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

Menu Planner

November 08, 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.


Prepare your own best pork loin roast for the family. Serve Alpine Potatoes (see recipe) and steamed green beans sprinkled with toasted sliced almonds to accompany the roast. Add baked apples and dinner rolls.

Plan ahead: Prepare enough baked apples and save leftover pork and potatoes for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make sliced pork sandwiches with honey-mustard sauce on dense white bread. Heat the leftover potatoes and add a fresh spinach salad. Warm the leftover apples in the microwave and top them with fat-free vanilla ice cream. Sprinkle a few chopped pecans over the apple-ice cream combo for a delicious dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.


Call in the kids for Nacho Night and they'll come running (see recipe). Serve canned pinto beans alongside the nachos. For dessert, top leftover fat-free vanilla ice cream with butterscotch sauce.


Pick up a packaged pasta sauce and make Pasta Primavera for a quick meal (see recipe). Serve with a packaged green salad and bread sticks. For dessert, frozen golden layer cake or other cake will hit the spot.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Thursday.


Beans are always a good way to stretch a dollar, and this Black Bean Soup (see recipe) is a tasty way as well. Spoon the soup over brown rice for a nutrition-packed meal. Serve a big mixed green salad on the side and crusty bread. Leftover cake gives a sweet finish. Tip: The soup improves with age.


When you serve flavorful Potatoes and Broccoli au Gratin (see recipe), no one will care if you serve meat or not. On the side, a sliced tomato salad is easy. You'll want multigrain rolls to go with the meal. For dessert, fresh fruit and chocolate chip cookies were made for each other.


No guest will be able to resist Oregon-Greek Pasta. Flavor a Greek-inspired pasta with hazelnuts grown in Oregon (nearly all hazelnuts sold in this country are from Oregon). Cook 8 ounces penne pasta according to directions; drain and place in a large serving bowl. In a large, nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Over medium heat, saute 1 clove minced garlic until soft about 1 minute. Add 1 thinly sliced red bell pepper and cook 2 minutes. Add 1 large peeled, seeded and diced tomato and cook about 2 minutes. Stir in 2 ounces goat cheese to make a creamy sauce. Toss with pasta, 1/4 cup toasted, coarsely chopped hazelnuts, 1/2 cup water-packed, quartered artichoke hearts, 1/4 cup kalamata olives (rinsed and drained) and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and 1 teaspoon olive oil. Season with freshly ground black pepper to taste. (Adapted from "Hazelnuts and More," Lucy Gerspacher; Graphic Arts Center Publishing, 1995, $19.95.)

Serve with a romaine lettuce salad and crusty bread. For dessert, spoon sliced strawberries over sliced fat-free pound cake. Top with a little light whipped cream.

Tip: Toast hazelnuts in the microwave on high (100 percent power) about 1 to 2 minutes.

Shopping List

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


pork loin roast

cooking spray

red potatoes



margarine or butter


black pepper

reduced-sodium chicken broth

spicy brown mustard

prepared horseradish

dry bread crumbs

green beans


ingredients for making baked apples

dinner rolls


honey-mustard sauce

dense white bread

fresh spinach

fat-free vanilla ice cream



canned turkey chili

shredded carrots

baked corn chips


shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

sliced jalapeno peppers

canned pinto beans

butterscotch sauce


rotini (twists) pasta

cooking spray

fresh or frozen vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, red pepper, onion)

skim milk

packaged pasta sauce

Parmesan cheese

packaged green salad

bread sticks

frozen golden layer cake or other cake



olive oil


reduced-sodium chicken broth

canned stewed tomatoes

canned diced tomatoes with green chilies

canned black beans


fat-free sour cream or yogurt

brown rice

salad greens

crusty bread


cooking spray

baking potatoes

fresh broccoli


part-skim ricotta cheese

fresh or dried dill


ground red pepper

fat-free sour cream

shredded reduced-fat, sharp Cheddar cheese



multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

chocolate chip



penne pasta

cooking spray

olive oil


red bell pepper


goat cheese


water-packed artichoke hearts

kalamata olives

fresh basil


olive oil

black pepper

romaine lettuce

crusty bread


fat-free pound cake

light whipped cream

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