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

MENU PLANNER

May 14, 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

Make the family meal a simple one and serve store-bought smoked turkey. Add deli potato salad and stir in 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish for a different flavor. While you're in the deli, add coleslaw to the list. Add multi-grain rolls, too. For dessert, make Pear Crisp (see recipe) and top it with fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, potato salad, coleslaw, crisp and ice cream for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make Smoked Turkey and Swiss Wraps (see recipe) using turkey leftovers. Add leftover potato salad to the menu. Dice 1/2 red bell pepper and stir into the leftover cole slaw. Warm leftover crisp in the microwave and top with leftover ice cream. Wow, that was easy.

Tuesday/Budget

Make Minutes Meat Loaf (see recipe) and save time and money. Make the family really happy and serve your own mashed potatoes. Add steamed fresh green beans and whole wheat rolls. Fresh pineapple chunks sprinkled with coconut is a tropical-like dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough meat loaf for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Express

It's a hurry-up supper with spaghetti and meat sauce for everyone. Crumble and stir 2 servings (or more) leftover meat loaf into store-bought spaghetti sauce. Heat and spoon over cooked spaghetti. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over sauce. Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread from the bakery. Try the new Nestle's (or another brand) refrigerated Toll House Cookies for your secret homemade dessert. The 18-ounce packages are about $2.89 and make 20 cookies. You just break each cookie apart and bake what you need. I needed all 20.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Thursday.

Thursday/Kids

These Mexican Pizzas (see recipe) are kid-proof. Serve rice and a chopped lettuce and cherry tomato salad to accompany the pizzas. For dessert, fruit and leftover cookies are standing by.

Friday/Meatless

I took a few liberties with Virginia Beach, Va., prize-winner Connie Weis' Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (see recipe): I took out the meat and substituted frozen, cooked, crumbled vegetable protein instead. It saves lots of fat and calories most of us don't need anyway. Serve with avocado slices on lettuce. Make instant vanilla pudding with skim milk for dessert and top with caramel sauce.

Plan ahead: Save enough caramel sauce for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

Who will the lucky guests be when you serve Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (see recipe)? Serve with your own roasted potatoes, carrots and onions, and a romaine salad. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, drizzle warm leftover caramel sauce over store-bought brownies.

SHOPPING LIST:

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

Sunday

store-bought smoked turkey

deli potato salad

prepared horseradish

coleslaw

multi-grain rolls

Anjou or Bosc pears, lemon

flour

light brown sugar

cinnamon

margarine or butter

pecans fat-free vanilla ice cream

Monday

fat-free flour tortillas

Dijon mustard

low-fat mayonnaise

reduced-fat Swiss cheese tomatoes, lettuce, red bell pepper

Tuesday

ground turkey breast, lean ground beef

any store-bought stuffing mix

eggs

barbecue sauce, potatoes to mash

fresh green beans

whole wheat rolls

fresh pineapple

coconut

Wednesday

store-bought

spaghetti sauce

spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

packaged green salad

garlic bread

Nestle's (or another brand)

refrigerated Toll House cookies

Thursday

fat-free flour tortillas

cooking spray

mild salsa

canned vegetarian refried beans

cooked, refrigerated or frozen, chopped chicken breast

reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

lettuce

red bell pepper

rice

cherry tomatoes

fruit

Friday

frozen, cooked, crumbled

vegetable protein

taco seasoning mix

vegetable oil

onion

garlic

canned black beans

enchilada sauce

canned chopped green chilies

reduced-fat sour cream

fat-free tortillas

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

goat cheese, chunky salsa

scallions

avocados, lettuce, instant vanilla pudding, skim milk, caramel sauce

Saturday

bacon, top round or flank steak, salt pepper frozen, chopped spinach

Parmesan cheese potatoes, carrots and onions to roast

romaine lettuce sourdough bread store-bought brownies

Recipes:

Pear Crisp (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes

Standing time: 5 minutes

4 cups peeled, cored and sliced Anjou or Bosc pears (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup each flour and packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

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