7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 30, 2014

Sunday Family

Make RED PEPPER BEEF KEBABS for family day. Cut 1 1/2 pounds beef top-sirloin steak into 1-inch cubes. Cut 1 large red bell pepper into 1-inch pieces. Marinate beef, peppers and 8 large, stemless, whole fresh mushrooms in any marinade, tossing to coat. Alternately thread beef, peppers and mushrooms on each of 4 (12-inch) metal skewers. Heat broiler. Place skewers on rack in broiler pan 3 to 4 inches from heat. Broil 8 to 10 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning occasionally. Serve the colorful kebabs with BROWN RICE.

On the side, cook 2 pounds baby carrots in 1 (10 1/2-ounce) can condensed, undiluted chicken broth until fork-tender. Stir in 1 (10 1/2-ounce) jar of red pepper jelly, and you have PEPPER JELLY-GLAZED CARROTS.

Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, serve a DEEP-DISH PEACH COBBLER.

Save enough peach cobbler for Tuesday.

Shopping List

beef top-sirloin steak, red bell pepper, whole fresh mushrooms, any marinade, brown rice, baby carrots, canned condensed chicken broth, red pepper jelly, whole-grain rolls, deep-dish peach cobbler.

Monday Budget

We're crazy about chili, so we loved this easy SANTA FE WHITE CHILI. On the side, you can munch on JICAMA and CELERY STICKS. Add CORNBREAD (from a mix). PEARS are a simple dessert.

Save enough chili for Tuesday.

Shopping List

garlic powder, cumin, dried oregano, olive oil, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, onion, fat-free chicken broth, canned chopped green chiles, bay leaf, canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, green onions, jicama, celery, cornbread mix, pears.

Tuesday Heat and Eat

Make dinner easy tonight with CHILI SPUDS. Bake potatoes (6 to 8 ounces each) and slash the tops; spoon hot (leftover) chili over them. Garnish with chopped fresh cilantro if you like. Add steamed fresh ZUCCHINI along with WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Warm the leftover COBBLER for dessert.

Shopping List

baking potatoes, fresh cilantro if desired, fresh zucchini, whole-grain bread.

Wednesday Express

Make it quick tonight with BEEF, ORANGE AND SPINACH SALAD. In a large bowl, gently mix segments from 3 oranges, 8 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves, 1/4 cup fresh chives, 3 cloves minced garlic, 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil and 1 tablespoon rice vinegar. Divide among 4 serving plates. Top with 1 pound any grilled and thinly sliced steak or deli sliced roast beef. (Adapted from "Cooking With an Asian Accent," Ying Compestine; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2014.)

Add deli SOUP along with CRUSTY ROLLS. End the meal with a scoop of fat-free CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM.

Save enough ice cream for Thursday and enough soup for Friday.

Shopping List

oranges, fresh baby spinach, fresh chives, garlic, fresh ginger, extra-virgin olive oil, rice vinegar, any steak or deli roast beef, deli soup, crusty rolls, fat-free chocolate ice cream.

Thursday Kids

Make the kids happy with CHICKEN FINGERS WITH HONEY-MUSTARD DIP. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Mix together 16 finely crushed saltine crackers, 1/4 cup finely chopped toasted pecans, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 2 teaspoons paprika. Whisk 2 egg whites until frothy; one at a time, dip 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast tenders into egg white and then into cracker mixture. Coat chicken on both sides with cooking spray; place on rack coated with cooking spray on a broiler pan. Bake 10 to 12 minutes or until chicken fingers are golden brown; turn once. Serve with honey-mustard dip.

Add HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (frozen), GREEN BEANS and SOFT ROLLS on the side. For dessert, top leftover ICE CREAM with STRAWBERRY SAUCE.

Cook rice for Friday's risotto. Save enough strawberry sauce for Saturday.

Shopping List

saltine crackers, pecans, coarse salt, paprika, eggs, chicken breast tenders, cooking spray, honey-mustard dip, frozen hash-browned potatoes, green beans, soft rolls, strawberry sauce.

Friday Meatless

Start your meal with leftover SOUP and follow it with this delicious version of BAKED RISOTTO that's easy to prepare. Serve with a ROMAINE SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. For dessert, enjoy PEACHES.

Shopping List

canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, canned no-salt-added vegetable broth, fresh mushrooms, rice, small pasta shells (such as ditalini), green bell pepper, Italian seasoning, shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, slivered almonds, romaine, garlic bread, peaches.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

We recommend serving ROSEMARY CHICKEN WITH ARTICHOKES to your guests and adding it to your favorites file. Serve with COUSCOUS and a SPINACH SALAD. Buy a CHEESECAKE for dessert and top it with leftover strawberry sauce and light whipped cream.

Shopping List

boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coarse salt, pepper, paprika, olive oil, butter, canned water-packed artichokes, green onions, fat-free chicken broth, dry sherry, cornstarch, fresh rosemary, couscous, fresh spinach, cheesecake, light whipped cream.