7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For October 20, 2019

Sunday Family

Tickle the family taste buds with CREOLE EYE OF ROUND ROAST. Heat oven to 325 degrees. Shake 3 tablespoons flour in a large (19-by-23 1/2-inch) oven bag; place bag in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. To bag, add 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced no-salt-added tomatoes with onions and garlic (or stewed tomatoes) and 3 teaspoons Creole or Cajun seasoning. Squeeze bag to blend in flour. To bag, add 1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) eye of round beef, 2 ribs celery (cut into 1/2-inch slices) and 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips). Turn bag to coat beef with sauce. Arrange ingredients in an even layer in bag. Close bag with nylon tie; cut 6 (1/2-inch) slits in top. Bake 60 to 75 minutes or until internal temperature of meat reaches 145 degrees. Thinly slice beef. Stir sauce; serve with beef. (Note: Don't overcook! Eye of round beef is very lean and will toughen in a heartbeat.)

Serve the savory beef dish with BROWN RICE tossed with toasted pine nuts and a ROMAINE SALAD. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, top slices of ANGEL FOOD CAKE with STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM.

Save enough beef (with sauce) and cake for Monday; save enough ice cream for Tuesday.

Shopping List

flour, canned diced no-salt-added tomatoes with onions and garlic (or stewed tomatoes), Creole or Cajun seasoning, eye of round beef, celery, red bell pepper, brown rice, pine nuts, romaine, whole-grain rolls, angel food cake, strawberry ice cream.

Monday Heat and Eat

Bring on the 10-MINUTE CHILI for dinner. In a large pot, combine 2 cups shredded cooked (leftover) beef, 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans, 2 cups picante sauce (or chunky salsa) and 2 teaspoons chili powder. Cook over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until hot. Stir occasionally. Garnish with sliced green onions and reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with deli COLESLAW and CORNBREAD (from a mix). Finish with leftover CAKE and BLUEBERRIES, topped with light whipped cream.

Add as much leftover sauce from roast to the chili as desired.

Buy enough coleslaw for Wednesday.

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, picante sauce (or chunky salsa), chili powder, green onions, reduced-fat sour cream, deli coleslaw, cornbread mix, blueberries, light whipped cream.

Tuesday Budget

Put TURKEY BURGERS on the low-cost menu for tonight. Mix 12 ounces ground turkey with 1/2 ounce onion soup mix and form into patties. Grill or pan-fry and serve the burgers on toasted whole-grain buns. Top burgers with LETTUCE, TOMATOES, LOW-FAT MAYONNAISE and MUSTARD. Serve with O'BRIEN POTATOES (from frozen). Scoop leftover ICE CREAM for dessert.

Shopping List

ground turkey, onion soup mix, whole-grain buns, lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard, frozen O'Brien potatoes.

Wednesday Express

What could be easier than buying a HAM STEAK and pan-frying it for a quick meal? Serve it with BAKED SWEET POTATOES sprinkled with cinnamon. Add leftover COLESLAW and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Sprinkle fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS with toasted shredded coconut for dessert.

Shopping List

ham steak, sweet potatoes to bake, cinnamon, whole-grain rolls, fresh pineapple chunks, shredded coconut.

Thursday Kids

Before the trick-or-treating begins, enjoy DIPPY CHICKEN. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat chicken tenders with cooking spray, then cornflake crumbs. Bake 15 minutes, turning once. Make a dipping sauce from 2 parts apricot jam to 1 part mustard. Serve with OVEN FRIES (from frozen) and CELERY STICKS. Add SOFT ROLLS. HALLOWEEN GHOST BROWNIES make a spooky dessert.

Save enough ghosts for Friday.

Shopping List

chicken tenders, cooking spray, cornflake crumbs, apricot jam, mustard, frozen oven fries, celery, soft rolls, butter, sugar, eggs, pure vanilla extract, flour, unsweetened cocoa powder, coarse salt, frozen whipped topping, candy eyes, mini chocolate chips.


makes 13 ghosts
Prep time:
15 minutes plus decorating time
Cook time:
30 minutes
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 26 candy eyes
  • 13 mini chocolate chips

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang. Coat with cooking spray. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt butter. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Add eggs and vanilla, stirring until blended. In a medium bowl, combine flour, cocoa powder and salt. Stir in liquid mixture until batter forms. Spread evenly in pan; bake 30 minutes or until wooden pick inserted into center comes out clean. Cool 15 minutes in pan. Using foil overhang, transfer brownie to wire rack to cool completely. Using a 2 1/2- or 3-inch tulip-shaped cookie cutter, cut out 13 ghosts. (Save scraps for crumbling over ice cream.) Spread whipped topping over tops of brownies. Add candy eyes and a mini chocolate chip mouth (flat side up). (Recipe courtesy of Gwynn Galvin, SwirlsOfFlavor.com.)

Per serving: 326 calories, 4 grams protein, 18 grams fat (48 percent calories from fat), 10.7 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 88 milligrams cholesterol, 262 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Friday Meatless

Forget meat tonight and make TORTELLINI SOUP. Serve the hearty soup with GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES and a MIXED GREEN SALAD. Munch on leftover GHOSTS for dessert.

Shopping List

unsalted vegetable broth, refrigerated spinach tortellini, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, green onions, garlic, dried basil, parmesan cheese, dense white bread and any cheese for sandwiches, mixed greens.


makes about 9 cups
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
less than 15 minutes
  • 3 (14-ounce) cans unsalted vegetable broth
  • 2 (9-ounce) packages refrigerated spinach tortellini
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, with liquid
  • 4 green onions, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese for garnish

Bring broth to a boil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add tortellini, tomatoes, onions, garlic and basil. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Ladle into bowls. Garnish with parmesan.

Per cup: 154 calories, 6 grams protein, 4 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, 13 milligrams cholesterol, 264 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Invite friends for your own GRILLED TUNA. Serve it with BALSAMIC SAUCE: Combine 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 4 teaspoons dark brown sugar, 1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce and 1/2 teaspoon cornstarch in a small pan. Bring to a boil; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Spoon over tuna and top with sliced green onions.

Serve with COUSCOUS, GINGER-SESAME VEGETABLE BLEND and a BAGUETTE. For dessert, buy LEMON BISCOTTI from the bakery.

Shopping List

tuna to grill, unsalted chicken broth, balsamic vinegar, dark brown sugar, lower-sodium soy sauce, cornstarch, green onions, couscous, fresh broccoli florets, fresh snow peas, onion, red bell pepper, garlic, toasted (dark) sesame oil or canola oil, fresh ginger, crushed red pepper, baguette, lemon biscotti.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
10 to 15 minutes
  • 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 2 cups fresh snow peas
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon toasted (dark) sesame oil or canola oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat oven to 450 degrees. In a large bowl, combine broccoli, peas, onion and bell pepper. In a medium bowl, combine soy sauce, garlic, sesame oil, ginger and crushed red pepper; pour half over vegetables and toss to coat. Divide and center vegetables on 2 (18-by-24-inch) sheets heavy-duty foil; pour remaining soy mixture over vegetables. Double-fold tops and ends to allow heat circulation. Bake 10 to 15 minutes on a baking sheet. Open packets away from your face and serve.

Per serving: 68 calories, 3 grams protein, 3 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 0.4 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 148 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.