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

Menu Planner

October 25, 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

Serve Steak and Spinach Slices to the family, and hold the line on beef fat and calories but not on flavor (see recipe). Serve with a big baked potato to fill the plate and a lettuce and tomato salad on the side. Add multigrain rolls, and dinner is complete.

Monday/Meatless

Beans and rice are a perfect no-meat-tonight combination. Southwestern Beans and Rice is quick and easy and makes a nutritious combo (see recipe). Served with baked corn chips. You'll want a mixed green salad as an accompaniment. For dessert, pears and oatmeal cookies. Plan ahead: Save leftover cookies for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Express

Make fast and tasty Pasta Pollo tonight. Cook 12 ounces spaghetti according to directions; drain. In a large, nonstick skillet, cook 1 clove minced garlic in 1 teaspoon olive oil for 1 minute; add one 7-ounce jar of sliced, roasted red peppers and cook 2 minutes. Toss with pasta and top with one 10-ounce package of cooked, sliced chicken breasts. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese. Serve with a packaged green salad and bread sticks from the bakery. Finish with leftover cookies.

Wednesday/Kids

Neat Loaf Cups have a kid-friendly shape (see recipe). Everyone will want homemade mashed potatoes made with skim milk with the "neat" loaf. Add frozen green peas, dinner rolls and brownies.

Plan ahead: Save half the neat loaf cups for Thursday.

Thursday/Heat and Eat

Heat the leftover neat loaf cups for tonight. Cheese grits are easy and a good go-with dish for the neat loaf. Prepare instant grits according to package directions. Stir in 1 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese and 2 tablespoons or more of canned chopped green chilies (drained). Add some sliced tomatoes to the plate for a splash of color. Corn muffins from a mix are quick. Make fat-free instant chocolate pudding with skim milk for dessert.

Plan ahead: Make enough muffins and pudding for Friday.

Friday/Budget

Dance away high food costs with Texas Two-Step Chicken (see recipe). Swing your partner for rice. Stomp your feet for some vitamin C with fresh orange sections. Slide on over for leftover chocolate pudding with chocolate sprinkles for a mighty fine finish. Yahoo!

Plan ahead: Prepare enough rice for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

For carefree entertaining, tonight's lobster Newburg will keep you out of the kitchen. In a medium saucepan, combine one 6-ounce package of lobster chunks, one 10 3/4-ounce can condensed cream of shrimp soup, 1/3 cup skim milk, 3 tablespoons sherry or white wine, and a dash of nutmeg. Heat on medium about 5 minutes or until warm. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley. Serve with rice and fresh steamed green beans. Add sourdough bread. Serve Lemon Angel Layer Cake for a luscious dessert (see recipe).

Shopping List

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

Sunday

top round steak

frozen spinach

Parmesan cheese

garlic

cooking spray

baking potatoes

lettuce

tomatoes

multigrain rolls

Monday

chunky salsa

quick rice

canned black beans

canned corn with red and green peppers

cumin

baked corn chips

salad greens

pears

oatmeal cookies

Tuesday

spaghetti

garlic

olive oil

jar of roasted red peppers

cooked, sliced chicken breasts

Parmesan cheese

packaged green salad

bread sticks

Wednesday

cooking spray

eggs

skim milk

ketchup

cornflakes

onion

Dijon mustard

salt

pepper

lean ground beef

ground turkey

chunky salsa (if desired)

potatoes

skim milk

frozen green peas

dinner rolls

brownies or ingredients to make your own

Thursday

instant grits

shredded, reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

canned green chilies

tomatoes

corn muffin mix

fat-free instant chocolate pudding

skim milk

Friday

skinless, boneless chicken breast halves

picante sauce

light brown sugar

Dijon mustard

rice

oranges

chocolate sprinkles

Saturday

package of frozen lobster chunks

condensed cream of shrimp soup

skim milk

sherry or white wine

nutmeg

fresh parsley

rice

fresh green beans

sourdough bread

angel food cake

canned lemon pie filling or other prepared lemon filling

whipped topping

berries (any kind)

kiwi fruit

Steak and Spinach Slices (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes

1 (12-ounce) top round steak, cut 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick, visible fat removed

2 (10-ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 minced garlic cloves

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Score both sides of the steak by making shallow cuts in a diamond pattern. Use a meat mallet and pound the steak to 8-by-12-inch rectangle.

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