What’s for Valentine’s dinner? Find out here

SUNDAY (Family)

Make family day special with baked turkey breast. To make preparation even easier, use a turkey roasting bag and follow the directions. Serve with garlic mashed potatoes, peas and carrots (frozen), mixed greens and dinner rolls. Buy a chocolate meringue pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, peas and carrots and pie for Monday. Save enough mashed potatoes for Tuesday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Have some fun and make turkey pierogi pot pie with the turkey leftovers. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a 10-inch round baking dish (about 2 1/2 quarts) with cooking spray. In a large bowl, toss 1 1/2 cups leftover peas and carrots, 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms and 1 1/4 cups chopped cooked (leftover) turkey with 1 cup Alfredo sauce until well-coated. Transfer to baking dish. Arrange 1 (14.1- to 16-ounce) package any variety frozen pierogies on top; coat with cooking spray and bake 35 minutes or until filling bubbles and pierogies turn golden. Serve with a lettuce wedge. Slice the leftover pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough Alfredo sauce for Friday.

TUESDAY (Valentine’s Day)

What could be a more perfect dish for your lamb chop than rosemary-marinated lamb chops (see recipe)? Serve with leftover garlic mashed potatoes, asparagus, salad greens and baguettes. Cherry ginger crisp (see recipe) is a special dessert for your honey.

WEDNESDAY (Meatless)

Skip meat for creamy corn and potato chowder. In a large pan, combine 1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk, 1 (15- to 17-ounce) can no-salt-added cream-style corn (such as Del Monte or another brand), 8 ounces frozen O’Brien potatoes, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Cover and bring to boil on medium-high. Reduce heat to medium-low. Uncover and stir to break up potatoes. Simmer, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until thickened, stirring often. Sprinkle with 50 percent light cheddar cheese and fresh chopped chives. Serve the chowder with deli egg salad sandwiches (on whole-grain bread with sliced tomatoes and lettuce). Try PLUMS for dessert.


Kids and grown-ups will like these sloppy Joes. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium; add 12 ounces lean ground beef and cook 1 minute. Add 1 large finely chopped onion and 2 cups finely chopped crimini mushrooms (about 4 ounces) and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are soft and moisture has evaporated. Add 5 diced plum tomatoes and 2 tablespoons flour; stir to combine. Stir in 1/2 cup water, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1/4 cup chili sauce and 1/4 cup ketchup; bring to simmer on medium, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the onion is tender. Spoon onto toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve with baked chips and a carrot salad. Enjoy kiwifruit for an easy dessert.

friday (express)

Cook refrigerated pasta and top with Alfredo sauce (leftover) for a fast dinner. Add a spinach salad and crusty bread. Fresh tropical fruit is good for dessert.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Your guests will enjoy this orange chicken and vegetable rice bowl (see recipe). Serve with a Boston lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.

Rosemary-Marinated Lamb Chops

Yield: 2 servings

1 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon coarse grind black pepper

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1/4 cup orange juice

2 tablespoons dry white wine

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

4 loin lamb chops, 1 to 1 1/4 inches thick (about 1 pound)

In a medium bowl, combine rosemary, thyme, pepper, garlic powder and salt. Add onion, orange juice, white wine and half the olive oil. Whisk together and reserve 1/4 cup marinade for later. Place chops in resealable plastic bag; add marinade. Turn to coat. Refrigerate 30 to 60 minutes. Remove lamb and discard marinade; blot dry with paper towels. (Do not remove onion pieces from chops.) Heat remaining oil in heavy skillet over medium-high. Place lamb chops in skillet. Sear one side 4 minutes or until well-browned. Turn chops and cook 4 more minutes or until desired doneness. Add reserved marinade and simmer 2 minutes. Remove lamb to serving plate. Pour reduced marinade over lamb and serve.

Per serving: 270 calories, 26 grams protein, 15 grams fat (52 percent calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 82 milligrams cholesterol, 458 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Cherry Ginger Crisp

Yield: 8 servings

4 cups frozen tart cherries (do not thaw)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, divided

2 tablespoons plus 3/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon orange zest

1/2 teaspoon dried ginger

1 teaspoon butter (for skillet) plus 4 more tablespoons softened butter

1/3 cup rolled oats

Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together cherries, 1/2 cup flour, 2 tablespoons sugar, orange zest and dried ginger. Set aside. Coat inside of 10-inch ovenproof skillet with butter. Pour cherry mixture into skillet and spread into an even layer. Set aside. In a medium-size bowl, mix together the remaining flour and sugar and 1/3 cup rolled oats with a spoon. Use a pastry blender or two knives to mix softened butter into the flour mixture until butter is evenly incorporated and mixture resembles a coarse crumb. Spread topping evenly over cherries. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is golden brown and cherries are bubbling. Serve crisp warm or room temperature.

Per serving: 279 calories, 4 grams protein, 7 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 17 milligrams cholesterol, 58 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Orange Chicken And Vegetable Rice Bowl

Yield: 6 servings

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast (or tenderloins), cut into strips

2 cups fresh broccoli florets

2 fresh carrots, thinly sliced

1 medium onion, sliced

1 yellow bell pepper, sliced

1 red bell pepper, sliced

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth

Juice from 1 orange (about 1/2 cup)

Zest (orange part only) from same orange

3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons cornstarch

3 cups hot cooked brown rice

Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil on medium-high in a large nonstick skillet or wok; stir-fry chicken about 5 minutes or until lightly browned; remove. In same skillet, heat remaining oil; stir-fry broccoli, carrots, onion, bell peppers and ginger for 4 to 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine chicken broth, orange juice, zest, soy sauce and cornstarch. Stir until smooth. Add to skillet, stirring constantly. Boil 1 to 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in chicken and cook until heated through. Spoon over hot rice and serve.

Per serving: 289 calories, 21 grams protein, 6 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 48 milligrams cholesterol, 348 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.