7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For December 08, 2019

Sunday Family

Treat the family to GINGER-BEER GLAZED CHICKEN, a roasted chicken that has a new take on a Southern-style sticky-sweet caramelized coating. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove and discard giblets from a 5- to 7-pound whole roasting chicken; place breast side up in a roasting pan. In a small saucepan, bring 1 (12-ounce) bottle ginger beer to a boil; continue boiling 10 to 15 minutes or until it is reduced by half. Whisk 1 tablespoon canola oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper into reduced ginger beer. Brush half the mixture over chicken. Stuff 1 sliced lemon into cavity. Cover with foil and roast 45 minutes. Remove foil, brush with remaining ginger beer mixture and continue roasting 75 minutes uncovered (or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees in thickest part of thigh), basting with sticky pan juices every 20 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; let stand 10 minutes. Carve, transfer to serving platter and ladle with more pan juices.


Ginger beer has a more pronounced ginger flavor than ginger ale and is available by the bottle in the soft drink section of large supermarkets. If you can't find it, use your own roasted chicken method.

Save enough chicken and cake for Monday.

Shopping List

whole roasting chicken, ginger beer, canola oil, coarse salt, pepper, lemon, Italian parsley, butter, potatoes, red-tipped lettuce, whole-grain rolls, pound cake, strawberries.

Monday Heat and Eat

Take advantage of leftover chicken and make CHICKEN WITH LONG-GRAIN AND WILD RICE. Serve with a LETTUCE WEDGE and CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, top the leftover CAKE with SLICED PEACHES.

Shopping List

butter, packaged sliced mushrooms, garlic, coarse salt, pepper, packaged long-grain and wild rice blend, unsalted chicken broth, reduced-fat sour cream, Italian parsley, lettuce, crusty rolls, peaches.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 35 minutes
  • 3 teaspoons butter, divided
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages sliced mushrooms
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 cups long-grain and wild rice blend (or enough to serve 8, according to package)
  • 6 cups unsalted chicken broth (or as directed on rice package)
  • 4 cups cooked chopped chicken
  • 2/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons chopped Italian parsley, plus more for garnish

Heat 2 teaspoons butter in a large pot on medium. Add mushrooms, garlic, salt and pepper; stir and cook 6 minutes or until mushrooms are moist and browning. Add rice blend (discarding seasoning packet); stir and cook 2 minutes. Add broth and remaining butter. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low; cover and cook according to rice package directions, or until rice is tender and broth is nearly absorbed. Stir in chicken and sour cream. Cook, uncovered, on low 5 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until chicken is heated and rice is creamy. Stir in 2 tablespoons parsley. Serve and garnish with more chopped parsley.

Per serving: 351 calories, 28 grams protein, 7 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 3.4 grams saturated fat, 40 grams carbohydrate, 74 milligrams cholesterol, 295 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Tuesday Express

Make dinner quick tonight with GRILLED HAM AND SWISS CHEESE SANDWICHES ON RYE. Serve with roasted POTATO WEDGES (from frozen) and a packaged GREEN SALAD. Enjoy seasonal CHOCOLATE-MINT COOKIES for dessert.

Save enough cookies for Thursday.

Shopping List

deli sliced ham, Swiss cheese, rye bread, frozen potato wedges, packaged green salad, chocolate-mint cookies.

Wednesday Budget

The holidays are around the corner, so save some bucks with economical CHICKEN CHILI WITH BLACK BEANS AND CORN. Serve the chili over BROWN RICE. Add a MIXED GREEN SALAD and BISCUITS. For dessert, PEARS are inexpensive.

Shopping List

canola oil, boneless skinless chicken breasts, green bell pepper, onion, paprika, dried oregano, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, canned reduced-sodium black beans, canned reduced-sodium Great Northern beans, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, unsalted chicken broth, frozen corn, brown rice, mixed greens, biscuits, pears.


makes about 8 cups
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 30 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium Great Northern beans
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add chicken, bell pepper and onion; cook and stir 6 minutes or until chicken is lightly browned. Add paprika, oregano, cumin, garlic powder and cayenne pepper; mix well. Stir in beans, tomatoes, broth and corn. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 20 minutes or until heated through.

Per cup: 214 calories, 19 grams protein, 4 grams fat (17 percent calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 294 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Thursday Meatless

Skip meat tonight and enjoy this POTATO-VEGETABLE FRITTATA. In a medium bowl, beat 6 large eggs and 4 egg whites with 1 teaspoon coarse salt. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add 1 (24-ounce) bag frozen O'Brien potatoes, 2 cups frozen petite green peas and 1 (2-ounce) jar chopped pimentos (drained). Cover and cook, turning potatoes occasionally, 8 minutes or just until potatoes start to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low. Pour eggs over vegetables, cover and cook 6 to 8 minutes or until eggs have set. Cut into wedges and serve with SALSA. Add a SPINACH SALAD and toasted WHOLE-GRAIN ENGLISH MUFFINS. Bring out the leftover COOKIES for dessert.

Shopping List

eggs, coarse salt, canola oil, frozen O'Brien potatoes, frozen petite green peas, jar chopped pimentos, salsa, fresh spinach, whole-grain English muffins.

Friday Kids

Mention the word "hamburger," and the kids will come running for HAMBURGER SOUP. In a large nonstick skillet, cook 1 pound lean ground beef 5 minutes on medium or until no longer pink; drain well. Add 4 cups water, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid, 3 medium sliced carrots, 2 medium diced potatoes, 1/2 cup sliced celery, 4 beef bouillon cubes, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until potatoes and vegetables are tender. Add 1 cup frozen green beans. Cover and simmer 15 more minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve with a CHOPPED LETTUCE SALAD and BREAD STICKS. Buy CUPCAKES for dessert.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, celery, beef bouillon cubes, pepper, dried oregano, frozen green beans, lettuce, bread sticks, cupcakes.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Your sauteed TILAPIA will please any guest, especially when served with COUSCOUS and PAN-ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH GOCHUJANG AND SESAME SEEDS. Add a BAGUETTE. Buy a CHEESECAKE for dessert and top with canned crushed pineapple (drained).

Shopping List

tilapia fillets, couscous, Brussels sprouts, extra-virgin olive oil, gochujang sauce, rice vinegar, coarse salt, toasted sesame seeds, baguette, cheesecake, canned crushed pineapple.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
fewer than 10 minutes
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon gochujang sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice vinegar
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame seeds

Arrange Brussels sprouts, cut sides down, in a single layer in large nonstick skillet. Drizzle oil evenly over sprouts. Cover, place on medium-high heat; cook 5 minutes or until sprouts are bright green and cut sides have started to brown. Uncover; continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until sprouts are deeply and evenly brown. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, mix gochujang, vinegar and salt. Off heat, spoon mixture over sprouts. Spoon onto serving platter and sprinkle with sesame seeds. (Adapted from "Vegetables Illustrated" by America's Test Kitchen; Penguin Random House.)

Per serving: 219 calories, 4 grams protein, 18 grams fat (70 percent calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 13 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 117 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.