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

MENU PLANNER

August 01, 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

Make it a family feast and serve Chicken With Peppers Over Fettuccine for an all-in-one-dish meal (see recipe). Add a mixed green salad and dinner rolls. Fresh Raspberry Trifle is a gold-star dessert. Prepare 1 (3.9-ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix (made with 1 percent milk) according to directions; set aside. In a small bowl, combine 2 cups fresh raspberries and 1/4 cup raspberry jelly; mix well. Cut half of a 10 3/4 -ounce, fat-free pound cake into 1/2 -inch cubes. Spoon 1/4 cup raspberry mixture into 4 stemmed dessert dishes. Top with 1/4 cup pudding and then pound cake; spoon remaining raspberries over cake. Top with remaining pudding. Garnish with light whipped cream.

Plan ahead: Save the other half of the pound cake for Monday.

Monday/Meatless

No meat tonight with easy Southwestern Three-Bean Salad (see recipe). Serve with whole-wheat rolls. For dessert, slice and toast leftover cake and top with sliced peaches and light whipped cream.

Plan ahead: Save leftover salad for Wednesday.

Tuesday/Budget

Nick's Meat Loaf isn't like the old "meat loaf rock" he used to make when we were first married and on a miser's budget. Try his new, moister, but still economical version. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup quick-cooking oats and 1/4 cup skim milk; let stand 10 minutes. Add 1 pound ground turkey breast and 1/2 pound lean ground beef, 1/2 cup each of shredded carrots and chopped onion, 1/2 teaspoon each of salt and pepper and 1 egg. Mix until ingredients are just combined (do not overmix). Shape into an 8-by-5-by-2-inch loaf and place on a rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in shallow roasting pan. Brush 1/4 cup ketchup over loaf. Bake 1 hour and 15 minutes; let stand, covered, 5 minutes before slicing. If desired, serve with salsa at the table. Serve with mashed potatoes and steamed summer squash. Add sourdough bread. Fresh fruit is a light dessert.

Plan ahead: Make 4 extra cups mashed potatoes for Thursday.

Wednesday/Express

Stop by your market for smoked turkey breast, potato salad, corn-bread mix and some banana pudding. Supplement your purchases with leftover bean salad, and dinner is ready.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey to chop 2 cups for Thursday.

Thursday/Heat and Eat

Baked Turkey Pie takes advantage of those leftovers you've been saving (see recipe). Serve with your own or store-bought coleslaw and crusty bread. Watermelon chunks are a refreshing dessert.

Friday/Kids

Let the kids help prepare Hot Dog Hammocks for dinner tonight. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Tear off one piece of foil for each serving. On each sheet, place 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 2 tablespoons chopped red bell pepper, 1 teaspoon thinly sliced scallions, 1 teaspoon apricot preserves, and top with 1 fat-free hot dog. Wrap foil around ingredients to make a packet and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Serve the doggie/veggie combo with corn on the cob and bread. Store-bought ice-cream sandwiches are a kid-approved dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Your guests will welcome Curried Lamb for its savory flavor (see recipe). Serve the lamb/vegetable combination over rice. Tomato-Basil-Mozzarella Salad is colorful and delicious (see recipe). Add crusty bread. For dessert, fresh pineapple rings in brown sugar sauce are perfect for a summer evening. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter or margarine. Divide 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar and rub into 12 fresh pineapple rings to coat. Working in batches, place rings in skillet in a single layer. Cook 5 minutes a side, until edges are lightly browned. Transfer 3 rings to each dessert plate; spoon sauce over pineapple. Serve immediately.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

fettuccine

vegetable oil

boneless, skinless chicken breast halves

fat-free chicken broth

cooking spray

onion

garlic

bell peppers

fresh parsley

salt

pepper

salad greens

dinner rolls

instant vanilla pudding mix

1 percent milk

fresh raspberries

raspberry jelly

fat-free pound cake

light whipped cream

Monday

olive oil

cider vinegar

chili powder

cumin

garlic salt

hot pepper sauce

rice

canned kidney, pinto and black beans

canned corn

bell pepper

salsa

salad greens

whole-wheat rolls

peaches

light whipped cream

Tuesday

quick-cooking oats

skim milk

ground turkey breast

lean ground beef

shredded carrots

onion

salt

pepper

egg

cooking spray

ketchup

salsa

potatoes to mash

summer squash

sourdough bread

fresh fruit

Wednesday

smoked turkey breast

potato salad

corn-bread mix

banana pudding

Thursday

frozen mixed vegetables

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