Serve Dad’s “fried” chicken (see recipe) with corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw and Italian bread. Add blue-devil deviled eggs. Hard-cook 12 eggs; cool, peel, halve and remove yolks to a medium bowl. Mash, then blend in 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Add 2 tablespoons crumbled blue cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Divide; fill eggs and garnish with bacon. Save enough Italian bread, Blue-Devil Deviled Eggs for Monday and cook enough eggs for Wednesday.
Panzanella (see recipe) makes a delicious summer meal. Add leftover deviled eggs alongside.
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Make open-faced asparagus quesadillas. Lightly toast 1 teaspoon cumin seeds in a skillet over medium heat for 3 minutes, shaking pan; set aside. Microwave 4 slices bacon 3 or 4 minutes on high; let stand 3 minutes and crumble when cool. Melt 1 teaspoon butter in skillet over medium heat; add 3/4 pound asparagus (1 1/2-inch pieces) and cook 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 cups sliced mushrooms and 3/4 teaspoon garlic salt; cook 2 minutes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place 4 (6-inch) fat-free flour tortillas on a large rimmed baking pan. Top with asparagus mixture; sprinkle with 2 sliced green onions, 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, bacon and cumin seeds. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve with canned pinto beans. Add a sliced avocado salad on shredded lettuce.
Herbed couscous and peas makes a light summertime meal. Bring 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted vegetable broth to simmer in medium pan. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup whole-wheat couscous. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Meanwhile, microwave 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas; drain. To couscous, add green peas, 1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, 2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley, 2 tablespoons mint, 2 tablespoons basil and 1 teaspoon lemon zest; fluff with fork. Serve immediately. Add a mixed greens salad with leftover hard-cooked egg wedges and flatbread.
When I’m out of ideas, I buy meatloaf and pretend it’s my mother’s recipe. I also add refrigerated cooked potatoes, along with steamed fresh broccoli, packaged green salad and whole-grain rolls. Save enough meatloaf for Friday.
Warm the leftover meatloaf, then crumble and spoon into taco shells. Top with shredded cheddar and add salsa. Serve with vegetarian baked beans and carrot sticks. Kiwifruit makes an easy dessert.
Iinvite friends for hearty beef and barley summer salad (see recipe). Serve it with your gazpacho and sourdough rolls. Your dessert, lemon mousse cake, will further impress your guests. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat bottoms (only) of 2 (9-inch) round cake pans with cooking spray. Prepare and bake 1 (2-layer size) package lemon cake mix according to directions. Cool completely. For the icing: In a medium bowl, gently stir 3/4 cup lemon pie filling (from a 15- to 16-ounce can) into 2 (16-ounce) tubs whipped ready-to-spread vanilla frosting. Place 1 cake layer, rounded-side down, on serving plate. Spread with 1 cup lemon mixture; top with second layer (rounded-side up). Frost sides and top of cake, then slice and serve. Refrigerate leftover cake.
DAD’S “FRIED” CHICKEN
Servings: 4. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Marinating time: 30 minutes to 8 hours. Cooking time: 40 to 50 minutes.
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon hot sauce
2 1/2 to 3 pounds skinless chicken legs
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 tablespoons sesame seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
Whisk buttermilk, mustard, garlic and hot sauce in shallow baking dish. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate up to 8 hours. Heat oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place wire rack coated with cooking spray on sheet. Whisk flour, sesame seeds, paprika, thyme, baking powder, salt and pepper in small bowl. Place flour mixture in a resealable plastic bag. Shake excess marinade from chicken and place in flour mixture; shake to coat. Place chicken on rack. Coat pieces with cooking spray. Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until golden and no longer pink in center. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 312 calories, 39 grams protein, 14 grams fat (41 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 196 milligrams cholesterol, 265 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Servings: 4. Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes for bread. Standing time: 30 minutes.
For the salad
4 slices leftover crusty Italian bread, 3/4-inch thick, cut into bite-size pieces
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed
8 ounces part-skim mozzarella, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 medium red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
2 cups salad greens
For the dressing
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon ground mustard
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
Heat oven to 350. Place bread in single layer on baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until toasted. In a large bowl, combine beans, mozzarella, bell pepper and onion. In a medium bowl, combine vinegar, oil, salt, garlic, basil, mustard and crushed red pepper. Pour dressing over bean mixture; toss to mix well. Add bread to bean mixture; toss to mix. Let mixture stand 30 minutes; stir occasionally. Serve over salad greens.
Per serving: 453 calories, 23 grams protein, 24 grams fat (47 percent calories from fat), 7.9 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 1,121 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.
BEEF AND BARLEY SUMMER SALAD
Servings: 4. Prep time: 25 minutes. Marinating time: 6 hours to overnight. Cooking time: less than 15 minutes, plus barley.
For the marinade
1 cup reduced-fat balsamic vinaigrette
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
1 pound beef top-round steak (3/4-inch thick)
For the salad
1 cup quick-cooking barley
1/4 pound fresh green beans
1 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
Combine vinaigrette, juices and zests in small bowl. Place steak and 1/2 cup marinade in resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Refrigerate at 6 hours; turn occasionally. Refrigerate remaining marinade. Cook barley; set aside. Boil green beans 3 minutes; drain. Run cold water over beans to stop cooking; drain. Heat grill on medium. Grill steak, uncovered, 8 to 9 minutes for medium-rare; turn occasionally. Do not overcook or steak will be tough. Carve steak across grain into thin slices. Toss barley, green beans, steak, bell pepper and onions in bowl. Drizzle with reserved marinade; sprinkle with chives.
Per serving: 339 calories, 31 grams protein, 7 grams fat (19 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 461 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.