7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For April 27, 2014

Sunday Family

Try SOUTHWEST MARINATED BEEF STEAK WITH GRILLED PEPPERS for a family-day feast. Combine 1/2 cup Italian vinaigrette, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon honey and 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin. Combine 1/3 cup marinade with 1 1/2 pounds flank steak or top round steak (1-inch thick) in resealable plastic bag; turn to coat. Marinate in refrigerator 6 to 24 hours. Reserve and refrigerate remaining marinade.

Remove steak; discard marinade in bag. Heat grill to medium. Brush red, yellow or green bell peppers (cut in quarters) with reserved marinade. Grill steak 17 to 21 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness. (For top round steak, grill 16 to 18 minutes for medium-rare.) Turn occasionally. Grill peppers 12 to 15 minutes or until tender; turn occasionally. Brush with marinade as desired, but not during last 5 minutes; discard marinade. Carve steak across grain into thin slices; serve immediately with peppers.

While the steak cooks, prepare YELLOW RICE from a packaged mix. Heat canned reduced-sodium BLACK BEANS and top with salsa. Add CRUSTY BREAD. Make dessert light with ANGEL FOOD CAKE topped with fresh SLICED STRAWBERRIES and garnished with light whipped cream.

Marinate steak the day before if desired. Save enough steak and strawberries for Monday and enough cake for Tuesday.

Shopping List

Italian vinaigrette, limes, honey, cumin, flank steak or top round steak, red, yellow or green bell peppers, packaged yellow rice, canned reduced-sodium black beans, salsa, crusty bread, angel food cake, fresh strawberries, light whipped cream.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make a STEAK SALAD using a packaged green salad mix. In a serving bowl, toss crumbled blue cheese, croutons, tomato wedges and sliced red onion with the greens. Toss with red wine vinaigrette. "Fan" thin slices of leftover steak on top. If you want more food, heat your favorite deli SOUP. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, spoon leftover STRAWBERRIES over fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM.

Save enough ice cream for Wednesday and Saturday.

Shopping List

packaged green salad, crumbled blue cheese, croutons, tomatoes, red onion, red wine vinaigrette, deli soup if desired, whole-grain rolls, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Tuesday Express

Try quick REUBEN QUESADILLAS for a new take on the classic sandwich. Layer thinly sliced deli corned beef, some rinsed and drained refrigerated sauerkraut, a drizzle of reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing and shredded reduced-fat Swiss cheese on a large fat-free flour tortilla. Top with second tortilla. Cook in a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium heat until the first side is lightly browned. Carefully turn and brown on other side to melt cheese. Cut into wedges before serving.

Buy GERMAN POTATO SALAD from the deli and add DILL PICKLES. Top leftover CAKE with PEACHES for dessert.

Shopping List

deli corned beef, refrigerated sauerkraut, reduced-fat Thousand Island dressing, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, large fat-free flour tortillas, cooking spray, deli German potato salad, dill pickles, peaches.

Wednesday Kids

We acted like kids scarfing up this RANCH CHICKEN. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Dip boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into strips) into bottled light creamy ranch dressing and then in dry bread crumbs. Place chicken in a single layer in a baking dish coated with cooking spray and bake 10 to 15 minutes or until chicken is 165 degrees.

Serve with STEAK FRIES (frozen) and GREEN BEANS. Add SOFT ROLLS. For dessert, who could resist a WAFFLE SUNDAE? Top toasted waffles (such as Eggo) with leftover ice cream. Drizzle with fat-free chocolate syrup and decorate with maraschino cherries and candy sprinkles.

Shopping List

boneless, skinless chicken breasts, bottled light creamy ranch dressing, dry bread crumbs, cooking spray, frozen steak fries, green beans, soft rolls, frozen waffles (such as Eggo), fat-free chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries, candy sprinkles.

Thursday Meatless

This refreshing ORZO SALAD WITH CHICKPEAS will remind you of summertime. Add a CHOPPED ROMAINE AND FRESH MINT SALAD and BREAD STICKS on the side. For dessert, make instant CHOCOLATE PUDDING with 1 percent milk and top with crumbled chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos or another brand).

Shopping List

orzo pasta, green onions, reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, fresh dill, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lemons, extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt, garlic, romaine, fresh mint, bread sticks, instant chocolate pudding, 1 percent milk, chocolate sandwich cookies (such as Oreos or another brand).

Friday Budget

We gave this low-cost, always-popular COBB SALAD thumbs up. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are easy.

Shopping List

red wine vinegar, extra-virgin olive oil, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, sugar, Dijon mustard, salad greens, fresh herbs (such as basil, parsley, mint and chives), avocado, eggs, sliced low-sodium deli turkey (such as Boar's Head), tomatoes, bacon, crumbled blue cheese, whole-grain rolls, fresh pineapple.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

There were no leftovers of BROILED SALMON when we served it to our guests. The savory flavor goes well with ROASTED RED POTATOES. Add frozen tiny GREEN PEAS WITH FRESH SLICED MUSHROOMS and a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD. For dessert, CANTALOUPE WITH ICE CREAM AND BLUEBERRIES is a fine finish. Place cantaloupe quarters in bowls. Fill with scoops of leftover ice cream and shower with fresh blueberries.

Shopping List

Dijon mustard, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, coarse salt, pepper, salmon fillets, cooking spray, red potatoes to roast, frozen tiny green peas, fresh mushrooms, Boston lettuce, cantaloupe, fresh blueberries.