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

Menu Planner

July 23, 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 complain when you declare it too hot to cook and present store-bought pot roast with gravy to the family. Choose one of the 2- to 2 1/2 -pound packages of fully cooked, boneless beef pot roast with gravy from the refrigerated meat case. Prepare according to directions. Serve with Sour Cream Mashed Potatoes, using 2 2/3 cups frozen and thawed mashed potatoes. Stir 1 cup milk, 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream and 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives into the mashed potatoes. Heat according to directions. Add some sliced tomatoes and dinner rolls to the meal. For dessert, stay in the easy summer mode with fat-free pound cake and sliced fresh peaches. Plan ahead: Save enough beef and pound cake for Monday.

Monday / Heat and Eat

Take advantage of beef leftovers with Beef and Slaw Wraps. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add 3 cups packaged coleslaw mix and 1/4 cup hoisin sauce and cook 4 minutes; add 2 cups chopped leftover beef and cook 3 minutes or until mixture is thoroughly heated. Spoon mixture down center of 6- to 8-inch fat-free flour tortillas; roll, cut crosswise in half if desired and serve with baked chips. Toast the leftover pound cake for dessert.

Tuesday / Meatless

Enjoy Savory Beans and Vegetables (see recipe) tonight. Spoon the vitamin-rich and fiber-packed mixture over rice and serve with multigrain bread for a nutritionist-approved meal. Grapes and cookies make a simple dessert. Plan ahead: Prepare enough rice and freeze and save enough cookies for Friday.

Wednesday / Budget

So what if you're saving money, you'll eat like the French tonight with Salad Nicoise (see recipe). Serve the dish, named for the French city of Nice, with baguettes. For dessert, top fat-free vanilla ice cream with fresh blueberries. Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Thursday.


Make Turkey Joes (see recipe) tonight and serve them on hot dog rolls. Serve with corn-on-the-cob. Munch on baby raw carrots and celery sticks. Use leftover ice cream and make chocolate sundaes for dessert. Plan ahead: Thaw Tuesday's rice for Friday.

Friday / Express

Make a quick chicken stir-fry (see recipe) tonight. Serve over leftover rice. Add whole-wheat rolls. Fresh plums with leftover cookies make a simple dessert.

Saturday / Entertaining

Creamy Fettuccine With Porcini Mushrooms (see recipe) will win everyone's approval. Serve with a bibb lettuce salad and Italian bread. Thin slices of store-bought cheesecake topped with fresh fruit will complete your meal.

Shopping List

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


packaged fully cooked boneless beef pot roast with gravy

frozen mashed potatoes


reduced-fat sour cream

fresh chives


dinner rolls

fat-free pound cake

fresh peaches


cooking spray

packaged coleslaw mix

hoisin sauce

fat-free flour tortillas

baked chips


cooking spray



fresh broccoli florets

sliced fresh mushrooms

canned chickpeas or garbanzo beans

canned black beans

canned tomatoes

Italian seasoning

dried oregano

dried thyme



cooking spray


multigrain bread




salad greens

red potatoes


water-packed albacore tuna

fresh green beans


black olives




olive oil



fat-free vanilla ice cream

fresh blueberries


hot dog rolls

cooking spray

ground turkey breast

olive oil

red bell pepper

dried oregano


chili powder

canned tomato sauce

bottled barbecue sauce


baby raw carrots

celery sticks

chocolate sauce


packaged cooked

chicken breast

bottled stir-fry sauce

any frozen vegetable stir-fry combinations

whole-wheat rolls fresh plums


dried porcini



butter or margarine




evaporated skim milk

Parmesan cheese

bibb lettuce

Italian bread

store-bought cheesecake

fresh fruit

Savory Beans and Vegetables (Tuesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

cooking spray

1 large chopped onion

4 minced garlic cloves

3 cup fresh broccoli florets

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1 15 1/2 -ounce can rinsed and drained chickpeas or garbanzo beans

1 15-ounce can rinsed and drained black beans

1 14 1/2 -ounce can tomatoes with juice, chopped

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 teaspoon each dried oregano, dried thyme and pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

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