7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For November 30, 2014

Sunday Family

For family day, make this simple CREOLE PEPPER STEAK. Combine 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon dried thyme, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon red pepper and 1/2 teaspoon black ground pepper; mix well. Press evenly onto both sides of 1-pound beef top-round steak (cut 1-inch thick). Grill over medium coals 16 to 18 minutes for medium-rare; turn once. Let stand 5 minutes; carve steak diagonally into thin slices and serve.

Accompany the steak with your ROASTED RED POTATOES and ROASTED CARROTS. Add a LETTUCE WEDGE SALAD and DINNER ROLLS. MERINGUE COOKIES are a melt-in-your-mouth dessert.

Grill an extra 1-pound steak, prepare extra potatoes and carrots, and save enough rolls and meringue cookies for Monday.

Shopping List

garlic, dried thyme, paprika, white pepper, red pepper, black ground pepper, beef top-round steak, red potatoes, fresh carrots, lettuce, dinner rolls, meringue cookies.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make STEAK SALAD for a quick meal. Buy a packaged mixed greens salad and combine with leftover sliced beef, leftover chopped potatoes and leftover chopped carrots. Drizzle with a light vinaigrette and toss to coat. Serve with deli BEAN SOUP and leftover ROLLS. Leftover MERINGUE COOKIES are a quick dessert.

Shopping List

packaged mixed greens salad, light vinaigrette, deli bean soup.

Tuesday Kids

Call the kids for TUNA NUNA DINNER. Cook 3 cups rotini pasta according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in the pasta pot, mix 1 (6-ounce) can drained chunk white tuna in water, 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, 1 soup can water and 1 cup frozen peas and carrots (thawed). Cook 2 minutes on medium; stir in cooked pasta, and heat 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Remove from heat and add 2 cups shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese; stir until melted.

Serve with GREEN BEANS and a CHOPPED LETTUCE SALAD. Make TEDDY GRAHAM PUDDING for dessert. Mix chocolate Teddy Grahams into instant vanilla pudding made with 1 percent milk. Garnish with light whipped cream.

Save enough Teddy Grahams for Wednesday.

Shopping List

rotini pasta, canned chunk white tuna in water, condensed reduced-fat, reduced-sodium cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas and carrots, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, green beans, lettuce, chocolate Teddy Grahams, instant vanilla pudding, 1 percent milk, light whipped cream.

Wednesday Meatless

BLACK BEANS AND RICE will bring everyone to the table in a hurry. Serve the spicy dish with deli COLESLAW. Stir chopped red bell pepper into the slaw for a flavor boost. CHUNKY APPLESAUCE and leftover TEDDY GRAHAMS make a good dessert.

Save enough coleslaw for Thursday.

Shopping List

olive oil, onion, fresh jalapeno peppers, garlic, canned black beans in seasoned sauce, tomato, picante sauce, brown rice, deli coleslaw, red bell pepper, chunky applesauce.


Makes 5 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 15 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 small fresh jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans in seasoned sauce, undrained
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1/4 cup picante sauce
  • 4 cups hot cooked brown rice

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onion, peppers and garlic; cook 5 minutes or until onion is softened. Stir in beans with sauce, tomato and picante sauce. Cover and cook 8 minutes or until heated though. Serve over rice.

Per serving: 352 calories, 13 grams protein, 5 grams fat (13 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 64 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 619 milligrams sodium, 11 grams fiber.

Thursday Express

Stop by the deli for a BARBECUE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN. Add BAKED BEANS and some leftover COLESLAW along with CORNBREAD (from a mix) to the meal. PEACHES are dessert.

Shopping List

deli barcecue rotisserie chicken, baked beans, cornbread mix, peaches.

Friday Budget

CHICKEN AND WHITE BEANS PROVENCAL offers a different twist: flavor without extra calories. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD and BAGUETTES. For dessert, ORANGE SECTIONS are a refreshing dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, chicken cutlets, garlic, onion, canned stewed tomatoes, dried oregano, dried basil, coarse salt, pepper, canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans, spinach, baguettes, oranges.


Makes 5 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 25 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound chicken cutlets
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans chopped stewed tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans, rinsed

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken; cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until browned. Remove; set aside. In same skillet, reduce heat to medium and add garlic and onion and cook 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in tomatoes, oregano, basil, salt and pepper. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add beans and chicken. Cover and simmer 5 minutes or until liquid is slightly reduced. Spoon beans and liquid into a serving bowl and top with chicken.

Per serving: 412 calories, 35 grams protein, 5 grams fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.7 gram saturated fat, 54 grams carbohydrate, 58 milligrams cholesterol, 564 milligrams sodium, 14 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Everyone at the table agreed that BAKED COD WITH CHERRY TOMATOES AND CHICKPEAS should go into the yummy "keepers" file. Serve the colorful fish dish with FRESH BROCCOLI FLORETS and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS.

Make BABY BERRY TARTS for dessert. Spoon 1 (8-ounce) package light strawberry cream cheese spread into a pastry bag or large sturdy food bag with a star piping tip. Pipe the cheese into 15 thawed baked mini phyllo dough shells (from a 2.1-ounce frozen package). Slice each of 15 fresh strawberries about 3 times from tip nearly to top. Fan slices; place on filling to garnish.

Shopping List

extra-virgin olive oil, ground coriander, paprika, cayenne pepper, coarse salt, skinless cod fillets, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, fat-free chicken broth, shallots, garlic, lemon, pepper, cilantro, fresh broccoli, whole-grain rolls, light strawberry cream cheese, frozen baked mini phyllo dough shells, fresh strawberries.


Makes 8 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
20 to 24 minutes
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander, divided
  • 2 teaspoons paprika, divided
  • 1/8 cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt, divided
  • 2 pounds skinless cod fillets, divided into 8 portions (1 to 1 1/2 inches thick)
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chickpeas, rinsed
  • 12 ounces cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup fat-free chicken broth
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped cilantro for garnish

In a small bowl, combine 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1 teaspoon paprika, cayenne and 3/4 teaspoon salt. Rub cod evenly with mixture. Place cod in resealable plastic bag, seal and toss to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour.

When ready to bake, heat oven to 400 degrees. In a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, combine chickpeas, tomatoes, broth, shallots, garlic, lemon zest, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon oil, remaining coriander, remaining paprika, remaining salt and pepper. Nestle cod into chickpea mixture. Bake 20 to 24 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Drizzle with remaining oil and sprinkle with cilantro. Serve. (Adapted from "The Make-Ahead Cook," Editors at America's Test Kitchen; Cook's Illustrated, 2014.)

Per serving: 282 calories, 24 grams protein, 10 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 23 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 358 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.