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


May 27, 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

Present delicious Cinnamon-Pineapple Pork for today's family meal, served with rice. This Jicama-Orange Salad With Lime is the right flavor to go with it. Peel 1 medium jicama (about 1 pound), halve and slice 1 / 4 inch thick; cut slices in half diagonally. In a large bowl, toss jicama with 2 small, peeled, halved, seeded and sliced cucumbers, 3 peeled, sliced, seeded and halved oranges, 8 thinly sliced radishes and 1/3 cup fresh lime juice. Season to taste with salt. Arrange on a serving platter and sprinkle with 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chili powder and 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves. Serve with dinner rolls. For dessert, spoon fresh blueberries over fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Buy enough blueberries; save half the salad for Monday; save enough ice cream for Saturday.

Cinnamon-Pineapple Pork

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 9 to 11 minutes

1 pound pork tenderloin, cut into 8 crosswise pieces

1 / 4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons margarine, divided

1 medium julienned red bell pepper

18-ounce can undrained pineapple chunks in natural juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 tablespoon each peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger and fresh jalapeno pepper

1 / 8 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Sprinkle each pork piece with salt; press each piece to 1 inch thickness with the heel of your hand. Heat 1 tablespoon of the margarine in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add pork; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side or until pork is tender. Place on serving platter; keep warm. To same skillet, add remaining margarine and bell pepper; cook 3 minutes or until softened. Reduce heat to low. Stir in pineapple and juice, wine, ginger, jalapeno pepper and cinnamon; simmer until liquid is reduced to 1 / 4 cup. Spoon mixture over cooked pork; sprinkle with cilantro.

Per serving: 249 calories, 24 grams protein, 10 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 276 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

MONDAY / Entertaining

Invite friends for Memorial Day and serve Mesquite Beef Skewers. In a large resealable plastic bag, combine 2 / 3 cup mesquite marinade with lime juice (like Lawry's or another brand) and 1 pound trimmed top sirloin steak cut into chunks; seal and turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes; remove steak and discard marinade. Meanwhile, core, seed and cut 1 green bell pepper into 1/2 -inch pieces and 1 red onion into chunks. Alternately thread beef, bell pepper, onion and 16 whole fresh mushrooms on eight 12-inch skewers. Grill or broil 8 to 10 minutes, turning once and basting often with an additional 1/3 cup marinade. Serve with deli potato salad and leftover jicama salad. Add sourdough rolls. For dessert, get in the spirit of the day with Red White and Blueberry Pound Cake.

Plan ahead: Save 2 of the beef skewers for Tuesday.

Red, White and Blueberry Pound Cake

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Standing time: 10 to 15 minutes

One 10 3 / 4 -ounce store-bought frozen fat-free pound cake, thawed

3 / 4 cup seedless raspberry jam

8 tablespoons orange juice ( 1/2 cup), divided

18-ounce package whipped cream cheese

3 tablespoon powdered sugar

1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries, divided

1 cup sliced fresh strawberries

Slice cake lengthwise into 3 layers; arrange in a single layer on a cookie sheet with top layer cut side up. Pierce layers with fork. In a small bowl, combine jam and 6 tablespoons orange juice. Spread each layer with 2 tablespoons of raspberry / orange juice mixture; let stand 10 to 15 minutes so that the cake absorbs the sauce. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl stir together cream cheese, sugar and the remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice until well-blended. To assemble: Place bottom layer on a serving plate; spread evenly with a third of the cream-cheese mixture. Arrange a third of the blueberries evenly over cream cheese. Drizzle about 1 tablespoon raspberry orange mixture over blueberries. Repeat with center slice of cake. Place top layer cut side down; spread with remaining cream-cheese mixture. Decorate cake to resemble an American flag, using remaining blueberries and the strawberries. Serve with the remaining raspberry / orange mixture. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 322 calories, 4 grams protein, 11 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 6.5 grams saturated fat, 55 grams carbohydrate, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 228 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

TUESDAY / Express

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