This week's menus A clip and save guide to a week's worth of meals

Menu Planner

May 17, 1998|By Susan Nicholson | Susan Nicholson,Universal Press Syndicate

Each day of the week offers a menu aimed at a different aspect of meal planning. There's a family or holiday meal, usually on Sunday, a kids' menu aimed at younger tastes, a heat-and-eat meal that recycles leftovers, a budget meal that employs a cost-cutting strategy, a meatless dish for people who may not be strict vegetarians but are trying to cut down on meat, an express meal that requires little or no preparation and an entertaining menu, usually the Saturday meal, that's quick but worthy of company.

Sunday/Family

How about some cheese grits and ham bake (see recipe)? Serve biscuits alongside. For dessert, a fresh strawberry pie (see recipe) and fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt.

Plan ahead: Save enough frozen yogurt for Tuesday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make minestrone soup for a flavorful meal (see recipe). Add a green salad and crusty bread. Have brownies for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the soup and the leftover brownies for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Express

Beef up Monday's soup into an economical beef-minestrone soup (see recipe). For dessert, warm Tuesday's brownies and top with Sunday's fat-free vanilla yogurt.

Wednesday/Kids

Grill your own or buy cooked chicken breasts. Serve with Near East Toasted Almond Pilaf. Follow package directions but substitute chicken broth for the liquid; omit extra fat. The 6.6-ounce packages are about $1.79 and come in a variety of flavors. Microwave a package of Italian green beans and add bread to complete your meal.

Tip: For easy cleanup, cook rice mixture in the microwave for 7 minutes on high (100 percent power) and 20 minutes on medium-low (40 percent power).

Thursday/Meatless

Tacos and kids go together (see recipe for ricey tacos). Serve the tacos with fresh steamed carrots tossed with a little peach preserves. For dessert, the kids can bake their own Pillsbury's One-Step Cookies. The $2.39 package (look for coupons) makes 8 wedges and comes with its own pan. Don't overbake - they become dry and hard.

Plan ahead: Save half the taco mixture and half the cookies for Friday.

Friday/Budget

Tonight's Mexican cheese Joes on toasted buns are easy, because you did the work last night (see recipe). Reheat the leftovers, spoon onto the multigrain toasted buns and top with shredded Mexican-blend, reduced-fat cheese. Serve with canned pinto beans. Give the beans a splash of hot sauce if you like. Warm the leftover cookies and top with fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt.

Saturday/Entertaining

Mediterranean chicken breasts make an easy and tasty meal for your guests; use bone-in breasts with skin (see recipe). On the side, serve couscous prepared with reduced-sodium chicken broth and fresh asparagus spears. Add baguette and serve fruit sorbet for dessert.

Tip: Before serving, remove chicken skin to reduce fat and calories.

Shopping List

What you'll need for this week's menus (consult recipes for exact amounts)

Sunday

skim milk

salt

quick grits

cooked ham

shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Parmesan cheese

canned jalapeno pepper

eggs

biscuits

graham crackers or other pie crust

red-colored jelly

fresh strawberries

fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt

Monday

garlic powder

red pepper

Italian-style canned tomatoes

vegetable broth

frozen vegetable mix

medium pasta shells

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

crusty bread

prepared brownies or brownie mix

Tuesday

lean ground beef

fresh spinach for salad

Italian bread

Wednesday

cooked or uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Near East Toasted Almond Pilaf

reduced-sodium chicken broth

frozen Italian green beans

bread

Thursday

ground turkey or ground chicken breast

lean ground beef

tomato sauce

salsa

Worcestershire sauce

white wine vinegar

brown rice

taco shells

fresh carrots

peach preserves

Pillsbury's One-Step Cookie

Friday

multigrain hamburger buns

shredded Mexican-blend reduced-fat cheese

canned pinto beans

hot sauce

fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt

Saturday

bone-in chicken breasts with skin

garlic

olive oil cooking spray

salt

pepper

dried oregano

fresh lemons

Nicoise or kalamata olives

crumbled feta cheese

couscous

reduced-sodium chicken broth

fresh asparagus

baguette

fruit sorbet

Pub Date: 5/17/98

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