This week's menus A clip-and-save guide to a week's worth of meals

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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

For a thrill on the grill, fix Teriyaki Steak for the gang (see recipe). Serve with Corn Pudding (see recipe) and steamed, fresh green beans. Add crusty bread. How about some warm apple crisp (your own or bought) with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt for dessert?

Plan ahead: Save half the steak for Monday and half the corn pudding for Tuesday. Buy extra vanilla yogurt for Monday.

Tip: To maintain consistent temperature of coals while cooking, add 8 new briquettes around outer edge of ash-covered coals before cooking steak.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make an easy beef and vegetable stir-fry with Sunday's leftover meat. Combine it with frozen stir-fry vegetables and purchased stir-fry sauce. Serve the stir-fry over rice. For dessert, chill out with fat-free frozen vanilla yogurt and pineapple sauce. Add a dollop of light whipped cream if you like.

Plan ahead: Make 4 extra servings of rice for Thursday; freeze.

Tuesday/Express

For a quick dinner tonight, make sliced sausage sandwiches on rye bread. Pick up low-fat sausages in the refrigerated meat case and grill or saute them. Garnish with spicy mustard. For a side dish, rinse, drain and heat sauerkraut and mix in 1 or 2 teaspoons caraway seed and a little vegetable oil. Reheat the leftover corn pudding. Pick up some brownies from the bakery for dessert.

Wednesday/Budget

Catfish are swimmingly economical, and most people like them fried. Try Oven-Fried Catfish to achieve the fried taste without the excess fat (see recipe). Serve with crispy hash-brown potatoes and carrot and cabbage slaw. You'll need corn bread, too. Finish with fresh fruit. Plan ahead: Save leftover slaw for Thursday.

Thursday/Meatless

Even though it has no meat, Black Bean Chili (see recipe) is packed with flavor, not to mention fiber. Serve over leftover rice and top with fat-free sour cream. The leftover slaw adds crunch to the meal. Serve with crusty bread.

Friday/Kids

Round up the cowgirls and cowboys for Wild West Chicken Chowder (see recipe). Serve with carrot and celery sticks and crackers. For dessert, oatmeal cookies and sliced peaches will suit.

Saturday/Entertaining

Your lucky guests tonight will enjoy Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin Chops (see recipe). Serve with couscous cooked with reduced-sodium chicken broth. Sesame-Soy Spinach is a good accompaniment (see recipe). For dessert, Strawberries and Grapes in Syrup With Mint and Vanilla is refreshing (see recipe).

Shopping List

What you'll need for this week's menus (consult recipes for exact amounts)

Sunday

teriyaki sauce

dry sherry

fresh ginger

beef top-round steak

frozen whole-kernel corn

onion

1 percent milk

eggs

corn-muffin mix

salt

reduced-fat shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

fresh green beans

crusty bread

apple crisp, store-bought or homemade

fat-free frozen vanilla

yogurt

Monday

frozen stir-fry vegetables

stir-fry sauce

rice

pineapple sauce

light whipped cream

Tuesday

low-fat sausage

rye bread

spicy mustard

sauerkraut

caraway seed

vegetable oil

brownies

Wednesday

cooking spray

catfish fillets

cornflake cereal

celery seed

onion powder

paprika

pepper

frozen hash-brown potatoes

packaged carrot and cabbage slaw mix

coleslaw dressing

corn bread or mix

fresh fruit

Thursday

canned black-bean soup

canned Mexican-style tomatoes

frozen corn

salsa

scallions

fat-free sour cream

crusty bread

Friday

vegetable oil

onion

red bell pepper

boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves

reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 percent milk

canned sweet potatoes

frozen whole-kernel corn

canned chopped green chilies

taco seasoning mix

carrot sticks

celery sticks

crackers

oatmeal cookies

peaches

Saturday

trimmed pork loin chops

Dijon-style mustard

Italian seasoning

bread crumbs

Parmesan cheese

couscous

reduced-sodium chicken broth

frozen spinach

soy sauce

sugar

sesame oil

fresh strawberries

seedless green grapes

sugar

fresh mint

pure vanilla extract

Teryaki Steak (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 28 minutes; Marinating time: 6 to 8 hours

3/4 cup prepared teriyaki sauce

2 tablespoons dry sherry

1 tablespoon fresh ginger

1 (2-pound) well-trimmed beef top round steak, 1 1/2 inches thick

In a small bowl, combine teriyaki sauce, sherry and ginger. Combine marinade and steak in a resealable plastic bag. Marinate in refrigerator 6 to 8 hours. Remove meat; discard marinade. Grill steak, covered, 25 to 28 minutes for medium rare, turning occasionally. Carve crosswise into thin strips.

Per serving: 157 calories, 27 grams protein, 4 grams fat (25 percent calories from fat), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 310 milligrams sodium, 0 grams fiber.

Corn Pudding (Sunday)

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 48 to 53 minutes

1 (20-ounce) package frozen whole-kernel corn, defrosted

1 small onion, quartered

2 cups 1 percent milk

2 eggs

1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn-muffin mix

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat an 11-by-7-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a food processor with steel blade, process corn and onion until corn is broken but not pureed. Add milk and eggs; process just until blended. Add muffin mix and salt; process only until mixed. Pour into baking dish. Bake 45 to 50 minutes or until edges are golden. Remove from oven. Turn on broiler. Sprinkle pudding with cheese; broil 3 to 4 inches from heat until cheese melts and top is crusty.

Per serving: 204 calories, 8 grams protein, 6 grams fat (25 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 49 milligrams cholesterol, 468 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Oven-Fried Catfish (Wednesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

3/4 cup crushed cornflake cereal

1/4 teaspoon each celery seeds, onion powder, paprika and pepper

4 (6-ounce) skinless catfish fillets, halved

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine crushed cornflake cereal, celery seeds, onion powder, paprika and pepper. Coat all sides of catfish fillets with cooking spray. Dredge in cornflake mixture. Place fillets on a foil-lined baking sheet, coated with cooking spray, and bake 30 minutes or until fish flakes.

Per serving: 230 calories, 29 grams protein, 5 grams fat (19 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 16 grams carbohydrate, 99 milligrams cholesterol, 267 milligrams sodium, 0.8 gram fiber.

Black Bean Chili (Thursday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: under 5 minutes

1 (19-ounce) can black-bean soup

1 (14 1/2- ounce) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes

1 cup frozen corn, defrosted

1/4 cup salsa or picante sauce

1/3 cup scallions

fat-free sour cream for garnish

In a large saucepan, combine black-bean soup, tomatoes, corn, salsa or picante and scallions. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium and cook 3 minutes. Place in bowls and garnish with sour cream.

Per serving: 172 calories, 7 grams protein, 1 gram fat (6 percent calories from fat), 0.1 gram saturated fat, 34 grams carbohydrate, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 664 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Wild West Chicken Chowder (Friday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped red bell pepper

2 boneless, skinless chicken-breast halves, cut in chunks

1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth

1 cup 1 percent milk

1 (16-ounce) can sweet potatoes in syrup, drained, rinsed and coarsely chopped

1 cup frozen corn

1 (4 1/2-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 (1 1/4-ounce) package taco seasoning mix (reduced-sodium if available)

In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and pepper. Cook and stir about 2 minutes until softened. Add chicken and cook, stirring, 2 minutes; add broth, milk, sweet potatoes, corn, chilies and taco mix; mix well. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low; simmer 10 minutes or until thoroughly heated and chicken is no longer pink. (Adapted from Pillsbury's "Quick and Easy Bake-Off" contest cookbook.)

Per serving: 277 calories, 19 grams protein, 6 grams fat (18 percent calories from fat), 1 gram saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 377 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Parmesan-Crusted Pork Loin Chops (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 12 to 20 minutes

4 (4-ounce) well-trimmed pork loin chops

2 teaspoons Dijon-style mustard

1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/4 cup fresh bread crumbs

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Brush both sides of chops with mustard. In a shallow bowl, combine Italian seasoning, bread crumbs and cheese. Dip each chop into bread mixture and turn to coat evenly. Place chops on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake 12 to 14 minutes for thin chops; 20 minutes for thicker cuts.

Per serving: 195 calories, 27 grams protein, 8 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 219 milligrams sodium, 0 grams fiber.

Sesame-Soy Spinach (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: under 5 minutes

Cooking time: according to spinach package

1 (10-ounce) package of frozen spinach leaves

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon sesame oil

Cook spinach according to directions. In a small bowl, mix together soy sauce, sugar and sesame oil. Pour over spinach. Toss spinach and serve.

Per serving: 56 calories, 3 grams protein, 1 gram fat (20 percent calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 510 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Strawberries and Grapes in Syrup With Mint and Vanilla (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes; Marinating time: 4 to 6 hours

2 quarts fresh strawberries, quartered

1/2 pound seedless green grapes

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh mint leaves

1/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a large bowl, mix together strawberries, grapes and sugar. Cover and refrigerate 4 to 6 hours. Stir in mint leaves and vanilla extract and let stand 30 minutes. Adapted from "Italian Pure and Simple" by Clifford Wright (Morrow, 1998).

Per serving: 176 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat (7 percent calories from fat), 0.2 gram saturated fat, 43 grams carbohydrate, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 4 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by e-mail: menuplanneindspring.com.

Pub Date: 6/21/98

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