7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For April 20, 2014

Sunday Family

Fire up the family grill for your GRILLED PORK CHOPS. Serve with PARMESAN COUSCOUS. Into the couscous, stir 1/4 cup chopped green onions, 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme.

Serve with an ARUGULA AND STRAWBERRY SALAD. In a large bowl, whisk together 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise, 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, 1 tablespoon canola oil and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Add 1 generous pint of fresh strawberries (hulled and halved) and a sprinkle of poppy seeds. Add 2 cups arugula; gently mix and serve immediately. (Adapted from "Old School Comfort Food," Alex Guarnaschelli; Clarkson Potter, 2013.)

Add DINNER ROLLS. For dessert, buy a BOSTON CREAM PIE.

Prepare enough pork chops and save enough pie for Monday.

Shopping List

boneless pork chops, couscous, green onions, parmesan cheese, dried thyme, low-fat mayonnaise, sherry vinegar, honey, extra-virgin olive oil, canola oil, coarse salt, fresh strawberries, poppy seeds, arugula, dinner rolls, Boston cream pie.

Monday Heat and Eat

Remodel the leftover pork into PORK PANINIS. Spread 1 to 2 teaspoons pesto on each of 8 slices Italian bread. Top 4 slices with thinly sliced cooked pork and sliced provolone cheese; top each sandwich with remaining bread and lightly brush outer surface of sandwiches with olive oil. Grill, pressing down on bread, in a medium-hot skillet until toasted on both sides.

Serve with deli COLESLAW and SLICED AVOCADOS. Leftover PIE is dessert.

Shopping List

pesto, Italian bread, provolone cheese, olive oil, deli coleslaw, avocados.

Tuesday Express

Make it quick tonight with FRENCH DIP SANDWICHES with ROASTED VEGETABLES. Split a 12-ounce loaf of French bread lengthwise. Spread with 1/4 cup creamy Dijon mustard. Fill with 12 ounces warmed deli sliced roast beef and 1 1/2 pounds deli roasted vegetables (halved if large). Cut loaf into quarters. Heat au jus gravy and dip away.

Serve with CURLY FRIES (frozen) and a packaged GREEN SALAD. For dessert, fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM is easy.

Shopping List

French bread, creamy Dijon mustard, deli sliced roast beef, deli roasted vegetables, au jus gravy, frozen curly fries, packaged green salad, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Wednesday Budget

I'm putting TUSCAN BEEF STEW into my favorites file for three reasons: It's delicious, simple to prepare and low in cost. Serve with a MIXED GREENS SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. Keep dessert light with PEARS.

Shopping List

canned condensed tomato soup, canned condensed beef broth, red wine, well-trimmed beef stew meat, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, fresh carrots, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans, salad greens, garlic bread, pears.

Thursday Kids

Have the kids help you prepare FISH STICKS (frozen) for dinner. Serve them with CREAMY PIEROGIES. In a large pan, cook 1 (16.9-ounce) package low-fat pierogies (any flavor) in boiling water 5 minutes or until they float; drain and transfer to a serving bowl.

Meanwhile, combine 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can less-sodium, less-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup and 1 cup frozen peas and carrots. Microwave on high (100 percent power) 3 to 4 minutes. Spoon over pierogies; toss to coat. Sprinkle with crumbled baked potato chips. On the side, dip BABY CARROTS into ranch dressing for a power-packed crunch.

Drink a STRAWBERRY-BANANA SHAKE for dessert. Blend 4 cups 1 percent milk, 1 (3.4-ounce) box instant vanilla pudding, 1 medium banana (cut into chunks) and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries for 1 minute or until smooth.

Shopping List

frozen fish sticks, any flavor low-fat pierogies, less-sodium, less-fat condensed cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas and carrots, baked potato chips, baby carrots, ranch dressing, 1 percent milk, instant vanilla pudding, banana, fresh or frozen strawberries.

Friday Meatless

Make your no-meat dinner with little effort with this BLACK BEAN SOUP. While it's cooking, prepare GRILLED CHEESE AND TOMATO SANDWICHES on dense white bread. Slice KIWIFRUIT for dessert.

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium black beans, salsa, chili powder, vegetable broth, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, green onions, fresh cilantro, cheese and tomatoes to slice for sandwiches, dense white bread, kiwifruit.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Serve your guests colorful and flavorful CHICKEN WITH SPANISH-STYLE RICE AND TOMATOES. Add a SPINACH SALAD WITH RED ONION RINGS and SOURDOUGH BREAD. Keep the theme going and buy FLAN for dessert.

Shopping List

olive oil, boneless chicken breasts, pepper, garlic, packaged Spanish-style yellow rice, fat-free chicken broth, fresh tomatoes, green bell pepper, canned reduced-sodium black beans, pickled jalapenos, fresh spinach, red onion, sourdough bread, flan.