Sunday, January 25, 2004

7-day menu

Family Sunday

On a cold winter day, bring the family together for Lemon-Herb Beef Pot Roast. Serve with mixed greens and multigrain rolls. Make Creamy Couscous Pudding for dessert. In a pan, mix 3 cups 1 percent milk, 1/4 cup golden raisins, 1 teaspoon grated orange peel, 1 teaspoon each butter and honey to taste. Bring to a boil. Add 1 cup couscous and 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract. Remove from heat, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm with chopped pecans and a sprinkling of cinnamon.

Adapted from "Woman's Day" magazine

Lemon-Herb Beef Pot Roast

2 teaspoons lemon pepper

2 cloves minced garlic

1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil, divided

1 (3- to 3 1/2-pound) beef chuck pot roast

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup water

2 cups fresh baby carrots

1 pound small red potatoes, halved

1 medium onion cut into 6 wedges

2 tablespoons cornstarch dissolved in 2 tablespoons water

Combine lemon pepper, garlic and 1 teaspoon basil; press onto beef. Heat oil in Dutch oven over medium until hot. Brown roast on all sides; drain well. Add 1 cup water to pan; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 hours. Add carrots, potatoes and onion; continue cooking, covered, 30 to 45 minutes or until roast and vegetables are fork-tender. Remove roast and vegetables; keep warm. Skim fat from cooking liquid. Shake the cornstarch mixture and stir it into cooking liquid; add the remaining basil. Cook and stir 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Carve roast; serve with vegetables and sauce. Makes 12 to 14 servings.

Heat and Eat Monday

Use leftovers for open-faced roast beef sandwiches and gravy. Heat and slice leftover beef, layer on dense white bread and spoon hot (leftover) gravy over all. Dessert is simply pears.

Meatless Tuesday

Make Southwestern Frittata for a no-meat, no-fuss meal. Position broiler rack 4 inches from heat. Heat broiler. Wrap handle (if not heat-proof) of large nonstick skillet with foil. Heat 2 teaspoons vegetable oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 (16-ounce) package frozen broccoli, corn and red peppers and 1/2 teaspoon salt; cook 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium. Pour 1 (15-ounce) carton frozen (and thawed) Southwestern Egg Beaters (or another brand) over vegetables. Cover and cook 8 minutes, lifting edges of frittata occasionally to let liquid run under, until almost set. Sprinkle with 4 ounces shredded 50 percent light jalapeņo cheese. Broil 1 to 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Cut in wedges and serve with salsa.

Adapted from "Woman's Day" magazine

Kids' Wednesday

Call the kids for Frankly Good Stir-Fry. Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high and add 1 pound reduced-fat hot dogs (cut lengthwise, then sliced) and cook 2 minutes or until browned. Add 1 (16-ounce) packaged frozen Oriental-style vegetables (thawed), 2 tablespoons 1-Step Stir-Fry seasoning (McCormick or another brand) and 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce. Cover and cook 3 or 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Serve over rice and add bread sticks.

Express Thursday

We're always in the mood for a simple meal of rotisserie chicken. Serve the bird with one of Uncle Ben's new Flavorful Rice mixtures (about $1.29 for 3 cups or 4 servings), a flavor-infused rice. We tried the Parmesan and Butter flavor (one of the seven flavors). All flavors are high in sodium.

Budget Friday

For a change of shape, try mini-meatloaves tonight. Serve the petit loaves with baked potatoes, steamed fresh carrots and whole-wheat rolls


1 1/4 pounds ground turkey or chicken

1/4 cup minced onion

2/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs

2 eggs

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

2 ounces shredded 50 percent light cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 12-cup regular-sized muffin pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, mix together turkey or chicken, onion, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic and cheese. Fill muffin cups with scant 1/2 cup mixture. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until no longer pink. Makes 12 mini-meatloaves.

Easy Entertaining Saturday

Invite favorite friends for Halibut with Herbs and Capers. Serve with Tossed Trifle. In a large bowl, toss 12 ounces fresh-cut cantaloupe with 2 tablespoons dry sherry; set aside. In another large bowl, fold 2 cups frozen whipped topping (thawed) into 2 cups store-bought vanilla pudding. To assemble, toss 1 (10-ounce) angel food cake cut into cubes with cantaloupe. Divide the cantaloupe/cake mixture among six bowls. Top each serving with 1/3 cup pudding and 2 tablespoons melted raspberry jam (cooled). Garnish with sliced toasted almonds.

Halibut with Herbs and Capers

1/4 cup chopped onion

1/4 cup fresh Italian parsley

1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves

2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped pitted green olives

2 teaspoons rinsed and drained capers

1 clove minced garlic

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound halibut fillet, cut into 4 portions

Place onion, parsley, cilantro, lemon zest, lemon juice, olives, capers, garlic and pepper in a food processor; pulse several times to chop. Add oil and process until pesto-like paste forms. Pat halibut with paste. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Arrange halibut in dish and spoon any extra herb mixture on top. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, uncovered, or until fish is opaque in center. Makes 4 servings.

Adapted from "Eating Well" magazine

Contact Susan Nicholson by e-mail:

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