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

Menu Planner

July 05, 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.

Sunday/Family

Sometimes the simpler the better, and Rosemary-Roasted Leg of Lamb (see recipe) proves it. Garlic mashed potatoes complement the lamb. Mediterranean Tomatoes are a savory addition (see recipe). Add crusty bread for a complete meal.

Plan ahead: Make 4 extra servings of mashed potatoes; save 4 servings of leftover lamb and tomatoes for Monday. Wrap, date and freeze remaining leftover lamb for another time.

Tip: To prevent meat from smoking when it's roasted at high temperatures or when it has a high fat content, roast on a rack set in a pan that has about half an inch water in the bottom.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Take advantage of the leftover lamb; warm and slice it for tonight. Spoon the leftover potatoes into a baking dish coated with cooking spray. Smooth top and cover with the leftover tomatoes. Heat broiler. Microwave on high (100 percent power) 3 or 4 minutes or until hot. Remove from microwave and broil just long enough to crisp top. Serve with baguettes and fresh fruit.

Tuesday/Kids

Tuna Salad for Kids says it all (see recipe). For an accompaniment, let the youngsters choose and heat their favorite canned soup. For dessert, fat-free Rocky Road ice cream is just right.

Wednesday/Express

Pick up one of the many brands of cooked chicken breasts from the refrigerated-meat case; heat and serve with prepared mango chutney. Add a box of Betty Crocker or other sour cream and chive potatoes (look for coupons). Follow the directions, except substitute skim milk and omit the fat. Top with some chopped fresh chives. Microwave packaged fresh carrots and add crusty bread for a complete meal.

Thursday/Budget

You'll think you're in Mexico with Huevos Rancheros (see recipe). Serve with canned black beans and add a dollop of fat-free sour cream. Sliced avocados will cool your mouth. To complete your meal, add a green salad and some extra warmed tortillas.

Friday/Meatless

White Beans With Spinach, Garlic and Tomatoes (see recipe) is so flavorful you'll never miss having meat. Serve with drained coleslaw and crusty bread.

Plan ahead: Save leftover coleslaw for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

What's a neighborhood get-together without hamburgers, all the fixin's and good friends? In my neighborhood, Sandy Unrue always entertains us with a bring-a-dish celebration. This year I'm making Dijon Roasted Potatoes (see recipe). Don't forget the leftover slaw. Edie Diette covers the lettuce, tomatoes, pickles and condiment platter. The Hentschels bring baked beans. This year we're relying on Sara Lee for her red, white and blueberry cake. It serves 10 and is in the frozen food case. Sandy says next year we're going to Edie's house.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

salt

black pepper

fresh rosemary

lemon

olive oil

garlic

leg of lamb

garlic mashed potatoes (homemade or store-bought)

fresh tomatoes

fresh bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese

fresh parsley

crusty bread

Monday

baguettes

fresh fruit

Tuesday

albacore tuna

fresh carrots

sweet relish

horseradish

fresh dill

low-fat mayonnaise

dense bread

leaf lettuce

soup

fat-free Rocky Road ice cream

Wednesday

cooked chicken breasts

mango chutney

packaged sour cream and chive potatoes

skim milk

fresh chives

fresh carrots

crusty bread

Thursday

vegetable oil

onion

garlic

jalapeno chili

canned Mexican-style tomatoes

salt

eggs

corn tortillas

fresh cilantro

canned black beans

fat-free sour cream

avocados

green salad

Friday

extra-virgin olive oil

garlic

fresh plum tomatoes

dried or canned white beans

vegetable stock

fresh spinach

black pepper

coleslaw

crusty bread

Saturday

Dijon mustard

olive oil

garlic

Italian seasoning

red-skinned potatoes

hamburgers and fixin's

baked beans

Rosemary-Roasted Leg of Lamb (Sunday)

Makes 16 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 2 hours to overnight; cooking time: 55 to

70 minutes

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons freshly chopped rosemary leaves

juice of 1 lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup minced garlic

1 well-trimmed, boneless, tied leg of lamb (about 6 pounds)

Whisk together salt, pepper, rosemary, juice, oil and garlic in a large bowl. Add lamb and turn to coat evenly. Cover and refrigerate from 2 hours to overnight. Heat oven to 500 degrees. Place lamb on a rack set in a roasting pan. Roast on middle oven rack 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 375 degrees. Roast 45 to 60 minutes or until an instant-read thermometer inserted into center of roast reads 140 degrees. Remove from oven, let rest 10 minutes and remove strings. Slice against grain.

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