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

MENU PLANNER

July 30, 2000|By Susan Nicholson | Susan Nicholson,Universal Press Syndicate

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

Prepare a turkey breast using your favorite method. (You can save time by doing this a day in advance.) Allow to cool slightly, then place in refrigerator to cool. Arrange chilled slices of the bird around the edges of a pretty platter. Spoon Mediterranean Pasta Salad (see recipe) in the center of the platter. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, Blueberry Crumble (see recipe) is light.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey breast, salad and blueberry crumble for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

No stove-time tonight when you prepare Turkey Waldorf Salad (see recipe). Serve with dinner rolls. Warm the leftover crumble in the microwave, and dinner is complete.

Tuesday/Kids

Be a hero and make or buy pizza for the kids tonight. Serve with a lettuce salad. For dessert, the kids can help you make Calico Kitty Cookies. Place 1 18-ounce tube refrigerated chocolate chip cookies in refrigerator for 1 hour. Heat oven to 350. Cut chilled dough into 24 slices. Place slices 3 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. For kitty ears, press 2 pecan halves onto top of each cookie, overlapping edge of cookies. For eyes and nose, press in candy-coated chocolate pieces (such as M & M's). For whiskers, place 2 pretzel pieces on each side of nose; press in slightly. Bake 11 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 1 minute; remove from cookie sheets. Eat.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Express

Call me simple, but I believe there's no better meal in the summer than sandwiches of home-grown tomatoes. Slather low-fat mayonnaise on dense or homemade white bread and add thick tomato slices. If you must jazz up the sandwich further, lay fresh basil leaves on the tomatoes. Serve with black bean and rice soup (Uncle Ben's is one brand). Add leftover cookies and fat-free chocolate ice cream for a perfect hot weather meal.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Friday.

Thursday/Meatless

Take advantage of your garden's bounty with Summer Squash and Onions. Serve the vegetable combo over spaghetti. Cook 12 ounces spaghetti according to directions but without oil or salt; drain. Place in serving bowl. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat and cook 2 teaspoons minced garlic 1 to 2 minutes or until golden and fragrant. Add 1 1/2 pounds chopped fresh summer squash (for added color and variety, use both yellow and zucchini squash), 1 medium onion sliced in rings and 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and cook 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Spoon squash mixture over spaghetti. Squeeze juice of 1/2 lemon and add 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint; toss. Serve with mixed greens and crusty bread. For dessert, fresh sliced peaches are summer gold.

Friday/Budget

Your money-saving secret is safe when you serve delicious Mushroom Quesadillas (see recipe). Serve with canned pinto beans. Leftover ice cream is a simple dessert.

Saturday/Entertaining

Let the grill-maestro take the lead and prepare his own grilled salmon for guests tonight. Add colorful Asparagus and Red Pepper Stir Fry (see recipe) and serve it over rice. Add multigrain rolls. For dessert, Pears With Honey and Pecans are goof-proof. Core and quarter 3 ripe Bosc pears. Divide pears and 1/3 cup toasted pecans among 4 dessert plates. Drizzle with 3 tablespoons honey.

Shopping List

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

Sunday

turkey breast

to bake

bow tie pasta

tomatoes

cucumber

green bell pepper

red onion

crumbled feta cheese

black olives

fresh or dried oregano

olive oil

lemon

balsamic vinegar

garlic

sourdough bread

fresh blueberries

sugar

margarine or

butter

packaged instant oatmeal with

maple and brown

sugar

Monday

plain nonfat

yogurt

low-fat

mayonnaise

honey

salt

celery

apples

seedless

grapes

scallions

lettuce

walnuts

dinner rolls

Tuesday

ingredients for or store-bought

pizza

lettuce

refrigerated chocolate chip cookies

pecan halves

candy-coated chocolate pieces (like M & M's)

pretzels

Wednesday

low-fat

mayonnaise

dense or

homemade

white bread

tomatoes

fresh basil

black bean and rice soup

fat-free chocolate ice cream

Thursday

spaghetti

olive oil

garlic

fresh summer squash

onion

salt

pepper

lemon

fresh mint

salad greens

crusty bread

fresh peaches

Friday

cooking spray

fat-free flour

tortillas

sliced fresh

mushrooms

shredded

reduced-fat

Monterey Jack cheese

goat cheese

black olives

salsa

salad greens

cilantro

lime

canned pinto beans

Saturday

salmon to grill

cooking spray

fresh

asparagus

red bell pepper

scallions

soy sauce

rice vinegar

fresh ginger

garlic

cornstarch

sugar

rice

multigrain

rolls

Bosc pears

pecans

honey

Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.