Make it a relaxed Sunday and buy a deli MEAT AND CHEESE PLATTER. Serve the variety of sliced meats and cheeses with deli COLESLAW on the side. Add BAKED CHIPS, low-fat MAYONNAISE, MUSTARD, LETTUCE and PICKLES.
Try this SUMMER TOMATO AND ONION SALAD. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon Italian herb seasoning and 1/2 teaspoon sugar; mix to dissolve sugar. On a serving platter, layer 1 medium thinly sliced red onion and 1 pound sliced ripe tomatoes. Drizzle with dressing and 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese.
Add assorted SANDWICH BREADS. Don’t forget deli BROWNIES for dessert.
PLAN AHEAD: Buy enough coleslaw for Monday and enough brownies for Wednesday.
Family Monday (Labor Day)
You won’t overexert yourself on Labor Day if you use your slow cooker for BBQ PULLED PORK (see recipe) and serve it on whole-grain HAMBURGER BUNS. Serve the barbecue with SOUTH-OF-THE-BORDER POTATO SALAD (see recipe), a favorite at our house. Add leftover COLESLAW.
Celebrate further with BLUE ANGEL CAKE. Split 1 (14-ounce) angel food cake in half horizontally. Place bottom half on cake plate. Combine 1/2 cup any fruit jam or jelly and 1 tablespoon orange juice. Microwave on high (100 percent power) for 45 seconds or until jelly is melted. Fold in 2 cups fresh blueberries. Spread 1 cup frozen fat-free whipped topping (thawed) on bottom layer of cake; spoon about two-thirds of blueberry mixture over topping. Cover with top cake layer. Spread with additional 1/2 cup whipped topping and spoon remaining blueberry mixture over topping. Garnish with fresh blueberries and fresh mint leaves.
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough barbecue, potato salad and cake for Tuesday.
Use your leftovers for BBQ TACOS. Heat the barbecue and spoon into taco shells; top with jalapeno peppers. Serve with leftover POTATO SALAD, PICKLES and add canned less-sodium vegetarian BAKED BEANS. Slice the leftover CAKE for dessert.
Forget meat tonight and enjoy CHILI-WALNUT EGG PUFF. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour 1 cup egg substitute and 1 whole egg into large bowl. Over eggs, sift combined 1/4 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon baking powder. Whisk together until completely blended. Mix in 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese and 1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, 1/2 cup chopped and toasted walnuts and 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies. Pour into baking dish. Bake about 35 minutes or until puffy and set, and knife inserted near center comes out clean.
Serve with HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (frozen) and add a SPINACH SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Sweeten the finish with leftover BROWNIES for dessert.
Kids will like the flavors of MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE (see recipe). Serve with GUACAMOLE on SHREDDED LETTUCE with reduced-fat SOUR CREAM. How about a fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM CONE for dessert?
PLAN AHEAD: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
Hold down the food budget with canned CORNED BEEF HASH. Serve with HARD-COOKED EGG WEDGES, deli CARROT SALAD and RYE BREAD. Fresh NECTARINES are a juicy dessert.
Easy Entertaining Saturday
CARIBBEAN SPICED COD WITH BROWN RICE is just as delicious as it is easy. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium. Add 1 medium diced red bell pepper and 1 1/2 teaspoons jerk seasoning; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 cups quick-cooking brown rice, 2 cups boiling water and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Place 4 (6-ounce) cod fillets on top of rice mixture. Sprinkle cod with 1/2 teaspoon more jerk seasoning and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 10 to 12 minutes or until cod is opaque throughout and rice is tender.
Add fresh GREEN BEANS, a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and BAGUETTES. Top leftover ICE CREAM with toasted coconut.
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BBQ PULLED PORK (Monday)
3 pounds pork loin
1 package slow cooker barbeque pulled pork seasoning (such as McCormick or another brand)
1/2 cup ketchup
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/3 cup cider vinegar
Divide pork into 3 pieces; place in slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix together seasoning, ketchup, sugar and vinegar until blended. Pour over pork. Cover and cook 6 hours on low. Remove pork from slow cooker; shred with 2 forks and return to cooker; heat with sauce and serve. Makes 10 servings.
Per serving: 250 calories, 26 grams protein, 7 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 68 milligrams cholesterol, 633 milligrams sodium, no fiber.
Carb count: 1.
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SOUTH OF THE BORDER POTATO SALAD (Monday)
2 pounds small red potatoes, halved or quartered according to size
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon seasoned salt
1/8 teaspoon hot sauce
1 (8 3/4-ounce) can shoepeg corn, rinsed
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 small red onion, thinly sliced
Cook potatoes in boiling water 10 minutes or until tender; drain and place in a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine oil, vinegar, sugar, chili powder, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Pour over potatoes; toss gently. Cover with foil. Refrigerate 1 hour. Remove from refrigerator; add corn, carrot, red bell pepper, olives and onion; toss gently. Serve immediately. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 186 calories, 3 grams protein, 7 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Carb count: 2.
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MEXICAN CHICKEN BAKE (Thursday)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1/2 cup minced onion
2 1/2 cups cooked shredded chicken breast
1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
1 (1.25-ounce) package mild or regular less-sodium taco seasoning mix
8 corn tortillas
1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed
2 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, divided
2 cups mild chunky salsa
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Remove from heat; stir in chicken, chilies and seasoning mix. Set aside. Layer half the tortillas in baking dish. Top with chicken mixture, beans and 1 cup cheese. Layer with remaining tortillas. Top with salsa and remaining cheese. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until heated through and cheese is melted. Makes 8 servings.
Per serving: 266 calories, 25 grams protein, 9 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 790 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Carb count: 1 1/2.