7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For October 19, 2014

Sunday Family


For dessert, CHOCOLATE MALT ICE CREAM CAKE will win many fans. Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, long sides touching, on a serving plate. Spread an even layer of light whipped cream over top. Scatter with 1/3 cup chopped malted milk balls. Repeat layers twice, garnishing top with a few whole malt balls. Freeze 6 hours or until firm. Slice and serve.

Save enough turkey and cake for Monday.

Shopping List

turkey breast, olive oil, onion, arborio rice, fresh spinach, fat-free chicken broth, coarse salt, nutmeg, parmesan cheese, fresh asparagus, salad greens, crusty bread, ice cream sandwiches, light whipped cream, malted milk balls.


Makes 10 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 40 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 8 cups fresh spinach with stems removed (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (2 ounces), divided
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh asparagus, diagonally sliced

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add onion; cook 4 minutes or until tender. Add rice; stir well. Stir in spinach, broth, salt and nutmeg. Bring to a simmer; cook 7 minutes. Stir in 1/4 cup cheese. Cover and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Stir in asparagus; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Cover and bake an additional 15 minutes or until liquid is almost absorbed.

Per serving: 117 calories, 5 grams protein, 3 grams fat (25 percent calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 360 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make TURKEY WRAPS with the leftover turkey. For 1 wrap, spread 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cream cheese over half of 1 (9-inch) spinach or tomato-basil flour tortilla. Spread other half with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Top with sliced cooked turkey breast, sliced tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped lettuce, 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese and some chopped fresh basil. Wrap tightly and cut diagonally.

Serve with deli COLESLAW. Slice the leftover CAKE for dessert.

Shopping List

reduced-fat cream cheese, spinach or tomato-basil flour tortillas, Dijon mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, Monterey Jack cheese, fresh basil, deli coleslaw.

Tuesday Meatless

Use corn tortillas instead of the traditional pasta, and you have MEXICAN LAYERED LASAGNA. Heat oven to 375 degrees. From 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Muir Glen), spoon one-third of tomatoes on bottom of 1 1/2-quart baking dish. Arrange 3 corn tortillas over tomatoes, cutting them to cover bottom. Top with 1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese and one-third of 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium black beans. Repeat layers twice. Cover loosely with foil and bake 35 minutes. Remove foil; bake 10 more minutes or until bubbly.

Serve with a SPINACH SALAD. Sliced KIWIFRUIT is dessert.

Shopping List

canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes with green chiles (such as Muir Glen), corn tortillas, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, canned reduced-sodium black beans, fresh spinach, kiwifruit.

Wednesday Budget

You won't take any lip for saving money with SASSY SALMON BURGERS. Top the burgers with sliced avocado, sliced tomato and chopped lettuce and serve on toasted whole-grain hamburger buns. Serve with POTATO WEDGES (frozen). Fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are perfect for dessert.

Shopping List

canned salmon, toasted wheat germ (such as Kretschmer), green onions, eggs, reduced-fat mayonnaise, coarse salt, hot pepper sauce, canola oil, avocado, tomato, lettuce, whole-grain hamburger buns, frozen potato wedges, fresh pineapple.


makes 5 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 10 minutes
  • 1 (14 3/4-ounce) can salmon, drained, skin and bones removed
  • 1 cup toasted wheat germ, divided (such as Kretschmer)
  • 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
  • 3 egg whites, divided
  • 4 tablespoons water, divided
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil

In medium bowl, combine salmon, 1/2 cup wheat germ and onions. In small bowl, beat together 2 egg whites, 2 tablespoons water, mayonnaise, salt and hot pepper sauce. Add to salmon mixture; mix well. Shape into 5 patties, each about 1-inch thick. In shallow dish, place remaining 1/2 cup wheat germ. In second shallow dish, beat remaining egg white with remaining 2 tablespoons water until frothy. Dip each patty in wheat germ, then in egg white mixture, then again in wheat germ. In large nonstick skillet, heat canola oil. Cook patties over medium heat 3 to 4 minutes on each side or until golden and heated through.

Per serving: 258 calories, 28 grams protein, 11 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 71 milligrams cholesterol, 491 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Thursday Express

Make it quick tonight with CAJUN SAUSAGE AND RICE. Boil 3 1/2 cups water in a large pan. Add 1 (8-ounce) package red beans and rice mixture (such as Zatarain's); reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet. Add 2 red or green bell peppers (or one of each) cut into bite-size pieces; cook on medium-high for 5 minutes or until lightly charred in a few places. Add 4 fully cooked, sliced spicy beef sausages (from a 14-ounce package) and cook 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Place mixture on rice; do not stir. Cover and simmer 10 minutes or until rice is tender. Stir to mix; garnish with sliced green onions if desired.

Serve with a GREEN SALAD and CORNBREAD (from a mix). For dessert, try CHUNKY APPLESAUCE.

Shopping List

packaged red beans and rice mixture (such as Zatarain's), canola oil, red or green bell peppers, fully cooked spicy beef sausages, green onions, salad greens, cornbread mix, chunky applesauce.

Friday Kids

Get the kids ready for Halloween with BLACK BEAN AND PUMPKIN SOUP and GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES. Munch on a few BABY CARROTS on the side.

Keep the goblins away with CREEPY CRAWLY SPIDER CUPCAKES. Prepare 1 (2-layer size) package chocolate cake mix according to directions, adding 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Bake as directed for cupcakes. Frost cupcakes with 1 (16-ounce) container prepared chocolate frosting, mounding frosting in center to create dome shape. Sprinkle with chocolate sprinkles. Cut string licorice into 2-inch-long strips; use for spider legs. Use frosting to stick candy-coated pieces to the flat side of chocolate chips for eyes. Boo!

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium black beans, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, canola oil, onions, garlic, coarse salt, black pepper, cumin, fat-free chicken broth, canned pumpkin, reduced-fat sour cream, bread and cheese for sandwiches, baby carrots, 2-layer size chocolate cake mix, vanilla extract, prepared chocolate frosting, chocolate sprinkles, string licorice, candy-coated pieces, flat chocolate chips.


Makes about 13 cups
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 35 minutes
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 teaspoons cumin
  • 4 1/2 cups fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 (16-ounce) can pumpkin
  • Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish

In a blender, puree beans and tomatoes in several batches. In a large pan, heat oil on medium. Add onion, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin; cook 6 minutes or until onion is softened and light brown. Stir in beans and tomato puree. Add broth and pumpkin; mix well. Simmer 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream.

Per cup: 122 calories, 7 grams protein, 2 grams fat (10 percent calories from fat), 0.1 gram saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 421 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Prepare STEAK WITH PEPPERCORN WINE SAUCE for your lucky guests. Heat a large heavy skillet coated with cooking spray on medium for 5 minutes. Place 4 beef round or tenderloin steaks (cut 1-inch thick) in skillet and cook 8 to 10 minutes for rare to medium, turning once.

Meanwhile, dissolve 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch in 1 cup lower-sodium beef broth in a small pan. Bring to boil and cook 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Stir in 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme and 1 small bay leaf. Reduce heat to medium and cook 5 minutes or until mixture is reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in 2 tablespoons dry red wine and 1/8 teaspoon crushed peppercorns; cook 3 minutes. Remove bay leaf. Spoon sauce over steaks.


Shopping List

beef round or tenderloin steaks, cornstarch, lower-sodium beef broth, dried thyme, bay leaf, dry red wine, peppercorns, red potatoes, romaine, whole-grain rolls, lemon meringue pie.