This week's menus

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

July 04, 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

What's July Fourth without hamburgers with all the trimmings of lettuce, tomatoes, onions, pickles, mayonnaise and mustard? Of course, everyone will want your potato salad. We like Green Bean Salad with our feast (see recipe). Finish your Independence Day celebration with a store-bought apple pie and fat-free vanilla ice cream. Now, let the fireworks begin!

Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Monday and enough ice cream for Tuesday.

Monday/Express

Try a soft taco dinner kit. The brand we chose offered a 13.4-ounce kit for $2.75. You can add either chicken or beef. (We tried it with chicken.) You also add your own lettuce, tomato and shredded cheese, and divide the ingredients among the 10 provided tacos. If you're still hungry, fat-free refried beans will take care of any lingering hunger pangs. And if you're still hungry, there's leftover pie.

Tuesday/Meatless

Lighten up tonight with refreshing Minted Pasta and Fruit Salad (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, a store-bought fat-free pound cake with leftover ice cream is easy.

Plan ahead: Save half the salad for Wednesday and enough cake for Thursday.

Wednesday/Leftovers

Top leftover pasta salad with slices of one of the precooked chicken breast products in your grocery store. Serve with your own or store-bought poppy-seed muffins. Store-bought chocolate pudding with light whipped cream is a simple dessert.

Thursday/Kids

The kids will stand in line for Tortilla Pizzas (see recipe). Serve with carrot and celery sticks. Leftover cake topped with fresh strawberries and light whipped cream is a grown-up dessert.

Tip: Substitute any kind of shredded cheese for the pepperjack on the pizzas.

Friday/Budget

Your money-saving ways are a secret with Fresh Tomato, Beef and Bow-Tie Pasta (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and bread. Make your own or buy peach cobbler for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save some cobbler for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

Your guests will arrive early when you serve Southern Oven-Fried Chicken (see recipe). It's not my mother's Virginia recipe, but from a Californian, Jeanne Jones. I'm sure no mother would mind the lack of mess or fat in Jeanne's recipe, though. Nothing goes better with oven-fried chicken than homemade mashed potatoes. Top with store-bought gravy. You'll want your own turnip greens cooked with smoked turkey (instead of a ham hock or bacon) and also your own or store-bought biscuits. Complete this Southern feast with warmed leftover cobbler. If you have any leftover ice cream, that would work on the cobbler.

Thanks for coming, y'all.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

lean ground beef for hamburgers

hamburger rolls

lettuce

tomatoes

red onions

pickles

low-fat mayonnaise

Dijon mustard

ingredients for potato salad

canned green beans

olive oil

cider vinegar

salt

pepper

fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream

lemon

dry mustard

prepared horseradish

apple pie

fat-free vanilla ice cream

Monday

soft taco dinner kit

chicken breast or lean ground beef

lettuce

tomato

shredded cheese

canned fat-free refried beans

Tuesday

rotini pasta (twists)

fresh pears

lemon

red grapes

canned Mandarin oranges

crumbed feta cheese

dried oregano

fresh mint

white-wine vinegar

orange juice

vegetable oil

pepper

romaine lettuce

crusty bread

fat-free pound cake

Wednesday

precooked and sliced chicken breast

poppy-seed muffins or ingredients to make your own

chocolate pudding

light whipped cream

Thursday

flour tortillas

canned black beans

pepperjack cheese

tomatoes

carrot and celery sticks

fresh strawberries

light whipped cream

Friday

bow-tie pasta

lean ground beef (or ground turkey)

garlic

tomatoes

salt

pepper

fresh basil

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

bread

peach cobbler or ingredients to make your own

Saturday

cooking spray

buttermilk

cut-up chicken

cornflakes

paprika

salt

black pepper

cayenne pepper

potatoes to mash

gravy

turnip greens

smoked turkey

biscuits or ingredients to make your own

Green Bean Salad (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: less than 10 minutes

Marinating time: 1 to 2 hours

3 (14 1/2 -ounce) cans green beans (whole or cut), rinsed and drained

1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings

1/4 cup each: olive oil and cider vinegar

1/4 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 cup fat-free or reduced-fat sour cream

1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons each: dry mustard and prepared horseradish

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