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

MENU PLANNER

March 12, 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 entertaining menu that's quick.

Sunday/Family

Treat the family to Honey-Baked Chicken today. (See recipe.) Serve with one of the flavored, packaged rice mixtures. Add a red-tip lettuce salad and sourdough rolls. Store-bought yellow layer cake is an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cake for Monday.

Monday/Meatless

Forget about meat tonight and serve Tex-Mex Vegetable Casserole (see recipe). Serve it with a sliced avocado and grapefruit section salad. Add leftover cake for a quick dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the casserole for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Kids

For a kid favorite tonight, Burritos Ole hits the spot. Combine leftover casserole from Monday along with 1 5-ounce can chicken breast (shred with a fork) and liquid, and 1/2 cup (or more to taste) salsa. Mix well and heat. Spoon mixture down centers of fat-free burrito-size tortillas and roll. Add shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes, and top with a dollop of sour cream.

Teach the kids to make polar grape poppers for dessert. Rinse 2 cups seedless red or green grapes, dry, and place on cookie sheet; freeze. Pop into your mouth and enjoy!

Wednesday/Budget

Watch your purse (but not your waist) expand while you enjoy Chicken-Vegetable Chowder (see recipe). Serve with baked corn chips. Add a mixed green salad. For dessert, fresh fruit is perfect.

Thursday/Express

Try a Philly steak sandwich from the City of Brotherly Love -- and after a quick trip to the deli. Stop by the frozen food case for a 16-ounce package of sliced bell peppers with onions, and saute them in a little vegetable oil. Slice a French roll lengthwise and pile it with deli sliced beef, reduced-fat shredded Cheddar or provolone cheese, and the sauteed peppers and onions. Serve frozen hash-brown potatoes on the side. Add a packaged green salad. Deli brownies work for dessert.

Plan ahead: Buy enough brownies for Friday

Friday/Easy Entertaining

Take a lesson from the Irish and enjoy Corned Beef and Cabbage (see recipe) to celebrate St. Patrick's Day. Serve with Mustard-Parsley Sauce (see recipe). Serve with store-bought pickled beets. Top warmed leftover brownies with lime sherbet.

Plan ahead: Save enough corned beef and vegetables along with the lime sherbet for Saturday.

Saturday/Heat and Eat

Take advantage of Friday's leftovers and make corned beef sandwiches on rye bread tonight. Spread the bread with spicy mustard. Toss the leftover vegetables in a little olive oil and cook in a 425-degree oven for 20 minutes or until hot. Serve with deli coleslaw. Add sugar cookies to serve with leftover sherbet for dessert

Shopping list

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

Sunday

honey

light soy sauce

onion

fresh ginger

garlic

whole chicken

cooking spray

paprika

flavored-rice mix

red-tip lettuce

sourdough rolls

store-bought

yellow layer cake

Monday

cooking spray

frozen chopped spinach

fresh yellow squash

red bell pepper

onion

vegetable oil

canned white beans

corn tortillas

canned condensed reduced-fat cream of mushroom soup

reduced-fat sour cream

salsa

canned chopped green chilies

taco seasoning mix

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

avocado

grapefruit

lettuce

Tuesday

canned chicken breast

salsa

fat-free burrito-size tortillas

lettuce

tomatoes

sour cream

seedless red or green grapes

Wednesday

1 percent milk

fat-free chicken broth

condensed cream of potato soup

condensed reduced-fat cream of chicken soup

canned chicken breast or cooked chopped chicken scallions

canned corn with red and green peppers (Mexicorn)

fresh sliced mushrooms

canned chopped green chilies

shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese

baked corn chips

salad greens

fresh fruit

Thursday

packaged frozen sliced bell peppers with onions

vegetable oil

French rolls

deli sliced beef

reduced-fat shredded Cheddar or provolone cheese

frozen hash-brown potatoes

packaged salad greens

deli brownies

Friday

flat-cut corned beef brisket

onion

whole cloves

garlic fresh thyme

flat-leaf parsley

bay leaf

mustard seed

black peppercorns

small white onions

red potatoes

carrots

cabbage

margarine or butter

flour

1 percent milk

salt

pepper

Dijon mustard

cider vinegar

store-bought pickled beets

lime sherbet

Saturday

rye bread

spicy mustard

olive oil

deli coleslaw

sugar cookies

Honey-Baked Chicken (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 1 1/2 hours

1/4 cup each honey and light soy sauce

1/3 cup minced onion

2 tablespoons grated fresh ginger

2 minced garlic cloves

1 3-pound skinned chicken (see note)

cooking spray

paprika for garnish

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