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Roasted cauliflower fettuccine keeps costs down on Wednesday

> Family Sunday

Add some extra flavor to the usual family feast with roast chicken with herbs (see recipe). On the side, add baked sweet potatoes, green beans with sliced almonds, a mixed green salad and dinner rolls. Slice angel food cake for dessert and top it with blueberries and light whipped cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken for Monday.

Shopping list: Fresh thyme, fresh flatleaf parsley, butter, salt, pepper, roasting chicken, dry white wine, sweet potatoes to bake, green beans, sliced almonds, salad greens, dinner rolls, angel food cake, blueberries, light whipped cream.

> Heat and eat Monday

Make good use of Monday's leftover chicken and enjoy chicken fajitas tonight. Saute any sliced bell peppers and red onion until softened. Add shredded leftover chicken and heat. Serve with warm flour tortillas, reduced-fat sour cream and salsa. Add corn-on-the-cob and coleslaw. For a quick dessert, try kiwi fruit.

Shopping list: Any bell peppers, red onion, flour tortillas, reduced-fat sour cream, salsa, corn-on-the-cob, coleslaw, kiwi fruit.

>Meatless Tuesday

Joe Yonan, food and travel editor of the Washington Post, wrote "Serve Yourself" for one-person households. Many of Yonan's recipes can be scaled up to fit any size family. Spicy almond soba noodles with edamame (see recipe) is just one of those dishes.

Serve the noodle dish with a spinach salad with orange sections and sesame bread sticks. For dessert, stir some toasted coconut into vanilla pudding for a special dessert.

Shopping list: Dried soba noodles, fresh or frozen shelled edamame, almond or other nut butter, unseasoned rice vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper, coarse salt, scallions or green onions, red bell peppers, sliced almonds, fresh spinach, oranges, sesame bread sticks, coconut, vanilla pudding.

>Budget Wednesday

Keep costs down with roasted cauliflower fettuccine. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cut 1 large head of cauliflower into 1/2 -inch pieces; cut 4 strips of bacon into 1/4 -inch pieces. In a large rimmed baking pan lined with nonstick foil, place bacon, then cauliflower. Roast 35 minutes or until browned.

Meanwhile, cook 12 ounces fettuccine according to directions. Drain. Return fettuccine to pot and add 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, 1 tablespoon rinsed capers and the bacon and cauliflower mixture. Toss to coat. (Adapted from Good Housekeeping magazine.)

Serve with mixed greens and garlic bread. Scoop fat-free strawberry ice cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

Shopping list: Head cauliflower, bacon, fettuccine, no-salt-added or regular fire-roasted diced tomatoes, capers, salad greens, garlic bread, fat-free strawberry ice cream.

>Express Thursday

Make it quick tonight with roast beef wraps. Spread bottled horseradish mayonnaise on fat-free whole-grain tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, Swiss cheese and deli roast beef. Roll and slice on diagonal. Serve with deli potato salad. Nibble on oatmeal raisin cookies for dessert.

Shopping list: Bottled horseradish mayonnaise, fat-free whole-grain tortillas, lettuce, tomatoes, Swiss cheese, deli roast beef, deli potato salad, oatmeal raisin cookies.

> Kids Friday

The kids will like Italian pasta and meatballs. Bring 1 3/4 cups fat-free chicken broth and 1 cup water to boil in a large nonstick skillet. Stir in 8 ounces mini-rigatoni pasta; reduce heat to medium-high and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 (12-ounce) package refrigerated, ready-to-heat Italian turkey meatballs, 1 (9-ounce) package frozen Italian green beans, 1 pint halved grape tomatoes and 3 tablespoons Italian salad dressing; return to boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium; simmer 5 minutes, stirring often, until pasta is tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Serve with a chopped lettuce salad. Enjoy pears for a light dessert.

Shopping list: Fat-free chicken broth, mini-rigatoni pasta, refrigerated, ready-to-heat Italian turkey meatballs, frozen Italian green beans, grape tomatoes, Italian salad dressing, lettuce, pears.

> Easy entertaining Saturday

Serve your lucky guests grilled flank steak with herbed buttery spread (see recipe). On the side, add rosemary roasted red potatoes, grilled asparagus, a romaine salad and sourdough bread. Spoon fresh strawberries over leftover ice cream for a scrumptious dessert.

Shopping list: Buttery spread (such as Smart Balance or I Can't Believe It's Not Butter), chives, parsley, fresh thyme, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, salt, flank steak, rosemary, red potatoes, asparagus, romaine, sourdough bread, fresh strawberries.

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Makes 10 servings (3 ounces cooked weight dark and white)

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: About 2 hours; standing time: 15 to
20 minutes

Leaves from 4 fresh thyme sprigs

1 tablespoon chopped fresh flatleaf parsley

2 tablespoons softened butter

Salt and pepper

5-pound roasting chicken

2/3 cup dry white wine or water

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Mash the herbs with the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste. Carefully lift skin of the breast of the bird, so that you have a pocket into which to stuff the butter. Ease the skin from legs in same way. Push in as much butter as possible without tearing the skin. Set chicken in roasting pan; spread remaining butter on outside. Roast about 1 hour and 50 minutes, pouring the wine or water into the pan halfway through. Chicken is done when thigh reaches 180 degrees and juices run clear. Remove from oven; tent with foil and let stand 15 to 20 minutes before slicing. (Adapted from "Plenty," Diana Henry; Mitchell Beazley, $29.99.)

Per serving (white meat without skin): 150 calories, 24g protein, 5g fat (33 percent calories from fat), 2.1g saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 79mg cholesterol, 152mg sodium, no fiber.

Per serving (dark meat without skin): 155 calories, 22g protein, 7g fat (40 percent calories from fat), 2.6g saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 100mg cholesterol, 118mg sodium, no fiber.

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Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: Less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes, plus noodles

8 ounces dried soba noodles

2 cups fresh or frozen shelled edamame

1 tablespoon almond or other nut butter

2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons unseasoned rice vinegar

4 cloves crushed and finely chopped garlic

1 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1/2 cup hot water (plus more as needed)

Coarse salt to taste

4 sliced scallions or green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced

2 thinly sliced red bell peppers

1/4 cup sliced toasted almonds, coarsely chopped

Cook noodles in boiling water according to directions. Use tongs to transfer the cooked noodles to individual serving bowls; reserve cooking water. Return water to a boil on medium-high. Add edamame and cook 5 minutes or until tender; drain and add to noodles.

Meanwhile, for the dressing, combine almond butter, vinegar, garlic and crushed red pepper in a small bowl. Add hot water, stirring to mix well. Add more water, a teaspoon at a time, to thin if necessary. Add salt to taste; add more vinegar for a tangier sauce and more crushed red pepper to make it spicier. Add dressing to noodles and edamame, along with scallions, bell peppers and sliced almonds; toss to combine. Eat! (Adapted from "Serve Yourself," Joe Yonan, Ten Speed Press, $22.)

Per serving: 379 calories, 21g protein, 9g fat (20 percent calories from fat), 0.4g saturated fat, 58g carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 102mg sodium, 10g fiber.

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Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: Less than 15 minutes; standing time: 10 minutes

Herbed Buttery Spread:

1/2 stick softened buttery spread (such as Smart Balance or I Can't Believe It's Not

1 tablespoon each chopped chives and parsley

1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme leaves

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


1 teaspoon each garlic powder, paprika and freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 (1 1/2 -pound) flank steak

For the buttery spread: Mix ingredients in a small bowl until well blended. Form into a 2- to 3-inch log; wrap and refrigerate.

For the steaks: Mix seasonings together; sprinkle over steak. Grill 10 to 12 minutes for medium-rare, turning once. Remove to cutting board; let stand 10 minutes before slicing across the grain. Serve hot with buttery spread. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Per teaspoon buttery spread: 27 calories, no protein, 3g fat (99 percent calories from fat), 1.3g saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 4mg cholesterol, 27mg sodium, no fiber.

Per serving steak: 285 calories, 37g protein, 14g fat (44 percent calories from fat), 5.7g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrate, 79mg cholesterol, 254mg sodium, no fiber.

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