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

Menu Planner

October 11, 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.


Make an easy family meal with a sliced ham steak. Saute or grill it. The packaged steaks usually weigh about 1 pound and have little waste. Alongside the steaks, Red Cabbage and Green Apple Salad goes well (see recipe). Add dinner rolls. For dessert, swirl caramel sauce over a store-bought cheesecake.

Plan ahead: Save half the cheesecake for Monday.

Tip: If time permits, marinate the cabbage and apple salad overnight.


Chicken and Sausage Gumbo (see recipe) is a money-stretcher. Accompany this Cajun specialty with a mixed green salad and some crusty baguettes. For dessert, leftover cheesecake is waiting for you.

Plan ahead: Save half the gumbo for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

Just heat the leftover gumbo for a quick dinner tonight. Add a splash of hot sauce if desired. Serve the gumbo with a green salad and sourdough bread. Cool your mouth with packaged vanilla pudding made with skim milk. Drizzle chocolate sauce over the pudding for a sweet finish.

Plan ahead: Save some of the chocolate sauce for Wednesday.


The kids will gobble up Turkey Joes (see recipe). Serve on toasted whole-wheat hamburger buns with oven-fried potatoes. For dessert, fat-free chocolate ice cream with leftover chocolate sauce would please any kid.


Try frozen chicken-breast tenders for an easy meal. Use the oven for crispier chicken or the microwave for speed. Make your own mashed potatoes or buy a prepared dish. You might want some packaged fat-free gravy, too. Up your vitamin C with fresh broccoli florets sprinkled with fresh lemon juice. Pick up a dense, flavored bread, such as black-olive or sun-dried tomato, to add a distinctive flavor to your meal. Fresh fruit is a quick dessert.

Plan ahead: Save and chop up some broccoli for Friday.


No one will ask "Where's the meat?" when you serve Bow-Tie Pasta With Broccoli and Artichokes (see recipe). Toss with leftover chopped broccoli. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese. Add a green salad and garlic bread.


Your guests will enjoy the fragrant aroma as well as the flavor of Middle Eastern Lamb Stew (see recipe). Accompany the stew with couscous and sauteed zucchini and yellow squash. Add pita bread. For dessert, lemon sorbet and lemon cookies make a light and delicious finish.

Shopping List

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


cooked, sliced ham steak




fresh mint




extra-virgin olive oil

black pepper

red cabbage

green apples

dinner rolls

caramel sauce



low-fat sausage

reduced-sodium chicken broth

canned tomatoes, Cajun or other spicy flavor

frozen pepper stir-fry mix

frozen sliced okra

quick rice

cooked, sliced chicken breast

salad greens



hot sauce

salad greens

sourdough bread

packaged vanilla pudding

skim milk

chocolate sauce


ground turkey


shredded carrots


barbecue sauce

Dijon mustard

cider vinegar

Worcestershire sauce


whole-wheat hamburger buns

package of frozen potatoes for oven-frying

fat-free chocolate ice cream


frozen chicken breast tenders

prepared mashed potatoes or ingredients to make your own

fat-free gravy

fresh broccoli florets


bread: black-olive, sun-dried tomato or other dense variety

fresh fruit


bow-tie pasta

fresh broccoli

marinated artichoke hearts

oil-packaged sun-dried tomatoes


red wine vinegar



Parmesan cheese

salad greens

garlic bread



vegetable oil

well-trimmed, boneless lamb shoulder


reduced-sodium chicken broth

ground ginger

cinnamon stick


bite-size pitted prunes


blanched slivered almonds



yellow squash

pita bread

lemon sorbet

lemon cookies

Red Cabbage and Green Apple Salad (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Marinating time: 1 hour to overnight

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

4 scallions, green part only, cut into 2-inch pieces

1/4 cup packed fresh mint leaves

1 quartered garlic clove

1/2 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

fresh ground black pepper

1/2 small head red cabbage (1/2 to 3/4 pounds)

2 medium green apples (1/2 to 3/4 pounds)

Place lime and lemon juices, scallion greens, mint, garlic, sugar and salt in food processor or blender. Blend until smooth. With machine on low, add oil in a steady stream. Add pepper to taste and set aside. Trim, quarter and core red cabbage. Cut quarters into thin slices crosswise and transfer to a medium bowl.

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