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

Menu Planner

July 18, 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

No long marinating is necessary with Pork Tenderloin with Sesame Seeds and Ginger (see recipe). Serve with orzo tossed with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and steamed fresh zucchini. Add sourdough bread. Peach Shortcake is a good summer dessert. Slice 1 store-bought, fat-free pound cake into 12 slices (reserve 4 slices). Place 1 slice each on 4 dessert plates; top each slice with 1/4 cup (2 cups total) sliced fresh peaches and 2 tablespoons (1 cup total) fat-free whipped topping. Repeat layers and serve.

Plan ahead: Save 1 pork tenderloin and the reserved pound cake for Monday.

Tip: Toss peaches with 2 tablespoons sugar, if desired.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Tonight's Barbecue Pork and Bean Roll-Ups are quick. Combine 3/4 cup barbecue sauce and 1 (16-ounce) can vegetarian baked beans; heat. Warm 6 large tortillas according to directions; divide beans evenly among tortillas, top with sliced leftover cooked pork and 1 tablespoon each fat-free sour cream and salsa. Roll and serve with deli (drained) coleslaw. Leftover cake topped with fat-free strawberry ice cream completes an easy meal.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Friday.

Tuesday/Budget

You can pat yourself on the back and save money at the same time when you prepare Thai Beef (see recipe). Serve this savory beef mixture with a green salad and cookies.

Wednesday/Meatless

We loved these Portobello Mushroom Sandwiches with Red Onion and Red Bell Peppers (see recipe). Preparing the mushrooms in the oven saves cleanup time. Add a lettuce and tomato salad. Corn on the cob is the perfect hands-on side dish. Fresh fruit is a light dessert.

Thursday/Express

Dinner will be fast with Peperonata (see recipe) over polenta. Spoon the colorful pepper mixture over hot slices of store-bought polenta. Serve with a packaged green salad and garlic bread. Fresh strawberries with light whipped cream make a sweet finish.

Plan ahead: Prepare 1 1/4 cups additional sliced strawberries for Friday.

Tip: Look for polenta rolls in a refrigerated case.

Friday/Kids

When I was a kid, I liked my grilled cheese sandwiches just the way they came at Vaughan's Drugstore in New Market, Va., or about 1/4 -inch thick (they had one of those grills to squish them). However you make your sandwiches, they are simple kid food. Serve them with your own or deli carrot and raisin salad and baked chips.

Everyone will slurp these Strawberry Shakes. In a blender, combine 3 cups leftover strawberry ice cream, 1 1/4 cups leftover sliced fresh strawberries, 3/4 cup skim milk and 3 tablespoons strawberry syrup. Blend until smooth. Pour into tall glasses; garnish with light whipped cream. It's so good to be a kid again.

Tip: Use 2-percent-fat cheese slices and cooking spray on the bread (instead of butter or margarine) to cut fat and calories.

Saturday/Entertaining

It was worth a trip to Sam's Club and the refrigerated meat section for Burnett and Son's (or another brand) prepared Roasted Beef Tri-Tip Sirloin. It was a $3.95-per-pound little secret we kept from our guests until after their rave reviews. Prepare the roast according to directions. We accompanied the beef with Green Beans With Tomatoes and Feta (see recipe) and steamed, parsleyed cauliflower. Add bread. For dessert, sorbet and chocolate mint cookies were a refreshing end to an easy meal.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

soy sauce

honey

fresh ginger

dark sesame oil

garlic

pork tenderloins

sesame seeds

orzo

Parmesan cheese

fresh zucchini

sourdough bread

store-bought, fat-free pound cake

fresh peaches

fat-free whipped topping

Monday

barbecue sauce

canned vegetarian baked beans

large tortillas

fat-free sour cream

salsa

deli coleslaw

fat-free strawberry ice cream

Tuesday

beef broth

chunky peanut butter

soy sauce

lemon pepper

beef sirloin

green bell pepper

rice

salad greens

cookies

Wednesday

portobello mushrooms

olive oil

garlic

dried thyme

cooking spray

red bell peppers

red onion

poppy seed rolls

lettuce

tomatoes

corn on the cob

fresh fruit

Thursday

olive oil

packaged frozen sliced bell peppers

garlic

crushed red pepper

canned diced tomatoes

fresh basil

salt

pepper

store-bought polenta

packaged green salad

garlic bread

fresh strawberries

light whipped cream

Friday

cooking spray

dense white bread

2-percent-fat cheese slices

ingredients for or deli carrot and raisin salad

baked chips

skim milk

strawberry syrup

light whipped cream

Saturday

Burnett and Son's Roasted Beef Tri-Tip Sirloin

frozen french-cut green beans

olive oil

garlic

dried Italian seasoning

plum tomatoes

lemon

salt

pepper

crumbled feta cheese

pine nuts

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