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

Menu Planner

June 14, 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 meal, 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 or "less meat" 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 that's quick but worthy of company.

Sunday/Family

Oven-Baked Chicken Breasts With Artichoke Salad would impress any family. Prepare your own boneless, skinless chicken breasts or use a convenience product. Serve the salad (see recipe) over the chicken. Accompany with cannellini beans and sauteed fresh zucchini. Add multigrain rolls. You couldn't find a better or easier dessert than Bananas Foster Gratin topped with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt (see recipe).

Monday/Express

Pick up two packages of Mrs. Paul's frozen Grilled Salmon or Tuna Fillets for an easy meal. Each 7.4-ounce package contains two fillets for about $2 (look for coupons). Prepare them in the microwave, but don't overcook like I did the first time by following the directions on the package. For better results, cook for half the recommended time, then add 30-second increments and check for doneness. Serve with frozen O'Brien potatoes and deli coleslaw. Drain away the slaw's excess mayonnaise and stir in a little chopped green bell pepper. Add bread.

Tuesday/Budget

Pork and Black Bean Stew (see recipe) is high on flavor and low on cost, a perfect combination. Serve with a mixed green salad and corn bread muffins. For dessert, serve fresh fruit.

Plan ahead: Save half the stew for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Heat and Eat

Relax tonight and reheat leftover pork stew. Serve it over rice and add carrot sticks on the side for crunch and vitamin A. Add crusty bread. Fat-free pound cake with fresh strawberries and light whipped cream is a quick dessert.

Thursday/Kids

Every kid will want seconds of Chunky Tomato Pasta Bake (see recipe). They'll never notice the tucked-in carrots. Add bread. Fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt with chocolate sprinkles is cool.

Plan ahead: Save some chocolate yogurt and sprinkles for Friday.

Friday/Meatless

Delicious Tortellini Soup (see recipe) was perfected by Shirley McGehee of Spring Branch, Texas, and published by Southern Living magazine. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Top fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt with chocolate sauce for a sweet finish. For a triple chocolate threat, add some chocolate sprinkles left from Thursday.

Saturday/Entertaining

Any guest would welcome an invitation to enjoy the savory flavors of Spaghetti With Oven-Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic (see recipe). Serve with fresh green beans, a mixed green salad and Italian bread. Lemon gelati or lemon ice speaks Italian for dessert.

In response to numerous requests by readers, Menu Planner now includes nutritional breakdowns with all recipes.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

artichoke hearts

fresh plum tomatoes

kalamata or Nicoise olives

fresh basil

garlic

extra-virgin olive oil

fresh lemon

red wine vinegar

cannellini beans

fresh zucchini

multigrain rolls

Monday

Mrs. Paul's Grilled Fillets

frozen O'Brien potatoes

coleslaw

green bell pepper

bread

Tuesday

pork tenderloin

cooking spray

vegetable oil

onions

garlic

celery

cabbage

canned diced tomatoes and green chilies

chicken broth

canned black beans

mixed greens

corn bread muffins

fresh fruit

Wednesday

rice

fresh carrots

crusty bread

fat-free pound cake

fresh strawberries

light whipped cream

Thursday

cooking spray

penne pasta

fresh carrots

lean ground beef

canned stewed tomatoes

cream of mushroom soup

mozzarella cheese

bread

frozen chocolate yogurt

chocolate sprinkles

Friday

vegetable broth

canned whole tomatoes

canned chickpeas

garlic

dried basil

cheese tortellini

fresh parsley

Parmesan cheese

romaine

garlic bread

fat-free chocolate sauce

Saturday

plum tomatoes

garlic

salt

extra-virgin olive oil

olive oil cooking spray

capers

fresh oregano

fresh red chili pepper or hot red pepper flakes

spaghetti

fresh green beans

mixed greens

Italian bread

lemon gelati or lemon ice

Artichoke Salad (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Refrigeration time: 1 hour

2 5-ounce jars well-drained, marinated artichoke hearts

3 thinly sliced plum tomatoes

1/2 cup rinsed, pitted and sliced kalamata or Nicoise-style olives

1/4 cup packed basil leaves, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

1/2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine and toss all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavors to blend. Bring to room temperature before serving.

-- Adapted from "White Dog Cafe Cookbook," J. Wicks and K. von Klause, Running Press Books, $16.95/paperback.)

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