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

MENU PLANNER

March 05, 2000|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 enter-taining menu that's quick.

Sunday/Family

Make it family time today with Grilled Marinated Flank Steak (see recipe). Accompany the steak with Potatoes With Artichokes and Olives (see recipe). Add a green salad and baguettes.

For dessert, surprise everyone with a Chocolate Swirl Angel Food Cake. Prepare 1 1-pound package angel food cake mix according to directions; divide batter. In one half, gently blend 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup. Into an ungreased angel food cake pan, alternately add chocolate and white batters; bake according to directions.

Plan ahead: Save enough steak, potatoes and cake for Monday.

Monday/Heat and eat

Dinner will be a breeze tonight. Heat the leftover steak and the potato-vegetable mixture. Add steamed green beans and crusty bread to the meal. Finish with slices of leftover cake. So simple.

Tuesday/Express

No one will believe anything this easy could taste as good as Spicy Chicken Soup. Start with a store-bought rotisserie chicken; remove the meat from the bone, chop; discard the skin. Microwave 1 16-ounce package frozen chopped onions and 1 16-ounce package frozen corn and lima beans on high (100 percent power) 10 minutes; drain well. In a Dutch oven over medium-high heat, combine chicken, 5 cups fat-free chicken broth, 2 10-ounce cans diced tomatoes with green chilies, cooked corn and lima beans, cooked onions, 4 pressed garlic cloves and 1 teaspoon dried oregano. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 minutes to blend flavors. Season to taste.

Pick up a packaged green salad and some bread sticks to go with the soup. Store-bought brownies with fat-free vanilla yogurt are perfect for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough soup for Wednesday and enough yogurt for Friday.

Wednesday/Budget

Warm up the leftover soup and serve over rice for a quick meal tonight. Top the soup with your favorite shredded cheese. Add a mixed green salad. Fresh pineapple chunks are good for dessert.

Plan ahead: Prepare and freeze enough rice for Saturday.

Thursday/Meatless

Make your day and serve Broccoli Stir-Fry With Noodles (see recipe). Serve with a lettuce salad and crusty bread. Leftover yogurt and warm cookies (use a packaged cookie mix that just adds water) are just what you wanted for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Friday.

Friday/Kids

Sylvia San Martin served all the grown-up "kids" in her book club her Book Club Chili (see recipe). Sylvia serves chopped lettuce, tomatoes and avocados along with shredded sharp Cheddar cheese and tortilla chips to accompany the chili. Add corn bread muffins made from a mix. For dessert, leftover cookies and fresh fruit are quick.

Plan ahead: Defrost rice for Saturday.

Saturday/Heat and Eat

Invite everyone over for your own grilled grouper tonight. Serve it with Sugar Snap Peas and Rice With Cashews (see recipe). Serve with a mesclun (tiny mixed salad greens) salad and whole wheat rolls. For dessert, sorbet is light.

Shopping list

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

Sunday

dry white wine

olive oil

paprika

black peppercorns

garlic

shallots

fresh ginger

jalapeno pepper

dried thyme and marjoram

flank steak

frozen artichoke hearts

lemon

red potatoes

fat-free chicken broth

olive oil

onion

Kalamata olives

capers

salt

pepper

grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

salad greens

baguettes

angel food cake mix

chocolate syrup

Monday

green beans

crusty bread

Tuesday

store-bought rotisserie chicken

frozen chopped onions

frozen corn and lima beans

fat-free chicken broth

canned diced tomatoes with green chilies

garlic

dried oregano

packaged green salad

bread sticks

store-bought brownies

fat-free vanilla yogurt

Wednesday

rice

your favorite shredded cheese

salad greens

fresh pineapple

Thursday

eggless noodles

sesame seed

peanut oil

garlic

broccoli florets

canned sliced water chestnuts

fresh sliced mushrooms

vegetable broth

soy sauce

cornstarch

lettuce

crusty bread

cookie mix

Friday

lean ground beef

ground turkey breast

onion

canned pinto beans

frozen corn

canned chopped tomatoes

canned chopped tomatoes with green chilies (mild)

taco seasoning mix

lettuce

tomatoes

avocados

shredded (reduced-fat) sharp Cheddar cheese

(baked) tortilla chips

corn bread mix

fresh fruit

Saturday

grouper to grill

frozen sugar snap peas

orange

honey

cornstarch

salt

cashews

mesclun salad greens

whole wheat rolls

sorbet

Grilled Marinated Flank Steak (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Marinating time: 4 to 24 hours

Cooking time: 10 minutes

Standing time: 5 minutes

3 tablespoons dry white wine

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons paprika

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