Add some extra flavor to the usual family feast with Mexican Roast Chicken With Olive Salsa (see recipe). On the side, add packaged yellow rice, reduced-sodium pinto beans, a lettuce wedge and fat-free flour tortillas. Make butterscotch pudding (from a mix) with 1 percent milk for dessert and top with light whipped cream.
Plan ahead: Save enough chicken, olive salsa and black olives, along with any leftover rice and beans, for Monday.
Make good use of Monday’s leftovers and enjoy Chicken Tacos (see recipe) tonight. Serve with a spinach salad and any leftover rice and beans. For a quick dessert, try kiwifruit.
Skip meat tonight for Pea and Pasta Soup. Bring 6 cups unsalted vegetable broth to a boil in a large pot on medium-high. Add 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas, 3/4 cup orzo or ditalini pasta and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Reduce heat; simmer 5 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 2 tablespoons apple juice. Spoon into bowls; top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
Serve with grilled cheese sandwiches and cherry tomatoes. Pears are an easy dessert.
Keep costs down with Grilled Ham Reuben Sandwiches. Spread rye bread with reduced-fat Russian dressing. Top with sliced ham, refrigerated (rinsed) sauerkraut, reduced-fat Swiss cheese and another slice of bread. Coat bread with cooking spray; cook in a nonstick skillet on medium until both sides are browned.
Serve with baked chips, dill pickles and celery sticks. Dessert is chunky applesauce.
Make Stuffed Tomatoes tonight. Hollow out medium-size ripe tomatoes and stuff with deli seafood salad. Add deli coleslaw on the side, along with toasted bagels. Nibble on oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Friday.
The kids will like Sweet and Sour Chicken Stir-Fry. In a large nonstick skillet, stir-fry 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into bite-size pieces) in 1 tablespoon hot canola oil for 2 or 3 minutes or until browned. Remove from skillet and drain on paper towels. To skillet, add 1 red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 2 carrots (cut into thin strips) and cook 2 minutes. Add juice from 1 (8-ounce) can pineapple chunks and 1 1/2 cups stir-fry sauce; cook 5 minutes. Stir in pineapple chunks and chicken; cook 1 minute.
Spoon over hot rice. Serve with sesame bread sticks. For dessert, leftover cookies go with halved red and green grapes.
Easy Entertaining Saturday
Serve your lucky guests Cumin-Rubbed Steaks With Avocado Salsa Verde (see recipe). On the side, add corn-on-the-cob, mixed salad greens and whole-grain rolls. Dessert is easy if you buy fruit tarts.
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Mexican Roast Chicken With Olive Salsa (Sunday)
1 (5- or 6-pound) chicken to roast
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
3/4 cup sliced (ripe) black olives, pitted
3/4 cup pimiento-stuffed manzanilla olives
1 (11-ounce) jar chunky salsa
1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat chicken with cooking spray; sprinkle chicken evenly with chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and salt. Place on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Roast about 1 3/4 to 2 hours, or until internal temperature of breast is 165 degrees.
Meanwhile, combine olives, salsa and cilantro; refrigerate until ready to use. (Reserve 2/3 cup olive salsa for later.) Remove chicken from oven; transfer to carving board. Tent with foil; let stand 5 to 10 minutes before slicing. Serve chicken with salsa. Serves 10-12.
Per serving (white meat without skin): 146 calories (percent calories from fat, 14), 29 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, no fiber, 2 grams fat (0.6 gram saturated fat), 72 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium.
Per serving (dark meat without skin): 129 calories (percent calories from fat, 33), 20 grams protein, 1 gram carbohydrate, no fiber, 5 grams fat (1.1 grams saturated fat), 80 milligrams cholesterol, 143 milligrams sodium.
Per serving (salsa): 24 calories (percent calories from fat, 57), no protein, 2 grams carbohydrate, no fiber, 1 gram fat (0.1 gram saturated fat), no cholesterol, 227 milligrams sodium.
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Chicken Tacos (Monday)
2 cups shredded cooked (leftover) Mexican roast chicken breast
2/3 cup (leftover) olive salsa
8 heated taco shells (from a 4.6-ounce box with 12 tacos per box)
1 cup shredded 50 percent light jalapeno cheddar cheese
1 cup shredded lettuce
1/2 cup sliced black olives
1 ripe Hass avocado, diced
In a medium bowl, combine chicken and olive salsa; cover and microwave on medium (50 percent power) for 5 minutes or until hot. Divide mixture evenly among tacos shells; top with cheese, lettuce, olives and avocado. Makes 8 tacos.
Per serving: 182 calories (52 percent calories from fat), 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat , 2.8 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 495 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
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Cumin-Rubbed Steaks With Avocado Salsa Verde (Saturday)
2 teaspoons cumin
2 flat-iron (or other well-trimmed boneless steaks), cut 1-inch thick (about 8 ounces each)
3/4 cup tomatillo salsa
1 small avocado, diced
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
Coarse salt to taste
Press cumin evenly onto steaks. Heat large nonstick skillet on medium. Place steaks in skillet; cook 12 to 15 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally.
Meanwhile, combine salsa, avocado and cilantro in a small bowl. Carve steaks into slices; season with coarse salt as desired. Serve with salsa. Serves 4.
Per serving: 268 calories (percent calories from fat, 56), 22 grams protein, 7 grams carbohydrate, 3 grams fiber, 17 grams fat (5.1 grams saturated fat) 71 milligrams cholesterol, 430 milligrams sodium.