7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For November 23, 2014

Sunday Family

Take the family on a culinary trip and enjoy SOUTHWESTERN PORK KEBABS. In a resealable plastic bag, toss together 8 boneless top-loin pork chops (cut into 1-inch cubes), 8 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix, 1 red bell pepper (cut into 1-inch pieces) and 1 large onion (cut into 1-inch pieces) until evenly coated. Alternately thread pork cubes with pepper and onion onto 8 skewers. Grill on medium-high 8 to 10 minutes, turning occasionally, or until pork is browned and reaches 145 degrees.

Serve with MARMALADE SWEET POTATOES. Cook 2 medium, peeled sweet potatoes (cut into bite-size pieces) in water to cover for 15 minutes or until tender; drain. Stir in 2 tablespoons orange marmalade and 1 tablespoon butter and toss to coat.

On the side, add GREEN PEAS (frozen), a MIXED GREENS SALAD and DINNER ROLLS to your meal. For dessert, top GINGERBREAD (from a mix) with light WHIPPED CREAM.

Prepare enough kebabs and save some gingerbread for Monday.

Shopping List

boneless top-loin pork chops, reduced-sodium taco seasoning mix, red bell pepper, onion, sweet potatoes, orange marmalade, butter, frozen green peas, salad greens, dinner rolls, gingerbread mix, light whipped cream.

Monday Heat and Eat

STUFFED PITAS will be quick and easy. Heat leftover kebabs; chop and stuff them into whole-grain pitas spread with honey-mustard dressing. Serve with RICE tossed with fresh chopped parsley. Alongside, add SLICED CUCUMBERS in cider vinegar. Warm the leftover GINGERBREAD for dessert.

Shopping List

whole-grain pitas, honey-mustard dressing, rice, fresh parsley, cucumbers, cider vinegar.

Tuesday Kids

BAKED PASTA has "kids" written all over it with its mild flavor and simple preparation. Serve it with CARROT and CELERY STICKS and SOFT ROLLS. For dessert, make instant CHOCOLATE PUDDING with 1 percent milk and let the kids stir sliced bananas into the pudding.

Shopping List

cooking spray, 95 percent lean ground beef, onion, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, jar no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce, refrigerated vegetable- or herb-filled tortellini, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, fresh parsley, carrot and celery sticks, soft rolls, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, bananas.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 45 minutes
  • 1/2 pound 95 percent lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 (24- to 26-ounce) jar no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated vegetable- or herb-filled tortellini
  • 1/2 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • Chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large nonstick skillet, cook beef, onion and garlic on medium for 8 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain well and season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in pasta sauce and water. Arrange tortellini evenly on bottom of dish. Spoon beef mixture over tortellini; sprinkle cheese over beef mixture. Cover with nonstick foil; bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes. Garnish with parsley.

Per serving: 404 calories, 28 grams protein, 11 grams fat (25 percent calories from fat), 4.7 grams saturated fat, 49 grams carbohydrate, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 908 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Wednesday Express

You'll be eating MEATBALL STROGANOFF in no time. Whisk 1 (1.5-ounce) package stroganoff sauce mix into 2 cups water to blend. Pour into a large skillet; add 1 (1 1/2-pound) package fully cooked, frozen turkey meatballs and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until meatballs are hot. Remove from heat; stir in 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Serve over no-yolk NOODLES. Sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Add a packaged GREENS SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS. Fresh PINEAPPLE is dessert.

Shopping List

packaged stroganoff sauce mix, packaged fully cooked frozen turkey meatballs, reduced-fat sour cream, no-yolk noodles, fresh parsley, packaged greens salad, crusty rolls, fresh pineapple.

Thursday Meatless

Enjoy a low-cost, no-meat dinner with SPINACH BAKED PENNE. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook 10 ounces penne pasta according to directions; drain. In a 2-quart baking dish coated with cooking spray, combine cooked pasta and 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can Italian-style stewed tomatoes; mix well. Top with 1 (16-ounce) package creamed spinach (thawed); sprinkle top with freshly grated parmesan. Cover tightly. Bake 40 minutes.

Add GREEN BEANS and GARLIC TOAST. Munch on RED and GREEN GRAPES for dessert.

Shopping List

penne pasta, cooking spray, canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, frozen creamed spinach, parmesan, green beans, garlic toast, red and green grapes.

Friday Budget

CORN CHOWDER is perfect for a chilly fall evening. Serve over BROWN RICE. Add GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICHES. Alongside, make dessert easy with KIWIFRUIT.

Shopping List

onion, green pepper, canola oil, frozen corn, canned fat-free chicken broth, potato, flour, coarse salt, black pepper, 1 percent milk, reduced-fat shredded white cheddar cheese, bacon, parsley, brown rice, ham, cheese, bread, kiwifruit.


Makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 20 minutes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup chopped green pepper
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 3 cups frozen corn
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth
  • 1 cup cubed, peeled potato
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups 1 percent milk
  • 1 cup reduced-fat shredded white cheddar cheese
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, crumbled
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley for garnish

In a large saucepan, cook onion and pepper in hot canola oil until onion is softened. Stir in corn, broth and potato. Bring to boil; reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, 10 to 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. In a small bowl, combine flour, salt and pepper. Stir milk into flour mixture; add to corn mixture in pan. Cook and stir until slightly thickened and bubbly. Cook and stir 1 more minute. Stir in cheese; heat until melted and smooth. Top each serving with bacon and parsley. (Adapted from "Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book 16th Edition," Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.)

Per serving: 231 calories, 13 grams protein, 8 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 16 milligrams cholesterol, 596 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

There was no doubt that our guests enjoyed MOROCCAN CHICKEN -- the proof was in the clean plates. Serve the savory chicken and sauce over COUSCOUS. Add STEAMED FRESH CARROTS to the plate with a SPINACH SALAD on the side. Serve with whole-grain PITA WEDGES. Buy a COCONUT CREAM PIE for dessert.

Shopping List

fresh parsley, garlic, chicken breast tenders or cutlets, cooking spray, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, pimiento-stuffed olives, lemon, couscous, fresh carrots, fresh spinach, whole-grain pita bread, coconut cream pie.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
25 to 30 minutes
  • 3/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 to 1 1/4 pounds chicken breast tenders or cutlets
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with juice
  • 1/2 cup chopped pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind (yellow part only)

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine parsley and garlic; rub over chicken. Arrange chicken in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Separately, combine tomatoes with juice, olives and lemon rind; mix well. Spoon over chicken. Cover and bake 25 to 30 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink. Serve chicken and sauce immediately over couscous.

Per serving: 185 calories, 26 grams protein, 5 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 1 gram saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 590 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.