Gather the family for an Easter celebration with honeybaked ham (or spiral-sliced ham) on the menu. Serve the ham with scalloped potatoes and green pea salad with dill (see recipe). Add coleslaw and biscuits. For dessert, buy or make some colorful Easter cupcakes. Add a scoop of fat-free vanilla ice cream for an ice cream-and-cake kind of dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough ham, potatoes, coleslaw and cupcakes for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Wednesday and more ham for Thursday.
MONDAY (Heat and Eat)
Make ham and Swiss sandwiches with Sunday’s leftovers. Spread honey mustard on rye bread and layer with Swiss cheese and ham slices. Alongside, heat the leftover potatoes and add leftover coleslaw. Leftover cupcakes make an easy dessert.
We had tortellini soup on the table in no time. Bring 8 cups unsalted chicken broth to boil. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil to broth and about 1 pound frozen cheese tortellini; cook 10 to 12 minutes. Add 1 to 1 1/2 cups cooked chopped chicken breast (or canned chicken breast) and 10 ounces fresh baby spinach. Heat through and serve. Add a packaged greens salad and bread sticks. Try kiwifruit for dessert.
Watch the kids lap up grilled chicken “pizza.” Coat both sides of 10 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas with cooking spray; place on a baking sheet. Broil until slightly toasted; turn and toast other side. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1 (10-ounce) can mild diced tomatoes and green chilies and 1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried beans. For each pizza, spread 1/4 cup tomato-bean mixture over 1 tortilla. Top with equal amounts cooked chicken breast and 1/4 cup (2 1/2 cups total) shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese, then another tortilla. Repeat layering, ending with cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until heated though. Top with lettuce and chopped red bell pepper. For dessert, top leftover ice cream with butterscotch sauce.
We all love low-cost, delicious food, and brown rice with ham and apples is a good example. In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup apple juice, 1 1/4 cups water, 1 peeled, diced Golden Delicious apple, 1/4 cup raisins, 1 tablespoon butter, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Bring to boil; add 1 cup uncooked brown rice and sliced white parts of 4 green onions. Return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 to 45 minutes, or until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup diced leftover ham and sliced green parts of green onions. Cover and let stand 5 minutes. Add a spinach salad and crackers. Plums are dessert. Tip: Soak and cook beans for Friday, if time permits.
Black bean and corn soup is always a favorite (see recipe). Serve it with a Romaine salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, top instant vanilla pudding (made with 1 percent milk) with chocolate sauce.
SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)
Take a trip to France for delicious Provencal chicken (see recipe). Serve it with baked mashed potatoes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare mashed potatoes using 1 percent milk and reduced-fat sour cream for the liquid. Spoon potatoes into a baking dish and top with shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese. Bake 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Serve with French (thin) green beans with fresh sliced mushrooms. Add a mixed greens salad. For dessert, serve orange sections with Grand Marnier. Toss peeled, sectioned oranges with a little orange-flavored liqueur. Serve topped with shaved semisweet chocolate. Tips: Make the potatoes a day ahead and reheat in the microwave on high (100 percent power), 1 minute per cup of potatoes. Add the cheese and broil until cheese melts. Make the chicken the day ahead so flavors blend.
GREEN PEA SALAD WITH DILL
1 pound frozen petite peas, thawed overnight in refrigerator (see NOTES)
Scant 1/2 cup Duke’s mayonnaise mixed with 1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 cup shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese
5 green onions, white and firm green parts, chopped fine
1/4 cup snipped fresh dill or more to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or tarragon or more to taste
Coarse salt and pepper to taste
In a large bowl, combine all ingredients; mix gently. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Taste after 24 hours and adjust for more herbs if necessary and return to refrigerator. About 30 minutes before serving, remove from refrigerator. (Adapted from “A Real Southern Cook: In Her Savannah Kitchen,” Dora Charles, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.) NOTES: Thawing in refrigerator gives a fresher taste. Use any mayonnaise. If other mayonnaise has sugar, omit the sugar in this recipe.
Per serving: 209 calories, 7 grams protein, 15 grams fat (63 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 231 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 6 servings
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon coarse salt
2 teaspoons whole black peppercorns
1 (25-ounce) bottle dry red wine, divided
6 sprigs fresh rosemary
6 bone-in skinless chicken legs
6 bone-in skinless chicken thighs
8 to 10 whole cloves garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons light brown sugar
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Heat oil in Dutch oven on low for 2 minutes or until warm. Sprinkle with salt, peppercorns, 1 cup wine and the rosemary. Place chicken in pan; increase heat to medium and cook 5 minutes. Turn and cook 5 more minutes. Add garlic and remaining wine. Bring to simmer and cook 45 to 50 minutes, partially covered. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine brown sugar and tomato paste; mix well. Stir into pan and bring to boil; remove from heat and cover. Let stand 30 minutes to develop flavors. Serve immediately (with sauce) or refrigerate until the next day. (Expect purplish chicken; it’s the red wine.)
Per serving: 283 calories, 27 gram protein, 14 grams fat (46 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 146 milligrams cholesterol, 364 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Yield: makes 8 servings
BLACK BEAN AND CORN SOUP
1 pound dry black beans, cooked
1 (10-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
4 cups boiling water
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Mexican-style stewed tomatoes with juice
2 cups medium salsa
In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine the cooked beans, corn, onion, garlic, cumin, salt, coriander and hot pepper sauce. Pour boiling water over all. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high 3 to 3 1/2 hours. To serve, mash beans slightly to thicken. Stir in undrained tomatoes. Serve with salsa on the side.
Per serving: 274 calories, 13 grams protein, no fat (no calories from fat), no saturated fat, 54 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 642 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.
Yield: makes 8 servings