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

Menu Planner

December 27, 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

Enjoy lean Flank Steak With Citrus and Pepper Marinade with the family today (see recipe). Alongside the steak, serve Garden Fried Rice (see recipe). Steam fresh carrots and toss with a little butter and chopped fresh parsley. Add a green salad and prepare or buy bread pudding for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the steak for Monday.

Monday/Budget

Serving steak salad will help you keep a keen eye on your budget. Toss Sunday's leftover steak slices with about 8 cups of salad greens. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette. Serve with your favorite hearty canned soup. Your own or store-bought muffins are a good addition. For dessert, warm store-bought chocolate brownies and top with fat-free frozen peppermint or chocolate yogurt.

Plan ahead: Save enough brownies for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Kids

Cheeseburgers are near the top of any kid's favorite food list. Serve your kids tonight's frozen vegetable burgers on toasted hamburger buns with melted 2-percent-fat cheese slices and trimmings of lettuce, tomato, pickle, low-fat mayonnaise and mustard, and they'll think that Santa is back again. Serve the burgers with canned vegetarian baked beans and carrot sticks, and off to bed the children will go. That is, right after you give them leftover brownies with light whipped cream. Sleep tight, little angels.

Wednesday/Express

Because we have so much to do this time of year, a package of frozen chicken chunks, pasta and vegetables with sauce is just what we need for an easy meal. The brand my family likes comes in 20-ounce or 30-ounce (harder to find) packages. The 20-ounce size claims three servings - maybe for wimps; two of us ate the whole thing. Serve the combo with a packaged green salad and bread. For dessert, a store-bought Boston cream pie is easy.

Plan ahead: Save half the pie for Friday.

Thursday/Entertaining

Celebrate New Year's Eve with friends. Make it easy for yourself and serve a spiral-cut honey-baked ham. Make your own scalloped potatoes. Frozen petite green peas with pearl onions add color. Savory Mushrooms are simple and delicious (see recipe). Homemade or store-bought coleslaw is an easy addition. Serve with dinner rolls. For dessert, fresh fruit and sugar cookies are light. Toast everyone with a glass of champagne to welcome 1999.

Plan ahead: Save leftover slaw and ham for Friday.

Friday/Heat and Eat

Turn on the ballgames and enjoy Black-Eyed Pea Soup for good luck in the new year (see recipe). For heartier appetites, serve the soup over rice. Accompany it with leftover coleslaw and some crusty bread. For dessert, leftover Boston cream pie is waiting for you.

Saturday/Entertaining

Your guests will enjoy your own broiled pork loin chops. Serve with Memories of Virginia Mashed Potatoes With Sauerkraut (see recipe), a favorite combination with my German-descent Virginia family. Add crusty bread. For dessert, a store-bought fat-free pound cake with berries and light whipped cream is delicious.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

orange juice

garlic

lemons

vegetable oil

coarse pepper

flank steak

rice

cooking spray

soy sauce

scallions

frozen green peas

fresh carrots

butter

fresh parsley

salad greens

bread pudding or ingredients to make your own

Monday

salad greens

light vinaigrette

hearty canned soup

muffins or ingredients to make your own

chocolate brownies

fat-free frozen peppermint or chocolate yogurt

Tuesday

frozen vegetable burgers

hamburger buns

2-percent-fat cheese slices

lettuce

tomato

pickles

low-fat mayonnaise

mustard

canned vegetarian baked beans

fresh carrots

light whipped cream

Wednesday

package of frozen chicken chunks, pasta and vegetables with sauce

packaged green salad

bread

Boston cream pie

Thursday

spiral-cut honey-baked ham

ingredients for scalloped potatoes

frozen petite green peas with pearl onions

mushrooms

margarine or butter

lemon

salt

white pepper

deli coleslaw or ingredients to make your own

dinner rolls

fresh fruit

sugar cookies

champagne

Friday

vegetable oil

fresh carrots

celery

onions

zucchini

canned black-eyed peas

canned stewed tomatoes

reduced-sodium chicken broth

coarse black

pepper

rice

crusty bread

Saturday

pork loin chops

butter

red onions

refrigerated sauerkraut

reduced-sodium chicken broth

Golden Delicious apples

caraway seeds

white potatoes

skim milk

salt

crusty bread

fat-free pound cake

berries

light whipped cream

Flank Steak With Citrus and Pepper Marinade (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; marinating time: 1 hour to overnight

Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes

1/2 cup orange juice

4 cloves minced garlic

1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

grated rind of 2 lemons

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