7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For October 27, 2019

Sunday Family

Serve the family HONEY-ORANGE GLAZED HAM today. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place a 2- to 3-pound fully cooked boneless ham on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast, uncovered, 30 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 140 degrees. Meanwhile, mix together 1 tablespoon orange juice, 1/4 cup honey, 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves. Baste ham with mixture the last 10 minutes of roasting. Let stand for 5 minutes; slice and serve. To accompany the family favorite, make your own SCALLOPED POTATOES and steam some FRESH BROCCOLI. Add WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Enjoy APPLE COBBLER for dessert and top it with VANILLA ICE CREAM.

Save enough ham and cobbler for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.

Shopping List

fully cooked boneless ham, orange juice, honey, cinnamon, ground cloves, scalloped potatoes, fresh broccoli, whole-grain rolls, apple cobbler, vanilla ice cream.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make GEORGIA-STYLE GRILLED HAM AND CHEESE SANDWICHES for an easy meal. Mix 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise with 3 tablespoons peach preserves. Spread mixture evenly on one side of 8 slices of rye bread. Place 1 slice leftover ham on each of 4 slices of bread; sprinkle each ham slice with 2 tablespoons shredded Monterey Jack cheese. Top with remaining bread slices; coat with cooking spray. Cook sandwiches in a large nonstick skillet on medium-low heat until cheese melts and bread is lightly browned. Serve sandwiches with a ROMAINE SALAD. Warm the leftover APPLE COBBLER for dessert.

Shopping List

low-fat mayonnaise, peach preserves, rye bread, shredded Monterey Jack cheese, cooking spray, romaine.

Tuesday Express

You can prepare TOMATO SOUP WITH SPINACH AND CORN in no time. Prepare 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup according to directions, using 1% milk. Add 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed) and 1 cup frozen corn (thawed). Heat through. Serve with a LETTUCE WEDGE and CHEESE TOAST. Top the leftover ICE CREAM with CHOCOLATE SYRUP for dessert.

Save enough chocolate syrup for Thursday.

Shopping List

canned condensed tomato soup, 1% milk, frozen chopped spinach, frozen corn, lettuce, any bread and any cheese for cheese toast, chocolate syrup.

Wednesday Meatless

This BAKED EGGPLANT AND POLENTA was a hit and went into our permanent collection of recipes. Serve with STEAMED SPINACH and a ROMAINE SALAD WITH RED ONION RINGS. Add WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. For dessert, PLUMS are perfect.

Shopping List

eggplant, cooking spray, jar no-salt-added marinara sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, refrigerated ready-to-eat polenta, fresh spinach, romaine, red onion, whole-grain bread, plums.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
40 minutes
  • 1 (1 1/2-pound) eggplant, peeled and cut lengthwise into 8 slices
  • 1 (26-ounce) jar no-salt-added marinara sauce, divided
  • 8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1 (17- or 18-ounce) tube refrigerated ready-to-eat polenta, cut into 20 slices

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Coat eggplant slices with cooking spray on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake 20 minutes or until tender. Reduce heat to 375 degrees. Place 4 slices eggplant in bottom of a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Spread with 1 cup marinara sauce; sprinkle with 2/3 cup mozzarella and 1 tablespoon parmesan. Repeat layers. Top with polenta slices, remaining sauce and remaining cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 20 minutes or until bubbly and cheese melts.

Per serving: 245 calories, 15 grams protein, 7 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, 27 milligrams cholesterol, 669 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Thursday Budget

There's nothing like a good bowl of QUICK BEEF-AND-BEAN CHILI to warm you up and take it easy on your purse. Serve with deli COLESLAW and CORNBREAD MUFFINS (from mix). For dessert, enjoy CHOCOLATE SWIRL PUDDING. Prepare instant vanilla pudding using 1% milk, and swirl leftover chocolate syrup into the pudding. Top with light whipped cream.

Prepare enough chili for Friday.

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium dark red kidney beans, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, 85% lean ground beef, onion, garlic, chili powder, cumin, sugar, cilantro, coarse salt, pepper, deli coleslaw, cornbread mix, instant vanilla pudding, 1% milk, light whipped cream.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 20 minutes
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium dark red kidney beans
  • 2 (14.5-ounce) cans no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 1/2 pounds 85% lean ground beef
  • 1 medium chopped onion
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste

Process half the beans and half the tomatoes and liquid in food processor to a coarse paste, about 30 seconds. Set aside. Combine beef and onion in a Dutch oven; cook on medium, breaking up meat with a wooden spoon until meat is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, chili powder, cumin and sugar and cook about 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in bean mixture and remaining beans, tomatoes and liquid and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 15 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and season with salt and pepper to taste. (Recipe from "Cook It in Your Dutch Oven," America's Test Kitchen, Penguin/Random House.)

Per serving: 417 calories, 31 grams protein, 18 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 7.1 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 75 milligrams cholesterol, 302 milligrams sodium, 12 grams fiber.

Friday Kids

Show the kids how you can use magic to turn the leftover chili into CHILI ROLL-UPS. Spoon the leftover chili into warmed whole-grain tortillas; top with shredded lettuce and any shredded cheese. Serve with CELERY STICKS.

LEAPIN' LIZARD CRUNCH BARS are what dessert is all about to a kid -- green, but not a vegetable! Coat an 8-by-8-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine 1 (12-ounce) package miniature marshmallows and 1/2 cup reduced-fat peanut butter in a saucepan. Cook on low 10 minutes or until marshmallows melt, stirring constantly. Add 6 drops green food coloring (more if you want it to look really gross); mix well. Add 6 cups crisp rice cereal; mix well. Remove from heat and spoon mixture into prepared baking dish; spread evenly and press down with back of spoon. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into 8 long, thin strips, then cut strips in half. Remove bars from pan. Press 2 chocolate chips into one end of each bar to make eyes. Be brave and eat a lizard.

Shopping List

whole-grain tortillas, lettuce, any shredded cheese, celery, cooking spray, miniature marshmallows, reduced-fat peanut butter, green food coloring, crisp rice cereal, chocolate chips.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Any guest would enjoy CHICKEN WITH GARLIC. Serve with MASHED POTATOES, PETITE GREEN PEAS (from frozen), a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and SOURDOUGH BREAD. Make or buy CHEESECAKE for dessert.

Shopping List

cooking spray, onions, celery, dried tarragon, parsley, skinless bone-in chicken thighs, skinless chicken legs, olive oil, coarse salt, pepper, dry vermouth (or dry sherry or dry white wine), garlic, potatoes to mash, frozen petite green peas, bibb lettuce, sourdough bread, cheesecake.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
1 1/2 hours
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 4 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 skinless bone-in chicken thighs (about 2 3/4 pounds total)
  • 8 skinless chicken legs (about 1 3/4 pounds total)
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry vermouth (or dry sherry or dry white wine) (see NOTE)
  • 20 cloves garlic, separated, not peeled

Heat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Combine onions, celery, tarragon and parsley in the baking dish. Rub chicken pieces with oil and season with salt and pepper. Place chicken on top of onions and celery. Drizzle with vermouth and tuck the garlic in and around the chicken. Cover with foil. Bake 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of chicken is 165 degrees. Discard garlic and serve.

NOTE: For testing purposes, I used vermouth.

Per serving: 289 calories, 35 grams protein, 16 grams fat (50 percent calories from fat), 3.8 grams saturated fat, no carbohydrate, 197 milligrams cholesterol, 307 milligrams sodium, no fiber.