7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For September 15, 2019

Sunday Family

Enjoy family day with grilled GARLIC-LIME MARINATED CHICKEN. In a resealable plastic bag, combine 1/2 cup fresh lime juice, 1/3 cup canola oil, 1/4 cup tequila or unsalted chicken broth, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 2 teaspoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1/2 teaspoon cumin and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt; mix well. Add 8 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless skinless chicken breasts; turn to coat. Refrigerate 1 hour. Heat grill. Remove chicken; discard marinade. Grill or broil 5 to 7 minutes per side.

Serve with one of our favorites, MEDITERRANEAN SAVORY POTATO SALAD. Add SLICED TOMATOES drizzled with olive oil and topped with slivers of fresh basil leaves, and CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, slice POUND CAKE and top with sliced fresh PEACHES.

Save enough chicken, potato salad and cake for Monday.

Shopping List

limes, canola oil, tequila or unsalted chicken broth, garlic powder, fresh cilantro, cayenne pepper, cumin, coarse salt, boneless skinless chicken breasts, russet potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, Greek feta, fresh spinach, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, black pepper, fresh tomatoes, fresh basil, crusty rolls, pound cake, fresh peaches.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
20 minutes
  • 3 pounds russet potatoes
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained and chopped
  • 1/4 cup Greek feta
  • 5 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Pepper to taste

Place potatoes in saucepan and cover with water 2 inches over potatoes; bring to a boil on medium-high heat. Reduce heat to simmer 20 minutes or until tender; drain. Refrigerate until cool. Cut poatotes into quarters. Place in large bowl; add tomatoes, feta and spinach. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, oil and salt and pepper; mix well and pour over potato mixture. Toss to coat with dressing.

Per serving: 218 calories, 5 grams protein, 9 grams fat (34 percent calories from fat), 1.8 grams saturated fat, 32 grams carbohydrate, 4 milligrams cholesterol, 328 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Take it easy and enjoy Sunday's CHICKEN and POTATO SALAD leftovers. Add some deli COLESLAW on the side, along with WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, leftover CAKE goes well with CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM.

Save enough ice cream for Thursday.

Shopping List

deli coleslaw, whole-grain rolls, chocolate ice cream.

Tuesday Budget

Slow cookers, simplicity and budgets go together, and ITALIAN BEEF STEW is all of the above. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, layer 2 pounds well-trimmed beef cubes for stew, 2 medium onions cut into wedges and 1 large red bell pepper cut into 1-inch pieces. Pour 2 cups spaghetti sauce (from a jar) over all. Cover and cook on low 7 to 8 hours. Add 1 1/2 pounds yellow summer squash cut into 3/4-inch chunks; cook 15 minutes on high or until squash is tender; mix well. Season with coarse salt and black pepper to taste. Serve over FETTUCCINE, along with a MIXED GREEN SALAD. Add GARLIC BREAD. PEARS are dessert.

Shopping List

beef cubes for stew, onions, red bell pepper, jar spaghetti sauce, yellow summer squash, coarse salt, black pepper, fettuccine, mixed greens, garlic bread, pears.

Wednesday Kids

The kids will laugh when you tell them that DOGS WITH DOGGONE GOOD SALSA are on the menu tonight. Combine 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 cup mild salsa and 1/2 medium chopped yellow bell pepper; mix well. Spoon over grilled lowest-sodium, lowest-fat HOT DOGS in whole-grain hot dog buns. Add OVEN FRIES (from frozen) and RAW BABY CARROTS with a RANCH DRESSING DIP. Let the kids make instant BANANA PUDDING with 1% milk for dessert. Have them slice some BANANAS to stir into the pudding.

Shopping List

Dijon mustard, mild salsa, yellow bell pepper, lowest-sodium, lowest-fat hot dogs, whole-grain hot dog buns, frozen oven fries, raw baby carrots, ranch dressing dip, instant banana pudding, 1% milk, bananas.

Thursday Meatless

You won't miss meat when you serve GREEN BEAN, RED RICE AND ALMOND SALAD. Serve with DEVILED EGGS and a BAGUETTE. Leftover CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM is dessert.

Shopping List

French green beans, unsweetened almond butter, extra-virgin olive oil, orange, cider vinegar, coarse salt, red or brown rice, whole almonds, flatleaf parsley, freshly ground pepper, deviled eggs, baguette.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 10 minutes
  • 2 pounds French green beans
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened almond butter
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
  • 3 cups cooked red or brown rice (1 cup uncooked)
  • 2/3 cup whole almonds, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup flatleaf parsley
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Steam green beans 7 to 8 minutes until just cooked through (but not limp); cool. In a large serving bowl, whisk together almond butter, olive oil, orange juice, cider vinegar and salt. Add beans and turn gently to coat. Stir in rice. Just before serving, add chopped almonds and parsley; sprinkle with pepper and toss to combine.

Per serving: 362 calories, 11 grams protein, 20 grams fat (46 percent calories from fat), 1.9 grams saturated fat, 41 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 523 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber.

Friday Express

Try a packaged JAMBALAYA mix for a quick meal tonight. Serve with a ROMAINE SALAD. Continue the New Orleans tradition and serve warm BREAD PUDDING from the bakery for dessert. Let the good times roll!

Save enough bread pudding for Saturday.

Shopping List

packaged jambalaya mix, romaine, bakery bread pudding.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Serve your lucky friends CHILI-CUMIN PORK TENDERLOIN and wait for the compliments.

Accompany the spicy pork with BLACK BEAN SALAD: In a medium bowl, combine 1 (16-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, 4 thinly sliced green onions with half the tops, 1 cup salsa, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro and 1/2 squeezed lime; mix well. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour at room temperature before serving.

Warm the leftover BREAD PUDDING and top with BOURBON SAUCE: In a small bowl, microwave 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter on high 45 seconds (covered) or until melted. Stir in 1/2 cup sifted powdered sugar, 1 lightly beaten egg and 2 tablespoons bourbon (or 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract); microwave on medium (50 percent power) 1 to 2 minutes, stirring several times. (For a smoother sauce, process a few seconds in a blender or food processor.)

Shopping List

chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, dried oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, coarse salt, cayenne pepper, pork tenderloins, canned reduced-sodium black beans, green onions, salsa, fresh cilantro, lime, unsalted butter, powdered sugar, egg, bourbon or pure vanilla extract.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
less than 10 minutes
Cook time:
18 to 22 minutes; standing time: 5 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 3/4 to 2 pounds pork tenderloins

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Combine chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregano, black pepper, cinnamon, salt and cayenne pepper; mix well. Rub spice mixture into all sides of pork tenderloin. Place meat on rack of shallow roasting pan. Bake 16 to 20 minutes, turning once. Set oven to broil; broil 2 minutes, turning once. Remove from oven. Cover with foil and let stand 5 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees. If necessary, roast 2 more minutes or until desired temperature is reached. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 110 calories, 19 grams protein, 3 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 52 milligrams cholesterol, 118 milligrams sodium, no fiber.