Mother will be so proud of you when you present her with BAKED EGGS WITH SPINACH: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, combine 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach (squeezed dry) and 8 ounces less-fat cream cheese until thoroughly mixed. Spread evenly in dish. Using a serving spoon, make 6 indentations in spinach mixture. Break one egg into each indentation. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan and 1/2 cup panko crumbs. Sprinkle all over top, making sure to cover the eggs. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until eggs are desired doneness. Serve each egg with spinach mixture. Round out the meal with CANADIAN BACON, fresh STRAWBERRIES and toasted whole-grain ENGLISH MUFFINS.
Buy Mom some lovely flowers.
cooking spray, frozen chopped spinach, less-fat cream cheese, eggs, Parmesan cheese, panko crumbs, Canadian bacon, fresh strawberries, whole-grain English muffins.
Treat the kids to CRISPY CHICKEN BITES. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk or other milk, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Place 1 1/2 cups crushed unsweetened whole-grain cereal flakes in a separate shallow container. Cut 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast into bite-size pieces and dip into milk mixture (drain off excess), then into cereal. Place chicken on foil-lined rimmed baking pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until golden.
Serve with HONEY-MUSTARD dip. Add OVEN FRIES (from frozen), GREEN BEANS and CELERY STICKS. Have some CHUNKY APPLESAUCE for dessert.
low-fat buttermilk or other milk, coarse salt, pepper, unsweetened whole-grain cereal, boneless skinless chicken breasts, honey-mustard dip, frozen oven fries, green beans, celery sticks, chunky applesauce.
It’s budget-friendly and taste-friendly, so BRAISED STEAK WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS was a hit at our house. Serve it over BROWN RICE. Add COLESLAW and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS to round out the meal. Fresh PINEAPPLE SPEARS are good for dessert.
Save enough beef and peppers for Thursday.
onion, red bell pepper, canned no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, chili powder, cinnamon, coarse salt, black pepper, top round or flank steak, fresh cilantro, brown rice, coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, fresh pineapple spears.
BRAISED STEAK WITH PEPPERS AND ONIONS
Servings: Makes 6 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 7 to 8 hours on low
- 1 onion, cut into 10 wedges
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch slices
- 2 (14-ounce) cans no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, drained
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 1/2 pounds top round or flank steak, cut into 6 pieces (see NOTE)
- Chopped fresh cilantro for garnish
In a 5-quart or larger slow cooker, combine onion, bell pepper, tomatoes, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and black pepper; mix well. Nestle the beef among the vegetables and cover. Cook 7 to 8 hours on low. Remove beef and shred, if desired; return to slow cooker. Mix well. Sprinkle with cilantro as you serve.
NOTE: I used top round steak because it was less expensive.
Per serving: 184 calories, 27 grams protein, 3 grams fat (16% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 268 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.
Skip meat for CHIPOTLE CHAYOTE TWICE-BAKED POTATOES. Serve with steamed CARROTS, a SPINACH SALAD and whole-grain FLOUR TORTILLAS. For dessert, fresh BLUEBERRIES are calling.
light butter-flavored spread, onion, canned reduced-sodium black beans, frozen corn, fresh chayote or zucchini, baking potatoes, plain yogurt, garlic powder, coarse salt, pepper, shredded reduced-fat Mexican blend cheese, chipotle or other salsa, avocado, carrots, fresh spinach, whole-grain flour tortillas, fresh blueberries.
CHIPOTLE CHAYOTE TWICE-BAKED POTATOES
Servings: makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 25 minutes, plus potatoes
- 2 teaspoons light butter-flavored spread
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup canned reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
- 1/4 cup frozen corn
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chayote or zucchini
- 4 (5- to 6-ounce) baking potatoes
- 1/2 cup fat-free plain yogurt
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-blend cheese
- 1/3 cup chipotle or other salsa
- Sliced avocado for garnish
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Melt spread in a medium nonstick skillet. Add onion, beans, corn and chayote. Cook 10 minutes or until onion is softened. Meanwhile, pierce and microwave potatoes 6 minutes per pound on high (100% power). Remove from microwave, wrap in terry towel and let rest 3 minutes. Remove from towel; let cool slightly. Cut in half lengthwise; carefully scoop out potato pulp, leaving 1/4-inch shell. Mash potato pulp; stir in cooked vegetables, yogurt, garlic powder, salt, pepper, cheese and salsa. Place potato skins on rimmed baking sheet. Spoon potato mixture into shells. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Garnish with avocado and serve.
Per serving: 232 calories, 10 grams protein, 5 grams fat (18% calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 9 milligrams cholesterol, 428 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Thursday: Heat and Eat
There’s nothing shabby about STEAK TACOS for a quick meal. Shred the leftover beef and heat along with the peppers and sauce. Spoon into taco shells and top with shredded romaine, reduced-fat sour cream and chopped cilantro. Add reduced-sodium PINTO BEANS on the side. Make FLAN (from mix) for dessert.
taco shells, romaine, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh cilantro, reduced-sodium pinto beans, flan mix.
PASTA WITH PESTO, TUNA AND ROASTED RED PEPPERS is almost ready! Toss any drained cooked pasta with some pesto, water-packed canned albacore tuna (drained and flaked) and some chopped roasted red peppers (from jar). Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, a MIXED GREEN SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. Try PLUMS for dessert.
any pasta, pesto, water-packed canned albacore tuna, jar roasted red peppers, Parmesan cheese, mixed greens, garlic bread, plums.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Entertain good friends with CREAMY PARMESAN SHRIMP. Add a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and a BAGUETTE. For dessert, buy a COCONUT CREAM PIE.
unsalted butter, shrimp, coarse salt, garlic, heavy cream, Parmesan cheese, pepper, parsley, Boston lettuce, baguette, coconut cream pie.
CREAMY PARMESAN SHRIMP
Servings: makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 5 minutes
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 pounds shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Pepper to taste
- Chopped parsley for garnish
In a large skillet, melt butter on medium-high. Season shrimp with salt; add to skillet. Cook for 3 or 4 minutes or until shrimp are opaque. Transfer shrimp to a plate and cover. Add garlic to skillet. Cook 30 seconds. Add cream. Bring to a simmer. Cook about 1 minute. Add shrimp back to skillet. Stir in Parmesan and add salt and pepper to taste. Sprinkle with parsley and serve immediately. (Adapted from "Scrumptious," Christy Denney, Shadow Mountain Publishing.)
Per serving: 309 calories, 25 grams protein, 21 grams fat (62% calories from fat), 12.2 grams saturated fat, 4 grams carbohydrate, 254 milligrams cholesterol, 779 milligrams sodium, no fiber.