7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For October 12, 2014

Sunday Family

The combination of apples and pork is perfect for a fall family dinner, so enjoy these AUTUMN-GLAZED PORK CHOPS. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil on medium-high in a large nonstick skillet until hot. Brown 6 (3/4-inch) boneless pork loin chops sprinkled with pepper 2 to 3 minutes on each side. Add 1/3 cup apple cider or juice. Cover tightly; cook on low 4 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. Let stand 3 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine 2/3 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce, 2 tablespoons each honey and frozen orange juice concentrate, and 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and nutmeg. Pour over chops; continue to cook 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Add your RICE PILAF, GREEN BEANS, deli COLESLAW and BISCUITS to your meal. Buy a CHOCOLATE LAYER CAKE for dessert and skip most of the icing.

Cook chops in two batches if necessary.

Save two pork chops for Monday; save enough coleslaw and cake for Tuesday, and some green beans for Wednesday.

Shopping List

canola oil, boneless pork loin chops, pepper, apple cider or juice, canned whole-berry cranberry sauce, honey, frozen orange juice concentrate, ground ginger, nutmeg, rice pilaf, green beans, deli coleslaw, biscuits, chocolate layer cake.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the leftovers for SAUERKRAUT WITH PORK AND APPLES. Rinse and drain 4 cups refrigerated sauerkraut; place in microwave container. Chop leftover cooked pork chops; add chops and 1/2 sliced apple to kraut and mix. Cover and microwave on medium (50 percent power) 10 minutes or until hot. Stir occasionally. Serve with brown mustard.

On the side, add STEAMED CARROTS and RYE BREAD. For dessert, GINGERSNAPS are easy.

Shopping List

refrigerated sauerkraut, apple, brown mustard, carrots, rye bread, gingersnaps.

Tuesday Express

Dinner will be quick tonight because you're having CHICKEN FAJITAS. In a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil over medium-high and cook 1 (16-ounce) package frozen bell pepper stir-fry mix (partially thawed) for 1 minute. Add 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package cooked, sliced chicken breast and 1/3 cup stir-fry sauce; cook 3 minutes. Spoon into 4 large, heated fat-free flour tortillas, roll and eat.

Serve with canned reduced-sodium BLACK BEANS and leftover COLESLAW. Dessert is leftover CAKE.

Shopping List

canola oil, frozen bell pepper stir-fry mix, packaged cooked, sliced chicken breast, stir-fry sauce, large fat-free flour tortillas, canned reduced-sodium black beans.

Wednesday Kids

Make kids' night steak night with this economical SWISS STEAK. Nothing is better with steak than your MASHED POTATOES and some frozen PEAS. Add a few CELERY STICKS to munch on and SOFT ROLLS, too. Dessert is fresh PINEAPPLE.

Shopping List

canola oil, flour, coarse salt, pepper, cube (or minute) steaks, canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce, fresh parsley, green bell pepper, potatoes to mash, frozen peas, celery sticks, soft rolls, fresh pineapple.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cubed (or minute) steaks (about 1 pound)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch slices

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat; add oil. In shallow dish, mix flour, salt and pepper to taste. Blot both sides of steaks with paper towel. Coat each side of steaks with flour; shake off excess. Brown meat on both sides (about 5 minutes total). Meanwhile, mix tomatoes, Worcestershire sauce and 2 tablespoons parsley. After meat is browned, add tomato mixture to skillet; bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and cook 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add bell pepper; cover and cook about 5 more minutes or until meat is done and peppers are softened. Place meat on serving platter; spoon sauce over. Garnish with remaining parsley. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 214 calories, 27 grams protein, 6 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 58 milligrams cholesterol, 311 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Thursday Meatless

Call it comfort food or call it delicious, THREE-CHEESE PASTA is both. Add a SPINACH SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Make dessert light with PEARS.

Shopping List

cooking spray, penne, rigatoni or ziti pasta, red bell pepper, green onions, butter, flour, coarse salt, white or black pepper, skim milk, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh spinach, whole-grain rolls, pears.


Makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 40 minutes
  • 2 1/2 cups penne, rigatoni or ziti pasta
  • 1 chopped red bell pepper
  • 3 thinly sliced green onions
  • 3 tablespoons each butter and flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon each coarse salt and white or black pepper
  • 2 cups skim milk
  • 1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded Monterey Jack cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart baking dish with cooking spray. Cook pasta according to directions; set aside. Microwave the pepper and onions on high (100 percent power) for 3 minutes, covered. Set aside. Place butter in 2-quart container and microwave on medium (50 percent power) about 3 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Whisk in milk. Cover and microwave on high about 5 minutes; stir after 2 minutes, and then stir again occasionally until thickened. Stir in the cheeses until they melt. Drain pasta and add to cheese mixture along with vegetables and mix well. Pour into baking dish and bake 30 minutes or until golden brown on top.

Per serving: 347 calories, 19 grams protein, 14 grams fat (36 percent calories from fat), 8.5 grams saturated fat, 38 grams carbohydrate, 40 milligrams cholesterol, 361 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Friday Budget

Save some money with CHICKEN-ONION BURGERS. Mix together 2 pounds ground chicken, 1 envelope dehydrated onion soup mix and 1/2 cup water. Form into 8 patties. Grill or broil 6 minutes on each side or until cooked through (165 degrees). Serve on sesame seed buns spread with low-fat mayonnaise and top with lettuce. Add TOMATO SOUP and deli CARROT SALAD. TAPIOCA PUDDING is your dessert.

Shopping List

ground chicken, dehydrated onion soup mix, sesame seed buns, low-fat mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato soup, deli carrot salad, tapioca pudding.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Entertain your guests with SHRIMP CREOLE tonight. Add a MIXED GREENS SALAD and BAGUETTES.

This FRUIT PARFAIT is as pretty as it is delicious. Drain 2 1/2 cups fat-free vanilla yogurt in a white paper towel-lined strainer set over a bowl for 2 hours. Place the solids in a bowl and discard the liquid. Stir 5 tablespoons apricot spreadable fruit (such as Polaner) into the solids. Place half the yogurt mixture in 4 stemmed dessert dishes. Top with light whipped cream. Mix together 1 peeled chopped apple and 1 chopped pear; spoon half the mixture into the 4 dishes on top of whipped cream. Sprinkle each dish with 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped walnuts. Repeat layers once. Garnish with more whipped cream and walnuts.

Shopping List

cooking spray, rice, canned diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, green bell pepper, celery, onion, light or low-sodium Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere), light-brown sugar, dried oregano, medium raw shrimp, salad greens, baguettes, fat-free vanilla yogurt, apricot spreadable fruit, light whipped cream, apple, pear, walnuts.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 15 minutes, plus rice
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion
  • 1 medium chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup sliced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon light or low-sodium Creole seasoning (such as Tony Chachere)
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons packed light-brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 pound medium raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat 4 sheets heavy-duty foil (each 12 by 18 inches) with cooking spray. Combine cooked rice, tomatoes, green pepper, celery, onion, Creole seasoning, brown sugar and oregano; mix well. Stir in shrimp. Divide mixture and spoon onto foil sheets. Bring up foil sides. Double-fold tops and ends to seal, leaving room for heat circulation inside. Bake 14 to 16 minutes on baking sheet.

Per serving: 317 calories, 27 grams protein, 1 gram fat (3 percent calories from fat), 0.2 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 183 milligrams cholesterol, 324 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.