7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For August 25, 2019

Sunday Family

No need to go to the islands for CARIBBEAN CHICKEN AND RICE SALAD. Serve the entree salad with LEMON POPPY SEED MUFFINS (from a mix).

Make this easy BLUEBERRY PIE for dessert: Bake a frozen piecrust according to directions; cool. Combine 1 (16-ounce) jar blueberry jam or spread and 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon; microwave on high 1 minute or until mixture liquefies. Stir in 2 cups fresh blueberries. Spoon mixture into shell. Chill; slice and garnish with light whipped cream and serve.

Make an extra pie for Monday (Labor Day).

Shopping List

slivered almonds, olive oil, chicken breast tenders, packaged yellow rice, cilantro, sweet onion (such as Vidalia), fresh jalapeno pepper, jerk seasoning, oranges, arrowroot, coarse salt, fresh baby spinach leaves, lemon poppy seed muffin mix, frozen piecrusts, blueberry jam or spread, cinnamon, fresh blueberries, light whipped cream.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
25 minutes
Cook time:
less than 20 minutes, plus rice
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, divided
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
  • 12 ounces chicken breast tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 (8-ounce) package yellow rice (discard seasoning packet)
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro, divided
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped sweet onion (such as Vidalia)
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon jerk seasoning
  • 1 1/4 cups fresh orange juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon arrowroot (see NOTE)
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon orange zest (orange part only)
  • 1 cup orange sections
  • 4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves

Heat a large skillet on medium-high. Add almonds and cook, stirring, until golden; set aside. In same skillet, heat half the oil and cook chicken 4 minutes, stirring, or until almost cooked through. Remove to a warm plate and cover to finish cooking. Meanwhile, cook the rice according to directions. Toss hot rice with 1/4 cup cilantro; set aside to keep warm. For the dressing: Heat the remaining oil in a pan. Add onion, jalapeno pepper and jerk seasoning; cook 5 minutes or until onions are softened. Add 1 cup of orange juice and boil 5 minutes to reduce. Combine the arrowroot and remaining 1/4 cup orange juice and stir into sauce to thicken. Add the salt and orange zest. Toss the cooked chicken, orange sections, half the almonds, remaining 1/4 cup cilantro and spinach together. Add the hot rice and the dressing and toss again to mix thoroughly. Serve topped with remaining almonds.

NOTE: Arrowroot is a flavorless thickening agent. Look for it on the spice aisle or near the flour.

Per serving: 305 calories, 19 grams protein, 7 grams fat (21 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 43 grams carbohydrate, 36 milligrams cholesterol, 166 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Monday Budget

Use your slow cooker and celebrate Labor Day with BLACK CHERRY GARLIC SHREDDED CHICKEN on whole-grain toasted buns. Serve with POTATO SALAD and COLESLAW. For dessert, slice the leftover PIE and top it with VANILLA ICE CREAM.

Save enough pulled chicken, buns and potato salad for Tuesday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday and Saturday. Save some coleslaw for Thursday.

Shopping List

boneless skinless chicken breasts, brown sugar, black cherry cola soda, balsamic vinegar, less-sodium soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic, crushed red pepper, cilantro, whole-grain buns, potato salad, coleslaw, vanilla ice cream.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
7 to 8 hours
  • 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup black cherry cola soda
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons less-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 6 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Arrange chicken in a 4-quart or larger slow cooker. In a medium bowl, combine sugar, soda, vinegar, soy sauce, cornstarch, garlic and red pepper; stir until blended and pour over chicken. Cover; cook 7 to 8 hours on low. Shred chicken; garnish with cilantro as you serve. (Adapted from www.Swirlsofflavor.com by Gwynn Galvin.)

Per serving: 219 calories, 22 grams protein, 3 grams fat (11 percent calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 27 grams carbohydrate, 63 milligrams cholesterol, 254 milligrams sodium, no fiber.

Tuesday Heat and Eat

No one will mind eating leftover PULLED CHICKEN ON BUNS for dinner. Add the leftover POTATO SALAD along with PICKLES, OLIVES AND CARROT STICKS to munch on. Top the leftover ICE CREAM with FRESH PEACHES.

Shopping List

pickles, olives, carrots, fresh peaches.

Wednesday Kids

No kid can resist SPAGHETTI AND MEAT SAUCE. Make it super-easy: Buy a jar of their favorite meat sauce and spoon it over cooked spaghetti. Top with a little freshly grated parmesan, and dinner is ready. Add a CHOPPED LETTUCE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS, and serve PINEAPPLE CHUNKS for dessert.

Shopping List

meat sauce, spaghetti, parmesan cheese, lettuce, whole-grain rolls, pineapple.

Thursday Express

With the swiftness of a superhero, you'll have REUBEN WRAPS on the table. Spread burrito-size flour tortillas with reduced-fat Russian dressing. Top with leftover coleslaw, thinly sliced deli corned beef and reduced-fat Swiss cheese. Roll, halve and eat. Serve with deli THREE-BEAN SALAD. NECTARINES are dessert.

Shopping List

burrito-size flour tortillas, reduced-fat Russian dressing, deli corned beef, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, deli three-bean salad, nectarines.

Friday Meatless

With its good flavor and simplicity, you can't go wrong serving MACARONI SOUP WITH BEANS AND CABBAGE. Cook 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a Dutch oven, heat 1 tablespoon canola oil on medium-high. Add 1 medium thinly sliced onion, 1 pound thinly sliced Savoy cabbage, 1 teaspoon minced garlic and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; cook 6 to 8 minutes or until cabbage begins to wilt, stirring often. Add 4 (14-ounce) cans unsalted vegetable broth, 2 (16-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium cannellini beans and 1 1/2 cups water; heat to boiling. Add macaroni; heat through and serve. Cut a LETTUCE WEDGE and top it with sliced hard-cooked eggs and tomato wedges. Serve with CRUSTY BREAD. For dessert, try FRESH PLUMS.

Shopping List

elbow macaroni, canola oil, onion, Savoy cabbage, garlic, pepper, canned unsalted vegetable broth, canned reduced-sodium cannellini beans, lettuce, eggs, tomatoes, crusty bread, fresh plums.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

This BAKED GROUPER was a hit with our guests. Serve it with RICE tossed with petite GREEN PEAS (from frozen). Add a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and SOURDOUGH BREAD. For dessert, a dab of leftover ICE CREAM over BROWNIES and drizzled with CHOCOLATE SAUCE will cap off a fine meal.

Shopping List

olive oil, onions, green bell pepper, canned crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, coarse salt, black pepper, skinless grouper filet, lemon pepper seasoning, cayenne pepper, rice, frozen petite green peas, Bibb lettuce, sourdough bread, brownies, chocolate sauce.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
40 to 45 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small onions, each cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 green bell pepper, cut into strips
  • 3/4 cup canned crushed tomatoes
  • 5 tablespoons tomato paste (see NOTE)
  • Water (if needed)
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 pounds skinless grouper filet, cut into 3-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 2 to 3 pinches cayenne pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium. Add onions and bell pepper; cook and stir 10 minutes or until softened. Stir in crushed tomatoes and tomato paste; cover. Reduce heat to low and simmer. Cook 10 minutes, stirring often, or until onions are soft. (If mixture becomes too thick, thin with some water.) Season with salt and pepper to taste. Put filets in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, folding under thin ends. Season with lemon pepper seasoning and cayenne pepper. Add sauce and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout.

NOTE: For convenience, look for tomato paste in a tube.

Per serving: 186 calories, 23 grams protein, 6 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 42 milligrams cholesterol, 367 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.