Serve the family your own roast chicken with brown rice and gravy today. Alongside, try delicious Zucchini Casserole au Gratin (see recipe), fresh broccoli spears and dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a blueberry crisp (frozen).
Think ahead: Save enough chicken, rice, gravy, zucchini casserole and crisp for Monday.
Shopping list: chicken to roast, brown rice, gravy, cooking spray, eggs, garlic, Dijon mustard, fresh basil, coarse salt, black pepper, reduced-fat cottage cheese, reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese, zucchini, fresh broccoli spears, dinner rolls, frozen blueberry crisp.
Make open-face chicken sandwiches for a quick meal. Place slices of leftover chicken over dense white bread and cover with hot gravy. Serve the leftover rice and zucchini casserole along with a spinach salad on the side. The leftover crisp is dessert.
Shopping list: dense white bread, fresh spinach.
This Baked Ziti-Beef Casserole is just right for the kids. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Coat an 8-by-8-by-2-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
Meanwhile, cook 8 ounces ziti pasta according to directions; drain and set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, cook ½ pound lean ground beef and 1 small chopped sweet onion over medium heat for 6 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain. Add 1 chopped medium zucchini and cook 2 minutes. Stir in 1 15-ounce can no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1 14½-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, ¾ teaspoon dried oregano, and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Heat to boiling. Toss with cooked pasta. Spoon into baking dish; cover with foil and bake 20 minutes. Uncover and sprinkle with ¾ cup part-skim shredded mozzarella. Bake, uncovered, an additional 5 minutes or until cheese melts.
Serve with celery sticks and dip, along with soft rolls. Apple slices are good for dessert.
Shopping list: cooking spray, ziti pasta, lean ground beef, sweet onion, zucchini, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, dried oregano, coarse salt, pepper, part-skim mozzarella, celery sticks, dip, soft rolls, apple slices.
Enjoy the Indian spices in Chickpea Stew (see recipe). Serve the aromatic combo over basmati rice. Add a lettuce wedge and flatbread. For dessert, apricots are easy.
Shopping list: olive oil, onion, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, sugar, curry powder, coarse salt, turmeric, cayenne pepper, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), garam masala, fresh cilantro, basmati rice, lettuce, flatbread, apricots.
Pasta is a low-cost meal and easy to prepare, as is this Spaghetti with Parsley and Cheese. Cook 8 ounces spaghetti according to directions; drain.
Meanwhile, combine 5 minced garlic cloves and ⅓ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute. Add the parsley-garlic mixture; stir well to combine with the oil and remove skillet from heat. Add cooked pasta to skillet and toss well to coat. Add ¼ cup freshly grated Romano cheese and coarse salt and pepper to taste. Toss to coat.
Serve with a romaine lettuce salad and garlic bread. Fresh pineapple is a simple dessert.
Shopping list: spaghetti, garlic, fresh flat-leaf parsley, olive oil, Romano cheese, coarse salt, pepper, romaine lettuce, garlic bread, fresh pineapple.
Make it quick tonight with Southwestern Chicken Melts. In a medium bowl, mix together half of a package (8 to 10 ounces) Southwestern-style cooked sliced chicken breast, ¼ cup salsa and 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise. Spoon mixture onto 4 6-ounce corn tortillas; top each with 2 slices tomato and ¼ cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Serve with canned chili beans and guacamole. Make instant butterscotch pudding with 1 percent milk for dessert.
Shopping list: packaged Southwestern-style cooked sliced chicken breast, salsa, low-fat mayonnaise, corn tortillas, tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese, canned chili beans, guacamole, instant butterscotch pudding, 1 percent milk.
Tonight, serve your guests Honey and Spice-glazed Pork Chops (see recipe), along with mashed sweet potatoes (fresh or refrigerated) and fresh snow peas. Add a bibb lettuce salad and baguettes. Buy fruit tarts for dessert.
Shopping list: honey, Dijon mustard, ground ginger, cinnamon, ground cloves, cooking spray, boneless center-cut loin pork chops, coarse salt, pepper, sweet potatoes to mash or refrigerated, fresh snow peas, bibb lettuce, baguettes, fruit tarts.