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

Menu Planner

This week's menus

May 09, 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

Mother will be so proud of you when you prepare Potato, Cheddar and Dill Frittata for Mother's Day brunch (see recipe). Accompany the frittata with Canadian bacon and steamed artichokes. Add whole-wheat rolls. Mother will double your allowance when you serve her strawberry shortcake with fresh strawberries, angel food cake and light whipped cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake and berries for Monday.

Monday/Kids

The kids will ride bareback for On the Border Turkey and Rice Bake (see recipe). It's easy for the cook to prepare because it uses one of the many packaged rice mixes. Accompany the rice/turkey combo with canned pinto beans. Crunch along on some carrot sticks, and finish with leftover cake and berries.

Plan ahead: Save half the turkey and rice dish for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

You can prop up your feet for an extra rest because you prepared tonight's turkey and rice yesterday. Heat the combo and then top with salsa and fat-free sour cream. Make a green salad and add a few slices of avocado for a garnish. Fresh fruit is the perfect dessert.

Wednesday/Budget

Canned tuna is always easy on the budget and tonight's Tuna Stuffed Pitas prove it (see recipe). Serve with store-bought tomato soup and crackers. For dessert, purple grapes and oatmeal cookies are quick.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Thursday.

Thursday/Meatless

Eat-Your-Vegetables Pesto With Spaghettini (see recipe) will bring even the toughest veggie foe to the table. Add a mixed green salad. Fat-free vanilla yogurt with leftover cookies will complete your meal.

Friday/Express

Forget homemade; try a quick-meal sandwich tonight. These single-serve "sandwiches in a box" can be found in your grocer's freezer. They can be microwaved in a matter of seconds. The brand we chose cost $1.25. We tried both the barbecue and the bacon cheeseburger (and tossed the bacon). These quick sandwiches are made for impatient eaters. Dress them up with lettuce and sliced tomatoes. For an easy, quick side dish, combine frozen green beans with canned potatoes. Sliced peaches and chocolate sandwich cookies make a simple dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Make entertaining fun and simple and prepare your own grilled smoked pork loin chops. Top the chops with Sauteed Apples and Red Onions (see recipe). Add corn on the cob and breadsticks.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

/

margarine or butter

ready-made hash-brown potatoes

eggs

milk

salt

pepper

fresh dill

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Canadian bacon

fresh artichokes

whole-wheat rolls

fresh strawberries

angel food cake

light whipped cream

Monday

packaged Spanish-seasoned rice mix

cooking spray

ground turkey breast

onion

taco seasoning mix

corn tortillas

canned Mexican-style stewed tomatoes

shredded Mexican-style cheese blend

fresh cilantro

canned pinto beans

carrot sticks

Tuesday

salsa

fat-free sour cream

salad greens

avocado

fresh fruit

Wednesday

canned water-packed albacore tuna

crumbled feta cheese

celery

apple

pecans

dried tarragon

salt

pepper

pita bread

lettuce

tomato soup

crackers

purple grapes

oatmeal cookies

Thursday

spaghettini

frozen chopped broccoli

fat-free chicken broth

Parmesan cheese

olive oil

garlic

salt

pepper

salad greens

fat-free vanilla yogurt

Friday

"sandwiches in a box"

lettuce

tomatoes

frozen green beans

canned potatoes

peaches

chocolate sandwich cookies

Saturday

smoked pork loin chops

vegetable oil

red onions

Granny Smith apples

light brown sugar

dried thyme

salt

pepper

cider vinegar

corn on the cob

breadsticks

Potato, Cheddar and Dill Frittata (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than

20 minutes

Standing time: 5 minutes

1 tablespoon margarine or butter

2 cups hash-brown potatoes

3 large eggs

6 egg whites

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon each: salt and pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill

1 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

In a large, nonstick skillet, melt margarine or butter over medium heat; add potatoes and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until lightly browned. In a medium bowl, stir together eggs, egg whites, milk, salt, pepper and dill; pour over potatoes. Cook frittata, gently lifting edges with a spatula and tilting pan so uncooked portion flows underneath, about 5 minutes or until set. If center remains uncooked, carefully turn frittata and cook until center is set. Remove from heat, sprinkle with Cheddar cheese and cover with foil; let stand 5 minutes.

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