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 menu 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 1quick.

Sunday/Family

Serve this Savory Pork Roast for a family feast. Remove visible fat from a 3- or 4-pound boneless pork loin roast. Rub a split garlic clove over roast. Combine 1 teaspoon each dried rosemary and dried sage and 1/2 teaspoon salt; mix well and rub over roast. Place trimmed side up on a rack in shallow roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, at 325 degrees (do not preheat oven) 26 to 31 minutes per pound or to 155 degrees internal temperature. Cover and let stand 15 minutes. Meanwhile, skim fat from pan; discard. Add 3/4 cup apple juice to pan and deglaze pan over medium-high heat to reduce liquid to about half. Serve the sauce with the roast. Accompany the roast with Rice with Black-Eyed Peas and Corn (see recipe). Add a mixed green salad and multi-grain rolls. A fresh fruit cup is a light dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough pork and rice for Monday.

Monday/Heat and Eat

Celebrate Memorial Day with a barbecued pork sandwich. Spoon leftover shredded pork on a sesame seed bun, top with your favorite warm barbecue sauce and add sliced pickles if you like. Serve with deli coleslaw and leftover rice salad. Store-bought apple pie is the perfect celebration dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough pie for Tuesday.

Tuesday/Kids

Liz Barclay of Annapolis knows how to win prizes and to make kids happy, too, with her Southwestern Chicken Biscuits (see recipe). Serve the biscuits with canned pinto beans and carrot sticks. Top leftover pie with fat-free vanilla ice cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save any leftover carrot sticks and enough ice cream for Wednesday.

Wednesday/Meatless

Vegetable Lovers Spaghetti (see recipe) says it all. Serve with a green salad and garlic bread. Spoon strawberry sauce over leftover ice cream for dessert.

Plan ahead: Save enough strawberry sauce for Thursday and Saturday.

Thursday/Express

Pick up frozen pirogies and a 16-ounce bag of coleslaw mix as you dash through the market. In a nonstick skillet, saute the slaw mix with a little olive oil for 5 minutes or until softened; add salt and pepper to taste. Cook the pirogies according to directions; drain. Spoon the cooked slaw over the pirogies and top with reduced-fat sour cream. Serve green beans on the side along with whole wheat rolls. Make instant chocolate pudding with skim milk and top the pudding with leftover strawberry sauce.

Friday/Budget

Who says you can't have steak on a budget? This Salisbury Steak says you can have your steak and save your money, too. In a medium bowl, mix together a 1/2 pound each lean ground beef and ground turkey breast and 1 packet onion soup mix (from 2-ounce box). Shape into 4 (1/2 inch thick) oval patties. Heat a large, nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add patties and cook 1 1/2 minutes or until bottoms are browned, turn and cook 1 1/2 more minutes. Add 1 (12-ounce) jar au jus or brown gravy and 3/4 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring to a simmer, cover and cook 7 minutes, or until cooked through, turning patties once. Serve with your own mashed potatoes and any mixed vegetables. Add any biscuits. For dessert, serve sliced peaches and oatmeal cookies.

Saturday/Easy Entertaining

Make Thai Chicken with Rice (see recipe) for guests tonight. Serve it on your prettiest platter. Add a green salad and crusty bread. Wow your guests with Baked Alaska (see recipe) to continue your travel adventure.

TIP: Look for chili-garlic paste in Asian markets or large supermarkets. If you can't find it, Stella Fong, who teaches Chinese cooking, substitutes 1 teaspoon chili paste with 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes and 2 or 3 cloves minced garlic.

SHOPPING LIST:

Sunday boneless pork loin roast

garlic

dried rosemary

dried sage

salt

apple juice

cooking spray

onion

fat-free chicken broth

Worcestershire sauce

dried thyme

cayenne pepper

long-grain rice

frozen corn

canned black-eyed peas

parsley

salad greens

multi-grain rolls

fresh fruit

Monday

sesame seed buns

barbecue sauce

sliced pickles

deli coleslaw

store-bought apple pie

Tuesday

cooking spray

refrigerated flaky biscuits

frozen, cooked Southwestern-seasoned (or plain) chicken breast strips

canned chopped green chilies

shredded Monterey Jack cheese

instant minced onion

chunky salsa

fresh cilantro if desired

canned pinto beans

carrot sticks

fat-free vanilla ice cream

Wednesday

spaghetti

fresh broccoli florets

carrots

fresh sugar snap peas

celery

store-bought spaghetti sauce

Parmesan cheese

salad greens

garlic bread

strawberry sauce

Thursday

frozen pirogies

packaged coleslaw mix

olive oil

salt

pepper

reduced-fat sour cream

green beans

whole wheat rolls

instant chocolate pudding skim milk

Friday

lean ground beef

ground turkey breast

packet onion soup mix

jar au jus or brown gravy

dried thyme

potatoes to mash

any mixed vegetables

any biscuits

peaches

oatmeal cookies

Saturday

canned low-fat coconut milk

salt

long-grain rice

reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

soy sauce

chili-garlic

paste

dark sesame oil

boneless, skinless chicken breasts

scallions

red bell pepper

salad greens

crusty bread

store-bought, fat-free pound cake

fat-free strawberry ice cream

eggs

sugar

Rice with Black-Eyed Peas and Rice (Sunday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: about 25 minutes

cooking spray

1 medium chopped onion

1 clove minced garlic

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

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

3/4 cup cooked long-grain rice

1 cup frozen and thawed corn

1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black-eyed peas chopped parsley for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook onion and garlic 5 minutes or until softened. Add broth, Worcestershire sauce, thyme and cayenne. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and stir in rice. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Add corn, peas and mix well; cover and cook 8 to 10 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Spoon into serving dish and garnish with parsley.

Per serving: 134 calories, 5 grams protein, no fat, calories from fat or saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 231 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Liz Barclay's Southwestern Chicken Biscuits (Tuesday)

Makes 20 biscuits

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 13 to 18 minutes plus biscuits

cooking spray

2 (12-ounce) cans refrigerated flaky biscuits

1 (9-ounce) package frozen, cooked Southwestern-seasoned (or plain) chicken breast strips, thawed and diced

1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chilies

1 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese (4 ounces)

1 tablespoon instant minced onion

1 cup chunky salsa fresh cilantro sprigs for garnish if desired

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 20 muffin cups with cooking spray. Separate dough into 20 biscuits. Place 1 biscuit in each sprayed muffin cup; press to cover bottom and sides of cup. In medium bowl, combine chicken, chilies, cheese, onion and salsa; mix well. Spoon 2 tablespoons mixture into each dough-lined cup; gently press mixture with back of spoon. Bake 13 to 18 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Remove from muffin cups. Serve warm garnished with cilantro sprig if desired.

Per biscuit cup: 142 calories, 6 grams protein, 7 grams fat (41 percent calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 555 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Vegetable Lovers Spaghetti (Wednesday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: 25 to 30 minutes plus spaghetti

10 ounces spaghetti

3 1/2 cups fresh broccoli florets

1 cup sliced carrots

1/2 cup each fresh sugar snap peas and sliced celery

2 cups store-bought spaghetti sauce

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to directions. On an 18-inch-by-24-inch sheet of heavy-duty aluminum foil combine broccoli, carrots, peas, celery and spaghetti sauce. Double fold ends and top and seal to make a packet, leaving room for heat to circulate. Bake 25 to 30 minutes on a cookie sheet. Remove from oven and open away from your face, stir the mixture and spoon over spaghetti. Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Per serving: 385 calories, 14 grams protein, 3 grams fat (8 percent calories from fat), 0.2 grams saturated fat, 76 grams carbohydrate, 0 cholesterol, 664 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Thai Chicken (Saturday)

Makes 8 servings

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time: about 20 minutes plus rice

2 (14-ounce) cans low-fat coconut milk, divided

2 cups water

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 cups long-grain rice

1/3 cup reduced-fat creamy peanut butter

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 to 3 teaspoons chili-garlic paste

2 tablespoons dark sesame oil

4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 1-inch cubes (about 1 pound)

6 diagonally sliced scallions

2 medium red bell peppers, cut into thin strips

In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, bring 2 cups coconut milk, the water and salt to boil. Stir in rice; cover reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes. In another medium bowl, whisk together remaining coconut milk, peanut butter, soy sauce and chili-garlic paste until blended. In a large nonstick skillet or wok, heat oil over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add chicken and stir-fry 4 to 5 minutes or until browned. Add scallions and bell pepper. Cook, covered, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add peanut butter mixture, and bring to boil. Cook, stirring constantly, 4 minutes. Spoon rice onto platter and top with chicken. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 396 calories, 20 grams protein, 13 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 4.9 grams saturated fat, 47 grams carbohydrate, 33 milligrams cholesterol, 684 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Baked Alaska (Saturday)

Makes 4 servings

Preparation time: about 10 minutes

Cooking time: 4 or 5 minutes; Freezing time: 1 to 24 hours

4 (1 inch thick) slices fat-free pound cake

2 tablespoons (leftover) strawberry sauce

4 1/2 cup scoops fat-free strawberry ice cream

4 egg whites

1/2 cup sugar

Place pound cake 4 inches apart on a cookie sheet. Brush top with leftover strawberry sauce. Place ice cream in center of cake slice, not extending over sides. Freeze 1 to 24 hours. Heat oven to 450 degrees. In large bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Gradually add sugar until meringue has stiff, shiny peaks. Quickly spread meringue over ice cream and cake and cover completely. Use spoon to make decorative swirls. Bake 4 or 5 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Transfer to serving plates, serve immediately and take a bow.

Per serving: 361 calories, 10 grams protein, no fat, calories from fat or saturated fat, 81 grams carbohydrate, 0 cholesterol, 267 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

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

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