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

Menu Planner

November 22, 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.


As you gear up for your Thanksgiving Day feast, make this Sunday a casual day for your guests and prepare hamburgers your own way. Dress them up with a Mushroom and Onion Topping (see recipe). To serve: On each plate, place two slices of toasted Italian bread. Top with hamburger and then mushroom mixture. Serve with roasted red potatoes and homemade or store-bought coleslaw. A store-bought cheesecake with fruit topping is an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save leftover cheesecake for Tuesday.


Expect the children at the table early tonight for Crunchy Chicken Wraps (see recipe). Accompany the wraps with canned pinto beans topped with salsa. For dessert, let the kids make peanut butter cookies from a mix.

Plan ahead: Save the leftover cookies for Wednesday.


No one will want meat for dinner with Tortellini Soup With Peas. In a large pot, bring 8 cups vegetable broth to a boil. Add 1 pound frozen vegetable- or cheese-stuffed tortellini and boil gently, uncovered, until cooked through and tender or about 8 to 10 minutes. Stir in 3 sliced scallions (white part and 4 inches of green) and 1 (10-ounce) package thawed petite green peas. Simmer about 5 minutes or until peas are hot. Serve immediately with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add a green salad and crusty Italian bread. Leftover cheesecake is an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save leftover soup for Wednesday.


Dinner will be fast tonight with grilled cheese sandwiches on sun-dried tomato bread. Use reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese. Serve the sandwiches with leftover soup. For dessert, leftover cookies will go well with sliced peaches.

Tip: If you're short on soup, add 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can of reduced-sodium chicken broth as an extender.


Our family always goes for the traditional roasted turkey with dressing and gravy for our family feast. We always have lots of homemade mashed potatoes and fresh cranberry relish. We're having a lighter Green Bean Casserole (see recipe) this year. San Antonio resident Becky Crabb always makes us a mean Pumpkin Chiffon Pie (see recipe). I know; I'm her daughter-in-law. Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours.

Plan ahead: You know the drill - save all your leftovers!

Friday/Heat and Eat

Here's the best part of tonight's meal: You cooked it yesterday, and it's just as delicious as yesterday's meal. Enjoy an open-faced turkey sandwich on dense white bread with gravy and mashed potatoes. Heat the leftover green bean casserole. Bring on the leftover pie, if you have any.


Sherried Turkey Casserole (see recipe) is a delicious way to save money and use leftover turkey. Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. It's time for a light dessert, and fresh fruit is a good choice.

Tip: For the casserole, look for a calcium-enriched rice for a calcium boost.

Shopping List

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


lean ground beef

cooking spray

olive oil


sliced mushrooms



fresh parsley

Italian bread

red potatoes

coleslaw or ingredients to make your own


fruit topping


frozen chicken nuggets

chili sauce

soy sauce

flour tortillas




canned pinto beans


peanut butter cookie mix


vegetable broth

frozen vegetable- or cheese-stuffed tortellini


frozen petite green peas

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

Italian bread


sun-dried tomato bread

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese




ingredients for dressing and gravy

potatoes to mash

1 percent milk (for potatoes and for pie)

ingredients for cranberry relish

cooking spray

red onion

fine dry bread crumbs

vegetable oil

lean bacon

reduced-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup

fat-free yogurt

liquid smoke

canned mushrooms

frozen French-cut green beans

ready-made deep-dish pie crust

unflavored gelatin



canned pumpkin




light whipped cream


dense white bread


reduced-fat condensed cream of celery soup

skim milk

Parmesan cheese

dry sherry


green bell pepper

diced pimentos


salad greens

crusty bread

fresh fruit

Mushroom and Onion Topping (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes

cooking spray

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1/4 teaspoon each: salt and pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley (reserve 1 tablespoon)

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