounce) cans drained, water-packed light tuna, 1 (14-ounce) can drained no-salt-added petite diced tomatoes, 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce and juice of 1/2 lime. Microwave on high 2 minutes or until heated through; stir once. Microwave 4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas for 10 seconds on high until warm. Spoon some of the hot filling onto each tortilla; top each one with 1/4 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese, and fold over. Serve with yellow rice (from a mix) and avocado slices. Enjoy leftover pie for dessert.
It’s easy, low-cost and has lots of flavor, and that’s why white corn chili is for dinner. Brown 3/4 pound lean ground beef in a large pot for 5 minutes on medium-high or until it’s no longer pink; drain. Add 1 (15 1/4-ounce) can drained no-salt-added whole-kernel white corn, 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, 2 cups salsa and 1 (16-ounce) can rinsed, reduced-sodium kidney beans. Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until hot. Garnish with shredded 50 percent light jalapeno cheddar cheese. Serve with a mixed greens salad and baked tortilla chips. Add pears for dessert. Plan ahead: Double the chili recipe for Thursday night.
Skip meat for Asian vegetables and noodles with peanut sauce (see recipe). Add a lettuce wedge and sesame bread sticks. Make pistachio pudding with 1 percent milk for dessert
THURSDAY (Heat and Eat)
Enjoy having leftover chili for dinner. Serve it over brown rice this time. Add coleslaw and cornbread (from a mix). Serve tangerines for dessert.
Tonight’s Reuben pierogi bake will be on the table quickly. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow 10-inch round baking dish with cooking spray. In a large saucepan, heat 1 (14.1- to 16.9-ounce) package frozen pierogies (any kind, such as Mrs. T’s) in 2 quarts boiling water for 5 minutes or until they float. Drain well and transfer to prepared baking dish. Layer 4 ounces thinly sliced deli corned beef (cut into 2-inch squares) and 1 cup rinsed and drained refrigerated sauerkraut over pierogies; drizzle with 1/3 cup reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing and top with 4 ounces thinly sliced Swiss cheese. Bake 10 minutes or until pierogies are hot and cheese melts. Serve with pickled beets. Buy a cheesecake for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough cheesecake for Saturday.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
You’ll be busy tonight, so beef and smoked gouda grits (see recipe) will be perfect. Serve with a romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. Top leftover cheesecake with warm cherry preserves.
Sage And Wild Mushroom Pork Chops
Yield: 4 servings
2 teaspoons dried sage
3/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 center-cut, bone-in pork chops (trimmed, 1 inch thick), about 1 1/4 pounds
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups thinly sliced fresh mushrooms (such as shiitake or crimini)
1 cup unsalted chicken broth
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon garlic powder
In a small bowl, mix together sage, ginger and pepper. Rub evenly on both sides of chops. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chops; cook 5 to 6 minutes per side or until desired doneness. Remove from skillet; cover with foil to keep warm. Add mushrooms to skillet; cook and stir 5 minutes. Stir in broth, vinegar, maple syrup, thyme and garlic powder, scraping browned bits from bottom of skillet. Reduce heat to medium and simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until sauce begins to thicken. Spoon over chops and serve.
Per serving: 222 calories, 21 grams protein, 9 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 79 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Asian Vegetables And Noodles With Peanut Sauce
Yield: 4 servings
7 ounces stir-fry rice noodles (such as Thai Kitchen or another brand)
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/3 cup unsalted vegetable stock
3 tablespoons dry sherry
2 tablespoons chives
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 cups coarsely chopped bok choy
1 cup fresh bean sprouts
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
Prepare rice noodles as directed on package. Rinse under cold water; drain well. Set aside. Place peanut butter, vegetable stock, sherry, chives, fish sauce, sugar and sesame oil in bowl of food processor; cover. Process until smooth. Set aside. Heat canola oil in large skillet or wok on medium heat. Add bok choy, bean sprouts and bell pepper; stir-fry 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender-crisp. Stir in peanut butter mixture. Bring to simmer. Add noodles; toss to coat. Spoon noodle mixture into serving bowls and serve. Note: Fish sauce is made from anchovies. If you cannot eat it, delete it and substitute with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt.
Per serving: 432 calories, 9 grams protein, 18 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 57 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 708 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Beef And Smoked Gouda Grits
Yield: 6 servings
3 1/2 cups water
1 cup quick-cooking grits
1 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces coarsely chopped portobello mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1 (17-ounce) package refrigerated fully cooked beef tips with gravy
Chopped fresh parsley for garnish
Boil water in a medium pan. Slowly add grits, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Add cheese and butter; stir until cheese and butter are completely melted. Remove from heat. Cover; set aside. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add mushrooms and onion. Cook 4 to 5 minutes or until onion is softened, stirring occasionally. Stir in beef tips with gravy; continue cooking 5 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Divide grits among 4 shallow bowls. Top with beef mixture, garnish with parsley and serve.
Per serving: 370 calories, 26 grams protein, 16 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 7.6 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 78 milligrams cholesterol, 824 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.