7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 16, 2014

Sunday Family

Make the family meal a simple one by serving a HAM STEAK. BAKED SWEET POTATOES are a perfect accompaniment. Slash the tops of the potatoes and sprinkle with light brown sugar; squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the tops as well. Add GREEN BEANS WITH MUSHROOMS to the menu. Microwave 2 (9- or 10-ounce) packages frozen French (or thin) green beans according to directions; drain. Add 1 (8-ounce) package sliced fresh mushrooms; microwave on high (100 percent power) 2 minutes; drain. Combine 1 tablespoon melted butter, 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary and 1/2 teaspoon dried basil; pour over beans and mushrooms and toss to coat.

Serve with BISCUITS. For dessert, make everyone happy with APPLE DUMPLINGS.

Shopping List

ham steak, sweet potatoes to bake, light brown sugar, lemon, packaged frozen French or thin green beans, packaged sliced mushrooms, butter, dried rosemary, dried basil, biscuits, cinnamon, ground nutmeg, package refrigerated piecrusts, apples (such as Gala or Braeburn), cooking spray, pure vanilla extract, light whipped cream.

Monday Kids

When the kids see CHILI DOGS on the dinner menu, you'll see your little angels smile. Top fat-free hot dogs (on toasted whole-grain buns) with (heated) canned vegetarian chili and any shredded cheese.

On the side, they'll love TATER TOTS (frozen) and deli CARROT SALAD. For dessert, make instant CHOCOLATE PUDDING with 1 percent milk and add sliced bananas to the pudding.

Choose hot dogs with the lowest fat and sodium content you can find. I like Applegate's hot dogs.

Save enough carrot salad for Tuesday.

Shopping List

fat-free hot dogs, whole-grain hot dog buns, canned vegetarian chili, shredded cheese, frozen tater tots, deli carrot salad, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, bananas.

Tuesday Budget

You'll save money with this TORTILLA CASSEROLE on the menu. On the side, STEAMED FRESH ZUCCHINI adds some color, as does the leftover CARROT SALAD. PEARS are an easy dessert.

Save enough pudding for Wednesday.

Shopping List

cooking spray, baked or reduced-fat tortilla chips, canned no-salt-added (or regular) chicken breast, mild to hot salsa, frozen corn, reduced-fat sour cream, flour, 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeno or plain cheddar cheese, fresh jalapeno peppers for garnish, fresh zucchini, pears.

Wednesday Meatless

Skip meat tonight for PENNE PASTA WITH CHICKPEAS AND SPINACH. Cook 8 ounces penne pasta according to directions; reserve 1/2 cup cooking water. Drain pasta and return to pot; set aside.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium-high in a large nonstick skillet. Add 1 small chopped onion; cook, covered, 4 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 1 clove crushed garlic and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano; cook 30 seconds. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium chickpeas, 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Add 1 (6-ounce) package baby spinach, the chickpea mixture and reserved cooking water to pasta; toss to combine.

Serve with LETTUCE AND TOMATO SALAD with crumbled feta cheese and FLATBREAD. For dessert, fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM is good.

Save enough ice cream for Friday.

Shopping List

penne pasta, olive oil, onion, garlic, dried oregano, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas, balsamic vinegar, coarse salt, pepper, packaged baby spinach, lettuce, tomato, crumbled feta cheese, fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Thursday Express

Up the protein in a packaged CAESAR SALAD by topping it with cooked chicken breast strips (refrigerated). Serve with any deli SOUP and BREAD STICKS. Fresh PINEAPPLE is a quick dessert.

Save enough chicken strips for Friday.

Shopping List

packaged Caesar salad, refrigerated cooked chicken breast strips, any deli soup, bread sticks, fresh pineapple.

Friday Heat and Eat

Make CHICKEN ROLL-UPS with the leftover chicken strips. Spread fat-free flour tortillas with heated canned refried beans. Top with chicken strips, salsa, shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes and any shredded cheese. Roll and serve them with packaged YELLOW RICE. Scoop the leftover ICE CREAM for dessert.

Shopping List

fat-free flour tortillas, canned refried beans, salsa, lettuce, tomatoes, any shredded cheese, packaged yellow rice.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

This ANGEL-HAIR PASTA WITH GORGONZOLA SAUCE is easy to prepare and will be devoured by your guests. Serve it with a SPINACH SALAD with sliced red onion and sliced eggs. Add ITALIAN BREAD. For dessert, buy a COCONUT CAKE.

Shopping List

angel-hair pasta, 1 percent milk, flour, coarse salt, pepper, cayenne pepper, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, green onions, fresh spinach, red onion, eggs, Italian bread, coconut cake.