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

Menu Planner

September 20, 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.


For an easy family meal, prepare Honey-Soy Glazed Pork Chops (see recipe). Serve with your own mashed sweet potatoes, some frozen petite green peas and bread. For dessert, cantaloupe sundaes (see recipe) are cool.


Canned tuna is always a money-saver, and Fettuccine With Tuna and Vegetables (see recipe) proves the point. Albacore tuna is a little more expensive than other canned tuna, but you'll enjoy albacore's better flavor. Add a green salad and crusty bread for a complete meal.


Make a quick veggie pizza skillet tonight. In a large, nonstick skillet, combine 2 2/3 cups frozen vegetable protein crumbles (available in health-food stores and some supermarkets), 1/2 cup chopped onion, 1/4 cup water, 1-pound package frozen vegetable and pasta mix with herb seasoning and 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chunky pizza sauce with mushrooms. Bring to boil; reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Add up to 1/4 cup additional water if too thick. Sprinkle with shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. Serve with a packaged green salad and multigrain rolls. For dessert, look for brownies in the bakery.

Plan ahead: Save leftover brownies for Wednesday.


Now sing along with me: Take me out to the ball game, tra la tra la, buy me a fat-free hot dog (and Cracker Jack) on a toasted bun. Buy me ` tra la ` some canned vegetarian baked beans, with a cup of microwaved shredded carrots stirred in. If I don't get baked corn chips and leftover brownies, I'll never come back. We'll root, root, root for the fresh fruit. And it's one, two, three strikes you're out if you don't eat your vegetables before the next ball game!


Prepare Grape-Tabbouleh Salad (see recipe) in the morning to serve in a jiffy for supper. Serve with canned or packaged soup. Fat-free pound cake with fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt will be a welcome dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the tabbouleh and frozen yogurt for Friday.


Make stuffed tabbouleh pitas using Thursday's leftover tabbouleh and whole-wheat pitas. Accompany the pitas with thinly sliced cucumbers in fat-free sour cream. Bring on the leftover fat-free chocolate yogurt and drizzle with marshmallow topping for an easy dessert.


Your guests will help you fire up the grill for your own grilled grouper. Microwave corn on the cob to stay cool. On the side, your own sauteed mushrooms are perfect.

Accompany the meal with strawberry salad. Line four plates with 2 cups each lightly packed spinach leaves. Divide among the four plates: 1 cup halved strawberries, half of a 10-ounce package of frozen raspberries, thawed and well-drained, and 1 cup orange and grapefruit sections. Drizzle with Balsamic-Pepper Dressing (see recipe).

Tip: To cook corn on the cob in the microwave, place corn in husks in spoke fashion and microwave on high (100 percent power): 1 ear, 2 to 3 minutes; 2 ears, 5 to 6 minutes; 4 ears, 10 to 12 minutes. Let stand 2 or 3 minutes. Using hot pads, remove husk and silk in one easy motion.

Shopping List

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


well-trimmed pork loin chops

black pepper


soy sauce

balsamic vinegar




sweet potatoes

frozen petite green peas


frozen raspberries

low-fat vanilla ice cream




sugar snap peas

red bell pepper


water-packed albacore tuna

olive oil

salad greens

crusty bread


frozen vegetable protein crumbles


frozen vegetables and pasta mix with herb seasoning

canned chunky pizza sauce with mushrooms

shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

packaged green salad

multigrain rolls



fat-free hot dogs

Cracker Jack

hot dog buns

vegetarian baked beans

shredded carrots

baked corn chips

fresh fruit


bulgur (cracked wheat)


olive oil



seedless grapes

fresh spinach leaves


fresh mint




canned or packaged soup

fat-free pound cake

fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt


whole-wheat pita bread


fat-free sour cream

marshmallow topping



corn on the cob, with husks intact

ingredients for your own sauteed mushrooms

spinach leaves

fresh strawberries

frozen raspberries

orange and grapefruit sections

fat-free strawberry yogurt

balsamic vinegar


black pepper

Honey-Soy Glazed Pork Chops (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: under 15 minutes

4 (4-ounce) boneless, well-trimmed pork loin chops, 3/4 inches thick

1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

3 tablespoons honey

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