What’s for dinner this week? White chili, shrimp skewers and more

Grilled shrimp skewers.
Grilled shrimp skewers.

SUNDAY (Family)

Surprise dear old Dad with a big hug and a special meal of grilled shrimp skewers (see recipe). Serve the medley over couscous along with a mixed greens salad and sourdough bread. Buy a banana cream pie for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Tuesday.


Kids will come running for sloppy Joes. Use a mix and follow the directions. Serve on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve with baked oven fries (frozen) and steamed fresh carrots. Enjoy sliced mangoes for dessert.

TUESDAY (Meatless)

Skip meat for layered enchilada casserole. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a 1 1/2-quart baking dish, spoon 1/2 cup tomatoes from 1 (28-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes. Arrange 3 (6-inch, 9 total) corn tortillas over tomatoes, overlapping slightly (tear tortillas to fit dish). Sprinkle with 1/2 cup (2 1/2 cups total) shredded Monterey Jack cheese; top with one-third of 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium rinsed black beans. Spread 1 cup tomatoes over beans. Repeat layers twice, ending with tomatoes; sprinkle 1 cup cheese on top. Cover loosely with nonstick foil; bake 35 minutes or until bubbly. Serve with a lettuce wedge. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.


We’re always in the mood for chili, and this white chili (see recipe) is especially good. Serve it with a spinach salad and cornbread (from a mix). Lighten up with fresh strawberries for dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough chili and cornbread for Thursday.

THURSDAY (Heat and Eat)

Heat the leftover chili and serve it over brown rice. Add salad greens and leftover cornbread. Plums are a light dessert. Plan ahead: Cook enough rice for Saturday.

FRIDAY (Express)

Enjoy a grilled muffuletta for a quick meal. Coat both sides of 8 slices rustic or sourdough bread with cooking spray. Layer 4 slices reduced-fat provolone or mozzarella cheese over four of the slices; top with olive spread or tapenade, thinly sliced deli ham, mortadella and Genoa salami, and another slice of cheese. Top with remaining 4 slices bread. Cook sandwiches in a preheated panini maker about 3 minutes or until golden and cheese is melted. Serve with deli coleslaw. A slice of papaya is dessert. Tip: Sandwiches may be cooked in a preheated ridged grill pan or skillet on medium. Place heavy skillet on top of sandwiches to flatten; cook 3 minutes. Turn; continue to cook 3 to 4 minutes or until golden.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Serve your lucky guests grilled beef kebabs (see recipe) over leftover brown rice for dinner. Add your own grilled vegetables, a Caesar salad and crusty bread. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.

Grilled Shrimp Skewers

1/4 cup olive oil

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

2 teaspoons less-sodium seasoned salt

1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined

1 cup cherry tomatoes

1 medium zucchini, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 small yellow bell pepper, cut into 1-inch chunks

Mix oil, Italian seasoning and seasoned salt in small bowl until well blended. Alternately thread shrimp and vegetables onto skewers. Grill over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes or until shrimp turn pink, turning frequently and brushing generously with oil mixture. Note: If using wooden skewers, soak thoroughly in water for at least 30 minutes before threading with shrimp and vegetables to prevent burning when on the grill.

Per serving: 171 calories, 21 g protein, 8 g fat (39 percent calories from fat), 1.1 g saturated fat, 6 g carbohydrate, 159 mg cholesterol, 368 mg sodium, 2 g fiber.

Yield: 4 servings

White Chili

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 3/4-inch pieces

1 tablespoon flour

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1 to 2 teaspoons black pepper

1/2 teaspoon white pepper

Pinch crushed red pepper

2 (4-ounce) cans chopped green chilies, drained

1/4 cup minced fresh jalapeño peppers

1 pound dried navy beans, rinsed

5 cups hot unsalted chicken broth

3/4 cup chopped onion

Coarse salt and pepper to taste

1/2 bunch chopped cilantro leaves, divided

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, toss the chicken with the flour until evenly coated. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic, cumin, oregano, black pepper, white pepper and crushed red pepper; add to slow cooker and mix well. Add the green chilies, jalapeño peppers, beans, hot broth and onion. Cover and cook on low 8 to 9 hours or until beans are tender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Stir in half the cilantro. Ladle into bowls and garnish with remaining cilantro.

Per cup: 298 calories, 26 g protein, 3 g fat (8 percent calories from fat), 0.5 g saturated fat, 41 g carbohydrate, 36 mg cholesterol, 261 mg sodium, 15 g fiber.

Yield: about 8 cups

Grilled Beef Kebabs

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 teaspoons pepper sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)

1 1/2 pounds boneless beef top sirloin (1 1/2 inches thick), cut into 1 1/4-inch pieces

1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces

Coarse salt to taste

In a medium bowl, combine cilantro, oil, pepper sauce, garlic and optional crushed red pepper. Add beef; toss to coat. Alternately thread beef and bell pepper pieces onto 6 (10-inch) metal skewers. Grill kebabs on medium, uncovered, 8 to 11 minutes for medium-rare to medium, turning occasionally. Salt to taste.

Per serving: 153 calories, 21 g protein, 6 g fat (38 percent calories from fat), 1.8 g saturated fat, 2 g carbohydrate, 56 mg cholesterol, 50 mg sodium, 1 g fiber.

Yield: 6 servings