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

MENU PLANNER

March 19, 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

No one will mind the gusty March winds when you prepare Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Vegetables (see recipe) for the family. On the side, serve a mixed green salad and dinner rolls. Store-bought deep-dish peach cobbler is a breath of spring.

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

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make Pork Stew tonight. Cut leftover pork and vegetables into chunks and place in a large saucepan; add a 10- to 12-ounce jar of brown gravy; stir gently. Heat mixture; add salt and pepper to taste, and dinner is ready. Serve with a green salad and whole wheat rolls. Warm leftover cobbler for dessert.

Tuesday/Budget

Mothers know everything -- like how to save money while they prepare delicious meals such as this Chicken a la King (see recipe). Serve with fresh or canned cranberries and crusty bread. For dessert, oatmeal cookies are a homey dessert.

Plan ahead: Chop, label and freeze leftover cooked chicken for Thursday and save enough cookies for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Meatless

Expect plenty of flavor from Hot and Spicy Black Bean Chili (see recipe). Serve with a fresh fruit salad and any store-bought regular-sized muffins (check the label; some brands are extremely high in calories and fat). Leftover cookies and fat-free chocolate ice cream are good for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save half the chili and enough ice cream and defrost chopped chicken for Thursday.

Thursday/Kids

The kids will want to help with dinner tonight with Chicken and Bean Burritos on the menu. Add leftover chopped chicken to leftover chili and heat. Spoon the combo down the center of fat-free burrito-size tortillas; roll and top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and dollop of reduced-fat sour cream. Serve rice to accompany the burritos. For dessert, top leftover ice cream with store-bought strawberry sauce.

Friday/Express

Look in supermarkets, gourmet shops, or warehouse stores for dehydrated Potato Soup Mix (Bear Creek Country Kitchens is one brand). Just add water, heat, stir and eat. Serve the soup with any sandwich and a green salad. Fresh fruit is a quick dessert.

Saturday/Easy Entertaining

Bring out the mariachi music and prepare Fettuccine and Shrimp Ole (see recipe) for your guests. Serve with mixed greens and sourdough bread. Buy a coconut layer cake and top it with fresh lemon sauce (see recipe) for dessert.

Shopping lists

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

boneless pork tenderloins

carrots

red potatoes

onion

olive oil

dried rosemary

dried sage

salt

pepper

salad greens

dinner rolls

store-bought

deep-dish peach cobbler

Monday

jar brown gravy

salt

pepper

salad greens

whole wheat rolls

Tuesday

eggless noodles

1 percent milk

fat-free chicken broth

flour

salt

cooking spray

fresh mushrooms

store-bought rotisserie chicken

frozen green peas

jar

roasted red peppers

Parmesan cheese

scallions or chives

fresh or canned cranberries

crusty bread

oatmeal cookies

Wednesday

vegetable oil

onion

red bell pepper

celery

garlic

canned black beans

canned tomatoes

fresh jalapeno peppers

chili powder

dried oregano

cumin

salt

black pepper

canned corn with peppers and onions

fresh fruit for salad

lettuce

store-bought regular-sized muffins

fat-free chocolate ice cream

Thursday

fat-free burrito-size tortillas

lettuce

tomatoes

reduced-fat sour cream

rice

store-bought strawberry sauce

Friday

dehydrated potato soup mix

any sandwich

salad greens

fresh fruit

Saturday

fettuccine

margarine or butter

shelled and deveined shrimp

dry white wine

lime

cilantro

salt

black pepper

cayenne pepper

salad greens

sourdough bread

store-bought coconut layer cake

sugar

cornstarch

lemon

Recipes

Roasted Pork Tenderloin With Vegetables (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 35 minutes

cooking spray

2 1-pound boneless pork tenderloins

1 pound peeled carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

2 pounds scrubbed, halved red potatoes

1 medium onion, cut into wedges

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons dried rosemary

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper

Heat oven to 450. In a large nonstick skillet, coated with cooking spray, brown pork all over, over medium-high heat. Place in a roasting pan coated with cooking spray; arrange vegetables around pork.

Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle evenly with rosemary, sage, salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes or until meat thermometer inserted into thickest portion registers 160 degrees and vegetables are tender.

Stir vegetables occasionally. Slice pork and serve with vegetables arranged around pork.

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