Each day of the week offers a menu aimed at a different...

MENU PLANNER

March 11, 2001|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

Make Pot Roast and Vegetables for family time today. Accompany this perennial favorite with steamed fresh broccoli and your own or store-bought coleslaw. Top angel food cake slices with any berries for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough beef, coleslaw, cake and berries for Monday.

Pot Roast With Vegetables

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 2 hours 10 minutes

Standing time: 10 minutes

cooking spray

1 3-pound well-trimmed boneless beef chuck roast

1 1-ounce package onion- mushroom soup mix

1 1/2 cups water

1 14 1/2 -ounce can whole tomatoes with juice

4 peeled baking potatoes, halved and then cut into 4 wedges (see note)

6 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces

1 large onion cut into wedges

In a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray, brown meat on all sides over medium-high heat. Combine soup and water in a small bowl; add soup mixture along with tomatoes and juice. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low and simmer 1 1/2 hours, turning meat once. Add potatoes, carrots and onion. Simmer 40 minutes or until meat and vegetables are tender. Remove meat to cutting board. Cover loosely with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Separate accumulated broth from fat. Trim fat from meat Slice meat across grain and serve with vegetables and defatted broth.

Note: If desired, you can substitute parsnips and turnips for the potatoes and carrots.

Per serving: 286 calories, 34 grams protein, 8 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 95 milligrams cholesterol, 319 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

MONDAY / Heat & Eat

Use leftover beef and prepare French Dip Sandwiches tonight. In a medium saucepan, combine 8 thin slices cooked (leftover) roast beef, 1 1/2 cups water and 2 beef-flavored bouillon cubes. Cook over medium heat until thoroughly heated; stir occasionally. Add 1 tablespoon minced onion and 1/2 teaspoon soy sauce. Cook 2 or 3 minutes. For one sandwich: serve 2 slices of beef on crusty French bread. Portion individual servings of hot bouillon mixture for dipping sauce. Serve with mashed potatoes (make or buy) and leftover coleslaw. Keep dessert simple and serve leftover cake and berries.

TUESDAY / Express

Make Soft Tacos for a quick meal tonight. Cook 1/2 pound each lean ground beef and ground turkey breast with 1 tablespoon chili powder 6 minutes until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in 1 cup salsa (drained); heat 1 more minute or until hot. Spoon onto fat-free (or low-fat) flour tortillas. Top with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and shredded Mexican-blend cheese. Serve with canned pinto beans. Cool down with pineapple sherbet for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough sherbet for Saturday. To save time, prepare Wednesday's lasagna tonight.

WEDNESDAY / Kids

The kids will come running for Tex-Mex Lasagna. Serve with green beans and crusty rolls. Make or buy rice pudding for dessert.

Tex-Mex Lasagna

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Refrigerate: 6 hours to overnight

Cooking time: 1 hour

Standing time: 15 minutes

1 cup shredded carrots

3 cups store-bought spaghetti sauce

1 cup water

1 15-ounce can rinsed and drained kidney beans

1 10-ounce package frozen corn, thawed

1 1 1 / 4 -ounce package chili seasoning mix

12 uncooked lasagna noodles

2 cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Microwave carrots 3 minutes on high; drain. In a medium bowl, mix together the carrots, spaghetti sauce, water, beans, corn and chili seasoning mix to make the sauce. Spread 1 cup of the sauce mixture over bottom of a 9- by 13-inch baking dish. Arrange 4 pieces of lasagna (3 lengthwise and 1 crosswise) over sauce. Cover with 1 cup sauce. Spread 1/2 of the ricotta on top. Arrange another 4 pieces of lasagna over ricotta and top with another cup of sauce. Spread remaining ricotta on top. Arrange final 4 pieces of lasagna on top. Cover with remaining sauce. Refrigerate at least 6 hours. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cover lasagna with foil and bake 45 minutes. Uncover, sprinkle Monterey Jack cheese on top and bake 15 more minutes. Let stand 15 minutes before slicing.

Per serving: 386 calories, 22 grams protein, 10 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 4.8 grams saturated fat, 54 grams carbohydrate, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 1,041 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

THURSDAY / Budget

What would we do without canned tuna to get us over a budget crisis? Creamed Tuna on Toast comes to the rescue once again. Serve with a romaine salad and chunky applesauce.

Creamed Tuna on Toast

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

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