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Turkey breast, Brunswick stew carry the week

Family Sunday

Prepare a roast turkey breast for Family Day. Alongside, add toasted couscous with basil and almonds (see recipe), green beans, mixed greens and flatbread.

For dessert, enjoy blueberry parfaits. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon crushed lemon cookies in each of 8 parfait glasses. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons (from a 21-ounce can) blueberry pie filling over cookies. Top with 2 tablespoons light whipped cream; repeat layers. Top with crushed cookies.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey and some parfaits for Monday.

Shopping list: Turkey breast to roast, whole-wheat couscous, canola oil, green onions, red bell pepper, fresh basil, cinnamon, sliced almonds, crumbled fat-free or reduced-fat feta cheese, green beans, salad greens, flatbread, lemon cookies, blueberry pie filling, light whipped cream.


Heat and eat Monday

Make turkey salad sandwiches with the leftover turkey. In a medium bowl, mix 1 1/2 cups diced leftover turkey, 1/2 cup each diced unpeeled apple and low-fat mayonnaise, 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder, 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and pepper, 1 medium thinly sliced celery rib and 2 tablespoons chopped green onions. Spread on 4 slices whole-grain bread; top with another bread slice. Cut in half and serve with baked chips and carrot salad. Enjoy the leftover parfaits for dessert.

Shopping list: Apple, low-fat mayonnaise, curry powder, ground ginger, pepper, celery, green onions, whole-grain bread, baked chips, carrot salad.


Meatless Tuesday

Ravioli with garlic herb oil makes a tasty no-meat meal. Cook 1 (20-ounce) package refrigerated four-cheese ravioli according to directions; drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, put 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 large clove sliced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper; heat on medium until garlic is light golden and remove from heat. Add garlic oil mixture to pot with ravioli. Add 2 tablespoons each minced chives and parsley to pot; toss to coat. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.) Serve with a spinach salad and Italian bread. Try orange sections for dessert.

Shopping list: Packaged refrigerated four-cheese ravioli, olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, chives, parsley, fresh spinach, Italian bread, orange sections.


Budget Wednesday

If you're from Virginia or Georgia, you'll argue that your Brunswick stew (see recipe) is the best. Try this one and serve it with a lettuce wedge and biscuits. Chunky applesauce sprinkled with cinnamon is good for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough stew for Thursday.

Shopping list: Bone-in, skinless chicken thighs, fat-free chicken broth, baking potatoes, canned diced tomatoes with chilies, frozen succotash, pepper, salt, hot pepper sauce, lettuce, biscuits, chunky applesauce, cinnamon.


Express Thursday

Heat the leftover stew and serve it over quick-cooking brown rice for an easy meal. Add a packaged green salad and whole-grain rolls. Pears are your dessert.

Shopping list: Quick-cooking brown rice, salad greens, whole-grain rolls, pears.


Entertaining Friday

Celebrate the end of another year and serve smoked paprika lamb chops with fresh grape sauce (see recipe) to your lucky guests. Add mashed potatoes, sugar snap peas and baguettes.

For a special dessert, make crepes a la Romanoff. In a blender, puree 2 cups strawberries (halved), 1 cup plain fat-free yogurt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Refrigerate at least one hour or until slightly firm. To assemble: Lay 4 crepes on 4 plates. Divide 2 more cups halved strawberries and spoon down center of the 4 crepes. Divide and spoon the sauce over strawberries. Fold one side of crepe over filling to cover, then the other side over first one to form a roll with the filling showing at both ends. Sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Plan ahead: save enough strawberries for Saturday.

Tip: Look for crepes in the produce section.

Shopping list: Smoked or regular paprika, pepper, boneless sirloin or other boneless leg lamb chops, olive oil, dry white wine, shallots, fat-free chicken broth, dried thyme, seedless red and green grapes, butter, potatoes to mash, sugar snap peas, baguettes, strawberries, plain fat-free yogurt, brown sugar, cinnamon, pure vanilla extract, crepes, powdered sugar.


Budget Saturday

Happy New Year! Respect tradition to bring lots of good luck, too, by serving black-eyed peas with ham. These are the best ones I've ever eaten. In a Dutch oven, combine 2 ham hocks (about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds total) with enough water to cover. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 1 hour.

Meanwhile, rinse and pick over 1 pound dry black-eyed peas; place peas in 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Top with ham hocks, 4 cups of the ham hock water, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, 2 medium onions cut into thin wedges, 1 (14 1/2 -ounce) can diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers with liquid, and pepper to taste. Cook on low 5 to 7 hours, or until peas are soft, but not mushy. (I cooked mine 5 hours and they were perfect, but it depends on your cooker.) Remove ham hocks and trim the fat. Add meat from hocks back to the stew; mix well. Serve with collard greens and cornbread (from a mix). Top leftover strawberries with chocolate syrup for dessert.

Shopping list: Ham hocks, dry black-eyed peas, garlic, onions, canned diced tomatoes with jalapeno peppers, pepper, collard greens, cornbread mix, chocolate syrup.

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Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 15 minutes

2/3 cup whole-wheat couscous

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 cup finely chopped green onions

1 diced medium red bell pepper

1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil

Pinch cinnamon

3/4 cup water

1/4 cup toasted sliced almonds

1/4 cup crumbled fat-free or reduced-fat feta cheese

Heat nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add couscous; toast 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Heat oil in same skillet on medium-high heat. Add green onions and cook 2 minutes. Stir in pepper, basil and cinnamon; cook 2 minutes or until basil is wilted. Add 3/4 cup water; bring to boil. Add toasted couscous; reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until water is absorbed. Transfer to serving dish; top with almonds and feta. (Adapted from Vegetarian Times magazine.)

Per serving: 153 calories, 6g protein, 5g fat (27 percent calories from fat), 0.4g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 105mg sodium, 4g fiber.

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Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 7 to 8 hours on low

4 pounds bone-in, skinless well-trimmed chicken thighs

2 cups fat-free chicken broth

2 cups water

2 large, peeled baking potatoes, cut into bite-size pieces

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomatoes with chilies

1 (16-ounce) package frozen succotash

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

Hot pepper sauce to taste

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine all ingredients. Cook on low 7 to 8 hours or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Remove bones and serve.

Per serving: 311 calories, 29g protein, 11g fat (32 percent calories from fat), 3g saturated fat, 24g carbohydrate, 92mg cholesterol, 633mg sodium, 4g fiber.

** ** **


Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: About 20 minutes

1 teaspoon smoked or regular paprika

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

4 boneless sirloin or other boneless leg lamb chops (about 1 1/2 pounds)

1 tablespoon olive oil

3/4 cup dry white wine

2 minced shallots

1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 1/2 cups seedless red and green grapes

1 tablespoon butter

In a small bowl, combine paprika and pepper. Rub chops with mixture; set aside. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add chops; cook 4 to 6 minutes per side for medium-rare to medium-doneness. Transfer to a platter; cover to keep warm. Add wine to skillet; bring to boil and scrape any browned bits in bottom of pan. Cook until wine is reduced to glaze, about 5 minutes. Add shallots, broth and thyme; cook 4 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in grapes and butter; swirl to melt butter. Pour sauce over chops and serve.

Per serving: 362 calories, 36g protein, 15g fat (37 percent calories from fat), 5.7g saturated fat, 13g carbohydrate, 117mg cholesterol, 182mg sodium, 1g fiber.

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