7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 17, 2019

Sunday Family

BALSAMIC ONION MOCHA FLANK STEAK is just what the family ordered for today. Prepare your own GREEN BEANS to go with the roast. Add a ROMAINE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For a special dessert, slice COCONUT CAKE.

Save enough steak for Monday. Save enough cake for Tuesday.

Shopping List

light balsamic vinaigrette dressing, unsweetened cocoa powder, ground espresso coffee, pepper, flank steak, onion, fresh green beans, romaine, whole-grain rolls, coconut cake.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes; marinating time: 6 hours to overnight
Cook time:
13 to 18 minutes
  • 1 cup light balsamic vinaigrette dressing, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground espresso coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 flank steak (1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

Combine 1/3 cup vinaigrette, cocoa, coffee and pepper in a small bowl; mix well. Place steak and marinade in resealable plastic bag; seal bag. Turn to coat and marinate in refrigerator 6 hours to overnight. Remove steak; discard marinade. Place steak on rack of broiler pan 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 18 minutes for medium-rare to medium doneness, turning once. Meanwhile, cook onion and remaining 2/3 cup vinaigrette in medium pan on medium heat, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes or until onion is tender. Remove from heat. Carve steak diagonally across grain into thin slices. Top with onion mixture and serve.

Per serving: 186 calories, 23 grams protein, 8 grams fat (37 percent calories from fat), 3 grams saturated fat, 8 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 413 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make STEAK TACOS tonight. For the sauce: In a small bowl, combine 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and 2 teaspoons adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers; mix well, cover and refrigerate. For filling: Cut leftover steak into thin slices and then into strips. Stir-fry 1 medium red bell pepper and 1 onion, each thinly sliced, about 4 minutes. Add steak; stir-fry 1 minute or until hot. Warm 4 burrito-size flour tortillas and spoon meat and vegetables into them. Top with sauce, roll and eat. Serve with reduced-sodium PINTO BEANS. TROPICAL FRUIT is dessert.

Shopping List

reduced-fat sour cream, cilantro, canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, red bell pepper, onion, burrito-size flour tortillas, reduced-sodium pinto beans, tropical fruit.

Tuesday Meatless

Skip meat tonight and try this POTATO-VEGETABLE FRITTATA. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD and toasted ENGLISH MUFFINS. For dessert, enjoy leftover CAKE.

Shopping List

olive oil, red onion, zucchini, eggs, parmesan cheese, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, parsley, potatoes, salsa, fresh spinach, English muffins.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
about 15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 20 minutes
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, sliced
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced
  • 3 whole eggs
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  • 1 cup chopped cooked potatoes
  • Salsa for garnish

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Add onion and zucchini; cook 5 minutes until almost softened. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites, cheeses and parsley. Stir potatoes into skillet mixture, then pour egg mixture over top. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 minutes or until bottom is golden and top is set. Cut into 4 wedges and serve with salsa.

Per serving: 238 calories, 19 grams protein, 11 grams fat (42 percent calories from fat), 4.7 grams saturated fat, 15 grams carbohydrate, 157 milligrams cholesterol, 385 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Wednesday Budget

CHILI WITH BEANS is always an economical meal. Spoon it over CORNBREAD (from a mix) cut into squares. Top the chili with reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with MIXED GREENS. Fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are good for dessert.

Shopping List

onion, lean ground beef, canned reduced-sodium kidney beans, unsalted tomato juice, canned condensed reduced-sodium tomato soup, chili powder, coarse salt, pepper, shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese, green onions, cornbread mix, reduced-fat sour cream, mixed greens, fresh pineapple chunks.


makes 8 cups
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
6 minutes, plus 5 hours on high
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium kidney beans
  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted tomato juice
  • 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed reduced-sodium tomato soup
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese for garnish
  • Chopped green onions for garnish

Microwave white onion on high (100 percent power) for 6 minutes or until softened; drain. Place cooked onion, beef, beans, juice, soup, chili powder, salt and pepper in 4-quart or larger slow cooker. Cook on high 5 hours. Mix well. Ladle into bowls, garnish with cheese and green onions, and serve.

Per cup: 263 calories, 31 grams protein, 6 grams fat (20 percent calories from fat), 2.5 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 534 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Thursday Kids

Treat the kids to CHIX STIX. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brush all sides of 1 pound of chicken tenders with low-fat mayonnaise and then dip and coat all sides in 1 cup panko (use seasoned crumbs, if you prefer). Place on a foil-lined baking sheet; bake 15 minutes or until golden. Make a DIP from 1 part low-fat mayonnaise and 1 part honey mustard sauce. Serve with POTATO NUGGETS (such as Tater Tots) and TINY GREEN PEAS (from frozen). Add SOFT ROLLS. For dessert, munch on PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES.

Shopping List

chicken tenders, low-fat mayonnaise, panko, honey mustard sauce, potato nuggets (such as Tater Tots), frozen tiny green peas, soft rolls, peanut butter cookies.

Friday Express

Choose your favorite frozen VEGETABLE LASAGNA and add MIXED GREENS for tonight’s dinner. GARLIC BREAD goes well on the side. Buy TAPIOCA PUDDING for dessert.

Shopping List

frozen vegetable lasagna, mixed greens, garlic bread, tapioca pudding.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Invite guests for MAPLE-GLAZED SALMON. Heat broiler. Sprinkle 6 (5- to 6-ounce) salmon fillets evenly with coarse salt. In a large nonstick skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter on medium. Add salmon, skin side up; cook 2 minutes. Place salmon, skin side down, on broiler rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in broiler pan lined with foil and brush salmon with 2 tablespoons maple syrup. Broil 5 inches from heat, 5 to 7 minutes or until syrup caramelizes. Brush with 2 more tablespoons syrup; sprinkle with 1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives. Serve with JASMINE RICE and SUGAR SNAP PEAS. Add a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and BAGUETTES. For dessert, buy a KEY LIME PIE.

Shopping List

salmon fillets, coarse salt, butter, cooking spray, maple syrup, fresh chives, jasmine rice, sugar snap peas, Boston lettuce, baguettes, key lime pie.