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

Menu Planner

October 04, 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

An acquaintance of mine, Mary Moore of Atlanta's Cook's Warehouse, served Asian-style lamb chops to her family recently, and they were a big hit (see recipe). Noodles seasoned with chopped parsley and freshly grated Parmesan cheese make an easy side dish. Snow peas add color and flavor. All you need now are multigrain rolls.

Monday/Meatless

No meat needed with easy Penne Pasta With Vegetables (see recipe). Add a green salad and sesame bread sticks.

Tuesday/Express

You'll have time to spare tonight when you buy a rotisserie chicken for dinner. Accompany the chicken with a package of one of the many kinds of flavored rice. You'll want fresh broccoli on the side. Squeeze a lemon over the broccoli for a zesty flavor. Pick up some biscuits to complete this simple meal.

Plan ahead: Save half the chicken and prepare an extra package of rice for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Leftovers

Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas (see recipe) are a tasty way to use leftover chicken. On the side, reheat leftover rice. Some people might want a splash of hot sauce on their enchiladas. Add extra tortillas to mop the sauce. Fresh fruit makes an easy dessert.

Thursday/Budget

Everyone will think you're a magician, not a miser, when you serve Salmon, Pasta and Tomato Salad. It's delicious and economical. Cook 16 ounces rotini (twists) according to directions; rinse and drain. In a large bowl combine 1/2 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup each reduced-fat sour cream, prepared horseradish, fresh chopped dill and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well. Add cooked pasta, 2 cups chopped tomatoes and one 7-ounce can drained salmon. Toss.

Serve with mixed greens and crusty bread. For dessert, make a package of lemon pudding with skim milk. Stir into the pudding a teaspoon or two of fresh lemon juice for a homemade flavor.

Friday/Kids

The kids will enjoy the Caribbean flavor of Salsa Chicken (see recipe). The shredded carrots give a vitamin A burst with no fanfare. Serve over rice cooked in reduced-sodium chicken broth.

For dessert, let the kids make confetti ice cream. Roll scoops of any flavor fat-free ice cream in multicolored sprinkles. Then top with fat-free chocolate syrup.

Saturday/Entertaining

All your guests will want the recipe for Devilish Horseradish Burgers (see recipe). Serve the burgers on kaiser rolls with onion slices and romaine leaves.

Hot Fries make a nice, low-fat accompaniment. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat a flat baking sheet with cooking spray. Cut 2 (10-ounce) baking potatoes lengthwise into 3/4-inch sticks. Place in a large bowl and coat with cooking spray. Toss with 2 teaspoons chili powder, 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until crisp, brown and tender. (Adapted from Woman's Day magazine.)

Fruit sorbet with coconut macaroons is just right for dessert.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

garlic

fresh ginger

lemon grass or lemons

soy sauce

limes

cilantro

olive oil

vegetable oil

lamb chops

salt and pepper

noodles

parsley

Parmesan cheese

snow peas

multigrain rolls

Monday

penne pasta

plum tomatoes

garlic

fresh basil

black olives

olive oil

salt

pepper

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

sesame bread sticks

Tuesday

rotisserie chicken

flavored rice

fresh broccoli

lemon

biscuits

Wednesday

cooking spray

canned black beans

reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

mild salsa

reduced-fat sour cream

flour tortillas

enchilada sauce

hot sauce

fresh fruit

Thursday

rotini pasta (twists)

low-fat mayonnaise

reduced-fat sour cream

prepared horseradish

fresh dill

salt

tomatoes

canned salmon

salad greens

crusty bread

fat-free lemon pudding

skim milk

lemon

Friday

salsa

orange marmalade

brown sugar

lime

shredded carrots

package of cooked, chopped chicken breast

cilantro

rice

reduced-sodium chicken broth

fat-free ice cream

multicolored sprinkles

fat-free chocolate syrup

Saturday

fat-free sour cream

prepared horseradish

ketchup

lean ground beef

black pepper

salt

kaiser rolls

onion

romaine lettuce

cooking spray

baking potatoes

chili powder

garlic

fruit sorbet

coconut macaroons

Asian-Style Lamb Chops (Sunday)

Makes 8 chops

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Marinating time: 8 hours or overnight

Cooking time: about 12 minutes

5 large garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons peeled, chopped fresh ginger

2 tablespoons chopped lemon grass or lemon zest

2 tablespoons soy sauce

11/2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1/2 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons each: olive oil and vegetable oil

8 well-trimmed lamb chops (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)

salt and pepper to taste

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