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.


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.


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.


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.


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


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.


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)


fine bulgur


extra-virgin olive oil

smoked turkey breast

green olives


pine nuts

fresh parsley


fresh mushrooms

crusty bread

angel food cake

fresh peaches

fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt



cooking spray


dried oregano

ground cumin

smoked turkey breast

chili powder

bay leaves


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




fresh fruit



olive oil


red bell pepper

packaged fresh spinach


black pepper

smoked Gouda cheese

green salad

Italian bread

caramel sauce


uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts

chunky salsa

taco seasoning mix

quick-cooking rice

shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

canned pinto beans

corn tortillas


Amy's or other vegetarian pizza

canned soup



pork loin roast

mango chutney



skim milk (for potatoes)

fresh green beans

rosemary or other dense-flavored



cream of tartar



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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