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

Menu Planner

July 26, 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

Smoked Turkey Salad With Bulgur, Olives, Raisins and Pine Nuts (see recipe) is a no-cook summer dish that the family is sure to enjoy. Your own sauteed mushrooms will make a savory accompaniment. You'll want crusty bread, too. Bring on the angel food cake with fresh peaches and fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save the leftover turkey for Monday and the leftover frozen yogurt for Wednesday.

Tip: For convenience, buy a ready-to-eat smoked turkey breast.

Monday/Kids

The kids will give you a gold star when you prepare White Bean Chili (see recipe). Serve with crispy carrot sticks and corn bread. For dessert, the children can make slice-and-bake cookies.

Plan ahead: Save half the chili and the leftover carrots and cookies for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

Reheat Monday's leftover chili and serve over rice tonight for an easy meal. Chop and cook any leftover carrots sticks in the microwave and add them to the chili. Add bread. For dessert, fresh fruit goes well with leftover cookies.

Wednesday/Meatless

Try not to eat all the Linguine With Spinach, Red Peppers and Gouda Cheese yourself (see recipe). It won't be easy, though. The addition of Gouda is a little like having the smoked flavor of bacon. Add a green salad and Italian bread. For dessert, fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt with caramel sauce is just right.

Thursday/Budget

Save money on a simple, flavorful Mexican Chicken and Rice Dinner (see recipe). Serve with canned pinto beans and warm corn tortillas.

Friday/Express

Look for Amy's Frozen Spinach or Roasted Vegetable Pizza. The 10-inch (12- to 14-ounce) pizzas are some of the best vegetarian pizzas I've tried. They range in price from $4 to $5. The maker claims three servings per pizza, but not at our house! Two servings per pizza is more realistic. Serve the pizza with your favorite canned soup. For dessert, fresh cantaloupe chunks pack a vitamin punch.

Saturday/Entertaining

Fire up the grill and cook a pork loin roast. Serve with store-bought mango chutney. Make garlic mashed potatoes and steam fresh green beans to accompany the roast. Add rosemary bread or another dense-flavored bread. Low-fat, candylike Chocolate Meringue Kisses will melt in your mouth for a sweet finish (see recipe).

Shopping List

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

Sunday

fine bulgur

lemon

extra-virgin olive oil

smoked turkey breast

green olives

raisins

pine nuts

fresh parsley

salt

fresh mushrooms

crusty bread

angel food cake

fresh peaches

fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt

Monday

oil

cooking spray

onions

dried oregano

ground cumin

smoked turkey breast

chili powder

bay leaves

salt

canned stewed tomatoes

beef broth

tomato sauce

canned small white beans

red onion

fat-free sour cream

carrot sticks

corn bread

slice-and-bake cookies

Tuesday

rice

bread

fresh fruit

Wednesday

linguine

olive oil

garlic

red bell pepper

packaged fresh spinach

salt

black pepper

smoked Gouda cheese

green salad

Italian bread

caramel sauce

Thursday

uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts

chunky salsa

taco seasoning mix

quick-cooking rice

shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

canned pinto beans

corn tortillas

Friday

Amy's or other vegetarian pizza

canned soup

cantaloupe

Saturday

pork loin roast

mango chutney

garlic

potatoes

skim milk (for potatoes)

fresh green beans

rosemary or other dense-flavored

bread

eggs

cream of tartar

sugar

salt

unsweetened cocoa powder

reduced-fat or regular semisweet chocolate-flavor baking chips

confectioners' sugar (optional)

Smoked Turkey Salad With Bulgur, Olives, Raisins and Pine Nuts (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

1 cup each: fine bulgur and water

2 tablespoons each: fresh lemon juice and extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup shredded smoked turkey

10 pitted, chopped green olives

1/4 cup raisins

2 tablespoons each: pine nuts and chopped fresh parsley

Combine bulgur, water, juice and oil in a medium bowl. Let stand 30 minutes so bulgur can absorb liquid; fluff with fork. Stir in turkey, olives, raisins, pine nuts and parsley, and salt to taste. Serve at room temperature.

(Adapted from "Cool Kitchen" by Lauren Chattman, Morrow, $22.)

Per serving: 276 calories, 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 1.5 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 11 milligrams cholesterol, 510 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

White Bean Chili (Monday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 70 minutes

1 teaspoon oil

cooking spray

2 medium chopped onions

1 1/2 teaspoons each: dried oregano and ground cumin

2 cups chopped smoked turkey

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

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