Start the big day with SOUTHWESTERN BRUNCH STRATA. To round out the meal, add deli BROCCOLI SALAD. For a sweet treat, CHRISTMAS COOKIES and AMBROSIA are traditional.
Prepare the strata the day before.
Save enough strata and cookies for Tuesday.
cooking spray, shredded hash browns, canned reduced-sodium black beans, frozen whole kernel corn, cooked chicken, frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions, shredded 50% light cheddar cheese, cilantro, eggs, 1% milk, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, deli broccoli salad, Christmas cookies, ambrosia.
SOUTHWESTERN BRUNCH STRATA
Servings: makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes; refrigeration time: 2 to 24 hours
Cook time: about 1 hour; standing time: 5 minutes
- 1 (20-ounce) package shredded hash browns
- 1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
- 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup diced cooked chicken
- 1 cup frozen stir-fry bell peppers and onions
- 2 cups (8 ounces) shredded 50% light cheddar cheese
- 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
- 4 whole eggs
- 8 egg whites
- 1 1/4 cup 1% milk
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In same dish, mix hash browns, beans, corn, chicken and peppers and onions. Sprinkle with cheese and cilantro. In a medium bowl, beat eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and cayenne pepper until well-blended. Pour evenly over potato mixture. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours but no more than 24 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake, uncovered, 55 to 60 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.
Per serving: 289 calories, 27 grams protein, 8 grams fat (24% calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 124 milligrams cholesterol, 455 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.
Save some money and serve frozen VEGGIE BURGERS WITH AVOCADO TOPPING tonight. For the topping: In a small bowl, mash 1 ripe avocado until creamy. Mix in 1/2 cup diced seeded cucumber, 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice, 1 teaspoon chopped green onion and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Arrange a lettuce leaf on each of 4 whole-grain hamburger buns. Place a cooked veggie burger on each leaf; top with sliced tomatoes, additional cucumber slices and the avocado mixture.
Serve with BAKED CHIPS. PEARS are your dessert.
avocado, cucumber, lemon, green onions, coarse salt, lettuce, whole-grain hamburger buns, frozen veggie burgers, tomatoes, baked chips, pears.
Tuesday: Heat and Eat
Heat the leftover STRATA and serve it with steamed sliced ZUCCHINI, a LETTUCE WEDGE and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Enjoy STRAWBERRIES and leftover COOKIES for dessert.
zucchini, lettuce, whole-grain rolls, strawberries.
Make a quick meal with VEGETABLE CHOWDER tonight: In a 2- or 3-quart microwaveable dish, combine 1 tablespoon butter, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/2 cup green bell pepper and 1 cup chopped carrots. Microwave on high (100% power) 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed cream of potato soup, 1 cup 1% milk and 1 (16-ounce) can cream-style corn. Cover and microwave on high 8 to 10 minutes. Let stand covered 2 minutes; serve.
Add GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES with SWEET PICKLES and CHERRY TOMATOES on the side. For dessert, try PEACHES.
butter, onion, green bell pepper, carrots, canned condensed cream of potato soup, 1% milk, canned cream-style corn, cheese and bread for sandwiches, sweet pickles, cherry tomatoes, peaches.
GARAM MASALA LENTILS AND POTATOES is a hearty no-meat dinner: In a Dutch oven, combine 4 cups water, 1 pound brown lentils (picked over and rinsed), 1 1/2 pounds all-purpose potatoes (peeled and cut into 3/4-inch pieces), 2 medium chopped onions, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, 1 teaspoon coarse salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Cover and bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer, covered, 35 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add 2 red or yellow (or 1 each) bell peppers cut into 1-inch pieces and simmer 5 more minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup chopped cilantro leaves. Sprinkle 3/4 cup toasted slivered almonds over top.
Serve with MIXED GREENS and FLATBREAD. APRICOTS are an easy dessert.
brown lentils, all-purpose potatoes, onions, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, coarse salt, garam masala seasoning, cumin, black pepper, red or yellow bell peppers, cilantro, slivered almonds, mixed greens, flatbread, apricots.
Kids and grown-ups alike will go for CRISPY BAKED DRUMSTICKS WITH HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE. Serve with OVEN FRIES (from frozen), GREEN BEANS and SOFT ROLLS. RED and GREEN GRAPES are dessert.
dry Italian breadcrumbs, paprika, onion powder, coarse salt, canola oil, egg, skinless chicken drumsticks, nonfat Greek yogurt, Dijon mustard, honey, pepper, cooking spray, frozen oven fries, green beans, soft rolls, red and green grapes.
CRISPY BAKED DRUMSTICKS WITH HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE
Servings: makes 4 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 25 to 30 minutes
- 2/3 cup dry Italian breadcrumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 5 teaspoons canola oil
- 1 egg
- 8 skinless chicken drumsticks (about 2 pounds)
- 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow dish, combine breadcrumbs, paprika, onion powder and salt. Drizzle with oil and mash with fork until oil is thoroughly incorporated. Lightly beat egg with fork in another shallow dish. Dip drumsticks into egg, then press into breading mixture until evenly coated on both sides. Discard any remaining mixture and egg. Spray rack and rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray; place chicken on rack. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. For the sauce: Combine yogurt, mustard, honey and pepper in a small bowl. Serve sauce with drumsticks.
Per serving: 371 calories, 34 grams protein, 15 grams fat (37% calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 197 milligrams cholesterol, 697 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Celebrate the end of the year with friends and serve them FILET MIGNON WITH HERB-BUTTER SAUCE AND MUSHROOMS. Serve the steak with your RISOTTO, ASPARAGUS and a BAGUETTE. For dessert, CHOCOLATE MERINGUE COOKIES and STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM end the meal on a high note.
filet mignon steaks, coarse salt, pepper, butter, assorted mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, straw, cremini, button or chanterelle), shallots, lower-sodium beef broth, fresh or dried thyme, cornstarch, ingredients for risotto, asparagus, baguette, chocolate meringue cookies, strawberry ice cream.
FILET MIGNON WITH HERB-BUTTER SAUCE AND MUSHROOMS
Servings: makes 4 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 10 to 13 minutes
- 4 (6-ounce) filet mignon steaks, cut 1 inch thick
- Coarse salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 1/2 cups assorted mushrooms (shiitake, enoki, straw, cremini, button or chanterelle), whole or cut in half if large
- 1/4 cup minced shallots
- 1 1/2 cups lower-sodium beef broth
- 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon water
Heat large nonstick skillet on medium. Place steaks in skillet; cook 10 to 13 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Remove to platter; season with salt and pepper to taste. Keep warm. Heat butter in same skillet over medium heat until melted. Add mushrooms and shallots; cook and stir 3 to 5 minutes or until mushrooms are tender and browned. Add beef broth and thyme to skillet, stirring until browned bits attached to bottom of pan are dissolved; bring to a boil. Combine cornstarch and water in small bowl; stir into mushroom mixture. Cook 2 minutes or until sauce thickens, stirring occasionally. Season sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Serve steaks with sauce.
Per serving: 277 calories, 37 grams protein, 13 grams fat (40% calories from fat), 5.6 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 110 milligrams cholesterol, 117 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.