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

MENU PLANNER

April 22, 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 family day an occasion with Georgia Peach-Glazed Pork Roast. Roasted Onions are a delicious accompaniment. Sauteed zucchini adds some color. You'll want crusty rolls. Buy lemon meringue pie for dessert to complete your meal. Plan ahead: Save enough pork, onions and pie for Monday.

Georgia Peach-Glazed Pork Roast

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 45 minutes to 2 hours

Standing time: 15 minutes

cooking spray

2- to 2 1/2 -pound boned and rolled pork loin roast

1/2 cup peach preserves

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Heat oven to 325. Coat a roasting pan with cooking spray. Unroll roast; trim visible fat. Reroll and tie with heavy string every inch or so.

In a small saucepan, combine preserves, mustard and cinnamon and mix well. Brush 1 tablespoon peach mixture over roast. Place on roasting pan; insert meat thermometer in the thickest portion of roast.

Bake 1 hour and 45 minutes to 2 hours or until thermometer registers 155; baste once with peach mixture. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 15 minutes and slice. Boil the remaining peach mixture 2 minutes. Serve with roast.

Per serving, roast: 178 calories, 24 grams protein, 8 grams fat (43-percent calories from fat), 3 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 69-milligrams cholesterol, 49 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Per 1 tablespoon sauce: 52 calories, no protein, no fat, 14-grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 55 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Roasted Onions

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes

3 pounds large onions (about 5) cut crosswise 3 / 4 inches thick

2 tablespoons dark or light sesame oil

1 / 4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons light-brown sugar

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

Heat oven to 400. Place onion slices intact in a single layer on a large baking pan (like jelly roll). Brush both sides of the slices with oil and sprinkle with salt. Roast onions 45 minutes; turn with spatula and roast 30 more minutes or until tender and golden. Meanwhile, in a small container mix sugar and vinegar. Brush onions with sugar mixture and roast 5 more minutes. Turn again, keeping slices together, and arrange overlapping in serving dish.

Note: If you wish to prepare in advance, store in a baking dish; cover and refrigerate. To reheat, cover and microwave about 3 to 5 minutes on high --100 percent power -- or until hot, or heat for 30 minutes in a 350-degree oven.

Per serving: 144 calories, 3-grams protein, 5 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 0.7 grams saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 106 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

MONDAY / Heat & Eat

You'd never know you were eating leftovers with Pork Tortas. Split 4 French or Cuban rolls (about 4 inches long) and spread with 1 tablespoon canned fat-free refried beans ( 1/2 cup total) on each side. Layer the bottom of the rolls with thin slices of cooked leftover pork; top with salsa (about 1/3 cup total), avocado slices and 4 thin slices of Monterey Jack cheese. Heat Sunday's onions to serve on the side. Slice the leftover pie, and dinner is ready.

Plan ahead: Save the leftover refried beans for Friday. Prepare Tuesday's soup today if time permits.

TUESDAY / Budget

Enjoy Split Pea and Lentil Soup while you're saving money. Serve with a romaine salad and crackers.

Canned plums are an easy dessert.

Split Pea and Lentil Soup

Makes 10 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 2 hours

four 14 1/2 -ounce cans fat-free chicken broth

1/2 cup water

1 cup each dried split peas and dried lentils

4 sliced carrots

4 sliced ribs celery

2 medium chopped red bell peppers

2 medium chopped onions

2 bay leaves

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 teaspoons cumin

1 teaspoon black pepper

Heat oven to 350. In a large Dutch oven, combine all ingredients and mix well. Bake, covered, 2 hours or until peas and lentils are softened. Remove from oven, discard bay leaves.

Per cup: 182 calories, 14 grams protein, 1 gram fat (3 percent calories from fat), 0.1 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 474 milligrams sodium, 13 grams fiber.

WEDNESDAY / Meatless

Moroccan-Spiced Couscous will remind you of North Africa with its warm spices, green olives and garlic. Serve with sliced cucumbers in cider vinegar and whole-wheat pita bread. Come on home and munch on oatmeal cookies for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Friday.

Moroccan-Spiced Couscous

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes plus couscous

1 5.6-ounce package couscous

1/3 cup raisins

1 tablespoon olive oil

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