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

MENU PLANNER

April 15, 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 your own roast lamb for Easter and brush on this spicy-sweet glaze. In a small bowl, combine 1 / 4 cup packed light-brown sugar, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1/2 teaspoon each dry mustard and chili powder, 1 / 4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground cloves, 1 clove minced garlic and 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice; mix well. Brush on lamb during last hour of roasting. Serve with your rosemary roasted potatoes and a broccoli-cauliflower blend. Add dinner rolls. Make Gala Galette for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough lamb and Gala Galette for Monday.

Gala Galette

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Standing time: 15 minutes; baking time: less than 35 minutes

1 refrigerated ready-to-use pie crust from a 15-ounce package

3 tablespoons sugar

1 / 4 teaspoon each cinnamon and nutmeg

1 beaten egg white

2 Gala or Golden Delicious apples, peeled, cored, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon butter, cut into bits

1 1/2 tablespoons apple jelly

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Remove pie crust from refrigerator and let stand 15 minutes. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray; set aside. In a tiny bowl, combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg. Unfold pie crust onto baking sheet and make any necessary repairs. Brush crust with egg white. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon sugar mixture. One inch from edge of crust, arrange apples in a circle, overlapping; fill center with remaining slices. (If there are too many apples, enjoy a quick snack.) Sprinkle evenly with remaining sugar mixture. Fold the 1-inch edge over apples and crimp edges where necessary. Dot apples with butter. Brush crust with egg white. Bake 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Bake 15 to 18 more minutes or until crust is browned and apples are softened. Transfer to rack. Heat jelly and brush over apples. Cool, slice and serve.

Per serving: 138 calories, 1 gram protein, 6 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 2.6 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 90 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

MONDAY / Heat & Eat

Use lamb leftovers and make One-Pot Lamb Stew tonight. Serve with mixed greens and crusty bread. For dessert, warm the leftover galette and spoon fat-free vanilla ice cream over it.

Plan ahead: Save enough ice cream for Wednesday.

One-Pot Lamb Stew

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 50 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 medium sliced onion

3 cloves chopped garlic

1 cup each dry red wine and beef broth

1 / 4 cup ketchup

2 diced potatoes

3 ribs sliced celery

3 sliced carrots

1 bay leaf

1/2 teaspoon each dried thyme, salt and pepper

2 cups chopped cooked (leftover) lamb

1 cup frozen, thawed green peas

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; cook 5 minutes. Add wine, broth, ketchup, potatoes, celery, carrots, bay leaf, thyme, salt and pepper. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer 30 minutes or until vegetables are almost tender. Add well-trimmed lamb and cook 15 minutes more. Add peas the last 5 minutes of cooking. Remove bay leaf before serving.

Per serving: 242 calories, 18 grams protein, 6 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 576 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

TUESDAY / Meatless

Pull up a chair for meal-in-one Vegetable Pizza tonight. Serve with a green salad. Make or buy tapioca pudding for dessert.

Vegetable Pizza

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 16 to 24 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes

1 10-ounce can refrigerated pizza-crust dough

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 thinly sliced red bell pepper

1 28-ounce package thinly sliced fresh mushrooms

4 sliced plum tomatoes

1 5-ounce package baby spinach

1/2 14-ounce can drained and coarsely chopped water-packed artichoke hearts

4 ounces shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (1 cup)

1 / 4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a 15-inch-by-10-inch jelly roll pan with cooking spray. Place dough on pan and unroll. Bake 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add pepper, mushrooms, tomatoes and spinach and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until softened. Sprinkle bell pepper mixture, artichoke hearts, mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses and Italian seasoning over partially baked crust. Bake 6 to 10 minutes or until cheese melts. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 4 servings and serve.

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