7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For November 17, 2019

Sunday Family

Surprise the family with PORK CHOPS WITH CORN SALSA. Heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Sprinkle 4 center-cut pork chops (3/4-inch thick, visible fat removed) with 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Add chops to skillet and cook, turning once, 6 to 8 minutes or until meat near bone is barely pink or internal temperature is 145 degrees. Remove to platter; tent with foil to keep warm. To skillet, add 1 (11-ounce) can Mexican-style corn with liquid and 1 cup green or red salsa. Cook 2 or 3 minutes on medium or until hot. Spoon over chops; sprinkle with chopped cilantro.

Serve the colorful dish with rinsed reduced-sodium BLACK BEANS. Alongside, add a SLICED AVOCADO-AND-GRAPEFRUIT SALAD and CORN MUFFINS (from mix). BAKED CUSTARD (from mix) is a smooth dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, center-cut pork chops, coarse salt, canned Mexican-style corn, green or red salsa, fresh cilantro, canned reduced-sodium black beans, avocado, grapefruit, lettuce (for salad), corn muffin mix, baked custard mix.

Monday Kids

The kids can help prepare CHILI DOGS tonight. Heat canned turkey chili with beans and reduced-fat reduced-sodium hot dogs in separate pans, or use the microwave. Put hot dogs in toasted whole-grain buns and top with chili. Sprinkle a little shredded cheddar cheese on the top. On the side, munch on CARROT AND CELERY STICKS and DIP. Fresh TROPICAL FRUIT finishes the meal.

Shopping List

canned turkey chili with beans, reduced-fat reduced-sodium hot dogs, whole-grain hot dog buns, shredded cheddar cheese, carrots, celery, any dip, fresh tropical fruit.

Tuesday Meatless

Make MONTE CRISTO SANDWICHES for a fancier cheese sandwich. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray. In a medium bowl, beat 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup 1% milk and 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce. Put 2 slices Swiss cheese on each of 4 slices of dense white bread. Spread Dijon mustard on 4 more slices bread. Place bread, mustard side down, on cheese. Dip both sides of sandwiches in egg mixture. Place on prepared baking sheet and bake 15 to 18 minutes, turning once, until cheese melts and both sides are browned. Serve with a LETTUCE AND TOMATO SALAD. PINEAPPLE SHERBET is good for dessert.

Save enough sherbet for Wednesday.

Shopping List

cooking spray, eggs, 1% milk, hot pepper sauce, Swiss cheese, dense white bread, Dijon mustard, lettuce, tomatoes, pineapple sherbet.

Wednesday Budget

Everyone can have steak on budget night -- SALISBURY STEAK, that is. Serve with MASHED POTATOES (flavored with dill, if desired). Add GREEN PEAS (from frozen) and WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Leftover SHERBET is dessert.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, onion, saltine crackers, egg, 1% milk, prepared horseradish, coarse salt, pepper, jar mushroom gravy, potatoes to mash, dill (if desired), frozen green peas, whole-grain bread.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
about 15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 10 minutes
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup saltine cracker crumbs
  • 1 egg white, slightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons 1% milk
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar mushroom gravy

Combine beef, onion, cracker crumbs, egg white, milk, horseradish, salt and pepper; mix lightly but thoroughly. Shape into 4 oval (1/2-inch-thick) patties. Heat large nonstick skillet over medium until hot. Cook patties, turning once, 7 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. Remove from skillet and keep warm. Add gravy to skillet; heat through. Serve steaks with gravy.

Per serving: 266 calories, 24 grams protein, 14 grams fat (47 percent calories from fat), 4.2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 72 milligrams cholesterol, 693 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Thursday Family/Thanksgiving

Make your own ROAST TURKEY with all the family favorites of DRESSING, GRAVY, SWEET POTATOES and something new for the feast: PECAN-CRUSTED GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE.

If you want something besides CRANBERRY SAUCE, try SPICED CRANBERRY-PEAR CHUTNEY on the side: In a large saucepan, combine 3 large ripe pears cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1 small chopped onion, 1/2 cup sweetened dried cranberries, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 1 seeded and finely chopped fresh jalapeno pepper, 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice and 1/4 teaspoon allspice. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 30 minutes or until thickened. Stir occasionally. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Add DINNER ROLLS. Everyone will want your PUMPKIN PIE for dessert.

Save enough turkey and pie for Friday. Save the rest of the leftovers for future meals.

Shopping List

turkey, dressing, gravy, sweet potatoes, unsalted butter, cremini mushrooms, red onions, fresh thyme, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, fresh green beans, all-purpose flour, whole milk, cooking spray, pecan pieces, fried onion topping, cranberry sauce (if desired) or pears, onion, sweetened dried cranberries, light brown sugar, cider vinegar, fresh jalapeno pepper, lime, allspice, dinner rolls, pumpkin pie.


makes 12 servings
Cook time:
about 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 pound cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onions
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, plus more to taste
  • Coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, rinsed and snapped
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 2 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 cup pecan pieces
  • 1/2 cup fried onion topping

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Heat a large nonstick pan on medium-high; add 1 tablespoon of butter. Add the mushrooms and cook for 7 minutes, until the moisture has evaporated and mushrooms are slightly golden in color. Reduce heat to medium and add the onions, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper; cook 5 minutes more. Set aside. Cook green beans in a large pot of salted boiling water for 3 minutes; drain and transfer to an ice water bath for 3 minutes, then drain again and set aside.

Make the cream sauce by melting 3 tablespoons of butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat; add flour. Cook 3 to 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until flour is medium-blond in color. While whisking, add the milk and cook 7 minutes, or until sauce has thickened slightly. Spoon the green beans into a large bowl, cover with the mushroom mixture and pour all the cream sauce on top. Mix well, spoon into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, arrange in one even layer and cover tightly with foil. Bake 25 minutes; remove foil and bake another 15 minutes. Cover dish with roughly chopped pecans and fried onions and bake for 10 minutes until the pecans are toasted and the edges of the casserole are bubbling. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 188 calories, 5 grams protein, 14 grams fat (63 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 130 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Friday Heat and Eat

Lighten up and use those leftovers for TURKEY NOODLE SOUP. Combine 3 (14-ounce) cans unsalted chicken broth, 1 cup water, 1 cup sliced carrots and 1 cup sliced celery in a large pot. Bring to a boil; add 4 ounces no-yolk extra-wide noodles and boil 6 minutes or until noodles are almost tender. Add 1/2 cup frozen green peas and boil 1 minute or until noodles and vegetables are tender. Stir in 2 1/2 cups large shreds of cooked (leftover) turkey and 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley; heat through.

Serve the soup with MIXED GREENS and CRACKERS. Slice the leftover PIE for dessert.

Cook enough noodles for Saturday.

Shopping List

unsalted chicken broth, carrots, celery, no-yolk extra-wide noodles, frozen green peas, fresh parsley, mixed greens, crackers.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

For a change of pace, serve your guests BEEF STROGANOFF. Serve it over leftover NOODLES and add CRUSTY BREAD and a ROMAINE SALAD.

Soothe your palate with LEMON ICE for dessert. In a food processor or blender, process 1 (12-ounce) can frozen lemonade concentrate (thawed), 3 cups ice cubes, 1 cup water and 1/3 cup sugar until smooth. Pour mixture into a 9-by-13-inch pan and freeze for 45 minutes. Process partially frozen mixture until smooth. Return to pan; freeze 8 hours. Scrape with fork before serving.

Shopping List

lean beef for stews, flour, red onion, sliced cremini mushrooms, canned less-sodium less-fat cream of mushroom soup, less-sodium Worcestershire sauce, coarse salt, pepper, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh parsley, crusty bread, romaine, frozen lemonade concentrate, sugar.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
7 hours on low or 4 hours on high
  • 2 pounds lean beef for stews
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 (10.75-ounce) can less-sodium less-fat cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/4 cup less-sodium Worcestershire sauce
  • Coarse salt and pepper to taste
  • 8 ounces reduced-fat sour cream
  • 12 ounces cooked no-yolk egg noodles
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley for garnish

To a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, add beef. Sprinkle with flour and toss to coat. Add onion, mushrooms, soup and Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Stir, cover and cook on high 4 hours or low 7 hours. Stir in the sour cream and serve over noodles; garnish with parsley. (Adapted from a recipe at food52.com.)

Per serving: 568 calories, 40 grams protein, 19 grams fat (31 percent calories from fat), 7.2 grams saturated fat, 55 grams carbohydrate, 115 milligrams cholesterol, 427 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.