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



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

There's a family meal, a kids' menu, a heat-and-eat meal that recycles leftovers, a budget meal that employs a cost-cutting strategy, a meatless or "less meat" dish, an express meal that requires little or no preparation, and an entertaining meal that's quick.


The family will want seconds of Orange Basil Roast Chicken today. Serve the tender bird with rice and fresh kale. Add dinner rolls. For dessert, buy a chocolate layer cake.

Plan ahead: Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.

Orange Basil Roast Chicken

Makes 11 to 15 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours

1 tablespoon flour

1 5- to 7-pound whole roasting chicken

8 large basil leaves

1 large peeled orange, thinly sliced and divided

1 medium sliced onion

vegetable oil

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 350. Shake flour in a large oven roasting bag. Place in a 9- by-13-inch baking dish. Loosen breast skin area using your fingers or a knife handle. Place basil leaves and 4 orange slices under skin. Place half the onion slices and half the remaining orange slices inside the chicken cavity. Place remaining onion and orange slices on bottom of bag. Tuck wings under chicken and tie legs together, if desired. Brush chicken with oil; sprinkle with pepper. Place chicken in bag on top of onion and orange slices. Close bag with nylon tie (that comes with bag); cut six 1/2 -inch slits on top. Bake 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear and chicken is tender.

Per serving (white without skin): 125 calories, 26 grams protein, 1 gram fat (11 percent calories from fat), 0.4 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 74 milligrams sodium, no fiber. Per serving (dark without skin): 142 calories, 23 grams protein, 5 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 91 milligrams cholesterol, 96 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

MONDAY / Budget

Casseroles like this Chicken Tetrazzini are flavorful ways to save money. Serve with a red-tip lettuce salad and whole-wheat rolls. Slice leftover cake for dessert.

Chicken Tetrazzini

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 45 minutes plus pasta

12 ounces spaghetti, broken in thirds

2 10 3/4 -ounce cans condensed 98-percent fat-free cream of chicken soup, undiluted

2 cups 1-percent milk

1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

2 teaspoons onion powder

1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and pepper

cooking spray

4 cups chopped cooked (leftover) chicken

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables

1 4.5-ounce can drained sliced mushrooms

paprika for garnish

Heat oven to 350. Cook spaghetti according to directions without oil; drain. Mix together soup, milk, 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, onion powder, nutmeg and pepper in 3-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray. Stir in cooked spaghetti, chicken, vegetables and mushrooms. Mix well and spread evenly in dish. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese and garnish with paprika. Bake, uncovered, 35 to 45 minutes or until bubbling and golden-brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 348 calories, 28 grams protein, 9 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 60 milligrams cholesterol, 793 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

TUESDAY / Heat and Eat

Dinner is practically on the table after you warm the leftover tetrazzini tonight. Serve with canned stewed tomatoes and sourdough bread. Sprinkle cinnamon over chunky applesauce for dessert.


The goblins will be out tonight, but before they start howling they can help prepare Muffin Pizzas. Serve the mini-pizzas with green beans. Treat your angels to store-bought Halloween cupcakes for dessert.

Muffin Pizzas

Makes 12 mini pizzas

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

12 English muffin halves

3/4 cup sun-dried-tomato pasta sauce (like Muir Glen or another brand), divided

3/4 cup reduced-fat shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

1/2 cup chopped red bell peppers, divided

3/4 cup sliced fresh mushrooms, divided

dried basil

Heat broiler. Arrange muffins on baking sheet. Top each half muffin with pasta sauce, then cheese, bell peppers and mushrooms. Sprinkle with basil; broil until cheese melts.

Per serving: 93 calories, 5 grams protein, 1 gram fat (13 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 226 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

THURSDAY / Meatless

Skip meat tonight and enjoy Greens and Beans and Pasta for dinner. Add a lettuce salad and garlic bread. Peaches make a perfect dessert.

Greens and Beans and Pasta

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 10 minutes plus pasta

1 pound any pasta

1 cup red bell pepper strips

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound chopped fresh spinach

1 cup vegetable broth

one 15- to 19-ounce can rinsed and drained white beans

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