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

Menu Planner

August 30, 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 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

Wild Rice and Turkey Salad (see recipe) is one of our favorite family meals in summer. The salad - along with chilled, fresh asparagus spears - makes a complete meal. Squeeze a fresh lemon over the asparagus for extra flavor. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, sorbet and fresh berries carry on the cool, summer theme.

4 Plan ahead: Save the leftover turkey for Monday.

Tip: Use a prepared, smoked turkey breast if desired.

Monday/Leftovers

Continue the cool-food theme with sliced smoked turkey and a Tomato and Artichoke Salad (see recipe). Serve with crusty bread and fresh fruit.

Plan ahead: Save fresh oregano for Friday.

Tuesday/Meatless

Forget about meat and enjoy Ravioli Bake tonight (see recipe). It's flavorful and easy to prepare. Serve the baked pasta dish with a mixed green salad with a light vinaigrette and garlic bread.

Tip: Four cups of any kind of cooked nonmeat ravioli may be substituted.

Wednesday/Express

Stop by the supermarket seafood department or the deli counter for a prepared seafood salad for tonight. Pick up dark-green lettuce and a package of shredded carrots in produce. (Add the carrots to the salad and place the lettuce under the salad.) In the bakery, you'll want bread sticks and an angel food cake. The cake needs fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Now you have a complete meal.

Plan ahead: Save cake and ice cream for Thursday.

Thursday/Kids

Kids love baseballs, basketballs and footballs - so why not meatballs? Tonight's meatballs and spaghetti says "Play ball" to kids.

Cook 12 ounces spaghetti according to directions; drain. In a medium bowl, mix 1 pound extra-lean ground beef, 1 tablespoon minced onion, 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning and 2 egg whites until just combined. Shape into 1- to 1 1/2-inch balls. Heat one 28-ounce jar of spaghetti sauce in a deep skillet over low heat. Add meatballs; cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring once. Spoon over hot spaghetti.

Serve with a red-tip lettuce salad.

For dessert, leftover cake and ice cream cry out for fat-free chocolate sauce.

Friday/Budget

Your family won't call you cheap when you serve Italian garden soup; they'll call themselves lucky.

In a large pot, combine one 14 1/2-ounce can of each of the following: Italian green beans, rinsed and drained; zucchini with Italian-style tomato sauce; peas and carrots, rinsed and drained; diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano; and reduced-sodium chicken broth. Add 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper to taste. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon each chopped fresh oregano and basil and simmer 1 to 2 minutes.

Serve with a green salad and Italian bread. For dessert, try fresh fruit and oatmeal cookies.

Saturday/Entertaining

Entertaining is easy when you serve Grilled Lamb and Feta Burgers With Diced Tomatoes and Cucumber-Dill Sauce (see recipes). Serve the burgers on toasted whole-wheat buns. Buy or make a pasta salad. You'll want a platter of olives, celery and carrot sticks and pickled peppers to munch on. For dessert, make a peach sundae with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt and fresh sliced peaches. Top with light whipped cream.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

wild rice

reduced-sodium chicken broth

sliced almonds

olive oil

lemons

garlic

freshly ground black pepper

smoked turkey breast

seedless red grapes

flat-leaf parsley

scallions

raisins or currants

asparagus

dinner rolls

sorbet

berries

Monday

canned, water-packed artichokes

celery

scallions

fresh oregano

balsamic vinegar

olive oil

Boston lettuce

tomatoes

crusty bread

fruit

Tuesday

spaghetti sauce

frozen cheese ravioli

fat-free small-curd cottage cheese

shredded, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

light vinaigrette

garlic bread

Wednesday

seafood salad

dark-green lettuce

packaged shredded carrots

bread sticks

angel food cake

fat-free strawberry ice cream

Thursday

spaghetti

extra-lean ground beef

onion

Parmesan cheese

Italian seasoning

eggs

spaghetti sauce

red-tip leaf lettuce

fat-free chocolate sauce

Friday

one can each: Italian green beans; zucchini with Italian-style tomato sauce; peas and carrots; diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano

reduced-sodium chicken broth

black pepper

fresh oregano

fresh basil

salad greens

Italian bread

fruit

oatmeal cookies

Saturday

frozen chopped spinach

lemon

pepper

egg

lean ground lamb

feta cheese

fresh or dried mint

whole-wheat buns

tomato

cucumber

plain low-fat yogurt

fresh dill

garlic

store-bought pasta

salad or ingredients for making your own

olives

celery

carrots

pickled peppers

fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt

fresh peaches

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