A clip-and-save guide to a week's worth of meals
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.
Fire up the grill and watch Dad prepare his own grilled steak recipe for the family. Serve Dad's specialty with Baked Zucchini With Rice and Feta (see recipe). Add a romaine salad and sourdough bread. Store-bought German chocolate cake will make Dad smile.
Plan ahead: Ask Dad to pre-pare enough steak for Monday and save enough baked zucchini and cake for Monday.
Monday/Heat and Eat
Make a steak salad for tonight using thin slices of leftover steak arranged over a bed of mixed greens tossed with a light red-wine vinaigrette. Serve with baked zucchini and bread sticks. Bring out the leftover cake for dessert.
Start your quick meal with Progresso's (or another brand) lentil soup. Put together a platter of deli salads on red-tip lettuce leaves and include tuna salad and potato salad. Add sliced tomatoes to the platter. Serve with whole wheat bread. Fresh fruit is just right for dessert.
Be a hero and make Kids Chicken and Rice (see recipe) tonight. Add French-cut green beans (use frozen) on the side. Crunch on some carrot sticks, too. Serve with multi-grain rolls. Cookies add a sweet touch.
Tip: The adults might like to add some spicy salsa to their chicken and rice.
Italian Beans Over Pasta (see recipe) is a filler-upper. Serve with a mixed green salad and crusty bread. Serve store-bought lemon pudding topped with light whipped cream for dessert.
Keep saving for your vacation with Grilled Turkey and Cheese Sandwiches. Combine 2 tablespoons each peach preserves and light cream cheese and spread over 4 slices rye bread. Top with 2 slices smoked turkey breast and 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese and another bread slice. Grill sandwiches in a little melted margarine or butter until golden brown on both sides. Cut in half and serve with canned chowder. Add a green salad and bowls of fresh fruit for dessert.
Invite your friends over for Greek-Style Flounder (see recipe). Sail away with Tomato-Mint Couscous Salad (see recipe). Accompany the meal with steamed fresh sugar snap peas and sourdough bread. Buy a Boston cream pie for dessert.
What you'll need for this week's menus (consult recipes for exact amounts)
steak to grill
crumbled feta cheese
fresh zucchini squash
store-bought German chocolate cake
light red-wine vinaigrette
Progresso (or another brand) lentil soup
deli tuna salad
deli potato salad
whole wheat bread
packaged cooked chicken breast strips
fat-free chicken broth
canned stewed tomatoes
frozen French-cut green beans
canned chopped tomatoes
dried or fresh basil
canned cannellini beans
store-bought lemon pudding
light whipped cream
light cream cheese
smoked turkey breast
reduced-fat Swiss cheese
margarine or butter
yellow bell pepper strips
dry white wine
crumbled feta cheese
fresh sugar snap peas
store-bought Boston cream pie
Baked Zucchini With Rice and Feta (Sunday)
Makes 8 servings
Preparation time: less than 15-minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes plus zucchini and rice
3/4 cups long-grain rice
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (about 4 ounces), divided
4 cups ( 1/4 inch) sliced fresh zucchini squash (about 1 1/2 pounds)
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh mint
1/8 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 whole egg, slightly beaten
4 egg whites, slightly beaten