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

Menu Planner

October 31, 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

Since it's Halloween, serve the family a ghoulish smoked turkey breast. Alongside, prepare spooky Savory Baked Potatoes (see recipe). Serve with devilish deli broccoli salad and creepy crusty bread. Finish your scary meal with Halloween-decorated cupcakes. Boo!

FOR THE RECORD - In last Sunday's Menu Planner, the cheese in the Ham and Cheese Frittata was omitted. Here is the correct recipe.
Ham and Cheese Frittata (Wednesday)
Makes 4 servings
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: less than 20 minutes
cooking spray
8 ounces well-trimmed, chopped ham (about 2 1/4 cups)
2 cups frozen tiny green peas
1 (7-ounce) jar drained roasted red peppers, diced
4 large eggs
4 egg whites
4 ounces shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
1 (10 3/4 -ounce) can reduced-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup
In an oven-safe (see note below), large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, heat ham, peas and peppers on medium heat, stirring occasionally, 2 or 3 minutes or until peas thaw. In a medium bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, cheese and soup until slightly blended. Pour mixture over ham and vegetables; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes over medium-low heat until eggs are set on bottom and around edges. Heat broiler. Broil 4 or 5 inches from heat 3 or 4 minutes or until firm in center and slightly browned. Cut in wedges and serve.
Note: Double-wrap skillet handle with foil to prevent handle from burning.
Per serving: 404 calories, 39 grams protein, 18 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 7.6 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 284 milligrams cholesterol, 1,125 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Plan ahead: Save 2 baked potatoes and enough turkey for sandwiches for Monday. In addition, chop 1 1/2 cups turkey for Tuesday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make Grilled Smoked Turkey and Swiss Cheese Sandwiches tonight. Spread rye bread with a little grainy mustard; layer the cheese and turkey. Rather than use butter or margarine, coat outside of bread with cooking spray before grilling. Serve with hashed brown potatoes. Chop Monday's leftover potatoes and some onions and cook in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray until hot and crispy. Add a mixed green salad and fresh fruit for dessert.

Tuesday/Express

Tonight's Potato Cheese Soup will be quick. In a medium saucepan, combine 2 (10 3/4 -ounce) cans condensed cream of potato soup and 2 soup cans skim milk; mix well and heat on low 4 or 5 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups leftover chopped cooked turkey, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese and 1 (4-ounce) jar pimentos, drained and chopped. Cook and stir until cheese melts. Serve with a store-bought packaged green salad and muffins from a mix. Stop by the bakery for a chocolate cake for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Budget

Don't you just love it when you save money and still have a delicious meal like Ham and Cheese Frittata (see recipe)? Serve it with mixed greens and a baguette. Top leftover cake with fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.

Thursday/Meatless

Roll 'em and wrap 'em and you'll have Vegetable Wraps for a no-meat meal tonight (see recipe). Serve the crunchy wraps with oven fries and sliced cucumbers and scallions. Sweeten the finish with leftover strawberry ice cream and cookies.

Friday/Kids

Squareballs With Vegetables and Pasta proves that meatballs don't have to be round (see recipe). Serve this easy meal with chopped lettuce and bread. Sylvia San Martin, a grown kid I know, gave me this dessert recipe for Butterscotch Haystacks. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Melt 1 (12-ounce) package butterscotch morsels according to directions. On a baking sheet, combine 1 cup roasted peanuts and 1 (5-ounce) can chow mein noodles. Heat 5 minutes. Add warmed nuts and noodles to melted butterscotch morsels and stir until well-coated. Quickly drop mixture with a soup spoon onto waxed paper to form little "haystacks."

Tip: Sylvia says that if the nuts and noodles are warmed, the butterscotch will not set until all the stacks are spooned.

Saturday/Entertaining

Prepare lamb chops your way for your lucky guests tonight. Serve them with Rice Pilaf With Pecans (see recipe). Add fresh steamed green beans and dinner rolls. Sorbet makes a light dessert.

Shopping list

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

Sunday

smoked turkey breast

onions

baking potatoes

salt

fresh rosemary

margarine or butter

deli broccoli salad

crusty bread

Halloween decorated cupcakes

Monday

rye bread

grainy mustard

Swiss cheese

cooking spray

onions

salad greens

fresh fruit

Tuesday

canned condensed cream of potato soup

skim milk

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

jar of chopped pimentos

packaged green salad

muffin mix

chocolate cake

Wednesday

cooking spray

ham

frozen tiny green peas

jar of roasted red peppers

eggs

reduced-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup

mixed greens

baguette

fat-free strawberry ice cream

Thursday

fat-free burrito-size tortillas

hummus

fresh baby spinach leaves

shredded carrots

yellow bell pepper

frozen oven fries

cucumbers

scallions

cookies

Friday

lean ground beef

ground turkey breast

soft bread crumbs

eggs

onion

salt

penne pasta

frozen Italian vegetable mixture

spaghetti sauce

Parmesan cheese

lettuce

bread

butterscotch morsels

roasted peanuts

chow mein noodles

Saturday

well-trimmed lamb chops

carrot

onion

olive oil

fat-free chicken broth

orange juice

long-grain rice

golden raisins

pecans

fresh green beans

dinner rolls

sorbet

Savory Baked Potatoes (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: about 1 hour

3 small onions

6 large baking potatoes (about 10 ounces each)

salt, to taste

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

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