7 Day Menu Planner for May 14, 2017

Sunday Family

Make the family happy and serve them OVEN-FRIED CHICKEN for dinner. Heat oven to 425 degrees. In a shallow dish, mix together 1 1/4 cups Italian bread crumbs and 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese. In a medium bowl, combine 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise, 1/2 teaspoon poultry seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper. Pat dry 8 (4- to 6-ounce) boneless, skinless chicken breasts; brush both sides with mayonnaise mixture and coat in bread crumb mixture. Place on nonstick foil-lined baking sheet. Bake 20 to 23 minutes or until juices run clear.


Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.

Shopping List

Italian bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, reduced-fat mayonnaise, poultry seasoning, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, mashed potatoes, gravy, fresh asparagus, biscuits, chocolate layer cake.

Monday Heat and Eat

How about MIXED GREENS tossed with CHICKEN BITES for dinner tonight? Toss leftover chicken (cut into bite-size pieces) with bagged salad greens and a bottled Asian-style salad dressing. Add CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, slice the leftover CAKE and top it with fresh STRAWBERRIES.

Save enough strawberries for Tuesday.

Shopping List

bagged salad greens, bottled Asian-style salad dressing, crusty rolls, fresh strawberries.

Tuesday Kids

I was skeptical when I tried BAKED ZITI in the slow cooker, but it worked just fine and has a mild flavor that should please the kiddos. Serve it with a deli CARROT SALAD and SOFT ROLLS. Top leftover STRAWBERRIES with light WHIPPED CREAM for dessert.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, onion, Italian seasoning, coarse salt, red pasta sauce, reduced-fat ricotta cheese, part-skim mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, ziti pasta, deli carrot salad, soft rolls, light whipped cream.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
about 6 to 7 hours on low or 4 to 5 hours on high; standing time: 10 minutes
  • 12 ounces lean ground beef
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 4 3/4 cups red pasta sauce
  • 2 cups reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/4 cups part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces uncooked ziti pasta

Heat a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add beef and onion; cook 7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink; drain. Stir in Italian seasoning, salt and pasta sauce. Mix well and set aside.

In a medium bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, 3/4 cup mozzarella and the parmesan. Spoon 2 cups meat sauce into a 4-quart or larger slow cooker; top with 1 1/2 cups ziti. Drop half the cheese mixture, by rounded tablespoons, over ziti; spread to cover ziti using the back of spoon. Layer with 2 cups meat sauce, the remaining ziti and remaining cheese mixture. Top with remaining meat sauce, completely covering all the ziti and cheese mixture. Cover with lid. Cook on low for 6 to 7 hours or on high for 4 to 5 hours, or until ziti is tender. Carefully remove lid to allow steam to escape. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella; let stand 10 minutes or until cheese melts.

Per serving: 367 calories, 26 grams protein, 13 grams fat (32 percent calories from fat), 6.2 grams saturated fat, 35 grams carbohydrate, 61 milligrams cholesterol, 544 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Wednesday Express

Make a HAM AND CHEESE SALAD for a quick meal. In a large bowl, combine a (10-ounce) bag of baby spinach leaves, 4 cups bagged coleslaw mix, 10 ounces ham and 4 ounces 50 percent light cheddar cheese (both cut into matchstick-sized pieces) and 1 Gala apple (cut into thin wedges). Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup bottled honey Dijon dressing. Toss to mix and coat. Serve with CRACKERS. Keep it simple and enjoy PEACHES for dessert.

Shopping List

bagged baby spinach, bagged coleslaw mix, ham, 50 percent light cheddar cheese, Gala apple, bottled honey Dijon dressing, crackers, peaches.

Thursday Meatless

Forget having any leftovers with SMOKY GOUDA AND BROWN RICE CASSEROLE for dinner. Serve it with MIXED GREENS and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. PLUMS are an easy dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, shallots, fresh crimini or white mushrooms, brown rice, bagged fresh baby spinach leaves, smoked gouda or smoked cheddar cheese, half-and-half, coarse salt, pepper, cooking spray, mixed salad greens, whole-grain rolls, plums.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 10 minutes, plus rice
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 cups sliced fresh crimini or white mushrooms
  • 3 cups hot cooked brown rice
  • 1 (5- to 7-ounce) bag fresh baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup shredded smoked gouda or smoked cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup half-and-half
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Heat broiler. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add shallots and mushrooms; cook 6 minutes or until tender. Add hot rice, spinach, 2/3 cup cheese, half-and-half, and salt and pepper to taste; stir until cheese melts and mixture is heated through. Spoon into an 8-by-8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle remaining cheese over top. Broil 2 minutes or until cheese melts and serve.

Per serving: 364 calories, 14 grams protein, 16 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 7.7 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, 43 milligrams cholesterol, 284 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Friday Budget

Saving money is easy with this full-flavored CAPPELLINI WITH SAUSAGE. Heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium-high; add 3/4 to 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (cut into 1/2-inch slices) and cook 3 to 4 minutes, turning sausage as it browns. Add 1 large chopped onion and 2 cloves minced garlic; cook 2 or 3 minutes or until lightly browned. Add 2 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth and 1/4 cup water; cover and bring to boil. Add 8 ounces capellini pasta (broken in half) and cook 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 (10-ounce) bag coarsely chopped fresh spinach and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, stirring into pasta and sauce. Cook 2 or 3 more minutes, or until pasta is al dente and spinach is wilted. Stir in 1/2 cup half-and-half. Serve immediately. Add a LETTUCE WEDGE and GARLIC BREAD. PEARS make a quick dessert.

Shopping List

olive oil, sweet Italian sausage, onion, garlic, unsalted chicken broth, capellini pasta, bagged fresh spinach, pepper, half-and-half, lettuce, garlic bread, pears.

Saturday Easy Entertaining


Shopping List

sole, orange roughy, walleye or other delicate- to medium-textured fish, coarse salt, pepper, pecans, unseasoned panko, lemons, egg, milk, canola oil, red potatoes to roast, fresh broccoli, Boston lettuce, crusty bread, raspberry sorbet, butter cookies.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 10 minutes
  • 4 (4- to 6-ounce) pieces sole, orange roughy, walleye or other delicate- to medium-textured fish (about 1/2-inch thick, skin removed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup unseasoned panko crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • Lemon wedges

Sprinkle both sides of fish with salt and pepper. In shallow dish, mix pecans, bread crumbs and zest. In another shallow dish, beat egg and milk with fork or whisk until blended. Dip fish into egg mixture, then coat well with pecan mixture, pressing lightly into fish. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add fish; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook 6 to 10 minutes, carefully turning once, until fish is opaque throughout and is browned. Serve with lemon wedges. (Adapted from "Betty Crocker: Fresh From the Freezer," Grace Wells and Cathy Swanson, senior editors; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2016.)

Per serving: 336 calories, 25 grams protein, 24 grams fat (64 percent calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 5 grams carbohydrate, 101 milligrams cholesterol, 356 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

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