7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For May 04, 2014

Sunday Family

What mother wouldn't love your homemade RAINBOW BREAKFAST BENTO BOX made by her little darlings? Add 1 percent milk for the cereal, and serve with crisp bacon and toasted ENGLISH MUFFINS for Mom. Happy Mother's Day to moms everywhere!

Mother would also like a vase of her favorite flowers.

Shopping List

colorful fruit such as raspberries, blueberries, cherries and kiwifruit, pineapple or apricots, Mom's favorite cereal (such as Special K, Kashi Go Lean or other unsweetened cereal), 1 percent milk, bacon, English muffins.

Monday Budget

Pasta and tuna are two of the most economical ingredients in the pantry, and PASTA SALAD WITH BLACK OLIVES AND TUNA proves they can be delicious as well. Cook 2 cups (about 8 ounces) rotini (or other short pasta) according to directions; drain well and transfer to a large serving bowl. Toss with 1/2 cup reduced-fat Italian dressing. Stir in 2 cups (about 1 pound) chopped tomatoes, 2 cups salad greens in bite-size pieces, 2 (6-ounce) cans drained and flaked albacore tuna (packed in water) and 1/3 cup sliced black olives. Toss to mix and serve.

Add GARLIC BREAD. Enjoy PEACH COBBLER for dessert.

Shopping List

rotini or other short pasta, reduced-fat Italian dressing, tomatoes, salad greens, canned albacore tuna (packed in water), sliced black olives, garlic bread, peach cobbler.

Tuesday Express

Try this BEEF GOULASH for an easy dinner. Serve it with a packaged GREEN SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. All you need are PLUMS for dessert.

Save enough goulash for Wednesday.

Shopping List

fully cooked boneless beef pot roast with gravy (packaged and refrigerated), olive oil, portobello or crimini mushrooms, onion, cooked, diced and seasoned red potatoes (packaged and refrigerated), lower-sodium beef broth, hot or regular paprika, pepper, packaged green salad, crusty bread, plums.

Wednesday Heat and Eat

Use Tuesday's leftovers for SPICY BEEF AND BEANS. Prepare 1 (7- to 8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix according to package directions, using the low-fat recipe on package; add 1 teaspoon chili powder to mix and make 6 muffins.

Meanwhile, in a 1 1/2-quart baking dish, combine 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans, 1 (10-ounce) can chopped tomatoes and green chiles, 1 cup chopped (leftover) cooked beef, 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce and 1 more teaspoon chili powder. Cover and microwave 6 to 8 minutes on high (100 percent power) or until heated through; stir twice. Split corn muffins; spoon bean mixture over them and garnish with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

Serve with JICAMA SLAW. Toss packaged coleslaw mix and peeled, chopped jicama with reduced-fat coleslaw dressing. Dessert is leftover warm COBBLER and fat-free VANILLA ICE CREAM.

Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

Shopping List

packaged corn muffin mix, chili powder, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, canned chopped tomatoes and green chiles, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, packaged coleslaw mix, jicama, reduced-fat coleslaw dressing, fat-free vanilla ice cream.

Thursday Kids

Call the kids for CUBAN-STYLE HOT DOGS AND BLACK BEANS. Heat undrained canned reduced-sodium black beans and canned diced mild green chiles with a splash of red-wine vinegar and cumin. Add sliced hot dogs; simmer 5 minutes. Serve over instant RICE. (Adults might want a few drops of hot pepper sauce on theirs.)

Serve with CARROT STICKS and SOFT ROLLS. FRESH STRAWBERRIES with light whipped cream make a dandy dessert.

Check the label and buy the lowest-sodium, lowest-fat hot dogs you can find, such as Applegate.

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium black beans, canned diced mild green chiles, red wine vinegar, cumin, low-fat, low-sodium hot dogs (such as Applegate), instant rice, hot pepper sauce, carrot sticks, soft rolls, fresh strawberries, light whipped cream.

Friday Meatless

MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS AND BEANS is a quick dinner. Heat 3 cups vegetable broth to boiling. Stir in 2 cups couscous, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 small chopped tomato and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas). Remove from heat; cover and let stand 5 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Stir gently. Serve immediately and sprinkle each serving with reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese.

Serve with SLICED CUCUMBERS in plain yogurt along with FLATBREAD. Munch on SUGAR COOKIES for dessert.

Shopping List

vegetable broth, couscous, raisins, black pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato, canned reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), reduced-fat crumbled feta cheese, cucumbers, plain yogurt, flatbread, sugar cookies.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Broil or grill your own PORK KEBABS for your guests and serve them with CURRIED RICE. Cook rice in fat-free chicken broth and add a pinch of curry. Toss with unsweetened shredded coconut. Add (frozen) CREAMED SPINACH, BIBB LETTUCE and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS to round out the meal. For dessert, make LEMON POPPY SEED CAKE and top with leftover ICE CREAM.

Shopping List

pork kebabs, rice, fat-free chicken broth, curry, unsweetened shredded coconut, frozen creamed spinach, bibb lettuce, whole-grain rolls, cooking spray, package lemon cake mix, package instant lemon pudding and pie filling mix, eggs, canola oil, poppy seeds, powdered sugar, lemon, 1 percent milk, butter, yellow food coloring.