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

MENU PLANNER

January 02, 2000|By Susan Nicholson | Susan Nicholson,Universal Press Syndicate

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

Honey Sesame Pork Tenderloin (see recipe) served our extended family well. So did the Rosemary Roasted Potatoes that accompanied the pork. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Place foil on flat roasting pan and coat with cooking spray. Place 2 1/2 pounds scrubbed, small red potatoes, cut into chunks, in a large bowl; add 2 tablespoons olive oil and toss to coat. Add 2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, 2 to 3 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary leaves and salt to taste; toss again. Spread on pan. Roast 40 to 45 minutes; they will cook more evenly if you turn them once (but it's not necessary). Serve with asparagus spears and crusty bread. Try a store-bought Boston cream pie for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the pork and enough pie for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Pork Fajitas with sour cream and salsa make delicious use of leftover pork. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook 1 sliced onion and 2 sliced red bell peppers 6 to 8 minutes or until tender. Add 1 teaspoon each chili powder and 1 minced garlic clove. Cook 1 minute. Add 2 tablespoons each fresh lime juice and soy sauce and leftover cooked pork cut into strips; cook 1 minute. Divide among 4 large fat-free tortillas and roll. Top with reduced-fat sour cream and salsa. Serve with canned vegetarian refried beans and a green salad. Leftover pie is waiting for dessert.

Tuesday/Meatless

Fettuccine With Mushrooms (see recipe) ranks high on our all-time-favorites list. Serve the blend with a simple green salad and breadsticks. We like fresh fruit for dessert.

Wednesday/Kids

The kids will want to help you when you prepare Beef and Turkey Roll-ups (see recipe). Serve with rice cooked in tomato juice instead of water. Any flavor of packaged pudding is an easy dessert.

Thursday/Express

We tried Chicken Teriyaki with Rice, one of the Healthy Choice Bowl Creations flavors, for a quick meal. Low in fat, with reasonable calories, the "bowls" are about $3 each. We added a splash of light soy sauce to boost the flavor. If you add a packaged green salad and whole-wheat rolls, you have a complete meal. Purchase cupcakes for dessert. If you want to reduce the calorie content of the cupcakes, remove some or most of the icing.

Friday/Budget

Try these imitation Crab Wheels (see recipe) and take advantage of the low cost of imitation crab (or surimi). Real crab meat is expensive now. Surimi is made from Alaskan pollock and then flavored. Serve with your own rice pilaf and fresh spinach salad. Sliced pears and cookies are an easy dessert.

Saturday/ Entertaining

Enjoy extra time with your guests when you complete the preparation for Maple Ginger Lamb Kebabs (see recipe) in advance. Serve with Jicama Slaw, created by chef Pete Pavesic at Atlanta's Insignia restaurant. In a large bowl, toss together 2 julienned jicama, 1 small sliced red onion, 2 tablespoons rice-wine vinegar, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, 1 teaspoon salt and a pinch of freshly ground pepper. Chill for 2 hours before serving. Add sourdough bread. Sorbet is a light dessert.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

pork tenderloins

reduced-sodium soy sauce

garlic

fresh or dried ginger

sesame oil

honey

brown sugar

sesame seeds

cooking spray

small red potatoes

olive oil

Parmesan cheese

fresh rosemary

salt

asparagus spears

crusty bread

store-bought Boston cream pie

Monday

cooking spray

onion

red bell peppers

chili powder

garlic

limes

soy sauce

large fat-free tortillas

reduced-fat sour cream

salsa

canned vegetarian refried beans

salad greens

Tuesday

fettuccine pasta

olive oil

fresh mushrooms

scallions

garlic

tomato

fresh basil

salt

reduced-fat ricotta cheese

Parmesan cheese

pepper

salad greens

breadsticks

fresh fruit

Wednesday

lean ground beef

ground turkey breast

onion

yellow bell peppers

mild salsa

chili powder

fat-free tortillas

tomatoes

lettuce

reduced-fat sour cream

scallions if desired

rice

tomato juice

any flavor pudding

Thursday

Healthy Choice Bowl Creations Chicken Teriyaki With Rice (or another brand)

light soy sauce

packaged green salad

whole-wheat rolls

store-bought cupcakes

Friday

imitation crab

low-fat mayonnaise

red bell pepper

onion

reduced-fat shredded Monterey Jack cheese

dried oregano

whole-wheat pita breads

Parmesan cheese

ingredients for rice pilaf

fresh spinach

pears

cookies

Saturday

balsamic or red wine vinegar

corn syrup

olive oil

fresh ginger

dried red pepper flakes

salt

maple flavoring

leg of lamb cubes

sweet potato

tiny red potatoes

fresh sugar snap peas

red bell pepper

jicama

red onion

rice-wine vinegar

sugar

cilantro

salt

pepper

sourdough bread

sorbet

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