Make SLICED PORK SANDWICHES on ROSEMARY BREAD with the leftover pork tonight. (Toast the bread and brush it with olive oil.) Cut the leftover potatoes into wedges, sprinkle with chili powder and bake in 425-degree oven until hot (about 10 minutes) and buy deli COLESLAW to accompany the simple meal. Leftover PIE is dessert.
Serve Italian-inspired CANNELLINI BEAN AND ESCAROLE STEW (see recipe) over BROWN RICE for a no-meat meal. Add a MIXED GREENS SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, serve FRESH PINEAPPLE SPEARS.
Kids know that pizza is one of the special “kid-food groups,” so BARBECUE CHICKEN PIZZA fits right in. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Spread a thin whole-grain pizza crust with 1 (9- or 10-ounce) package cooked (chopped) chicken mixed with 1/2 cup mild barbecue sauce. Top with 1 cup shredded part-skim Monterey Jack cheese mixed with 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh spinach. Bake about 10 minutes or until hot. Accompany the pizza with CARROT STICKS. For dessert, ORANGE SECTIONS are good.
PLAN AHEAD: Order a heart-shaped chocolate cake for your honey for Friday.
Pinch some pennies and serve SAUCY MEATBALL SUBS (see recipe) for a delicious money-saver. Accompany the flavor-packed dish with a GREEN SALAD. KIWIFRUIT makes a simple dessert.
Make Valentine’s Day special with PEPPER-GARLIC TENDERLOIN STEAKS. Heat a large nonstick skillet for 5 minutes over medium. Combine 1 large crushed garlic clove and 1/4 teaspoon cracked black peppercorns. Press evenly into both sides of 2 (4 to 5 ounces each) beef tenderloin steaks (cut 1-inch thick). Place steaks in skillet. Cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness; turn occasionally. Remove; keep warm. Add 1/2 cup lower-sodium beef broth to skillet; increase heat to medium-high. Cook and stir 1 to 2 minutes or until sauce is reduced by half. Spoon sauce over steaks. Top with crumbled blue cheese.
Serve the tender steaks with BAKED STUFFED POTATOES (frozen) and PEAS WITH PEARL ONIONS (frozen). Add DINNER ROLLS. For dessert, enjoy a HEART-SHAPED CHOCOLATE CAKE with RASPBERRY SORBET by candlelight.
PLAN AHEAD: Save some cake for Saturday.
TIP: Send the kids to their grandmother’s tonight.
Easy Entertaining Saturday
Prepare your own LAMB CHOPS for guests. Accompany your prize recipe with RICE PILAF. Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium; add 1 small chopped onion and 1/2 cup slivered almonds. Cook 7 minutes or until onion is softened and almonds are golden. Stir in 1 1/2 cups basmati rice, 1/2 cup golden raisins, 1 1/2 teaspoons turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; cook 2 minutes. Add 3 cups fat-free chicken broth and bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer 20 to 25 minutes or until rice is tender.
Serve with MARINATED CUCUMBER AND TOMATO SALAD. Add 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint to your own vinaigrette. Pour over 3 medium cucumbers (thinly sliced), 3 medium tomatoes (cut into wedges), 1 medium red onion (thinly sliced), and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Toss gently to coat; cover and marinate 2 hours.
Serve with FLATBREAD. Slice the leftover CAKE and top it with light whipped cream.
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BAKED SPINACH (Sunday)
Makes 9 servings
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: about 1 hour
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (8-ounce) package Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 cup skim milk
1/2 cup egg substitute or egg whites
2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1/2 cup shredded Swiss cheese
Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a small nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onion and garlic 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Beat Neufchatel cheese on medium speed of electric mixer until smooth. Blend in onion mixture, flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg by hand; add milk and egg substitute and mix until blended. Stir in spinach until combined. Pour mixture into (8-inch) square baking pan coated with cooking spray. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Sprinkle with Swiss cheese and return to oven for 2 to 3 minutes or until cheese melts.
Per serving: 128 calories, 9 grams protein, 8 grams fat (51 percent calories from fat), 4.7 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 230 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
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CANNELLINI BEAN AND ESCAROLE STEW (Tuesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: less than 25 minutes
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 medium onions, chopped
1 bunch escarole, coarsely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
1 (15- to 19-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced no-salt-added tomatoes
In a medium nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium. Add onions and cook 8 minutes or until softened; stir occasionally. Add escarole, garlic, salt and pepper; cook 3 minutes or until escarole is wilted. Stir in beans and tomatoes with juice; bring to boil. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 10 minutes or until flavors are blended.
Per serving: 162 calories, 6 grams protein, 3 grams fat (15 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.
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SAUCY MEATBALL SUBS (Thursday)
Makes 12 servings
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 15 to 20 minutes; standing time: 1 to 2 minutes
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups whole-grain soft bread crumbs (about 2 slices)
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
2 pounds 95 percent lean ground beef
1 (26- to 28-ounce) jar no-salt-added or regular tomato-based pasta sauce
12 hoagies or other sandwich rolls
1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine eggs, bread crumbs, onion, salt and Italian seasoning; mix well. Add beef; mix well. Shape into 48 meatballs. Arrange them on a rimmed 10-by-15-inch baking pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until meatballs register 160 degrees; drain well.
In a Dutch oven, combine the pasta sauce and cooked meatballs. Heat through. Split buns; spoon hot meatball mixture into buns. Spoon remaining sauce over meatballs. Sprinkle parmesan cheese over meatballs. Let stand 1 to 2 minutes before serving. (Adapted from “Better Homes and Gardens: 365 Comfort Foods,” Jan Miller, editor; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.)
Per serving: 362 calories, 27 grams protein, 11 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 3.9 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 76 milligrams cholesterol, 597 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.