This week's menus

Menu Planner

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

January 24, 1999|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

Make your own baked turkey breast for the family. Serve with your own gravy, if you like. On the side, Zucchini Casserole makes a great comfort food (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, cherry pie is always a family favorite.

Plan ahead: Save half the pie and chop 3 cups cooked turkey for Monday; save half the casserole for Tuesday.

Tip: To cut fat and calories, after baking the store-bought pie, discard top crust.

Monday/Kids

Sign up the kids for Turkey Enchiladas (see recipe). Serve this everybody's-favorite with rice. Jicama and carrot sticks add crunch. Warm the leftover pie and top with fat-free frozen vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save half the enchiladas and the ice cream for Tuesday. Cook 3 extra cups rice for Wednesday (1 cup uncooked).

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

Dinner is as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 tonight. 1. Heat the turkey enchiladas. 2. Heat the zucchini casserole. 3. Make a green salad. 4. Dish up the leftover ice cream. 5. Eat!

Wednesday/Meatless

Savory Western Beans is delicious and easy (see recipe). Serve over hot leftover rice. Add mixed salad greens and multigrain rolls. Fresh fruit over fat-free pound cake is an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Thursday.

Thursday/Budget

Parmesan Linguine is light in calories and cost (see recipe). Serve with green beans and bread. Leftover pound cake topped with chocolate sauce and light whipped cream makes a perfect dessert.

Friday/Express

With a few grocery-store ingredients, make this Tortellini and Mushrooms dish. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, combine 1 (16-ounce) package frozen and thawed tortellini, 1 (4-ounce) can mushrooms (rinsed and drained), 1 (7-ounce) jar roasted red peppers (drained and chopped) and 1/2 cup shredded reduced- fat mozzarella cheese. Pour 1 (28-ounce) jar red pasta sauce over mixture. Cover and bake 30 to 40 minutes or until bubbly. Add a packaged Italian salad and bread sticks. Buy brownies for dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

You'll enjoy more time with your guests if you serve this do-ahead meal. Parchment-Baked Fish and Shredded Vegetables (see recipe) can be assembled several hours in advance. Serve the fish-vegetable combo with packaged long-grain and wild rice and a mixed green salad. Add bread. Purchase fresh fruit tarts for dessert.

Tip: Look for parchment paper in large grocery stores or in gourmet-food shops.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

turkey breast

ingredients for gravy

zucchini squash

carrots

fat-free sour cream

reduced-fat cream of chicken soup

pepper

pimentos

onion

packaged seasoned bread cubes

margarine or butter

crusty bread

cherry pie

Monday

cooking spray

green bell pepper

onion

flour

coriander

pepper

reduced-sodium chicken broth

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

fat-free sour cream

salsa

flour tortillas

rice

jicama

carrots

fat-free frozen vanilla ice cream

Tuesday

salad greens

Wednesday

margarine or butter

carrots

onion

celery

canned pinto beans

salt

tomato sauce

hot pepper sauce

salad greens

multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

fat-free pound cake

Thursday

linguine

reduced-sodium chicken broth

flour

garlic powder

pepper

plain yogurt

Parmesan cheese

fresh parsley

green beans

bread

chocolate sauce

light whipped cream

Friday

cooking spray

frozen tortellini

canned mushrooms

jar of roasted red peppers

shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese

red pasta sauce

packaged Italian salad

bread sticks

brownies

Saturday

parchment paper

olive oil

orange roughy fillets

paprika

salt

pepper

fresh vegetables (such as carrots, zucchini, yellow squash or shallots)

fresh dill and Italian parsley

packaged long-grain and wild rice

salad greens

bread

fresh fruit tarts

Zucchini Casserole (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 45 minutes

4 medium zucchini squash, cubed

2 large carrots, shredded

1 cup fat-free sour cream

1 (10 1/2 -ounce) can reduced-fat cream of chicken soup

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons diced pimentos

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 (8-ounce) package seasoned bread cubes

2 tablespoons melted margarine or butter

1/2 cup warm water

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