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

Menu Planner

June 13, 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

Serve honey-baked ham to the family today. Accompany the ham with flavorful Curried Apple and Rice Salad (see recipe). Add dinner rolls. For dessert, a store-bought fat-free pound cake with fat-free chocolate ice cream is easy.

Plan ahead: Save enough ham, half the salad and leftover ice cream for Monday.

Tip: Trim the fat from ham.

Monday/Leftovers

Stay cool in the kitchen with Hammy Hoagies. On hoagie buns, layer slices of leftover ham, Gruyere cheese slices, roasted red pepper slices, arugula and honey-mustard sauce. Serve with leftover rice salad and fat-free chips. Top store-bought brownies with leftover ice cream to complete a quick meal.

Tuesday/Kids

Make the kids happy by preparing Turkey Chili Burritos (see recipe). Serve canned pinto beans on the side. The adults might want a splash of hot sauce on their beans. For dessert, watch the children make instant banana pudding with skim milk. Remind them to add sliced bananas to the pudding for a fresher flavor.

Wednesday/Express

Give yourself a break tonight and serve a store-bought, low-fat vegetable lasagna. Accompany the lasagna with a packaged Italian salad and garlic bread. For dessert, fresh pineapple chunks and cookies are quick.

Plan ahead: Save enough pineapple for Thursday.

Thursday/Budget

Watch your grocery savings grow when you serve inexpensive Black Bean Burgers (see recipe). Serve on toasted hamburger buns. Accompany the burgers with french fries and deli coleslaw. Drain the slaw and add leftover fresh, chopped pineapple to jazz up the flavor.

Friday/Meatless

Everyone will enjoy North African-influenced Vegetable Couscous With Chickpeas (see recipe). On the side, add colorful bell pepper stir-fry blend. Serve with pita bread. For dessert, up your vitamin C intake with fresh strawberries, topped with light whipped cream for dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Treat your guests to Sauteed Turkey Cutlets With Lemon Sauce tonight (see recipe). Toss orzo with fresh herbs and a little olive oil to accompany the cutlets. Patrice, the chef at one of my favorite French restaurants in Atlanta, L'Assiette, served us this Belgian endive salad. Peel outer leaves of 6 Belgian endives and discard leaves; cut endive into chunks to within 1 inch of base. Divide among 4 salad plates. Sprinkle each salad with 1 tablespoon each of toasted chopped walnuts and crumbled blue cheese. In a small bowl, combine 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons each of red-wine vinegar and olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle over salads. Add baguettes. Your own poached pears make an impressive dessert.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

honey-baked ham

Granny Smith apples

rice

celery

walnuts

golden raisins

low-fat mayonnaise

fat-free sour cream

lemon

sugar

salt

curry powder

salad greens

dinner rolls

fat-free pound cake

fat-free chocolate ice cream

Monday

hoagie buns

Gruyere cheese slices

jar of roasted red peppers

arugula

honey-mustard sauce

fat-free chips

brownies

Tuesday

large tortillas

canned turkey chili

rice

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

lettuce

tomato

canned pinto beans

hot sauce

instant banana pudding

skim milk

bananas

Wednesday

prepared vegetable lasagna

packaged Italian salad

garlic bread

fresh pineapple

cookies

Thursday

canned black beans

egg

seasoned dry bread crumbs

red onion

green bell pepper

vegetable oil

barbecue sauce

shredded pepper jack cheese

hamburger buns

frozen french fries

deli coleslaw

Friday

vegetable broth (optional)

onion

turmeric

pepper

salt

packaged shredded carrots

fresh summer squash

couscous

canned chickpeas

cherry tomatoes

cilantro

parsley

package frozen bell pepper stir-fry

pita bread

fresh strawberries

light whipped cream

Saturday

turkey cutlets

salt

black pepper

olive oil

lemons

cornstarch

fat-free chicken broth

garlic

parsley

orzo

fresh herbs

olive oil

Belgian endives

walnuts

blue cheese

Dijon mustard

red wine vinegar

baguettes

ingredients for poached pears

Turkey Chili Burritos (Tuesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Cooking time: time to cook the chili and rice

4 large tortillas

2 cups canned turkey chili

2 cups cooked rice ( 1/2 cup uncooked)

1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce

1/2 cup diced tomato

Warm tortillas and heat chili according to directions. Reheat rice if necessary.

Divide chili, rice, cheese, lettuce and tomato among the 4 tortillas. Fold ends and sides and serve.

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