This week's menus

Menu Planner

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

January 31, 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

Treat the family to lamb prepared a different way. Green Chili Lamb Roast (see recipe) is not the same old lamb your mother used to prepare. Serve your lamb with canned red beans. Serve rice made with tomato juice; then stir some drained salsa into the cooked rice for your version of Spanish rice. Continue the theme with flour tortillas. Lighten up with lime sherbet for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save the leftover lamb roast and sauce, and make enough rice for Monday.

Tip: Rinse and drain the red beans to remove excess sodium.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Take advantage of leftovers and make Lamb and Rice Stew (see recipe). Add a mixed green salad and whole-wheat rolls. For dessert, fresh fruit is easy.

Tuesday/Meatless

You'll enjoy Pasta With Goat Cheese and Onions Confit (see recipe) and never miss having meat. Serve the flavorful pasta with sugar snap peas and sun-dried tomato bread or other dense bread. Cookies and fat-free strawberry ice cream are a sweet finish.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Budget

Tighten your purse strings and make a Crustless Spinach Tart tonight (see recipe). Serve with baked potatoes and a tossed salad. Add store-bought muffins. For dessert, top leftover ice cream with strawberry sauce.

Plan ahead: Bake 4 extra potatoes for Thursday.

Thursday/Express

Hit the fast track and make Fish Tacos tonight. Toss 4 cups shredded coleslaw mix with 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 1 tablespoon sugar; set aside. Prepare one (11-ounce) package frozen fish fillets according to directions. In the same pan, heat 8 taco shells for 4 minutes. In small bowl, flake fish. Spoon into taco shells and top with slaw mixture. Cut leftover baked potatoes into wedges, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with paprika and bake until hot. You just made your own oven fries. Chocolate layer cake (store-bought) is a welcome dessert.

Plan ahead: Save leftover cake. Cook 1 cup brown rice in reduced-sodium chicken broth for Friday.

Friday/Kids

Kids always want burgers, so Smorgasburgers will make you a popular order-taker. Heat 1 teaspoon vegetable oil in a large, nonstick skillet. Cook 1 medium chopped onion, 1 medium apple (peeled and chopped) and 1/2 teaspoon dried sage for 3 minutes or until onion is soft. Remove from heat. In a large bowl, combine onion mixture, 1 pound ground turkey breast, 2 teaspoons vegetable oil, 3 cups cooked (1 cup uncooked) brown rice, 1/4 cup ketchup, 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Shape into 6 patties. Using the same skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil until hot. Saute burgers for 6 minutes a side or until thoroughly cooked. Serve the burgers on hamburger buns with lettuce, tomato, low-fat mayonnaise and mustard. On the side, canned vegetarian baked beans are good. Don't forget the leftover cake.

Saturday/Entertaining

Mustard-Tarragon Chicken (see recipe) makes an easy meal for company. Accompany the chicken with boiled new potatoes with fresh parsley and a little butter. Add a romaine and cherry-tomato salad. Fat-free pound cake topped with berries and light whipped cream completes your meal.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

boneless, rolled, well-trimmed lamb leg or shoulder roast

dried oregano

dried sage

pepper

cooking spray

onions

garlic

canned diced tomatoes

canned diced green chilies

cider vinegar

chili powder

salt

canned red beans

rice

tomato juice

salsa

flour tortillas

lime sherbet

Monday

cooking spray

fresh carrots

fresh mushrooms

green bell pepper

salad greens

whole-wheat rolls

fresh fruit

Tuesday

spaghetti

cooking spray

onions

garlic

dried sage

dried rosemary

sugar

white wine or chicken broth

fat-free cream cheese

goat cheese

salt

white pepper

walnuts

sugar snap peas

sun-dried tomato bread or other dense bread

cookies

fat-free strawberry ice cream

Wednesday

cooking spray

frozen chopped spinach

eggs

Parmesan cheese

nutmeg

salt

garlic

pepper

fat-free small-curd cottage cheese

pine nuts

baking potatoes

salad greens

muffins

strawberry sauce

Thursday

packaged coleslaw mix

low-fat mayonnaise

limes

sugar

frozen fish fillets

taco shells

cooking spray

paprika

chocolate layer cake

brown rice

reduced- sodium chicken broth

Friday

vegetable oil

onion

apple

dried sage

ground turkey breast

ketchup

salt

pepper

hamburger buns

lettuce

tomato

low-fat mayonnaise

mustard

canned vegetarian baked beans

Saturday

margarine or butter

cayenne pepper

dried or fresh tarragon

balsamic vinegar

Dijon mustard

salt

black pepper

boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

new potatoes

cooking spray

fresh parsley

romaine lettuce

cherry tomatoes

fat-free pound cake

berries (any kind)

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