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

MENU PLANNER

April 18, 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

Make it a casual family meal by serving a store-bought smoked turkey breast. Accompany the turkey with Brown Rice, Apple and Kiwi Salad (see recipe). (If time permits, make the salad the day before to allow flavors to blend.) Add steamed carrots and dinner rolls. For dessert, a store-bought angel food cake with strawberries and light whipped cream stays with the easy-meal theme.

Plan ahead: Chop 1 1/2 cups turkey for Monday, and label, date and freeze 2 additional cups for Saturday. Save half the salad and enough cake and strawberries for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Start your meal with your favorite canned soup. Make a rice and turkey salad tonight by combining Sunday's leftover salad and 1 1/2 cups leftover chopped turkey. Serve the high-fiber, high-flavor salad on a bed of salad greens. Top leftover cake with frozen fat-free vanilla ice cream and leftover strawberries.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Friday.

Tuesday/Budget

You won't break the bank when you serve Sausage and Peppers (see recipe). Serve with your own roasted red potatoes and a green salad. You'll want crusty bread. For dessert, cookies and pears are simple.

Wednesday/Kids

No need to call the kids twice for Chili Jr. (see recipe). Adults might like to add sliced jalapeno peppers to this mild chili. Serve with a chopped lettuce salad and corn bread from a mix. Let the children make instant chocolate pudding with skim milk for dessert. They'll want chocolate sprinkles on top of the pudding.

Thursday/Express

For a really quick meal, try packaged frozen burritos. They are quick to cook in the microwave. We jazzed up the brand we tried with salsa and fat-free sour cream. Serve with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, too. For dessert, fresh fruit is easy.

Friday/Meatless

Forget meat tonight with Italian Bean Pot (see recipe). It's from one of my favorite new cookbooks in a series called "Simply ..." (Surrey). This recipe is more than simple; it's quick, because you use your microwave. Serve it with mixed greens and garlic bread. Drizzle fudge sauce over leftover vanilla ice cream for an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Thaw smoked turkey for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

"Mmm, delicious" is what we called Smoked Turkey With Tarragon and Fresh Mushrooms (see recipe). Spoon over long-grain rice. After one taste, all my husband and guests could say was "Mmm, delicious." Fresh asparagus was the perfect side dish, and we added a green salad and baguettes. For dessert, store-bought fruit tarts pleased everyone.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

smoked turkey breast

brown rice

kiwi

Granny Smith or Braeburn apple

celery

red bell pepper

walnut pieces

scallions

fresh parsley

sherry or white-wine vinegar

olive oil

fresh carrots

dinner rolls

angel food cake

strawberries

light whipped cream

Monday

canned soup (your choice)

salad greens

frozen fat-free vanilla ice cream

Tuesday

vegetable oil

low-fat sausage links

bell peppers

(any type)

red onions

garlic

red potatoes

salad greens

crusty bread

cookies

pears

Wednesday

onion

garlic

canned Mexican-style tomatoes

canned pinto beans

frozen whole- kernel corn

long-grain rice

chili powder

cumin

fat-free sour cream

sliced jalapeno peppers

lettuce

corn bread mix

instant chocolate pudding

skim milk

chocolate sprinkles

Thursday

packaged frozen burritos

salsa

fat-free sour cream

lettuce

tomatoes

fresh fruit

Friday

dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes

fresh zucchini

olive oil

canned cannellini beans

canned Italian-style tomatoes

tomato sauce

salt

pepper

salad greens

garlic bread

fudge sauce

Saturday

margarine or butter

flour

evaporated skim milk

salt

dried tarragon

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

fresh mushrooms

skim milk

paprika

long-grain rice

fresh asparagus

salad greens

baguettes

fruit tarts

Italian Bean Pot (Friday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

1/2 cup dry-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 medium onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups (about 1/2 pounds) diced zucchini

1/2 teaspoon garlic, minced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoons water

2 (19-ounce) cans cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 (14 1/2 -ounce) can Italian-style tomatoes

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

salt and pepper to taste

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