A week's worth of quick, healthful meals for budget-minded families
SUNDAY: November is just the right time for Lemon-Herb Beef Pot Roast. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Combine 2 teaspoons lemon pepper, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 teaspoon dried basil; press onto a 2 ½- to 3 ½-pound beef shoulder roast. Brown on all sides; pour off drippings. Add 1 cup water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 hours. Add 2 cups baby carrots, 1 pound small red potatoes (halved) and 1 medium onion (cut into 6 wedges). Continue cooking, covered, 30 to 45 minutes or until roast and vegetables are fork-tender. Remove roast and vegetables; keep warm. Skim fat from liquid. Stir in 2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons cold water. Cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Carve roast; serve with vegetables and sauce. Add a green salad with shiitake mushrooms and whole-grain rolls. Top angel food cake with strawberries and whipped cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough beef, vegetables and strawberries for Monday. Save enough cake for Tuesday.
MONDAY: Make Beef and Broccoli Slaw Wraps with leftover beef. Shred 2 cups of the beef and combine with 3 cups packaged broccoli slaw mix and ¼ cup hoisin sauce; mix well. Spoon onto warmed whole-grain tortillas; roll, halve and serve. Heat the leftover vegetables to serve alongside. Add mixed greens. For dessert, top vanilla ice cream with leftover strawberries.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
TUESDAY: Stop by the market on the way home, and in no time you'll have Smoked Turkey, Brie and Granny Smith Apple Sandwiches on baguettes for a quick dinner. Serve with veggie chips. For dessert, cut the leftover cake into cubes and mix with instant banana pudding.
WEDNESDAY: Make it meatless and easy with Linguine With Zucchini and Fresh Mint (see recipe). Serve with an Italian salad and garlic bread. Plums are your dessert.
THURSDAY: We're always in the mood for a good Lentil Soup (see recipe), and this one is a keeper. Serve the soup with orange and grapefruit sections on lettuce and whole-grain rolls. Buy oatmeal cookies for dessert.
FRIDAY: What kid could resist Creamy-Greeny Wagon Wheel Pasta for dinner? Warm 1 (10 ¼-ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup and ¾ cup milk over low heat. Stir in 2 cups frozen tiny green peas (thawed); cook 5 minutes. Toss soup with cooked wagon wheel (or rotini) pasta. Serve with cherry tomato halves and soft bread sticks. Make Strawberry Granola Parfaits for dessert: Layer strawberry yogurt, granola and sliced fresh strawberries in a tall glass.
SATURDAY: The family will want you to add edamame (green soybeans) to their favorites list after they try Shrimp With Edamame Succotash (see recipe). Serve this protein-packed dish with a Boston lettuce salad and a baguette. For dessert, pour warm caramel sauce over leftover ice cream for dessert.
Tip: High in protein and fiber, edamame is one of the most nutritious soy products.
Linguine With Zucchini and Fresh Mint
- 12 ounces linguine
- 2 ½ tablespoons olive oil, divided use
- 1 teaspoon butter
- 2 pounds (about 8 cups) fresh zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into ¼-inch slices
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¾ teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided
- ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cook linguine according to package directions; drain and toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter over medium-high heat. Add zucchini and garlic; cook 4 minutes or until softened. Stir in mint, salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Combine zucchini mixture with cooked pasta and remaining olive oil; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining pepper.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 311 calories, 11 g protein, 9 g fat, 48 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 235 mg sodium and 3 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 3.
■ ■ ■
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup finely chopped carrots
- ½ cup finely chopped celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 5 ½ cups water
- 1 ½ cups dried lentils, rinsed and picked over
- 2 tablespoons to ¼ cup chopped fresh dill, divided use
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- ¾ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ¾ cup crumbled Greek feta cheese
In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; cook 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender, stirring frequently. Add water, lentils, 1 tablespoon dill, bay leaves, red pepper and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until lentils are tender. Stir in remaining dill, vinegar, salt and black pepper; discard bay leaves. Sprinkle with cheese and serve.
Makes 6 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 268 calories, 18 g protein, 6 g fat, 39 g carbohydrate, 5 mg cholesterol, 454 mg sodium and 8 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.5.
■ ■ ■
Shrimp With Edamame Succotash
- 1 ½ cups edamame (frozen, blanched and shelled)
- 3 slices bacon
- ½ cup chopped celery
- ¼ cup chopped red onion
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 to 2 jalapeno peppers, split lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into thin strips
- 2 cups frozen or fresh corn
- 3 tablespoons dry white wine
- 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped flatleaf parsley
Cook edamame according to package directions; drain.
In a large skillet on medium-high, cook bacon until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, crumble and set aside; reserve 1 tablespoon drippings in pan. Reduce heat to medium; add celery, onion, garlic and jalapeno peppers to pan. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in edamame, corn and wine; cook 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add shrimp; cook 5 minutes or until shrimp are opaque throughout, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Stir in salt and pepper; sprinkle with bacon and parsley.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition information: Each serving contains approximately 329 calories, 27 g protein, 13 g fat, 28 g carbohydrate, 139 mg cholesterol, 622 mg sodium and 6 g fiber.
Carbohydrate choices: 2.
Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: firstname.lastname@example.org