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


This week's menus

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.


Serve flavorful spiral-sliced baked ham to the family today. Baked Sweet Potatoes With Maple and Lime (see recipe) is a sweet-tart accompaniment. Add steamed green beans and your favorite store-bought muffins. A store-bought lemon meringue pie carries on the sweet-tart theme for a grand finale.

Plan ahead: Save enough ham and sweet potatoes for Monday. Also, chop 1 cup ham for Tuesday if you have any left over.

Tips: If you have a mandoline slicer, use it to slice the potatoes and onions. Cut the pie into 6 slices rather than the recommended 5 to save fat and calories.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Ham sandwiches on rye with slices of apple and a little honey-mustard sauce spread on the bread make an easy entree. Heat the leftover sweet potatoes and add deli coleslaw to complete your meal. If you have any leftover pie, serve it or fruit for dessert.


Tuna, Ham and Rice Skillet saves money and time (see recipe). In a large, nonstick skillet, cook 1 (7-ounce) package of any yellow rice mix according to directions, but without salt or fat. Stir in 1 (10-ounce) package frozen tiny green peas (thawed), 1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimentos (drained), 1 cup chopped deli or leftover ham and 1 (6-ounce) can water-packed albacore tuna (drained). Heat through. Serve with a mixed green salad and bread. Make banana pudding with skim milk for dessert.


Feed the gang Mexidogs tonight. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Lay out 6 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas. On each tortilla, spread a generous 1/4 cup vegetarian refried beans (from a 15-ounce can) to within 1 inch of edge; add 1 tablespoon chunky salsa and 1 fat-free hot dog near edge of tortilla; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Roll tortillas over hot dogs; fold up bottom and continue rolling, leaving top open. Place tortilla seam side down in a 12-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover tightly with plastic wrap. Microwave on high (100 percent power) 5 to 7 minutes or until dogs are thoroughly heated and cheese is melted.

Add some crunch to your meal with oven fries and jicama and carrot sticks. For dessert, oatmeal cookies and peaches will feed your inner (and outer) child.


Cooler fall days are a good time to welcome Corn and Potato Chowder (see recipe). Serve the rich blend with a green salad and multigrain rolls. For dessert, top fresh fruit with shredded coconut.


Stop by the supermarket frozen-food case for your favorite packaged frozen rice mix. I picked up a rice-in-a-bowl variety. The brand I chose features 10 varieties that cost $2.79 each. Each one has about 350 calories and 20 grams of protein. The adult in us liked the spicy beef and broccoli flavor; the child went for the sweet-and-sour chicken because of the mild (bland) flavor. Add a packaged of green salad and crusty bread. With store-bought fat-free pound cake for dessert, you have yourself a meal.

Plan ahead: Save enough pound cake for Saturday.


Sweet and salty flavors abound in Honey-Mustard Chicken (see recipe). Serve the easy entree with couscous tossed with currants (see recipe). Add steamed carrots and a Boston lettuce salad. Serve with sourdough bread. For dessert, drizzle leftover pound cake with fat-free chocolate sauce, berries and toasted slivered almonds.

Shopping List

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


spiral-sliced baked ham


pure maple syrup

olive oil

sweet potatoes

salt and pepper

red onions

fresh bread crumbs

fresh sage

green beans


frozen lemon meringue pie


rye bread


honey-mustard sauce

deli coleslaw



packaged yellow rice

frozen tiny green peas

jar of chopped pimentos

deli ham (if no leftovers from Sunday)

water-packed albacore tuna

salad greens


ingredients for banana pudding

skim milk


fat-free flour tortillas

canned vegetarian refried beans

chunky salsa

fat-free hot dogs

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

oven fries


carrot sticks

oatmeal cookies



margarine or butter


baking potatoes

fresh sage

bay leaf


dry white wine

vegetable broth

evaporated skim milk

frozen corn



reduced-fat shredded Swiss cheese

salad greens

multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

shredded coconut


packaged frozen rice mix

packaged salad greens

crusty bread

fat-free pound cake


cooking spray


grainy mustard

vegetable oil

curry powder










Boston lettuce

sourdough bread

fat-free chocolate sauce

berries (any kind)

slivered almonds

Baked Sweet Potatoes With Maple and Lime (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 to 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes

Standing time: 10 minutes

1/2 cup fresh lime juice (8 tablespoons)

1/2 cup water

1 teaspoon plus 1 cup pure maple syrup

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

3 medium-large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into paper-thin slices (2 1/2 to 3 pounds)

salt, to taste

2 large red onions, cut into paper-thin slices (about 2 pounds)

1 packed teaspoon grated lime zest (green part only)

1 cup fresh bread crumbs

1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place 2 tablespoons lime juice in a small saucepan; set aside. Place other 6 tablespoons in another small saucepan, along with water and 1 teaspoon maple syrup. Bring to a boil; reduce heat until mixture boils gently. Reduce to 1/2 cup (10 to 15 minutes of cooking).

While lime-syrup mixture reduces, lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with oil. Arrange a layer of one-third of the sweet potatoes in the dish and sprinkle with salt, to taste. Arrange half the onion slices over potatoes; season with salt, to taste. Repeat layers, ending with sweet potatoes.

Add lime zest and pinch of salt to reduced lime-syrup mixture. Whisk and pour over potatoes and onions. Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over top.

Cover and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 45 to 60 minutes, or until crumbs are golden and crusty, and tip of sharp knife passes easily through potatoes. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes.

When ready to serve, add remaining 1 cup maple syrup to reserved lime juice along with pepper and sage. Gently heat without boiling and remove from stove. To serve, cut potato casserole into squares and transfer to plates. Spoon lime-syrup sauce over each portion and serve.

(Adapted from "Side Dishes Creative and Simple," by Deirdre Davis, Chapters, 1997.)

Per serving: 271 calories, 4 grams protein, 1 gram fat (5 percent calories from fat), 0.2 grams saturated fat, 63 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 56 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Tuna, Ham and Rice Skillet (Tuesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes plus time to cook the rice

1 (7-ounce) package any yellow rice mix

1 (10-ounce) package frozen tiny green peas (thawed)

1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimentos, drained

1 cup chopped deli or leftover ham

1 (6-ounce) can water-packed albacore tuna (drained)

In a large, nonstick skillet, cook rice according to directions, but without salt or fat. Stir in rest of ingredients. Cook on low about 5 minutes or until heated through.

Per serving: 331 calories, 23 grams protein, 3 grams fat (8 percent calories from fat), 0.7 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 34 milligrams cholesterol, 685 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

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

Corn and Potato Chowder (Thursday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 30 minutes

1 tablespoon margarine or butter

1 medium onion, chopped

2 large baking potatoes, cut into 1/2 -inch cubes (about 1 pound)

2 teaspoons chopped fresh sage

1 bay leaf

3 tablespoons flour

1/3 cup dry white wine

4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup evaporated skim milk

1 (10-ounce) package frozen corn

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped scallions

1/2 cup reduced-fat shredded Swiss cheese

In a Dutch oven, melt margarine or butter over medium heat. Add onions, potatoes, sage and bay leaf; cook about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in flour, then wine and broth. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Add milk and corn; mix well. Return to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook, uncovered, 5 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Discard bay leaf; stir in parsley and scallions. Garnish each serving with 2 tablespoons cheese.

Per serving: 345 calories, 17 grams protein, 8 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 54 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 1,139 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Honey-Mustard Chicken (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: less than 15 minutes

Cooking time: 35 to 40 minutes

cooking spray

3 tablespoons each: honey and grainy mustard

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1 (3-pound) chicken, skinned and cut into 8 pieces (reserve wings with skin on for later; see note)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Coat a rack with cooking spray and place on top of baking sheet. In small bowl, combine honey, mustard, oil, curry powder, salt and pepper.

Using a brush, coat chicken pieces all over with glaze; place on rack. Bake, basting occasionally, until chicken is golden on outside and no longer pink in center, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Note: Label, date and freeze wings to make stock whenever you need it.

Per 5-ounce serving of both white and dark meat: 286 calories, 36 grams protein, 11 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 2.7 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 108 milligrams cholesterol, 389 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Couscous With Currants and Cinnamon (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

Standing: 5 minutes

2 cups water

1/4 cup currants

1/4 teaspoon each: cinnamon, turmeric and cumin

1 cup couscous

In a medium saucepan, combine water, currants, cinnamon, turmeric and cumin. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat. Stir in couscous and cover. Let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork before serving.

Per serving: 231 calories, 7 grams protein, 1 gram fat (4 percent calories from fat), 0.1 gram saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 5 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

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