7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For July 21, 2019

Sunday Family

How about your own boneless ROASTED PORK LOIN for the family today? Serve it with CREAMY CHOPPED CHICKPEA PECAN SALAD.

Add GREEN BEANS WITH TOMATOES AND FETA: Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil on medium in a wide saucepan. Add 1 cup finely chopped yellow onions and 2 cloves minced garlic; cook 3 minutes or until fragrant. Add 1 thinly sliced fennel bulb; cook 3 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Add 2 (14-ounce) cans undrained stewed tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low; cover and cook 30 minutes or until mixture becomes saucy. Add 2 pounds trimmed fresh green beans (cut into 2-inch pieces); simmer 15 to 20 minutes or until tender. Add 1/3 cup chopped flatleaf parsley; simmer 5 minutes. Spoon into serving bowls; garnish with 1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese. Add SOURDOUGH BREAD. Buy or make a PLUM TART for dessert.

Save enough pork, chickpea salad and tart for Monday.

Shopping List

boneless pork loin, pecan pieces, canned reduced-sodium chickpeas, celery, carrots, apples, currants or raisins, green onions, low-fat mayonnaise, apple cider vinegar, lemon, Dijon mustard, coarse salt, pepper, fresh or dried dill or parsley (optional), garlic powder, endive lettuce, olive oil, yellow onions, garlic, fennel bulb, canned stewed tomatoes, fresh green beans, flatleaf parsley, Greek feta cheese, sourdough bread, plum tart.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
  • 2/3 cup pecan pieces
  • 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium chickpeas
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped celery
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped apples
  • 1/4 cup currants or raisins
  • 4 green onions, tops only, thinly sliced
  • Endive lettuce
  • For the dressing:
  • 6 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Generous pinch pepper
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Fresh or dried dill or parsley, chopped (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

In a large mixing bowl, combine pecans, chickpeas, celery, carrots, apples, currants or raisins and onions; set aside. Combine all dressing ingredients and whisk together. Pour dressing over chickpea mixture; toss to mix. Scoop salad into endive lettuce leaves; serve immediately.

Per serving: 194 calories, 6 grams protein, 9 grams fat (39 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 24 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 533 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make PORK SANDWICHES with the leftovers. Layer slices of pork and roasted red peppers on rosemary bread (or another dense bread) that has been spread with honey-mustard dressing. Serve with leftover CHICKPEA SALAD. End with the leftover PLUM TART for dessert.

Shopping List

roasted red peppers, rosemary bread (or another dense bread), honey-mustard dressing.

Tuesday Express

Make CHICKEN STIR-FRY for a quick meal. Cook and stir 4 cups fresh vegetables for stir-fry (such as bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots) or 1 (1-pound) package frozen stir-fry vegetables in 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high 3 or 4 minutes or until softened. Add 1 (8- to 10-ounce) package refrigerated, cooked, sliced chicken breast and 1/2 cup stir-fry sauce; cook 1 to 2 minutes or until hot. Spoon over quick-cooking RICE. Serve with a GREEN SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Fresh KIWI is dessert.

Shopping List

fresh or frozen vegetables for stir-fry (such as bell peppers, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots), canola oil, refrigerated, cooked, sliced chicken breast, stir-fry sauce, quick-cooking rice, salad greens, crusty bread, kiwi.

Wednesday Kids

HURRY-UP LASAGNA has "kids' favorite" written all over it. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray and spread 1 1/4 cups (from a 26-ounce jar) red pasta sauce into dish. Arrange 12 frozen large cheese ravioli (from a 30-ounce bag) over sauce and scatter 1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry) over ravioli. Top with 1 cup (of 2 cups total) part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese. Cover with another layer of ravioli, the remaining sauce and mozzarella. Cover tightly with foil and bake 25 minutes; uncover and bake 5 to 10 more minutes or until bubbly. Serve with CELERY CANOES (cream cheese in celery sticks). Try one of summer's best desserts: fresh NECTARINES.

Shopping List

cooking spray, jar red pasta sauce, frozen large cheese ravioli, frozen chopped spinach, part-skim shredded mozzarella cheese, celery, cream cheese, nectarines.

Thursday Budget

Take a few liberties with the traditional and make "PAELLA" PRONTO. Add a MIXED GREEN SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN PITA BREAD. Slice CANTALOUPE WEDGES for dessert.

Shopping List

frozen petite green peas, turkey sausage, cooking spray, chicken tenders, red bell pepper, garlic, dried thyme, package yellow rice mix, coarse salt, black pepper, mixed greens, whole-grain pita bread, cantaloupe.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
about 30 minutes
  • 1 (10-ounce) package frozen petite green peas
  • 1 (13 1/2-ounce) package mild to hot turkey sausage, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
  • 3/4 to 1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (8-ounce) package yellow rice mix (discard seasoning package; see NOTE)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Black pepper to taste

Microwave peas 3 minutes on high (100 percent power); set aside. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook sausage 3 to 4 minutes on medium-high; stir occasionally. Remove to a plate. In same skillet, add chicken and cook 4 to 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Transfer to separate plate. In same skillet, add bell pepper, garlic and thyme; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add rice mix, water and sausage; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, covered, 10 minutes or until most of liquid has been absorbed. Stir peas and chicken into rice mixture and cook, covered, 5 minutes or until heated through. Add the salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

NOTE: The rice seasoning packet adds 493 milligrams sodium per serving.

Per serving: 338 calories, 27 grams protein, 8 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 90 milligrams cholesterol, 613 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Friday Meatless

Skip meat tonight with PIEROGIES on the menu. Cook 1 (16.9-ounce) package frozen potato-and-onion pierogies in boiling water 5 minutes or until they float; remove from heat, drain and return to pot. Meanwhile, combine 1 1/2 cups marinara sauce, 1/2 cup sliced green olives and 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper in separate saucepan; bring to a simmer. Pour sauce over hot pierogies; stir gently. Serve on individual plates and garnish with dollops of reduced-fat ricotta cheese. Serve with MIXED GREENS and FRESH PEACHES.

Shopping List

frozen potato-and-onion pierogies, jar marinara sauce, green olives, crushed red pepper, reduced-fat ricotta cheese, mixed greens, fresh peaches.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Treat your guests to CURRIED CHICKEN SALAD WITH BLACKBERRIES. Serve the refreshing salad with ORZO pasta tossed with parmesan cheese and add POPPY SEED MUFFINS. Slice COCONUT CAKE for dessert.

Shopping List

olive oil, boneless, skinless chicken breasts, coarse salt, pepper, reduced-fat mayonnaise, dry white wine, mango chutney, curry powder, lemon, ground ginger, green onion, celery, golden raisins, fresh or frozen blackberries, roasted and salted cashews, lettuce, orzo pasta, parmesan cheese, poppy seed muffins, coconut cake.


Prep time:
15 minutes; chilling time: 20 to 30 minutes
Cook time:
10 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon dry white wine
  • 2 tablespoons mango chutney
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 rib celery, chopped
  • 1/4 cup golden raisins
  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup roasted, salted cashews
  • Lettuce

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium. Sprinkle chicken with the salt and pepper; cook chicken 5 minutes on each side or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from pan; chill in refrigerator 20 to 30 minutes, then cut into 1/2-inch cubes. Combine mayonnaise, wine, chutney, curry powder, lemon juice and ginger in a large bowl. Add chicken, onion, celery, raisins and berries; toss to coat. (If using frozen berries, refrigerate 30 minutes before serving to allow flavors to blend.) Just before serving, add cashews. Spoon salad onto a bed of lettuce and serve.

Per serving: 327 calories, 27 grams protein, 12 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 526 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.