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

Menu Planner

November 07, 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

Today prepare your own roast chicken for the family using a big, fat hen (4 to 6 pounds). Alongside, serve Peas and Avocado Salad (see recipe). Add coleslaw and crusty bread. Everyone likes your carrot cake for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save 3 cups chopped chicken.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Enjoy the classic King Ranch Chicken, a staple in Texas. See recipe for a lighter version of the dish. Serve with a spinach salad and multigrain rolls. For a simple dessert, fresh fruit is a good choice.

Plan ahead: The leftover casserole freezes well.

Tuesday/Express

You'll need just a few items from the market and a little time for Chili Pronto (see recipe). Serve with mixed greens and corn bread from the bakery. For dessert, try sliced pears and sugar cookies.

Plan ahead: Save half the chili and any leftover shredded carrots for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Kids

You'll be a hero when you serve chili Joes over toasted whole wheat buns. Heat leftover chili and top the rolls. Serve with frozen oven fries and your own carrot salad. Fat-free vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce is good for dessert.

Thursday/Meatless

Glazed Stir-Fry Vegetables are crunchy and flavorful. In a large skillet or wok, heat 1 teaspoon chili oil (or other oil) over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add 1 medium potato, cut into thin strips, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add 3 cups broccoli florets and 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces, and stir-fry 2 minutes. Add one 8-ounce can drained sliced water chestnuts and stir-fry 1 minute. In a small bowl, stir together until smooth 2 tablespoons sugar, 2 teaspoons cornstarch, 1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest, 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and 1/2 cup water. Add to vegetables and stir-fry 1 minute or until thickened and bubbly. Serve over rice. Add crusty bread. Store-bought peach cobbler is a perfect dessert.

Plan ahead: Prepare extra rice and save extra cobbler for Friday.

Friday/Budget

Call it Southern delicious and Southern indulgence tonight -- it's an occasion meal.

Start with Edna Lewis' Greens. Lewis knows more about cooking than just about everyone and "wrote the book" on Southern food. In a large pot, place one 1-pound piece of smoked pork shoulder and 3 quarts water. Add a few grinds of black pepper. Bring to boil; cover and simmer 1 hour. Taste and add salt and additional pepper to taste. Add 3 pounds tender greens (collard, mustard or turnip), washed, trimmed and chopped, and cook, uncovered, at a lively simmer for 15 to 17 minutes or until greens are tender. Serve hot with leftover rice. If you're lucky enough to have Virginia (or country) ham, Lewis recommends serving it with the greens and rice, too.

Add Shirley "the Queen of Biscuits" Corriher's Touch of Grace Biscuits (see recipe). And, if you must have dessert, warm the leftover cobbler and top with fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Saturday/Entertaining

Prepare something different for your guests tonight. Baked Fish Galician Style (see recipe) is sort of a baked fish stew from Galicia, a province in northern Spain on the Atlantic. Serve with mixed greens and Spanish olives. Add crusty bread. Serve strawberry sorbet in stemmed dessert dishes with almond wafer sticks for dessert.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

roasting chicken hen

dried black-eyed peas

fat-free chicken broth

dry white wine

olive oil

cumin

cilantro

limes

dark brown sugar

yellow bell pepper

radishes

scallion

salt

cayenne pepper

avocados

deli coleslaw

crusty bread

ingredients for carrot cake

Monday

cooking spray

condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken and cream of mushrooms soups

fat-free chicken broth

canned diced tomatoes and green chilies

fat-free corn tortillas

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

onion

spinach

multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

Tuesday

lean ground beef or ground turkey

salt

pepper

shredded carrots

canned chili beans or ranch-style beans in chili sauce

canned Mexican-style tomatoes

frozen corn

cilantro

salad greens

store-bought corn bread

sliced pears

sugar cookies

Wednesday

whole wheat rolls

frozen oven fries

ingredients for carrot salad

fat-free vanilla ice cream

chocolate sauce

Thursday

chili oil (or other oil)

potato

broccoli florets

red bell pepper

canned sliced water chestnuts

sugar

cornstarch

lemon

rice

crusty bread

store-bought peach cobbler

Friday

smoked pork shoulder

pepper

salt

fresh collard, mustard or turnip greens

Virginia or country ham

cooking spray

Southern self-rising flour (see note in recipe)

baking soda

salt

sugar

shortening

buttermilk

bleached all-purpose flour

butter

fat-free vanilla ice cream

Saturday

olive oil

onion

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