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

MENU PLANNER

This week's menus

May 30, 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/Meatless

Today, serve simple, refreshing Cannellini and Green Bean Salad for a substantial meal (see recipe). Serve with crusty bread. For dessert, fresh Strawberry Pie is yummy. In a heavy pot, mix 1 cup sugar and 3 tablespoons cornstarch; add 2 cups very ripe mashed strawberries and cook slowly about 10 minutes or until thick. Cool slightly and add 1 cup halved strawberries. Pour into a ready-made, 9-inch graham cracker crust. Chill and garnish with a dollop of light whipped cream. Plan ahead: Save half the pie for Monday.

Monday/Family

Your fans will demand your own barbecued pork to celebrate Memorial Day. Serve on sesame seed rolls. Make your own baked beans and potato salad. Add Honey Mustard Coleslaw to the holiday feast (see recipe). Leftover strawberry pie is calling you for dessert.

Tuesday/Kids

Every kid will want a slice of Taco Pie (see recipe). The children can make ice-cream sandwiches for dessert. Put small scoops of fat-free vanilla ice cream between oatmeal cookies. Wrap and freeze until ready to eat.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.

Wednesday/Budget

Tonight's low-cost and high- flavor Turkey-Noodle Bake will please everyone (see recipe). Serve the nutritious casserole with mixed greens and multigrain rolls. Fresh fruit makes a light dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the casserole for Thursday.

Thursday/Heat and Eat

Dinner will be ready in a flash. Heat the leftover casserole and top with salsa. Serve with steamed fresh green beans. Make corn muffins from a mix. For dessert, top leftover fat-free ice cream with fresh berries of your choice and light whipped cream.

Friday/Express

Make it simple tonight with a package of low-fat breaded chicken breast cutlets from the supermarket. The brand I chose offered a 12-ounce package of four refrigerated cutlets for $4.29. There are 120 calories and 2 grams of fat per cutlet. Serve this "quick chick" with a package of a cheese sauce-and-pasta mix for a good dose of convenience and calcium. Add a green salad and crusty bread. Purple plums and cookies are an easy dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Julie Engleman, a Baltimore transplant to Atlanta, served us this delicious Beaufort Shrimp (see recipe) over rice. (The recipe was handed down to Julie from her Aunt May of Beaufort, S.C.) Julie served mixed greens on the side along with sourdough bread. We finished on a light note with lemon sorbet. Thank you, Aunt May and Julie, for a delicious dinner.

Shopping list

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

Sunday

dried cannellini or other white beans

fresh green beans

plum tomato

red onion

fresh or dried tarragon

tarragon vinegar

extra-virgin olive oil

Dijon mustard

salt

pepper

salad greens

crusty bread

sugar

cornstarch

fresh strawberries

ready-made graham- cracker pie crust

light whipped cream

Monday

ingredients for barbecued pork

sesame seed rolls

ingredients for baked beans and potato salad

green cabbage

carrots

scallions

cider vinegar

honey-mustard sauce

fat-free plain yogurt

poppy seeds

sugar

salt

pepper

Tuesday

lean ground beef or turkey

packet of taco seasoning mix

baked corn chips

ready-made pastry shell

canned red beans

reduced-fat sour cream

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

lettuce

tomatoes

fat-free vanilla ice cream

oatmeal cookies

Wednesday

cooking spray

vegetable oil

ground turkey breast

red pasta sauce

medium noodles

fat-free cottage cheese

fat-free sour cream

reduced-fat cream cheese

egg

scallions

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

salad greens

multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

Thursday

salsa

fresh green beans

corn muffin mix

fresh berries

light whipped cream

Friday

package of low-fat breaded chicken breast cutlets

package of cheese sauce-and-pasta mix

salad greens

crusty bread

purple plums

cookies

Saturday

margarine or butter

onion

red or green bell pepper

fresh mushrooms

dry white wine

condensed cream of shrimp soup

medium raw shrimp

salt

pepper

garlic powder

fat-free sour cream

rice

salad greens

sourdough bread

lemon sorbet

Cannellini and Green Bean Salad (Sunday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 to 1 1/2 hours

1 cup dried cannellini or other white beans

1 1/2 quarts water

1/4 pound fresh green beans, ends trimmed

1 ripe plum tomato, cut into 1/4 -inch dice

1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried tarragon leaves

1 tablespoon tarragon vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon Dijon mustard

salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

8 cups mixed salad greens

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