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White chili won't bust the budget

>Family Sunday

Treat the family to chicken and potatoes with pearl onions and carrots (see recipe) for a perfect comfort meal. Serve the combo with a mixed green salad and biscuits. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken with vegetables and pie for Monday.

Shopping list: Bone-in, skinless chicken breasts, herbs de Provence, garlic powder, black pepper, red potatoes, frozen pearl onions, baby carrots, crimini mushrooms, reduced-sodium chicken broth, salad greens, biscuits, Boston cream pie.

>Heat and eat Monday

Heat the leftover chicken and vegetables and serve it over couscous for an easy meal. Add a romaine salad and bread sticks. Slice the leftover pie for dessert.

Shopping list: Couscous, romaine, bread sticks.

>Budget Tuesday

White turkey chili (see recipe) won't break the food budget bank. Enjoy it with a spinach salad and cornbread (from a mix). How about grapes for dessert?

Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Wednesday. Save some grapes for Thursday.

Shopping list: Any canned white beans, ground turkey breast, jalapeno peppers, green bell peppers, poblano pepper, onion, garlic, cumin, coriander, fat-free chicken broth, lime, fresh cilantro, salt, green onions, fresh spinach, cornbread mix, grapes.

>Kids Wednesday

Kids will come running for chili dogs. Spoon the leftover chili over the kids' favorite hot dogs on a whole-grain bun. Crunch on celery sticks alongside.

Make a special dessert, s'more puffs, for lots of fun. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 12 round buttery crackers on a baking sheet. Top each with 1 milk chocolate kiss and half a large marshmallow. Bake 8 minutes or just until marshmallows begin to melt. Let cool on a wire rack 5 minutes before eating. (From "1,001 Ways to Cook Southern," Susan Hernandez Ray, Editor; Oxmoor House; $34.95.)

Shopping list: Kids' favorite hot dogs, whole-grain hot dog buns, celery sticks, buttery crackers, milk chocolate kisses, large marshmallows.

>Express Thursday

Buy some deli tuna salad and make tuna salad sandwiches. Before you spread it on whole-grain bread, stir in some leftover halved grapes. Add a lettuce leaf to the sandwich, too. Serve with bean soup. Add plums for dessert.

Shopping list: Deli tuna salad, whole-grain bread, lettuce, bean soup, plums.

>Meatless Friday

For a delicious no-meat dinner, try Mediterranean bulgur with chickpeas. In a large serving bowl, combine 1 cup bulgur (cracked wheat), 2 diced plum tomatoes, 1 small diced zucchini and 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley. Pour 1 1/2 cups boiling water over all; cover with foil. Let stand 12 to 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and bulgur is tender. Stir in 1 (15.5-ounce) can rinsed chickpeas, 2 cups cooked broccoli florets, 3/4 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 2 tablespoons each fresh lemon juice and olive oil; mix well and serve.

Add sliced cucumbers and flatbread to round out the meal. Orange sorbet is good for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough sorbet for Saturday.

Shopping list: Bulgur (cracked wheat), plum tomatoes, zucchini, fresh parsley, canned chickpeas, broccoli florets, reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, lemon, olive oil, cucumbers, flatbread, orange sorbet.

>Easy entertaining Saturday

Make dinner special for your guests with pork roast with apples and sage (see recipe). Serve with brown rice, green beans, a Boston lettuce salad and whole-grain rolls. For dessert, serve the leftover sorbet along with butter cookies.

Shopping list: Fresh sage, garlic, coarse salt, black pepper, boneless pork loin roast, jar pork gravy or bistro au jus (such as Heinz), Gala apples, brown rice, green beans, Boston lettuce, whole-grain rolls, butter cookies.

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Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 6 to 7 hours on low

6 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts

1 tablespoon herbs de Provence

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

2 pounds small red potatoes

3/4 cup frozen pearl onions, thawed

2 cups baby carrots

8 ounces crimini mushrooms

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

Place chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Sprinkle with herbs de Provence, garlic powder and pepper. Add potatoes, onions, carrots and mushrooms. Pour broth over all. Cover and cook on low 6 to 7 hours or until chicken is cooked through and vegetables are tender. Remove bones and serve.

Per serving: 215 calories, 23g protein, 3g fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.6g saturated fat, 25g carbohydrate, 57mg cholesterol, 174mg sodium, 3g fiber.

** ** **


Makes about 8 cups

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 6 hours on low

3 (15.5-ounce) cans any rinsed white beans

1 pound ground turkey breast

2 seeded and minced jalapeno peppers

2 seeded and chopped green bell peppers

1 seeded and chopped poblano pepper

1 large chopped onion

4 cloves minced garlic

2 1/2 teaspoons cumin, divided

3/4 teaspoon ground coriander, divided

2 cups fat-free chicken broth

3 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon salt

4 thinly sliced green onions

Set aside 1 can of the beans. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine remaining beans, turkey (crumble before adding), jalapenos, bell peppers, poblano, onion, garlic, 2 teaspoons cumin, 1/2 teaspoon coriander and broth; mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours; stir once halfway through and break up any clumps.

Meanwhile, mash reserved rinsed beans. After 6 hours, stir in mashed beans, remaining cumin and coriander, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Ladle into bowls; garnish with green onions. (Adapted from Family Circle magazine.)

Per cup: 240 calories, 23g protein, 2g fat (7 percent calories from fat), 0.4g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrate, 36mg cholesterol, 242mg sodium, 9g fiber.

** ** **


Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 to 7 hours on low

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon coarse salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 (2 3/4 - to 3-pound) boneless pork loin roast, well trimmed

1 (12-ounce) jar pork gravy or bistro au jus (such as Heinz)

4 medium Gala apples, divided

Mix sage, garlic, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Spread over top of pork. Place gravy in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Core 2 apples and coarsely chop; add to gravy. Place pork on top. Cover and cook on low 5 to 7 hours. Core and cut remaining apples into 8 wedges each; add to cooker the last hour of cooking. Remove pork and apple wedges to a tray; tent with foil. Let stand. Remove chopped apples with slotted spoon to food processor; puree. Add 1 cup cooking liquid to apple puree. Slice pork; serve with apple wedges and apple gravy. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Per serving: 247 calories, 28g protein, 9g fat (35 percent calories from fat), 3.8g saturated fat, 12g carbohydrate, 74mg cholesterol, 464mg sodium, 2g fiber.

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