7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For September 22, 2019

Sunday Family

Take it easy today with a packaged POT ROAST (fully cooked roast with gravy). Serve it with MASHED POTATOES and mix in some fresh snipped chives. Alongside, add BUTTERY GREEN BEANS WITH GLAZED PECANS and CRUSTY ROLLS. For dessert, buy a BOSTON CREAM PIE.

Save enough roast, gravy, potatoes and pie for Monday.

Shopping List

packaged fully cooked roast beef with gravy, potatoes to mash, fresh chives, olive oil, red onion, garlic, dried marjoram, coarse salt, pepper, dry white wine or unsalted chicken broth, fresh green beans, butter, glazed pecans, crusty rolls, Boston cream pie.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 15 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/3 cup dry white wine or unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 pounds fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup glazed pecans

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high. Cook onion, garlic, marjoram, salt and pepper 2 minutes or until onion is just beginning to soften. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Stir in green beans; cook 8 minutes or until softened, stirring occasionally. Add butter and stir until melted and beans are evenly coated. Transfer to a serving dish; top with pecans and serve. (Adapted from a recipe by Gwynn Galvin, www.SwirlsOfFlavor.com.)

Per serving: 120 calories, 3 grams protein, 8 grams fat (52 percent calories from fat), 2.4 grams saturated fat, 12 grams carbohydrate, 8 milligrams cholesterol, 244 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make OPEN-FACED HOT ROAST BEEF SANDWICHES for dinner. Place the heated, sliced leftover beef on dense white bread and spoon hot leftover gravy over it all. Heat the leftover POTATOES to accompany the easy meal. Add a LETTUCE WEDGE for some crunch. Slice the leftover BOSTON CREAM PIE for dessert.

Shopping List

dense white bread, lettuce.

Tuesday Express

Dinner will be on the table in no time with refrigerated TORTELLINI. Spoon MARINARA SAUCE over the heated pasta and garnish with freshly grated parmesan cheese. Serve with MIXED GREENS and GARLIC BREAD. Fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS work for dessert.

Shopping List

refrigerated tortellini, marinara sauce, parmesan cheese, mixed greens, garlic bread, fresh pineapple.

Wednesday Meatless

You'll want PORTOBELLO MUSHROOM STEW in your permanent collection of favorites. Serve the flavor-loaded stew over no-yolk NOODLES. Add a ROMAINE SALAD and TOASTED CHEESE ITALIAN BREAD (place any shredded cheese on sliced Italian bread; broil until cheese melts). Instant BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING made with 1% milk is dessert.

Shopping List

cooking spray, onion, fresh or dried rosemary, olive oil, portobello mushrooms, whole white mushrooms, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, no-salt-added tomato paste, garlic, dry sherry or white wine vinegar, coarse salt, black pepper, crushed red pepper, no-yolk noodles, romaine, any shredded cheese, Italian bread, instant butterscotch pudding, 1% milk.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
less than 40 minutes
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 (6-ounce) packages portobello mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1 pound whole white mushrooms, stems removed, cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, with liquid
  • 3 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon dry sherry or white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray on medium. Add onion and rosemary; cook 12 minutes or until onion is lightly browned. Remove to a medium bowl. Return skillet to stove, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and allow to heat. Add portobello mushrooms and cook 7 minutes or until browned. Add portobellos to onion mixture. Repeat cooking procedure with white mushrooms and remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Return onion mixture to skillet and add tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, water and sherry; mix well. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 15 minutes. Season with salt, black pepper and crushed red pepper.

Per serving: 162 calories, 7 grams protein, 8 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 1.1 grams saturated fat, 20 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 277 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Thursday Kids

The kids will have their hands and faces washed early for SPAGHETTI PIE. Serve with ANTS ON A LOG (celery sticks stuffed with cream cheese and topped with raisins) and SOFT ROLLS. APRICOTS are for dessert.

Shopping List

spaghetti, cooking spray, lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, coarse salt, pepper, no-salt-added tomato sauce, reduced-fat sour cream, green onions, reduced-fat cream cheese, shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese, celery sticks, raisins, soft rolls, apricots.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 60 minutes, plus spaghetti
  • 8 ounces spaghetti
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/2 cup green onions, chopped
  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cook spaghetti according to directions; drain and place in a 2-quart casserole dish coated with cooking spray.

Meanwhile, cook beef and turkey in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain and return to skillet. Stir in salt, pepper and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes. Combine sour cream, green onions and cream cheese in a small bowl. Spread over cooked spaghetti. Top with meat mixture. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover and bake 25 minutes. Uncover and bake 5 more minutes or until cheese is bubbly.

Per serving: 316 calories, 24 grams protein, 12 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 6.7 grams saturated fat, 29 grams carbohydrate, 69 milligrams cholesterol, 309 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Friday Budget

Saving money is even better when the result is as good as TEX-MEX CHICKEN. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, combine 2 cups cooked chicken or 1 (12-ounce) can chicken breast, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans, 1 (11-ounce) can drained Mexican-style corn, 2 cups salsa and 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth. Heat through and ladle into bowls; garnish each with a lime wedge. Serve with a SLICED AVOCADO SALAD and BAKED TORTILLA CHIPS. Nibble on SUGAR COOKIES for dessert.

Shopping List

cooked chicken or canned chicken breast, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, canned Mexican-style corn, salsa, unsalted chicken broth, limes, avocados, lettuce (for salad), baked tortilla chips, sugar cookies.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Serve your own GRILLED SHRIMP to your guests with HERBED POLENTA on the side: Bring 3 cups unsalted chicken broth and 1 tablespoon olive oil to a boil over medium-high heat. Gradually whisk in 1 cup yellow cornmeal, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking often, 10 minutes or until polenta is thick. Remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flatleaf parsley and 1 tablespoon fresh basil. Serve immediately.

Add a SPINACH SALAD and a BAGUETTE. For dessert, make a RAINBOW PARFAIT by layering orange, lime and raspberry sorbets.

Shopping List

shrimp to grill, unsalted chicken broth, olive oil, yellow cornmeal, parmesan cheese, fresh flatleaf parsley, fresh basil, fresh spinach, baguette, orange, lime and raspberry sorbets.