Food & Drink

Menu Planner, Aug. 31 - Sep. 07

FAMILY SUNDAY

Caesar Beef Kebabs

Enjoy family day with Caesar Beef Kebabs (see recipe). Serve them with green beans, a mixed green salad and whole wheat rolls. For dessert, the family will swoon over Blueberry Cream Pie. Beat 4 ounces softened fat-free cream cheese, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream and 1/4 cup sugar with an electric mixer until well-blended. Fold in 11/2 cups frozen fat-free whipped topping (thawed). Spoon half the mixture into 1 (8- to 9-inch) graham cracker piecrust; top with 1 cup fresh blueberries. Spoon remaining cheese mixture over berries. Scatter 1 more cup blueberries on top. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 5 hours or until set. Slice into 8 pieces and serve.

Plan ahead: Prepare 2 extra kebabs and save enough pie for Monday.

HEAT AND EAT MONDAY

Steak and Blue Cheese Salad

Use Sunday's leftover beef for Steak and Blue Cheese Salad. Dice steak and vegetables; mix with packaged greens and cherry tomatoes, drained quartered artichokes and crumbled blue cheese. Toss with reduced-fat blue cheese dressing. Add multigrain bread. Serve the leftover pie for dessert.

BUDGET TUESDAY

Caramelized Onions With

Red Peppers and Balsamic Vinegar Over Fettuccine

Pasta is always a money-saver, as is this Caramelized Onions With Red Peppers and Balsamic Vinegar Over Fettuccine (see recipe). Serve with a romaine salad and garlic bread. Enjoy plums for dessert.

EXPRESS WEDNESDAY

Asian Spinach and Grape Salad

Prepare Asian Spinach and Grape Salad. For the dressing, combine in a blender 1/ 2 cup seasoned rice vinegar, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 tablespoon candied ginger, 2 tablespoons each canola oil and chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon dark (toasted) sesame oil. Blend until smooth. In a large bowl, combine 6 cups baby spinach, 2 (8- to 10-ounce) packages grilled boneless, skinless chicken breasts (diced), 1 cup green seedless grapes (halved) and 1/2 cup frozen (thawed) edamame. Toss with dressing. Serve with red potatoes (refrigerated; follow directions) and sesame bread sticks. Make instant butterscotch pudding for dessert.

MEATLESS THURSDAY

Creamy Mushrooms

Try Creamy Mushrooms. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 pound sliced fresh mushrooms; cook and stir 5 minutes or until moisture has evaporated. Meanwhile, mix 1 (0.75-ounce) package mushroom gravy mix and 1 cup water. Add to skillet; bring to boil. Simmer 1 minute. Mix 2 tablespoons gravy mixture with 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Slowly stir into gravy. Serve the mushroom mixture over no-yolk noodles. Serve with a green salad and sourdough bread. Have nectarines for dessert.

Plan ahead: If time permits, make Friday's meatballs today.

KIDS' FRIDAY

Mexican Meatballs

Try these Mexican Meatballs. In a medium bowl, lightly mix together 12 ounces lean ground pork, 1/2 cup each grated zucchini and crushed baked or regular tortilla chips, 1/4 cup each thinly sliced green onions and fresh cilantro, 1 egg and 1 teaspoon each minced garlic, cumin and dried oregano. Roll into 24 meatballs. Brown in 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce and 1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through (160 degrees). Serve them with rice, green beans and soft rolls. For an extra-slurpy dessert, Choco-Nana Milk Blast is kid- perfect. For 2 servings: Cut 1 banana into chunks and place in blender; add 1 cup low-fat chocolate milk, 1 cup low-fat chocolate yogurt and 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup. Cover and blend until smooth. Top with multicolored sprinkles if desired.

Tip: For the lean ground pork, the meat cutter in my market ground lean pork chops..

EASY ENTERTAINING SATURDAY

Shrimp and Pesto Pasta

Shrimp and Pesto Pasta (see recipe) is an excellent dish for guests. Serve it with an arugula salad and baguettes. Buy a coconut meringue pie for dessert.

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