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

MENU PLANNER

January 13, 2002|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, 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.

SUNDAY / Family

Make Marinated Flank Steak and Corn Relish for the family meal today. Serve with oven-baked potato wedges and fresh stir-fried kale. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, fat-free strawberry ice cream is the sweet treat.

Plan ahead: Save enough steak for Monday and enough ice cream for Tuesday.

Marinated Flank Steak

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes

1 1/2 pound flank steak

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/3 cup chopped sweet onions (like Vidalia)

1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce

2 cloves minced garlic

salt and pepper to taste

Trim the steak and place in a resealable plastic bag. Mix together wine, onions, soy sauce and garlic . Add to bag, seal and refrigerate 30 minutes to overnight. Heat grill. Remove steak from bag and discard marinade. Salt and pepper steak. Grill 5 minutes on each side or until desired doneness. Carve steak across grain into thin slices.

Per serving: 182 calories, 24 grams protein, 9 grams fat (45 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 59 milligrams cholesterol, 173 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Corn Relish

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 cup chopped sweet onion

one 11-ounce can drained corn with peppers and onions (Mexicorn)

1 1/2 cup chopped tomato

1/3 cup thinly sliced basil

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 teaspoon sugar

salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add onion, and cook 5 minutes or until softened. In a bowl, combine cooked onion with the other ingredients; toss gently. Serve with Marinated Flank Steak.

Per serving: 59 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat (13 percent calories from fat), 0.1 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 213 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

MONDAY / Budget

Add some extra pennies to your purse and serve Beef and Gravy Topped Baked Potatoes. Chop the leftover beef and add to store-bought brown gravy. Heat and top split baked potatoes with the mixture. Serve with mixed vegetables (frozen) and whole-wheat rolls. Orange sections make an easy dessert.

TUESDAY / Express

We tried and liked the Savory Smoked Flavor (1 of 4 flavors) of Chicken of the Sea (or another brand) Tuna Salad Kit. The package includes everything you need to fill 4 sandwiches. (I used about half the mayonnaise sauce packet). Spread the tuna mixture on whole-wheat toast and add lettuce. Serve with canned chicken noodle soup. Leftover ice cream is a fine dessert.

WEDNESDAY / Kids

Kids will like the mild cheesy flavor of Baked Ziti. Serve it with a lettuce salad and multigrain rolls. Chunky applesauce and gingersnaps are an easy dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies and Baked Ziti for Thursday.

Baked Ziti

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: less than 50 minutes plus pasta; standing time: 10 minutes

cooking spray

16 ounces ziti pasta

1/2 pound each lean ground beef and ground turkey breast

one 32-ounce jar or 4 cups chunky garden-style pasta sauce

1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning, divided

8 ounces shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, divided

one 15-ounce container low-fat cottage cheese

2 egg whites

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Heat oven to 350. Coat a 9- by 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Cook beef and turkey 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain. Combine beef, turkey, pasta sauce and 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning. Stir cooked pasta into meat sauce; spread half of mixture evenly in dish. Top with half the mozzarella cheese. Combine cottage cheese, egg whites, 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese and remaining Italian seasoning; spread over mozzarella in pan. Spread remaining pasta mixture over cottage cheese mixture. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until hot and cheese is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 399 calories, 30 grams protein, 8 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 701 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

THURSDAY / Heat and Eat

Yippee! Dinner is ready as soon as you heat the leftover Baked Ziti. Cover and heat it in the microwave on medium (50 percent) power about 2 minutes per cup. Add a spinach salad and garlic bread. Why not have leftover cookies for dessert?

Tip: When heating dishes with cheese in the microwave, use a lower power so the cheese does not get tough.

FRIDAY / Meatless

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