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

MENU PLANNER

April 29, 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

I always think of my mother when Classic Pot Roast is on the menu for Sunday lunch. Here's another version of the old favorite. Serve with another of Mother's favorites: mashed potatoes. Add sauteed sugar snap peas to your meal. For dessert, serve orange sherbet with sugar cookies.

Plan ahead: Save enough beef and cookies for Monday and enough sherbet for Thursday.

Classic Pot Roast

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 3 hours

Standing time: 5 minutes

cooking spray

1 3-pound boneless beef chuck (shoulder, arm or blade) roast

1 teaspoon salt

1 / 4 teaspoon pepper

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

2 medium sliced onions

3 cloves minced garlic

1 / 4 cup flour

1/2 cup each beer or apple cider and water

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Heat a Dutch oven coated with cooking spray on medium heat until hot. Add roast and brown evenly on all sides. Remove roast from pot; season with salt and pepper. Add oil to pot and reheat on medium heat until hot. Add onions and garlic; cook and stir 10 minutes or until onions are very soft and golden. Stir in flour. Stir in beer or cider and water and thyme until blended; bring to a boil. Return roast to pot. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 2 1/2 to 2 3 / 4 hours or until roast is tender. Remove roast to platter; let rest 5 minutes, trim visible fat and slice. Separate fat from drippings and serve with roast.

Per serving: 239 calories, 32 grams protein, 9 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 6 grams carbohydrate, 95 milligrams cholesterol, 296 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber

MONDAY / Heat & Eat

Use leftover beef to make Philly Beef and Cheese Sandwiches. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add 1 large sliced onion and 1 sliced green bell pepper and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables are softened, stirring occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups chopped (leftover) cooked beef and cook 3 minutes or until hot. In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons light soy sauce, 1 1/2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce and 1 / 4 teaspoon cornstarch; blend well. Stir into mixture in skillet, cook 2 minutes or until thickened. Sprinkle 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese onto bottom half of 4 split and toasted hoagie or other rolls. Top with beef mixture and then tops of buns. Put on a bib and take a bite. Serve with oven fries and carrot and celery sticks. Make fat-free instant vanilla pudding with skim milk for dessert and sprinkle with leftover sugar cookie crumbs.

Plan ahead: Save any leftover carrots for Wednesday.

TUESDAY / Meatless

Make this quick Two-Time Cabbage With Pierogies for a no-meat dinner. Serve with your own Waldorf salad or just combine chopped apples and sliced celery. Toss in some raisins and a few walnuts. Moisten it all with low-fat mayonnaise. (Use your own proportions to suit your family's taste.) Serve with rye bread. For dessert, how about a bowl of fat-free chocolate ice cream?

Plan ahead: Save enough bread for Wednesday and enough ice cream for Friday.

Two-Time Cabbage With Pierogies

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 15 minutes

1 16-ounce package cabbage coleslaw mix

1 16-ounce package refrigerated, drained sauerkraut

1 / 4 cup apple cider or apple juice

1/2 teaspoon caraway seed

1 / 4 teaspoon pepper

1 12-ounce package frozen mini pierogies

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

1 tablespoon margarine or

butter, cut into small pieces

In a shallow 3-quart baking dish, combine coleslaw mix, sauerkraut, cider or juice, caraway seed and pepper; mix well. Cover and microwave on high (100 percent power) 5 minutes; stir once. Arrange pierogies over mixture, overlapping if necessary. Sprinkle with dill and top with margarine or butter. Recover and cook on high 5 to 7 minutes or until pierogies are hot. Toss and serve immediately.

Per serving: 219 calories, 7 grams protein, 5 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 7 milligrams cholesterol, 1182 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber

WEDNESDAY / Budget

Happiness is having a delicious meal like this French Onion Soup and saving money at the same time. Serve with your favorite sandwich. Buy carrot and raisin salad to accompany the soup and sandwich duo. Fruit cocktail is a simple dessert.

French Onion Soup

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

2 medium thinly sliced onions

1 / 4 cup dry sherry

2 14 1/2 -ounce cans beef broth

1 / 4 cup water

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

4 1-ounce slices French bread

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