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

February 28, 1999|By Susan Nicholson | Susan Nicholson,Universal Press Syndicate

This week's menus

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

Prepare a family favorite today, your own baked ham. Offer a change from the usual with this Mustard Sauce. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup each low-fat mayonnaise and fat-free sour cream, 3 tablespoons Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Serve with ham. Keep the meal easy and accompany the ham with baked sweet potatoes. Everyone will like Brussels Sprouts and Shallots (no kidding; see recipe). Add dinner rolls. For dessert, make your own gingerbread.

Plan ahead: Save the leftover ham and enough gingerbread for Monday.

Monday/Budget

Look at all the money you'll save when you prepare Ham and Beans With Corn Bread (see recipe). Serve the savory cas- serole with store-bought chunky applesauce. Add leftover gingerbread and dinner is ready.

Plan ahead: Save half the ham and beans for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

Prepared yesterday, Ham and Beans With Corn Bread makes a quick meal tonight. Heat and serve it with steamed green beans. Make a sliced pineapple salad on dark-green lettuce to accompany your meal. For an easy dessert, serve cookies with fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt.

Plan ahead: Save enough frozen yogurt for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Express

No need to go out for a great pizza. A gourmet frozen pizza will keep you home-sweet-home for dinner instead. Serve the pizza with a packaged romaine salad. Top leftover chocolate yogurt with hot fudge sauce for dessert.

Thursday/Kids

What do you get when you combine kids and nachos? Why, Kidchos (see recipe), of course. Serve this everybody's-favorite with Rosy Rice -- just use tomato juice for the liquid instead of water (you'll add a shot of vitamin C, too). The kids can make their own instant butterscotch pudding with skim milk for dessert.

Tip: The adults might want to add chopped scallions and sliced jalapeno peppers to their Kidchos.

Friday/Meatless

Tonight's Linguine With Goat Cheese is easy and delicious (see recipe). Serve with a green salad and crusty bread. For dessert, fresh fruit is perfect.

Tip: Toast nuts in a 350-degree oven for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Saturday/Entertaining

Treat your guests to Shrimp With Orzo for dinner tonight (see recipe). Serve the delicious seafood-pasta combo with a fresh spinach salad and garlic bread. Cherry chocolate shortcakes would impress any guest. Layer canned cherry pie filling and light whipped cream between fudgy brownies on your prettiest dessert dishes. Start with a layer of pie filling, then a brownie, then light whipped cream, another brownie, and more pie filling and whipped cream. You sure can cook.

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

Shopping List

Sunday

ham to bake

low-fat mayonnaise

fat-free sour cream

Dijon mustard

fresh chives

prepared horseradish

pepper

sweet potatoes to bake

olive oil

shallots

fresh Brussels sprouts

salt

pepper

dinner rolls

ingredients for gingerbread

Monday

cooking spray

onion

canned white beans

frozen chopped turnip greens or collard greens

canned tomatoes

corn bread mix

chunky applesauce

Tuesday

green beans

sliced pineapple

dark-green lettuce

cookies

fat-free frozen chocolate yogurt

Wednesday

gourmet frozen pizza

packaged romaine salad

fudge sauce

Thursday

baked corn chips

canned fat-free refried beans

chili con queso dip

lettuce

carrots

fat-free sour cream

salsa

scallions

jalapeno peppers

rice

tomato juice

instant butterscotch pudding

skim milk

Friday

linguine

olive oil

pine nuts

goat cheese

jar of roasted red peppers

salad greens

crusty bread

fresh fruit

Saturday

orzo

large shrimp

canned tomatoes

feta cheese

balsamic vinegar

lemon

scallions

dried oregano

salt

pepper

kalamata olives, if desired

fresh spinach

garlic bread

canned cherry pie filling

fudgy brownies or ingredients to make your own

light whipped topping

Brussels Sprouts and Shallots (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 finely chopped shallots

1 pound fresh Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut crosswise into thirds

2 tablespoons water

salt and pepper to taste

In a medium, nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallots and cook about 2 minutes or until softened. Stir in Brussels sprouts, water and salt and pepper to taste. Cook and stir 6 to 8 minutes or until softened. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 56 calories, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 0.4 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 20 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Ham and Beans With Corn Bread (Monday)

Makes 8 servings

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