This week's menus

Menu Planner

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


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.


Nothing brings the family to the table faster than Oven Fried Chicken (see recipe). Serve with homemade mashed potatoes and store-bought gravy. Add fresh, sliced, steamed carrots tossed with chopped fresh parsley and a little butter. You'll want dinner rolls, too. For dessert, store-bought chocolate cake is easy.

Plan ahead: Save half the chicken and enough cake for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make chicken sandwiches on kaiser rolls tonight. Warm the chicken, toast the rolls and slather them with store-bought honey-mustard sauce, and add lettuce. Serve with frozen oven fries and drained store-bought coleslaw. Top leftover cake with fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.


The kids will be home early for Kids' Taco Bake (see recipe). No need to tell them the savory dish is full of fiber and vitamin C. Add some crunch with a lettuce and cherry tomato salad. Let everyone be kids with animal crackers and fresh fruit for dessert.


No one will call you baa, baa black sheep with Lamb and White Beans (see recipe) because you're so economical. Serve the hearty stew with an escarole salad and crusty bread. Finish with leftover fat-free strawberry ice cream drizzled with strawberry sauce.


Tonight's Linguine with Sauteed Mushrooms is quick.

Cook 12 ounces linguine according to directions. In a large, deep, nonstick skillet, heat 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil. Add 1 1/2 pounds sliced fresh mushrooms and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally until tender, about 4 to 6 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt, and cook 2 to 3 minutes longer or until liquid evaporates and mushrooms are light golden. Toss mushrooms with linguine and serve immediately. Sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Add mixed salad greens and garlic bread.


Dinner will be quick tonight with Turkey Roll-ups (see recipe). Serve with frozen french-cut green beans and multigrain rolls. Some store-bought brownies would be welcome for dessert.

Saturday/ Entertaining

Our guests always enjoy Beef Stroganoff (see recipe). You'll enjoy it too because it's so easy. Serve the beef classic over parsley buttered noodles. Accompany the beef-noodle combo with sugar snap peas and dinner rolls. For a delicious dessert, try Pears Filled With Ricotta Mousse (see recipe).

Shopping List

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


cooking spray

fat-free buttermilk

hot sauce

cornflake crumbs


cayenne pepper

bone-in skinless chicken breast halves

potatoes to mash

skim milk (for potatoes)

store-bought gravy

fresh carrots

fresh parsley


dinner rolls

store-bought chocolate cake


kaiser rolls

store-bought honey-mustard sauce


frozen oven fries

store-bought coleslaw

fat-free strawberry ice cream


ground turkey breast or lean ground beef

tomato sauce

thick, chunky salsa

skim milk

corn tortillas

shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese


cherry tomatoes

animal crackers

fresh fruit




boneless lean lamb

olive oil


dried rosemary

dry white wine or fat-free chicken broth

canned white beans

canned stewed tomatoes


crusty bread

strawberry sauce



olive oil

fresh mushrooms



freshly grated Parmesan cheese

salad greens

garlic bread


packaged stuffing mix

deli sliced turkey breast

jar of turkey gravy

frozen French-cut green beans

multigrain rolls

store-bought brownies


well-trimmed beef sirloin

white pepper

olive oil

fresh mushrooms


canned beef gravy

balsamic vinegar

fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream

fresh parsley


egg noodles

sugar snap peas

dinner rolls

white wine


Bosc pears

fat-free ricotta cheese

cocoa powder

Oven Fried Chicken (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes

2/3 cup fat-free buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons hot sauce

1 1/4 cups cornflake crumbs

3/4 teaspoon each paprika and cayenne pepper

8 bone-in, skinless chicken breasts

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil and then cooking spray. In medium bowl mix together buttermilk and hot sauce. In a pie plate, mix together crumbs, paprika and cayenne pepper. Dip chicken breasts into buttermilk (let excess liquid drip off), then roll in crumb mixture to coat. Arrange bone side down on baking sheet. Coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is no longer pink.

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