7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For August 24, 2014

Sunday Family

The family will welcome SPICED PORK CHOPS WITH FRUITED RICE. In a small bowl, combine 3/4 teaspoon cumin, 3/4 teaspoon coriander, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper; rub mixture onto both sides of 4 well-trimmed boneless pork chops (about 5 ounces each and 3/4-inch thick). Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high; cook chops 5 to 7 minutes, turning once.

Meanwhile, prepare 1 cup long-grain rice according to directions, adding 1/4 cup raisins and 1/4 cup dried apricots (chopped) to cooking water. Serve chops on top of rice mixture.

Serve the savory combo with frozen petite GREEN PEAS and a ROMAINE SALAD. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS.

For dessert, make BUTTERSCOTCH PARFAITS. Layer instant vanilla and butterscotch puddings (made with 1 percent milk) in tall dessert glasses. Top with fat-free whipped cream.

If time permits, prepare Monday's pasta sauce today.

Make enough parfaits for Monday.

Shopping List

cumin, coriander, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, boneless pork chops, canola oil, long-grain rice, raisins, dried apricots, frozen petite green peas, romaine, whole-grain rolls, instant vanilla and butterscotch puddings, 1 percent milk, fat-free whipped cream.

Monday Budget

With so much flavor in FARFALLE WITH PEPPERS, ARTICHOKES AND CAPERS IN WHITE WINE SAUCE, you'll forget its low cost. Serve with a LETTUCE WEDGE and GARLIC BREAD. Leftover PARFAITS are a good dessert.

Shopping List

farfalle (bow-tie) pasta, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, onion, red bell peppers, coarse salt, black pepper, canned water-packed artichoke hearts, capers, dried oregano, dry white wine, flatleaf parsley, lettuce, garlic bread.


Makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
40 minutes, plus pasta
  • 1 pound farfalle (bow-tie) pasta
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 large cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 large red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (14-ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and sliced
  • 3 tablespoons capers
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup flatleaf parsley, finely chopped

Cook pasta according to directions; drain. Place in a large serving bowl. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add garlic, onion and peppers. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper to taste. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until crisp-tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in artichokes, capers, oregano, wine, water and parsley. Cover and cook 20 minutes or until the peppers are soft, stirring occasionally. Pour sauce over pasta. Toss to mix.

Per serving: 292 calories, 9 grams protein, 5 grams fat (14 percent calories from fat), 0.6 grams saturated fat, 51 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 315 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Tuesday Meatless

You won't miss meat when you have ROASTED VEGETABLE COUSCOUS for dinner. Use some of your garden CUCUMBERS (sliced in vinegar) on the side, along with CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, juicy CANTALOUPE WEDGES are perfect.

Save enough vegetable couscous for Wednesday.

Shopping List

sweet potato, red onion, fresh zucchini squash, olive oil, coarse salt, black peppercorns, vegetable broth, packaged couscous, green onions, kalamata olives, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas or garbanzo beans, cashew nuts, fresh parsley, orange juice, cinnamon, cayenne pepper, cucumbers, vinegar, crusty rolls, cantaloupe.


Makes 8 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
30 minutes, plus couscous; cooling time: 5 minutes
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium fresh zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarsely ground black peppercorns
  • 2 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (12-ounce) package couscous
  • 1/2 cup green onions, sliced
  • 1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved
  • 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium chickpeas or garbanzo beans, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup toasted cashew nuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • Cayenne pepper to taste

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, toss sweet potato, onion and zucchini with olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes or until lightly browned and tender.

Meanwhile, heat broth to a boil. Stir in couscous and green onions; cover and cook 1 more minute. Remove from heat and set aside for 5 minutes, then uncover and fluff with fork. Mix in olives, chickpeas, cashews, parsley, orange juice and cinnamon. Season with a dash of cayenne pepper. Top couscous with roasted vegetables and toss together just before serving.

Per serving: 331 calories, 10 grams protein, 9 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 1.3 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 667 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Wednesday Heat and Eat

Make STUFFED PITAS with the heated leftover couscous stuffed into whole-grain pita bread. If you'd like, stir canned (drained) chicken breast (or other cooked chicken) into the couscous before heating. Add deli COLESLAW on the side. Slice WATERMELON for dessert.

Shopping List

whole-grain pita bread, canned chicken breast if desired, deli coleslaw, watermelon.

Thursday Express

For a quick meal, spoon deli CHICKEN SALAD on a platter covered with a packaged GREEN SALAD and top with roasted slivered almonds. Add WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. For dessert, FRESH CHERRIES couldn't be better.

Shopping List

deli chicken salad, packaged green salad, silvered almonds, whole-grain bread, fresh cherries.

Friday Kids

No need to make the kids stand on their heads for UPSIDE-DOWN PIZZA. Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef for 5 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can Italian-style tomato sauce; heat through. Transfer mixture to a shallow 2-quart baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese. Flatten the biscuits from a 10-ounce (10 each) package reduced-fat or regular refrigerated biscuits and place on top of cheese. Bake 15 minutes or until biscuits are golden.

Serve with CELERY STICKS. For dessert, slurp fat-free STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, canned Italian-style tomato sauce, shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese, refrigerated reduced-fat or regular biscuits, celery, fat-free strawberry ice cream.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Invite friends, fire up the grill, and prepare your GRILLED TUNA STEAKS and GRILLED ZUCCHINI (thick slices, cut on the diagonal). Brush tuna and zucchini with balsamic vinaigrette dressing before grilling. Serve with delicious RED, WHITE AND BLUE POTATO SALAD and SOURDOUGH BREAD. Make or buy a BLUEBERRY PIE for dessert.

Shopping List

tuna steaks, fresh zucchini squash, balsamic vinaigrette dressing, small red, white and blue potatoes, green onions, reduced-fat sour cream, low-fat mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, sugar, coarse salt, pepper, crumbled blue cheese, sourdough bread, homemade or store-bought blueberry pie.


Makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
15 minutes; chilling time 2 hours to overnight
  • 2 pounds small red, white and blue potatoes
  • 3/4 cup green onions, chopped and divided
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/3 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 to 3 ounces crumbled blue cheese

Cover potatoes in cold water; bring to boil for about 15 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain; cool.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, blend half the onions with sour cream, mayonnaise, white wine vinegar, mustard, sugar, salt and pepper. Cover and chill. Cut cooled potatoes into bite-size pieces and place in a large bowl. Add chilled dressing, blue cheese and remaining green onions; toss gently to coat potatoes. Cover and chill 2 hours to overnight to blend flavors.

Per serving: 171 calories, 5 grams protein, 6 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 16 milligrams cholesterol, 495 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.