Your family likes your own pot roast with potatoes, carrots and celery best, so make them happy and serve it for family day. Add a spinach salad and whole-grain rolls. Buy a cherry cobbler for dessert and top it with fat-free vanilla ice cream. Plan ahead: Save enough beef, vegetables and cobbler for Monday; save enough ice cream for Saturday. Tip: Use a cooking bag with seasonings to make the pot roast preparation even easier.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Slice and heat the leftover beef and layer it on dense white bread. Top with beef gravy for open-faced beef sandwiches. Serve the leftover vegetables on the side along with a mixed greens salad. Warm the leftover cobbler for dessert.
Full-flavored and meatless, mushroom risotto with peas (see recipe) is a delicious dinner. Add a Romaine salad on the side and garlic bread. Slice kiwifruit for dessert.
Watch the kids smile when you show them this giant oven burger (see recipe). Add your favorite fixings on the side, such as lettuce, tomato, pickles, ketchup, mustard and low-fat mayonnaise. Serve with red potato wedges drizzled with butter. Red and green grapes are good for dessert.
Perk up an ordinary chicken breast and turn it into Santa Fe chicken. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small container, mix together 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1 tablespoon Southwestern seasoning and 1 teaspoon lemon juice. Brush mixture on both sides of chicken and bake 20 minutes or until internal temperature registers 165 degrees. Serve with canned reduced-sodium black beans, packaged yellow rice and sourdough bread. Peaches are good for dessert.
Buy or make egg salad for sandwiches and spread on whole-grain toast. Add a little dill to the egg salad for a flavor boost. Garnish the sandwich with leaf lettuce. Accompany the sandwiches with deli tomato rice soup. (If you have any leftover rice from Thursday, add it to the soup.) Finish with plums.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Invite friends for Italian-style halibut with tomatoes and white beans (see recipe). Serve with fresh broccoli spears, salad greens and baguettes. Top leftover ice cream with hot fudge sauce.
MUSHROOM RISOTTO WITH PEAS
3 tablespoons butter
3 cups (about 8 ounces) assorted sliced fresh mushrooms (such as button, crimini, shiitake)
1/3 cup sliced onions or shallots
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 3/4 cups Arborio rice
4 cups unsalted vegetable broth
3/4 cup dry white wine
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2/3 cup frozen peas, thawed
Asiago cheese shards and fresh Italian parsley leaves for garnish In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium. Add mushrooms, onions and garlic; cook 5 to 7 minutes or until mushrooms are lightly browned and liquid is evaporated, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook and stir 1 more minute. Transfer mixture to a 3 1/2- or 4-quart slow cooker. Stir in broth, wine and pepper. Cover and cook on low 2 3/4 hours or high 1 1/4 hours or until rice is tender. If possible, carefully remove crockery liner; stir in peas. Garnish each serving with cheese and parsley. (Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens: I Didn’t Know My Slow Cooker Could Do That,” Jan Miller, editor; Meredith Corporation, 2015.)
Per serving: 297 calories, 6 grams protein, 6 grams fat (18 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 203 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Yield: 6 servings
GIANT OVEN BURGER
1 1/2 pounds extra-lean ground beef
1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
1/4 cup minced onion
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
1 tablespoon prepared yellow mustard
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/3 cup ketchup
1 unsliced 8-inch-round Italian or sourdough bread loaf
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together beef, carrot, onion, horseradish, mustard and salt. Press mixture into a 9-inch pie plate. Spread ketchup over top. Bake, uncovered, 45 to 50 minutes or until internal temperature registers 145 degrees; drain. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut bread in half horizontally . Carefully place burger between halves. Cut into wedges and serve.
Per serving: 381 calories, 31 grams protein, 9 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 44 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 895 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Yield: 6 servings
ITALIAN-STYLE HALIBUT WITH TOMATOES AND WHITE BEANS
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup sliced green onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with basil, onions and oregano, lightly drained
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium rinsed Great Northern or cannellini beans
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup sliced fresh basil leaves or 1 tablespoon dried basil
4 (4- to 6-ounce) halibut or cod fillets
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
In a medium pan, heat oil on medium. Add onions and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, 3 minutes or until vegetables are softened but not browned. Add tomatoes and bring to boil. Stir occasionally and cook 4 minutes. Add beans, vinegar and basil. Bring to boil; simmer 2 minutes. Remove tomato-bean mixture from heat. For the fish: Season fillets with salt and pepper and coat with cooking spray. Place on rack of broiler pan (coated with cooking spray) lined with foil. Broil 5 to 7 minutes, turning once, or until opaque throughout. Serve fish over tomato and beans mixture.
Per serving: 315 calories, 29 grams protein, 8 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 915 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.
Yield: 4 servings