Celebrate the new year with SLICED BAKED HAM and HOPPIN' JOHN, a dish with black-eyed peas that's guaranteed to bring you luck. Serve it with COLLARD GREENS and CORNBREAD MUFFINS (from a mix). For dessert, your AMBROSIA is a good way to end the meal.
Save enough ham, muffins and ambrosia for Monday.
baked ham, dry black-eyed peas, smoked turkey legs, onion, crushed red peppers, coarse salt, black pepper, rice, smoked cheddar cheese, collard greens, cornbread mix, ingredients for ambrosia.
Servings: makes 8 servings
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: about 1 1/2 to 2 hours
- 1 1/2 cups dry black-eyed peas
- 1- to 1 1/2-pound smoked turkey legs
- 1 chopped onion
- 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- Coarse salt and black pepper to taste
- 1 1/2 cups rice
- Shredded smoked cheddar cheese for garnish
In a large pot, combine peas, turkey, onion, crushed red pepper and salt and black pepper. Cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours. Remove turkey legs, remove meat from bone, chop meat and return to pot; discard bones. Stir in the rice; cover and cook 20 minutes or until rice is tender. (Add more water if necessary.) Serve immediately and garnish with cheese.
Per serving: 304 calories, 22 grams protein, 4 grams fat (12% calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 382 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.
Monday: Heat and Eat
Leftover ham works wonders in FETTUCCINE AND HAM SALAD. Cook 1/2 cup sliced carrots until tender; drain and cool. Cook 8 ounces spinach fettuccine according to package directions; drain. In a large bowl, toss 12 ounces cooked chopped (leftover) ham, the carrots and the fettuccine, and 1 small red onion, thinly sliced and separated into rings. In a separate small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup tarragon vinegar, 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1/4 teaspoon dried basil. Pour over pasta mixture; toss to coat. Serve warm or cold. Add a MIXED-GREENS SALAD and leftover CORNBREAD MUFFINS. Leftover AMBROSIA is your dessert.
carrots, spinach fettuccine, red onion, tarragon vinegar, olive oil, dried basil, salad greens.
Make an easy meal of frozen MARYLAND-STYLE CRABCAKES (SeaPak or another brand) and TARTAR SAUCE. Serve with frozen SWEET POTATO FRIES and deli COLELAW. Add PEACHES with a sprinkle of nutmeg for dessert.
frozen Maryland-style crabcakes (SeaPak or another brand), tartar sauce, frozen sweet potato fries, deli coleslaw, peaches, nutmeg.
Keep the kids smiling with PEANUT BUTTER AND BANANA SANDWICHES on RAISIN BREAD. On the side, add CELERY AND CARROT STICKS and their favorite DIP. GRAHAM CRACKERS and SLICED APPLES make for lots of munching.
peanut butter, bananas, raisin bread, celery and carrot sticks, kids' favorite dip, graham crackers, apples.
BAKED POTATOES are special when they are topped with AVOCADO MOUSSE. In a food processor, combine 2 ripe Hass avocados, pitted, peeled and sliced, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; process until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl and fold in 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Top potatoes and serve immediately. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD with hard-cooked EGG WEDGES and WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Make LEMON PUDDING with 1% milk for dessert.
potatoes to bake, Hass avocados, lemon, dried thyme, coarse salt, pepper, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh spinach, eggs, whole-grain bread, lemon pudding mix, 1% milk.
When we're down to our last few food dollars, TUNA NOODLE CASSEROLE always comes to the rescue for another good, low-cost meal. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix 2 (6-ounce) cans drained light tuna, 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can less-fat less-sodium cream of celery soup and 12 ounces cooked elbow macaroni. Spoon into a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with crushed potato chips and bake 30 minutes or until heated through and bubbly. Serve with a ROMAINE SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, RED AND GREEN GRAPES are easy.
Add any leftover cooked vegetables to the tuna mixture before baking.
canned light tuna, less-fat less-sodium cream of celery soup, elbow macaroni, cooking spray, potato chips, romaine, crusty rolls, red and green grapes.
Saturday: Easy Entertaining
Invite friends for savory AMERICAN LAMB AND MINT RAGU served over TAGLIATELLE (or other pasta). Add GREEN PEAS (frozen), along with a ROMAINE SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Make pretty CRANBERRY PEAR TARTLETS for dessert.
extra virgin olive oil, yellow onion, shallots, garlic, ground American lamb, coarse salt, pepper, dry red wine, marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade), tagliatelle or other long flat pasta, part-skim ricotta, fresh mint, Parmesan cheese, frozen green peas, romaine, crusty bread, fresh cranberries, honey, allspice, cinnamon, ripe pears, mini phyllo shells, walnuts, orange.
CRANBERRY PEAR TARTLETS
Servings: makes 30 tartlets
Prep time: about 10 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes
- 1/2 cup fresh cranberries
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 ripe pears, peeled, cored and chopped
- 2 (2.1-ounce) boxes mini phyllo shells, thawed
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- Finely grated orange zest
In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, honey, allspice and cinnamon; bring to boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in pears and simmer 10 minutes or until excess liquid has cooked off. Let cool, then spoon mixture into shells. Divide walnuts and top tartlets; lightly grate orange zest over top. Serve.
Per serving: 40 calories, no protein, 2 grams fat (36% calories from fat), no saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 13 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
AMERICAN LAMB AND MINT RAGU
Servings: makes 6 or 8 servings
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium chopped yellow onion, about 1/2 cup
- 2 shallots, chopped, about 1/4 cup
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 1 1/2 pounds ground American lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 24 ounces marinara sauce (store-bought or homemade)
- 1 pound tagliatelle or other long flat pasta
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta
- 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped, plus more for serving
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Heat oil in a large, deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and shallots and cook 3 to 4 minutes or until softened. Add garlic, stir, then cook 30 seconds longer. Add ground lamb to the skillet, then season with salt and pepper. Use a wooden spoon to break lamb apart. Cook 5 to 7 minutes or until browned on all sides. Pour in red wine, then scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Cook 2 minutes at a rapid boil until wine reduces by half. Add marinara sauce, reduce heat to a simmer, and cook for 10 minutes.
Prepare tagliatelle (or other pasta) according to package directions until al dente. Drain pasta and set aside. To ragu, add fresh ricotta cheese and chopped mint leaves. Stir to combine, taste, then adjust seasoning as needed. Simmer until ready to serve.
You can either pour spoonfuls of lamb ragu over noodles or add the cooked pasta directly to the pot of ragu, then toss to coat. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and additional chopped mint, as desired.
Per 6 serving: 578 calories, 37 grams protein, 14 grams fat (22% calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 70 grams carbohydrate, 81 milligrams cholesterol, 734 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
Carb count: 4 1/2
Per 8 serving: 433 calories, 28 grams protein, 11 grams fat (22% calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 61 milligrams cholesterol, 550 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.