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

Make the family meal a simple one and serve store-bought smoked turkey. Add deli potato salad and stir in 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish for a different flavor. While you're in the deli, add coleslaw to the list. Add multi-grain rolls, too. For dessert, make Pear Crisp (see recipe) and top it with fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Plan ahead: Save enough turkey, potato salad, coleslaw, crisp and ice cream for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Make Smoked Turkey and Swiss Wraps (see recipe) using turkey leftovers. Add leftover potato salad to the menu. Dice 1/2 red bell pepper and stir into the leftover cole slaw. Warm leftover crisp in the microwave and top with leftover ice cream. Wow, that was easy.

Tuesday/Budget

Make Minutes Meat Loaf (see recipe) and save time and money. Make the family really happy and serve your own mashed potatoes. Add steamed fresh green beans and whole wheat rolls. Fresh pineapple chunks sprinkled with coconut is a tropical-like dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough meat loaf for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Express

It's a hurry-up supper with spaghetti and meat sauce for everyone. Crumble and stir 2 servings (or more) leftover meat loaf into store-bought spaghetti sauce. Heat and spoon over cooked spaghetti. Grate fresh Parmesan cheese over sauce. Add a packaged green salad and garlic bread from the bakery. Try the new Nestle's (or another brand) refrigerated Toll House Cookies for your secret homemade dessert. The 18-ounce packages are about $2.89 and make 20 cookies. You just break each cookie apart and bake what you need. I needed all 20.

Plan ahead: Save enough cookies for Thursday.

Thursday/Kids

These Mexican Pizzas (see recipe) are kid-proof. Serve rice and a chopped lettuce and cherry tomato salad to accompany the pizzas. For dessert, fruit and leftover cookies are standing by.

Friday/Meatless

I took a few liberties with Virginia Beach, Va., prize-winner Connie Weis' Black Bean Enchilada Casserole (see recipe): I took out the meat and substituted frozen, cooked, crumbled vegetable protein instead. It saves lots of fat and calories most of us don't need anyway. Serve with avocado slices on lettuce. Make instant vanilla pudding with skim milk for dessert and top with caramel sauce.

Plan ahead: Save enough caramel sauce for Saturday.

Saturday/Entertaining

Who will the lucky guests be when you serve Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (see recipe)? Serve with your own roasted potatoes, carrots and onions, and a romaine salad. Add sourdough bread. For dessert, drizzle warm leftover caramel sauce over store-bought brownies.

SHOPPING LIST:

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

Sunday

store-bought smoked turkey

deli potato salad

prepared horseradish

coleslaw

multi-grain rolls

Anjou or Bosc pears, lemon

flour

light brown sugar

cinnamon

margarine or butter

pecans fat-free vanilla ice cream

Monday

fat-free flour tortillas

Dijon mustard

low-fat mayonnaise

reduced-fat Swiss cheese tomatoes, lettuce, red bell pepper

Tuesday

ground turkey breast, lean ground beef

any store-bought stuffing mix

eggs

barbecue sauce, potatoes to mash

fresh green beans

whole wheat rolls

fresh pineapple

coconut

Wednesday

store-bought

spaghetti sauce

spaghetti

Parmesan cheese

packaged green salad

garlic bread

Nestle's (or another brand)

refrigerated Toll House cookies

Thursday

fat-free flour tortillas

cooking spray

mild salsa

canned vegetarian refried beans

cooked, refrigerated or frozen, chopped chicken breast

reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

lettuce

red bell pepper

rice

cherry tomatoes

fruit

Friday

frozen, cooked, crumbled

vegetable protein

taco seasoning mix

vegetable oil

onion

garlic

canned black beans

enchilada sauce

canned chopped green chilies

reduced-fat sour cream

fat-free tortillas

reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese

goat cheese, chunky salsa

scallions

avocados, lettuce, instant vanilla pudding, skim milk, caramel sauce

Saturday

bacon, top round or flank steak, salt pepper frozen, chopped spinach

Parmesan cheese potatoes, carrots and onions to roast

romaine lettuce sourdough bread store-bought brownies

Recipes:

Pear Crisp (Sunday)

Makes 6 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 8 to 10 minutes

Standing time: 5 minutes

4 cups peeled, cored and sliced Anjou or Bosc pears (about 1 1/2 pounds)

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1/4 cup each flour and packed light brown sugar

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons margarine or butter

2 tablespoons chopped pecans

Put pears in a 8- or 9-inch shallow baking dish. Pour lemon juice over pears and toss to coat. In a small bowl, blend the flour, sugar, cinnamon and margarine or butter with a fork or pastry blender. Add nuts and mix well. Sprinkle mixture over pears and microwave, uncovered, on high (100 percent power) 8 to 10 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 5 minutes. Serve warm.

Per serving: 170 calories, 1 g. protein, 6 g. fat (30 percent calories from fat), 0.8 g. saturated fat, 31 g. carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 48 milligrams sodium, 3 g. fiber.

Turkey and Swiss Wraps (Monday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

4 (8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas

4 teaspoons each Dijon mustard and low-fat mayonnaise.

4 (1 to 2 ounces) slices smoked turkey

4 (1 ounce) slices reduced-fat Swiss cheese

2 thinly sliced tomatoes shredded lettuce

Place tortillas on a flat surface. Spread with mustard and mayonnaise. Layer slices of turkey, cheese, tomatoes and lettuce on tortillas. Roll tortilla and serve.

Per serving: 277 calories, 17 grams protein, 7 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 4.2 grams saturated fat, 34 grams carbohydrate, 32 milligrams cholesterol, 857 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Minutes Meat Loaf (Tuesday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 35 minutes

Standing time: 5 minutes

1 pound each ground turkey breast and lean ground beef

1 (6 ounce) package any store-bought stuffing mix

1 cup water

1 slightly beaten whole egg

2 slightly beaten egg whites

1/2 cup barbecue sauce, divided

Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together turkey and beef, stuffing mix, water, egg and egg whites and 1/4 cup barbecue sauce. Shape mixture into 2 oval loaves and place side by side in a 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish. Divide remaining 1/4 cup barbecue sauce and spread evenly between the 2 loaves. Bake 35 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from oven, let stand 5 minutes covered. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 267 calories, 30 grams protein, 7 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 17 grams carbohydrate, 86 milligrams cholesterol, 549 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Mexican Pizza (Thursday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes, 8 (8 inch) fat-free flour tortillas (1 ounce each)

cooking spray

1 cup mild salsa , 1 (16 ounce) can vegetarian refried beans

1 (9 or 10 ounce) package cooked, chopped chicken breast , 2 cups reduced-fat shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup shredded lettuce, 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper

Heat broiler. Coat both side of each tortilla lightly with cooking spray. Place on baking sheet. Broil until slightly toasted, flip and toast other side. (Don't leave town, it takes only a few minutes to toast.) Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a medium bowl, combine salsa and beans and mix well. For pizzas, divide half tomato-bean mixture and chicken among 4 tortillas. Top each tortilla with 1/4 cup cheese. Top with remaining 4 tortillas, tomato-bean mixture and chicken. End with the cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until heated through. Top with lettuce and bell pepper.

Per serving: 283 calories, 25 grams protein, 7 grams fat (22 percent calories from fat), 3.6 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 44 milligrams cholesterol, 752 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Bean Enchilada Casserole (Friday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: about 15 minutes

1 (12 ounce) package frozen, cooked, crumbled vegetable protein

1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix

2/3 cups water

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 minced garlic cloves, 1 (15 ounce) can rinsed and drained black beans

1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce

1 (4 ounce) can drained chopped green chilies

1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream

8 (8 inch) fat-free flour tortillas (1 ounce each)

1 cup shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese , 3 ounces crumbled goat cheese

1 cup chunky salsa

3 sliced scallions

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, combine vegetable crumbles, taco mix and water; mix well. Cook 3 or 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, to blend flavors. Meanwhile, heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat until hot. Add onion and garlic; cook and stir 3 to 4 minutes or until tender. Add beans, enchilada sauce and green chilies; mix well. Bring to boil, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream. Spoon taco seasoned mixture down center of each tortilla. Roll; place seam side down in a 12-inch-by-8-inch baking dish. Spoon bean and enchilada sauce mixture over tortillas. Sprinkle with cheeses. Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until cheeses are melted and casserole is thoroughly heated. Remove from oven. Spoon salsa down center of casserole; sprinkle with scallions.

Per serving: 358 calories, 26 grams protein, 9 grams fat (24 percent calories from fat), 4.9 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 23 milligrams cholesterol, 1451 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Spinach-Stuffed Flank Steak (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: less than 20 minutes

4 slices bacon

1 (1 to 1 1/2 pound) top round or flank steak

dash salt and pepper

1 (10 ounce) package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Microwave bacon on high (100 percent power) 2 or 3 minutes, until done, but not crisp; drain on paper towels. Score meat by making shallow diagonal cuts at 1-inch intervals in a diamond pattern. Repeat on other side. Place meat between 2 pieces plastic wrap. Using flat side of meat mallet, starting at center and working to edges, pound steak into a 12-inch-by-8-inch rectangle. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange bacon lengthwise on steak. Spread spinach over bacon. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Roll from short side. Secure with wooden toothpicks at 1-inch intervals, starting 1/2 inch from one end. Cut between toothpicks into eight 1-inch thick slices. Heat broiler. Place slices, cut sides down on unheated rack of broiler pan. Broil 3 to 4 inches from heat 12 to 16 minutes for medium, turning once. Remove toothpicks before serving. -- Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook-11th Edition, Meredith, $25.95, 1996.

Per serving: 233 calories, 33 grams protein, 9 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 3 grams carbohydrate, 81 milligrams cholesterol, 321 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. Her E-mail address is menuplanner@mindspring.com.

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