A week of healthy, quick meals for budget-conscious families.
SUNDAY: There’s nothing quite like a braised roast for a family day out, and this Southwestern Braised Beef (see recipe) is sure to please everyone. Serve it with brown rice, romaine salad and whole grain bread. Buy a lemon pie for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough roast and pie for Tuesday.
MONDAY: Bring the kids home for dinner with a pizza pita buffet on the menu. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. Arrange pita bread, pizza sauce, grated mozzarella cheese, sliced turkey pepperoni and sliced mushrooms. Stuff the pitas with everyone’s favorites; cook until hot and cheese melts. Serve with celery sticks and soak. Make instant banana pudding for dessert.
TUESDAY: Use leftover beef for Tex-Mex tacos. Cut and heat the beef; pour into hot taco shells. Top with grated cheese, salsa, sour cream and diced avocado. Serve with pinto beans. Enjoy leftover pie for dessert.
WEDNESDAY: For a delicious meatless meal, Linguine with Creamy Lemon Sauce (see recipe) is just what you’re looking for. Serve with a spinach salad and garlic bread. For dessert, tropical fruits are simple.
THURSDAY: Wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving with your very own roast turkey display. Serve with pecan apple vinaigrette (see recipe), green peas (frozen), cranberry sauce and buns. Pumpkin pie with light whipped cream is a Thanksgiving staple.
Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and pie for Friday.
FRIDAY: Use some of the leftovers for the turkey bean salad. Combine 2 cups of ground turkey with a can of black beans (rinsed and drained well), halves of a fresh orange and ½ cup of thinly sliced green onions. Toss with a light dressing. Serve with onion soup, a wedge of lettuce and leftover pie.
SATURDAY: Everyone will welcome your grilled salmon for a change of taste. Add the roasted red potatoes and carrots. Serve with green beans mixed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Add a Boston lettuce salad and whole grain buns. For dessert, the chocolate and strawberry ice cream is a treat.
THE RECIPES : Southwestern roast beef
- 2 teaspoons of canola oil
- 2 teaspoons of cumin
- 1 beef stock roast (1 ½ to 2 pounds)
- teaspoon of coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 cups of salsa in pieces
- 1 can (15 ounces) black beans (rinsed)
- 1 cup of frozen corn
Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat until hot. Squeeze the cumin into the beef. Place in the mold; Brown evenly on all sides (about 5 minutes in total). Throw away any drips. Season the beef with S&P; add the salsa. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and cover tightly. Simmer until roast is fork tender, about 2 hours. (Add water if it gets too dry). Remove the roast; Keep warm. Skim the fat from the cooking liquid. Stir in beans and corn; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the liquid thickens slightly. Cut the beef into thin slices; serve with the bean mixture.
Makes 4-6 servings.
Nutritional Info: Each serving (made with reduced sodium beans) contains approximately 411 calories, 43 g of protein, 12 g of fat, 32 g of carbohydrate, 99 mg of cholesterol, 777 mg of sodium and 8 g of fiber .
Choice of carbohydrates: 2
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Linguine with creamy lemon sauce
- 8 ounces of linguine
- 4 ounces of light cream cheese
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon of lemon zest
- ½ cup chopped parsley
- Coarse salt and ground black pepper to taste
- Chopped roasted nuts for garnish
Cook linguine according to package directions. Drain; reserve ½ cup of pasta water and return pasta to pot.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over low heat, heat the cheese, oil and lemon juice. Stir in the pasta water reserved for the mixture with the lemon zest and parsley. Add to pasta; toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with nuts.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Info: Each serving contains approximately 315 calories, 11 g of protein, 10 g of fat, 44 g of carbohydrate, 20 mg of cholesterol, 130 mg of sodium and 2 g of fiber.
Choice of carbohydrates: 3
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Apple and pecan dressing
- 1 pound of mild Italian sausage
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or pecan oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 chops of celery, chopped
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 12 ounces cubed herb-seasoned stuffing such as Pepperidge Farm
- 2 cups chopped tart apples, such as Granny Smith (about 3 small apples)
- 1 ½ cup pecan halves
- 1 ½ cups unsalted chicken broth, divided
- 1 teaspoon of coarse salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Put aside.
In a large skillet, brown the Italian sausage, breaking it into crumbs. Drain on paper towels. Discard excess fat.
In the same pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Cook the onions, celery and garlic for 2 to 3 minutes or until slightly softened and fragrant.
In a large bowl, combine cooked sausage, cooked onion mixture, stuffing cubes, apples and pecans. Add 1 cup of broth and stir to combine. If the stuffing mixture is too dry, add ½ cup additional broth or more if desired. (Be careful not to add too much liquid.) Season with salt and pepper and toss to combine. Transfer the stuffing to the prepared baking dish. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook for another 15 minutes. Use immediately.
Makes 18 servings.
Nutritional Info: Each serving contains approximately 210 calories, 6 g of protein, 12 g of fat, 20 g of carbohydrate, 9 mg of cholesterol, 505 mg of sodium and 3 g of fiber.
Choice of carbohydrates: 1½
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be contacted by email: [email protected]