In a 3-quart saucepan, combine milk, rice, sugar and chocolate chips and cook on medium heat 20 minutes or until pudding is thick and creamy; stir often. Remove from heat, stir in vanilla extract. Spoon into serving dishes and chill 10 or more minutes.
Per serving: 142 calories, 4 grams protein, 3 grams fat (15 percent calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 40 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
WEDNESDAY / Meatless
Teriyaki Vegetable Sandwiches are perfect for summer.
Accompany the sandwiches with oven fries.
Fresh apricots make a light dessert.
Teriyaki Vegetable Sandwiches
Makes 4 sandwiches
Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
4 whole portobello mushrooms
1 tablespoon plus 1 / 4 cup teriyaki sauce (like San-J), divided
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 / 4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
1 small minced garlic clove
1 medium red onion cut into thick slices
1 large red bell pepper cut into strips
4 toasted sesame Kaiser rolls
Heat oven to 450. Remove and discard stems from mushrooms. Combine 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce with oil; set aside. In another small bowl, combine mayonnaise and remaining 1 / 4 cup teriyaki sauce and garlic; set aside. Arrange mushrooms, onion and bell pepper in broiler pan. Brush teriyaki-oil mixture over vegetables. Cook 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender; turn occasionally. Spread teriyaki mayonnaise combination on Kaiser rolls. On each roll half, arrange mushroom, along with onion and pepper strips. Cover with other roll half. Serve immediately.
Per serving: 282 calories, 9 grams protein, 7 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 0.6 grams saturated fat, 46 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 1,217 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.
THURSDAY / Budget
Depend on ground meat for these low-cost meat patties. Heat oven to 425. Gently mix together 1/2 pound each lean ground beef and ground turkey breast, 1 slightly beaten egg, 1 1/2 tablespoons chopped parsley, 1/2 cup oatmeal, 1/2 cup 1 percent milk, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 minced clove garlic, salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 teaspoon onion powder. Shape into 6 patties and place on a foil-lined shallow baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until center is 170 degrees (insert instant-read meat thermometer horizontally). Serve with corn-on-the-cob and fresh green beans. Add whole-wheat rolls. For dessert, sugar cookies are easy.
FRIDAY / Express
Buy a roasted chicken. Serve it with Chickpea and Artichoke Salad. Into a bowl, drain marinade from 1 6-ounce jar marinated artichoke hearts; add cider vinegar to taste. Add artichoke hearts (halved), a 16-ounce can drained chickpeas or garbanzo beans, 1/2 cup reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, 1/2 cup cherry tomato halves and 1 bunch sliced scallions; mix together.
Serve with multigrain bread.
Cool down with fat-free strawberry ice cream for dessert.
Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.
SATURDAY / Easy Entertaining
You're lucky if Atlanta friend Susan Simon invites you to dinner for her rack of lamb. Serve her specialty with Couscous Salad With Grapes and Pears. Boil 1 cup water; add 1 cup couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Whisk together 2 tablespoons each cider vinegar and water, 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Add 3 / 4 cup seedless red grapes (halved), 1/3 cup thinly sliced celery and 2 large, thinly sliced red Bartlett pears; toss well to coat. Mix in couscous. Arrange 6 cups salad greens on a platter. Spoon couscous mixture over greens. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons each crumbled blue cheese and toasted chopped walnuts. Add baguettes.
For dessert, spoon leftover ice cream over angel food cake. Top with fresh sliced strawberries.
Susan Simon's Rack of Lamb
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 25 to 35 minutes
Standing time: 5 minutes
2 3 / 4 - to 1-pound well-trimmed lamb rib roasts (6 ribs each)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 1/2 cups fresh bread crumbs
1 / 4 cup chopped parsley
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Heat oven to 400. Place lamb (fat side up) on a rack in a shallow roasting pan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Insert meat thermometer into thickest part of meat, but not touching bone or fat. Roast about 20 minutes for rare (140 degrees) and 25 minutes for medium rare (145 degrees). Meanwhile, combine bread crumbs and parsley. Remove lamb from oven; brush top with mustard. Coat with bread crumb mixture and return to oven. Roast 5 to 7 minutes or until crust is browned. Remove from oven and tent with foil; let stand 5 minutes. Divide each rack in half.
Per serving: 199 calories, 17 grams protein, 8 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 2.8 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 49 milligrams cholesterol, 348 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.
What you'll need for this week's menus
canned pineapple chunks
dark corn syrup
reduced-sodium soy sauce
green bell pepper
dense white bread (for cubes)