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

THE BALTIMORE SUN

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.

Sunday/Family

Rosemary Pork Roast is just what the family wants today. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a well-trimmed, 3- to 4-pound boneless pork roast with 1 to 2 teaspoons garlic pepper (or 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder plus 3/4 teaspoon pepper to equal 1 teaspoon) and 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh chopped rosemary. Place in shallow pan and bake 1 to 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature is 155. Remove from oven; let stand 10 minutes, slice and serve.

Accompany the pork with Savory Roasted Potatoes. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut 2 pounds red potatoes into chunks and arrange in a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 cup Dijon mustard, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 clove crushed garlic and 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Pour over potatoes and toss to coat.

Bake 35 to 40 minutes or until potatoes are tender and crisp, stirring occasionally. (You can make the potatoes ahead and store in the fridge; bring to room temperature before serving. Or reheat in microwave.) Serve with fresh broccoli and dinner rolls. For dessert, store-bought deep dish peach cobbler is all you need.

Plan ahead: Save enough pork and cobbler for Monday

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make sandwiches with leftover pork, using slices of focaccia, an Italian flatbread. Place leftover pork on the bread and top with a thin slice of red onion, a lettuce leaf and orange slices. Serve with Corn and Black Bean Salad. In a medium bowl, mix together 1 11-ounce can rinsed and drained corn with peppers and onion and 1 15-ounce can rinsed and drained black beans. Add 1/3 cup salsa, a little chopped cilantro and the juice of a half a lime. Toss and serve on a bed of salad greens. Finish with warmed leftover cobbler.

Tuesday/Kids

What kid can resist tempting Chicken Quesadillas (see recipe)? Adults might want to add chopped onions and sliced jalapeno peppers to their quesadillas. Canned vegetarian refried beans go well on the side. Pears are an easy dessert.

Wednesday/Budget

We're always ready for a good bowl of soup, especially if it's flavorful and economical like Beef Soup Provencal (see recipe). Serve with a green salad and multigrain rolls. Fresh fruit stars as dessert.

Thursday/Express

We tried a packaged couscous in wild mushroom flavor. I added about 1 cup cooked chopped chicken (any canned or frozen cooked chicken will work) to the couscous and in a matter of minutes had a tasty meal.

Serve with a packaged green salad and pita bread. Pineapple sherbet is a refreshing dessert to end an easy meal.

Plan ahead: Save enough sherbet for Friday.

Friday/Meatless

Skip the meat and enjoy Corn and Lima Bean Chowder (see recipe) tonight. Serve with a green salad and crackers. For dessert, chocolate chip cookies and leftover sherbet are simple.

Saturday/Entertaining

Guests will enjoy Asian Broiled Salmon. Heat broiler. Line a broiler pan with foil; coat pan's rack with cooking spray. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup each store-bought stir-fry sauce and fresh orange juice, and 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro. Reserve 3 tablespoons sauce.

Brush both sides of 4 1-inch-thick salmon steaks (6 to 8 ounces each) with nonreserved sauce; place on rack. Broil 5 minutes; turn and brush with the same sauce again. Broil 3 minutes longer or until fish is just opaque at center. Drizzle with reserved sauce.

Serve with Rice Florentine (see recipe). Add a red tip lettuce salad with a light vinaigrette; sprinkle with a little crumbled blue cheese. For dessert, Brandied Kiwi and Oranges (see recipe) is perfect.

Shopping list

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

Sunday

boneless pork roast

garlic pepper (or garlic powder and pepper)

fresh rosemary

red potatoes

cooking spray

Dijon mustard

olive oil

garlic

dried Italian seasoning

fresh broccoli

dinner rolls

store-bought deep dish peach cobbler

Monday

focaccia

red onion

lettuce

oranges

canned corn with peppers and onion

canned black beans

salsa

cilantro

lime

salad greens

Tuesday

package frozen cooked chopped chicken

salsa

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

fat-free flour tortillas

cooking spray

fat-free sour cream

onion and sliced jalapeno peppers (if desired)

canned vegetarian refried beans

pears

Wednesday

lean ground beef

canned white beans

vegetable broth

canned chopped tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano

herbs de Provence

fresh spinach

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

multigrain rolls

fresh fruit

Thursday

wild mushroom flavored couscous

cooked chicken breast (or canned or frozen cooked)

packaged green salad

pita bread

pineapple sherbet

Friday

margarine or butter

red potatoes

onion

celery

flour

skim milk

vegetable broth

frozen lima beans

dried thyme

salt

pepper

frozen corn

tomatoes

parsley

salad greens

crackers

chocolate chip cookies

Saturday

cooking spray

store-bought stir-fry sauce

oranges

cilantro

salmon steaks

fat-free chicken broth

garlic

long-grain rice

frozen chopped spinach

Dijon mustard

Parmesan cheese

red tip lettuce

light vinaigrette

crumbled blue cheese

sugar

store-bought sweet and sour stir-fry sauce

fresh ginger

cinnamon stick

kiwi

brandy

fresh mint

Chicken Quesadillas (Tuesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

1 9- or 10-ounce package cooked chopped chicken

2/3 cup salsa

1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese

8 8-inch fat-free flour tortillas

cooking spray

fat-free sour cream and extra salsa for garnish

chopped onions and sliced jalapeno peppers if desired

In a small bowl, combine chicken, salsa and cheese; mix well. Divide evenly among 4 tortillas; cover with other 4 tortillas.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Place 1 tortilla stack in skillet and cook 2 minutes; mash slightly and turn.

Cook 1 or 2 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. Recoat skillet and repeat with remaining tortilla stacks. Cut into wedges. Serve with fat-free sour cream and extra salsa. Add chopped onions and jalapeno peppers if desired.

Per serving: 373 calories, 26 grams protein, 8 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 64 milligrams cholesterol, 927 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Beef Soup Provencal (Wednesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

1 pound lean ground beef

1 15 ounce can rinsed and drained white beans

1 14 1/2 -ounce can vegetable broth

1 14 1/2 -ounce can chopped tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano with liquid

1/2 teaspoon dried crushed herbes de Provence (see note)

4 cups coarsely chopped fresh spinach

shredded Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large saucepan, brown meat over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well. Stir in beans, broth, tomatoes and herbes de Provence. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer uncovered, 5 minutes. Stir in spinach. Continue simmering 5 minutes. Sprinkle with cheese.

Note: If you don't have herbes de Provence, use 1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme and rosemary.

Per serving: 311 calories, 30 grams protein, 11 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 21 grams carbohydrate, 41 milligrams cholesterol, 967 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Corn and Lima Bean Chowder (Friday)

Makes about 10 cups

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

2 teaspoons margarine or butter

4 cups red potatoes cut into bite-size chunks

1 large chopped onion

1/2 cup sliced celery

1/3 cup flour

3 cups skim milk

3 cups vegetable broth

1 10-ounce package frozen lima beans

1/4 teaspoon each dried thyme, salt and pepper

1 16-ounce package frozen corn

chopped tomatoes and chopped parsley for garnish

In a Dutch oven, melt margarine or butter. Add potatoes, onion, and celery.

Cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes or until vegetables are softened.

Spoon flour into a small bowl, add milk and whisk to blend. Add flour mixture to pot along with broth, lima beans, thyme, salt and pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add corn; simmer 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Garnish each serving with chopped tomatoes and chopped parsley.

Per cup: 181 calories, 8 grams protein, 2 grams fat (8 percent calories from fat), 0.3 grams saturated fat, 36 grams carbohydrate, 1 milligram cholesterol, 464 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Rice Florentine (Saturday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

1 14 1/2 -ounce can fat-free chicken broth

1 clove crushed garlic

1 cup long-grain rice

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well-drained

3 tablespoons Dijon mustard

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

In a medium saucepan, heat chicken broth and garlic over high heat to boiling. Stir in rice; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 12 minutes. Discard garlic. Stir in spinach and mustard; return to simmer. Cover; simmer 6 to 8 minutes or until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Stir in cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 150 calories, 6 grams protein, 2 grams fat (10 percent calories from fat), 0.5 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 2 milligrams cholesterol, 401 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Brandied Kiwi and Oranges (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 5 minutes

1/2 cup water

1/4 cup sugar

2 tablespoons sweet and sour stir-fry sauce

4 thin slices fresh ginger

1 3-inch cinnamon stick

4 peeled and thinly sliced oranges

3 peeled and thinly sliced kiwi

2 tablespoons brandy

mint leaves for garnish

In a small saucepan, combine water, sugar, stir-fry sauce, ginger and cinnamon. Bring to boil; cook 3 minutes.

Remove and discard ginger and cinnamon. Chill. In medium bowl, combine oranges, kiwi and brandy. Let stand 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Pour off brandy and add to chilled ginger syrup. Divide fruit among 4 dessert bowls; pour syrup over fruit. Garnish with mint leaves.

Per serving: 174 calories, 2 grams protein, 1 gram fat (2 percent calories from fat), no saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 44 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

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

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