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 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

Turn off the oven and turn on the microwave and grill for Indoor-Outdoor Pork Roast with a honey-mustard sauce (see recipe). What goes better with a casual summer meal than corn on the cob and sauteed zucchini? You'll also need multigrain rolls.

For dessert, divide a store-bought angel food cake horizontally into three layers and spread softened sorbet on each layer, like icing. Stack the layers and chill for about an hour for ice-cool angel food cake. Garnish with fresh fruit if desired.

Plan ahead: Save leftover pork, honey-mustard sauce and cake for Monday.

Monday/Leftovers

Leave the oven off and serve leftover sliced pork roast. Make it into sandwiches on dense white bread with leftover honey-mustard sauce.

Just add your own or store-bought potato salad and coleslaw for a simple meal. Leftover cake is a quick dessert.

Tuesday/Meatless

Thoughts of meat will be miles away when you eat Polenta with sun-dried tomatoes and blue cheese (see recipe). Serve with a fresh spinach salad. Add your own or store-bought biscuits.

Wednesday/Budget

Pasta is always a stretch-a-dollar-till-it-hollers kind of food. Tonight's Spaghettini With Clams will say "uncle" immediately (see recipe). Accompany with a mixed green salad and Italian bread. Fresh fruit and cookies are good for dessert.

Thursday/Kids

My Dallas nephew, Eric, made a meatless chili for the family recently (see recipe). His mother made a carrot and pineapple salad and his brother, Gordon, opened a package of store-bought corn muffins. Dad helped by eating everything ' and by doing the dishes!

Friday/Express

What could be easier than combining a store-bought teriyaki stir-fry mix and a package of cooked chicken strips? The stir-fry mix can be found in your supermarket's frozen-food section. Just follow the directions on the package and add the cooked chicken during the last 2 minutes of cooking. We liked the combo over noodles, but rice is good, too. I added a splash of soy sauce. A green salad is a good addition, as is crusty bread.

Saturday/Entertaining

Some may call it peasant food, but your guests will declare Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans and Asiago Cheese delicious (see recipe). If you toss the spinach and cheese while the pasta is warm, the spinach will wilt and the cheese will soften for more blended flavors. Your own gazpacho can start the meal. You'll also want sesame bread sticks. Finish this feast with a fruit tart (see recipe).

Shopping List

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

Sunday

boneless pork-loin roast, well-trimmed and tied

honey-mustard sauce

corn on the cob

fresh zucchini

multigrain rolls

angel food cake

fruit sorbet

fresh fruit for garnish, if desired

Monday

dense white bread

store-bought potato salad and coleslaw, or ingredients to make your own

Tuesday

cooking spray

cornmeal

butter or margarine

sun-dried tomatoes

crumbled blue cheese

fresh spinach

biscuits

Wednesday

spaghettini

olive oil

garlic

canned baby clams

dry white wine

freshly ground black pepper

dry bread crumbs

fresh parsley

salad greens

Italian bread

fresh fruit

cookies

Thursday

quick brown rice

canned pinto beans

canned chunky tomatoes

scallions, if desired

store-bought carrot and pineapple salad, or ingredients to make your own

corn muffins

Friday

frozen teriyaki stir-fry mix

cooked chicken strips

noodles

soy sauce

salad greens

crusty bread

Saturday

cavatappi or other spiral pasta

fresh spinach

olive oil

freshly ground black pepper

cannellini or other white beans

garlic

Asiago cheese

ingredients for gazpacho

sesame bread sticks

refrigerated sugar- cookie dough

canned pineapple slices

fat-free cream cheese

sugar

pure vanilla extract

fresh strawberries and blueberries

kiwi fruit

Indoor-Outdoor Pork Roast (Sunday)

Makes 12 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: microwave, 21 to 28 minutes; grill, 35 to 40 minutes

1 (3- to 4-pound) boneless pork loin roast, trimmed and tied

1/2 cup prepared honey-mustard sauce

Microwave pork roast, fat side down, covered with wax paper, on medium (50 percent power) 7 minutes per pound. Turn over roast after half the cooking time. Meanwhile, prepare grill.

Place partially cooked roast on grill; cover and cook 35 to 40 minutes, turning after half the cooking time. Brush with honey-mustard sauce every 10 minutes throughout grilling time. Remove from grill when meat thermometer reaches 155 degrees.

Place roast on carving board; cover with foil 10 minutes or until temperature reaches 160 degrees. Slice across the grain and serve. (From "Save Your Heart With Susan," Susan Nicholson, R.D.; Morrow, 1991.)

Per serving: 167 calories, 21 grams protein, 8 grams fat (44 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 2 grams carbohydrate, 56 milligrams cholesterol, 76 milligrams sodium, 0 grams fiber.

Polenta (Tuesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 30 minutes

cooking spray

4 cups water

1 cup cornmeal

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon butter or margarine

1/2 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes

1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-x-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add water, cornmeal and salt. Cover with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil and stir. Cover and continue baking another 15 minutes or so until the water is absorbed. Remove from oven and stir in butter or margarine, sun-dried tomatoes and blue cheese. Serve immediately. (Adapted from "The International Pantry Cookbook," Heidi Cusick, Chronicle Books, 1998.)

Per serving: 223 calories, 7 grams protein, 8 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 18 mg cholesterol, 373 mg sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Spaghettini With Clams (Wednesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 10 minutes plus time to cook the pasta

12 ounces spaghettini

4 teaspoons olive oil, divided

3 cloves minced garlic

2 (10-ounce) cans baby clams and their juice

1/2 cup dry white wine

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1/4 cup dry bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley

Cook spaghettini according to directions. In a large, nonstick skillet, heat 2 teaspoons oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in clams and juice and wine. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring, about 4 minutes. Season with black pepper to taste. Remove from heat; set aside. In a small skillet, heat remaining oil; add bread crumbs and stir until golden brown, 2 or 3 minutes. Stir in parsley. Drain pasta well and toss with clam sauce. Heat through. Divide among 4 plates and sprinkle with crumb mix. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 410 calories, 13 grams protein, 6 grams fat (14 percent calories from fat), 0.9 grams saturated fat, 70 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 373 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Eric's Chili (Thursday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes plus time to cook the rice

2 bags quick brown rice (from a 14-ounce box of 4 bags)

2 cans pinto beans, rinsed and drained

2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans of chunky tomatoes

chopped scallions for garnish, if desired

Cook rice according to directions. Open bags and spoon rice into saucepan. Add beans and tomatoes and heat 4 or 5 minutes.

Garnish with scallions, if desired.

Per serving: 375 calories, 15 grams protein, 3 grams fat (7 percent calories from fat), 0.1 gram saturated fat, 74 grams carbohydrate, 0 milligrams cholesterol, 571 milligrams sodium, 15 grams fiber.

Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans and Asiago Cheese (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: according to pasta directions

6 ounces cavatappi or other spiral-shaped pasta

8 cups coarsely chopped spinach leaves

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 teaspoon each: salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 (19-ounce can) cannellini beans or other white beans, rinsed and drained

2 cloves crushed garlic

1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded

Asiago cheese

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. In a large bowl, combine pasta, spinach, oil, salt, pepper, beans, garlic and cheese; toss well. (Adapted from Cooking Light magazine.)

Per serving: 357 calories, 15 grams protein, 12 grams fat (30 percent calories from fat), 3.6 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 424 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Fruit Tart (Saturday)

Makes 10 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 12 to 15 minutes

1/2 of 20-ounce package refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 (20-ounce) can pineapple slices

8 ounces fat-free cream cheese

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup each: fresh strawberries and blueberries

1 peeled and sliced kiwi fruit

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Press cookie dough onto bottom of ungreased, 12-inch pizza pan or cookie sheet. Bake 12 to 15 minutes or until light brown. Cool completely. Drain pineapple and reserve 1/4 cup juice.

In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with sugar, vanilla and reserved pineapple juice. Spread on crust. Arrange pineapple slices, strawberries, blueberries and kiwi fruit on top.

Per serving: 193 calories, 5 grams protein, 5 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 34 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 222 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

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

Pub Date: 8/16/98

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