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

MENU PLANNER

September 12, 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

Take it easy today and serve delicious Beef, Pear and Walnut Salad (see recipe). Start your meal with gazpacho. In a large bowl, combine 1 medium red onion (finely chopped), 1 large tomato (finely chopped), 1 medium cucumber (peeled, seeded and finely chopped), 1 medium yellow bell pepper (finely chopped), 1 cup tomato juice, 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar, 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper, and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil; mix well. Cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours. For a smoother soup, puree half the soup and mix with unblended half. Serve cold. Add bread sticks. For dessert, keep it cool with angel food cake topped with lime sherbet.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Monday.

Tip: Look for cooked roast beef in the deli.

Monday/Meatless

Pasta With Cherry Tomato Sauce relieves some of your garden's overflow (see recipe). Accompany the colorful entree with a fresh spinach salad and crusty bread. For dessert, serve berries with leftover cake.

Plan ahead: Save half the pasta sauce for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Heat and Eat

Tonight's Greek Pasta Sauce With Orecchiette (little ears) is almost prepared. Just add 1/2 cup Kalamata olives (rinsed and sliced) to heated, leftover pasta sauce. Spoon over a 12-ounce package of cooked orecchiette pasta and top with crumbled feta cheese. Serve with a romaine salad and whole-wheat rolls. Fresh sliced nectarines are the perfect dessert.

Wednesday/Budget

Tuscan Tuna and Bean Salad is easy on the purse and one of my summer favorites (see recipe). Serve with fresh tomato wedges and baguettes. Fresh pineapple chunks are good for dessert.

Tip: Look for water-packed tuna with 1 gram or fewer of fat per serving -- that's the leanest.

Thursday/Kids

No kid (or adult) will be able to resist Chicken and Chips (see recipe). Serve with canned ranch-style beans (or pinto beans). For dessert: instant chocolate pudding made with skim milk and sprinkled with chocolate chips.

Friday/Express

We tried a packaged chicken Parmesan with spaghetti and tomato sauce. The 39-ounce frozen entree was $4.99 in my market. It serves two adults and two children. (You might need extra spaghetti for heartier eaters.) I added steamed fresh zucchini and garlic bread. Watermelon was good for dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Shhhh. Your guests will never know that this rich and creamy Chicken Stroganoff is low-fat (see recipe). Served with steamed baby carrots and dinner rolls.

Take advantage of fresh peaches with peach mousse. In a food processor or blender, combine 2 cups chopped fresh peaches, 3 tablespoons sugar and 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon; process until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk together peach puree and 1/2 cup fat-free sour cream. Fold 1 1/2 cups thawed, reduced-fat whipped topping into peach mixture. Spoon into 8 (4-ounce) dessert dishes and freeze 3 hours or until firm. Remove from freezer and let stand 1 or 2 minutes before serving.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

cooked roast beef

packaged mixed greens

pear

crumbled blue cheese

walnuts

olive oil

balsamic vinegar

Dijon mustard

red onion

tomato

cucumber

yellow bell pepper

tomato juice

red-wine vinegar

salt

black pepper

fresh basil

bread sticks

angel food cake

lime sherbet

Monday

penne pasta

extra-virgin olive oil

margarine or butter

garlic

red cherry tomatoes

scallions

fresh basil

salt

pepper

Romano cheese

fresh spinach

crusty bread

berries

Tuesday

Kalamata olives

orecchiette pasta (little ears)

crumbled feta cheese

Romaine lettuce

whole-wheat rolls

fresh nectarines

Wednesday

red-wine vinegar olive oil

parsley

canned cannellini beans

water-packed albacore tuna

jar of roasted red peppers

red onion

tomatoes

baguettes

fresh pineapple chunks

Thursday

picante sauce

reduced-fat sour cream

cooked or canned chicken breast baked corn chips, shredded lettuce shredded

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

sliced black olives

sliced jalapeno peppers

canned ranch-style or pinto beans

instant chocolate pudding

skim milk

chocolate chips

Friday

packaged frozen chicken

Parmesan with spaghetti and tomato sauce

fresh zucchini

garlic bread

watermelon

Saturday

olive oil

onion

skinless chicken breast halves (with bone

fresh mushrooms, fat-free chicken broth

dry sherry wine

salt

pepper

fat-free sour cream

Dijon mustard

eggless noodles

poppy seeds

fresh baby carrots

dinner rolls

fresh peaches

sugar

cinnamon

fat-free sour cream

frozen reduced-fat whipped topping

Beef, Pear and Walnut Salad (Sunday)

Serves 4

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: time to cook the walnuts

SALAD:

12 ounces cooked roast beef, cut into strips

1 (10-ounce) package mixed salad greens

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.