This week's menus

MENU PLANNER

July 11, 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

Treat the family to your own boneless, skinless grilled chicken breasts. Serve the chicken with this Zucchini Relish:

In a medium bowl, combine 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion, 1 medium zucchini and carrot cut into 1/2 -inch dice, 1 small jalapeno pepper (seeded and minced), 1 tablespoon white-wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1/2 tea-spoon sugar and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix well. Spoon over the chicken.

Add roasted red potatoes and dinner rolls to the meal. Orange sherbet is a cool dessert for a hot summer day.

Plan ahead: Grill 3 extra chicken breasts for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Tonight's Chicken, Black Bean and Tomato Salad (see recipe) has flavors of the Southwest. Serve the savory salad with bread sticks. For dessert, serve a store-bought pineapple upside-down cake.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Tuesday. Cook 1 cup rice for Tuesday (3 cups cooked)

Tuesday/Budget

Tonight's stir-fry salad is a penny pincher (see recipe). Serve over rice. Leftover cake makes a quick dessert.

Wednesday/Meatless

You'll forget about meat tonight when you serve Spaghetti With Carrots, Squash and Artichoke Hearts (see recipe). Serve with garlic bread. Make instant lemon pudding with skim milk and top with light whipped cream for dessert.

Thursday/Express

Stop at the market for a rotisserie chicken. Serve with quick brown rice made with fat-free chicken broth. After the rice is done, stir in 1 (4-ounce) can sliced mushrooms (drained) and heat a minute or two.

Serve with steamed fresh carrots tossed with a little apricot or peach preserves and bread. Fresh fruit is a refreshing finish.

Friday/Kids

Kids and Taco Pie go together (see recipe). Let the kids crunch on carrot and celery sticks while they set the table. Chocolate sandwich cookies and fat-free vanilla ice cream will keep your angels at the table a little longer.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

Brian Wilson, chef at Phila- delphia's Panorama Restaurant, prepared Warm Pasta Salad With Fresh Tomatoes, Asparagus and Brie for us recently (see recipe). Now you can serve your guests this delicious pasta along with mixed greens and crusty bread.

Leftover ice cream with fresh raspberries, served in a stemmed glass with a fresh mint garnish, is a pretty finish.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

cooked, boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

red onion

zucchini squash

carrot

jalapeno pepper

white-wine vinegar

olive oil

sugar

salt

red potatoes

dinner rolls

orange sherbet

Monday

canned black beans

tomato

frozen corn

olive oil

garlic

dried oregano

cumin

cider vinegar or sherry vinegar

salt

scallions

fresh parsley

salad greens

bread sticks

pineapple upside-down cake

Tuesday

reduced-fat Italian dressing

sesame oil

soy sauce

frozen stir-fry vegetables with asparagus

packaged coleslaw mix

water-packed albacore tuna

rice

Wednesday

spaghetti

vegetable oil

onions

carrot

zucchini squash

canned artichoke hearts

garlic powder

fresh parsley

salt

pepper

Romano cheese

garlic bread

instant lemon pudding

skim milk

light whipped cream

Thursday

rotisserie chicken

quick brown rice

fat-free chicken broth

canned sliced mushrooms

fresh carrots

apricot or peach preserves

bread

fresh fruit

Friday

lean ground beef

packaged taco seasoning mix

fat-free refried (vegetarian) beans

taco shells

reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese

salsa

canned corn

carrot and celery sticks

chocolate sandwich cookies

fat-free vanilla ice cream

Saturday

extra-virgin olive oil

Brie cheese

tomatoes

red onion

fresh basil

farfalle (bow-tie) pasta

fresh asparagus

salt

pepper

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

crusty bread

fresh raspberries

fresh mint

Taco Pie (Friday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: less then 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

3/4 pound lean ground beef

1 (1.25-ounce) package taco seasoning mix

1/4 cup water

1 (16-ounce) can fat-free refried (vegetarian) beans

6 broken taco shells

8 ounces reduced-fat shredded Mexican-blend cheese (2 cups)

1 1/2 cups salsa

1 (15 1/4 -ounce) can corn, rinsed and drained

In a large, nonstick skillet, cook beef over medium-high heat until no longer pink, about 4 minutes; drain well. Reduce heat to medium and stir in taco seasoning and water. Layer beans, half the taco shells, 1 cup cheese, salsa and corn on top of beef. Top with remaining shells and cheese. Cover and cook 10 minutes or until heated through.

Per serving: 306 calories, 22 grams protein, 12 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 5 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 946 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

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