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

Menu Planner

December 13, 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

When I was growing up, Beef Pot Roast (see recipe) was a regular on my mother's personal menu planner. She saved the leftovers like the treasures they were. We always had green salad to accompany the meal. Crusty bread was a must to mop up the savory gravy. Fresh fruit and cookies made a light dessert.

Plan ahead: Save leftover roast and vegetables for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Warm the leftover roast beef and vegetables for a delicious and easy meal. Frozen green peas with diced pimento make a colorful side dish. Make your own coleslaw or buy some. Add bread. For dessert, make a pineapple upside-down cake from a box mix.

Tip: Cut the cake in nine servings instead of the six listed on the package. Few of us need the extra calories.

Plan ahead: Save leftover cake for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Meatless

Penne Pasta With Tomatoes and Artichokes is full of flavor and easy to prepare (see recipe). Serve with a spinach salad and bread sticks. Don't forget the leftover cake.

Plan ahead: Save half the pasta for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Budget

Part of tonight's pasta with chicken is already prepared. Heat Tuesday's pasta and top it with a 10-ounce package of carved cooked chicken breast. Add a mixed green salad and Italian bread, and you have a complete meal.

Thursday/Kids

Soup-er Joes (see recipe) have "kids" written all over them. Use all turkey or all beef, or a mixture of both, according to your preference. Accompany the sandwiches with baked corn chips and carrot sticks.

Make Choc-Choc Pudding for a creamy dessert (see recipe).

Friday/Express

Take it easy tonight. Stop by the store on the way home and pick up a rotisserie chicken, prepared mashed potatoes and carrot salad. Stop by the bakery for bread and a cherry pie. You have a meal that would make your mother proud.

Saturday/Entertaining

Elisabeth St. John, a friend in Tuckasegee, N.C., served us delicious chicken flautas (see recipe) at a party recently. Like Elisabeth did, you can accompany the flautas with your own black bean and corn salad. For dessert, she made vanilla pudding and swirled it with store-bought caramel sauce. Some people might want to add margaritas to the fiesta. We did.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

boneless beef (chuck) pot roast

vegetable oil

dry red wine or tomato juice

Worcestershire sauce

instant beef bouillon granules

dried basil

potatoes

carrots

onions

celery

flour

salt

pepper

salad greens

crusty bread

fresh fruit

cookies

Monday

frozen green peas

jar of diced pimentos

coleslaw or ingredients to make your own

bread

mix for a pineapple upside-down cake

Tuesday

penne pasta

canned tomatoes

canned artichokes

ripe olives

extra-virgin olive oil

Parmesan cheese

fresh spinach

bread sticks

Wednesday

carved cooked chicken breast

salad greens

Italian bread

Thursday

lean ground beef

ground turkey

onion

condensed vegetable-beef or other vegetable-based soup

chili sauce

prepared mustard

salt

pepper

whole-wheat hamburger buns

baked corn chips

carrots

instant chocolate pudding mix

skim milk

reduced-fat whipped topping

miniature marshmallows

chocolate chips

Friday

rotisserie chicken

prepared mashed potatoes

prepared carrot salad

bread

cherry pie

Saturday

canned cooked chicken breast

cooking spray

onion

canned chopped green chilies

salt

nonfat plain yogurt

shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack jalapeno cheese

flour tortillas

lettuce

tomatoes

cilantro

salsa

ingredients for black bean and corn salad

instant vanilla pudding

caramel sauce

ingredients for margaritas, if desired

Beef Pot Roast (Sunday)

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 (2 1/2- to 3-pound) boneless beef (chuck) pot roast, trimmed of visible fat

3/4 cup water, dry red wine or tomato juice

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon each: instant beef bouillon granules and dried crushed basil

2 medium potatoes, peeled and quartered

8 small carrots

2 small onions, cut into wedges

2 stalks celery, bias-cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup cold water

1/4 cup flour

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oven to 325 degrees. In a Dutch oven, heat oil. Brown meat on all sides; drain fat. In a small bowl, combine water, wine or tomato juice, Worcestershire sauce, bouillon and basil. Pour over roast. Bake 1 hour. Add vegetables; bake 45 to 60 minutes or until tender. Transfer to a platter and keep warm. Reserve juices in pot.

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