7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For December 21, 2014

Sunday Family

Treat the family to this juicy, delicious ROSEMARY AND GARLIC CRUSTED PORK LOIN WITH BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND POTATOES. Serve with SPINACH SALAD with diced BEETS and ORANGES. Toss packaged baby spinach with drained diced pickled beets (from a jar), orange sections and a light vinaigrette. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Buy a deep-dish PEACH PIE for dessert.

Save enough pork with vegetables for Monday, save enough pie for Wednesday.

Shopping List

fresh rosemary, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, cooking spray, boneless center-cut pork loin roast, Yukon gold potatoes, olive oil, butternut squash, ruby port, tawny port or prune juice, no-salt-added chicken stock (such as Kitchen Basics), packaged baby spinach, jar pickled beets, oranges, light vinaigrette, whole-grain rolls, deep-dish peach pie.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the pork leftovers and make PORK LOIN SANDWICHES ON RYE BREAD; spread the bread with honey-mustard dressing. On the side, heat the leftover POTATOES and SQUASH. Add a LETTUCE WEDGE SALAD. For dessert, you'll enjoy FRESH PINEAPPLE.

Shopping List

rye bread, honey-mustard dressing, lettuce, fresh pineapple.

Tuesday Express

Make it easy on yourself with another sandwich night and serve GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES with deli BLACK BEAN SOUP. Make a SLICED CUCUMBER SALAD and drizzle with Italian dressing. PLUMS are a simple dessert.

Shopping List

cheese and bread for sandwiches, deli black bean soup, cucumbers, Italian dressing, plums.

Wednesday Entertaining/New Year's Eve

Celebrate with friends and savor ZUCCHINI AND SEARED SIRLOIN. Serve with RICE, a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and BAGUETTES. Heat the leftover PIE and top with fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM. Say hello to 2015!

Save enough ice cream for Thursday.

Shopping List

zucchini, sirloin steak, sugar, reduced-sodium soy sauce, fresh ginger, dark (toasted) sesame oil, clementines or tangerines, cilantro, sesame seeds, dried shallot or dried minced onion, rice, bibb lettuce, baguettes, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Thursday Budget/New Year's Day

Try the Southern tradition of good fortune for the New Year with the popular HOPPIN' JOHN. Take the good-luck tradition further and add your own COLLARD GREENS for some extra spending "green." Add canned STEWED TOMATOES for a little color. Serve it all with CORNBREAD (from a mix). For dessert, top leftover ICE CREAM with CHOCOLATE SAUCE and garnish with coconut.

Shopping List

dried black-eyed peas, ham, onion, coarse salt, pepper, hot pepper sauce, rice, green onions, collard greens, canned stewed tomatoes, cornbread mix, chocolate sauce, coconut.

Friday Kids

For a change of pace, fix the kids OVEN-BAKED CHICKEN TENDERS. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat chicken tenders with cooking spray, then coat them with mashed potato flakes (not granules). Sprinkle with a little coarse salt. Place on a baking sheet lined with nonstick foil and cook 15 minutes, turning once.

Serve with BAKED POTATO WEDGES (frozen) and GREEN BEANS. Color the plate with BABY CARROTS and RANCH DRESSING for dipping. The kids will love CHOCOLATE PUDDING (instant with 1 percent milk) for dessert.

Shopping List

chicken tenders, cooking spray, mashed potato flakes (not granules), coarse salt, frozen baked potato wedges, green beans, baby carrots, ranch dressing, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk.

Saturday Meatless

For an easy meal after a busy week, make LENTIL SOUP. Rinse and sort 1 (16-ounce) package lentils. In a large pot, combine the lentils with 4 cups water and heat to boiling; drain. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium. Add 2 thinly sliced ribs celery, 1/2 medium chopped onion and 1 clove minced garlic; cook 6 minutes or until softened. Add lentils, 6 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth and 1 teaspoon dried thyme. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes or until lentils are soft. Season with coarse salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle soup over BROWN RICE. Garnish with chopped red onion, chopped red bell pepper and chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

Add deli COLESLAW and CRUSTY BREAD. Enjoy PEARS for dessert.

Shopping List

lentils, olive oil, celery, onion, garlic, no-salt-added vegetable broth, dried thyme, coarse salt, pepper, brown rice, red onion, red bell pepper, fresh cilantro, deli coleslaw, crusty bread, pears.