7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For September 29, 2019

Sunday Family

Think tropical as the family enjoys BACON-WRAPPED PORK WITH MANGO-BASIL RELISH. Alongside, serve BROWN RICE tossed with toasted cashews. Add STEAMED FRESH ASPARAGUS and SOURDOUGH BREAD. Slice a CHOCOLATE CAKE for dessert.

Grill 2 extra plain pork chops and save enough cake for Monday. If time permits, make Monday's soup today. Cook extra brown rice and freeze for Wednesday.

Shopping List

bacon, boneless pork chops, less-sodium soy sauce, limes, cayenne pepper, garlic, mango, fresh basil, brown rice, cashews, fresh asparagus, sourdough bread, chocolate cake.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make SPLIT-PEA SOUP WITH PORK for an easy meal. In a Dutch oven, combine 12 cups water, 1 (16-ounce) package split peas (picked over and rinsed), 3 chicken bouillon cubes and 2 cups chopped onion; bring to a boil on medium-high. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1 hour or until peas are almost tender; stir occasionally. Add 1 1/2 cups thinly sliced fresh carrots; simmer 20 minutes or until carrots are almost tender. Stir in 1 to 2 cups diced leftover pork and simmer 10 more minutes. Ladle into bowls and garnish with croutons and reduced-fat sour cream. Add a SPINACH SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Leftover CAKE is your dessert.

Shopping List

packaged split peas, chicken bouillon cubes, onions, fresh carrots, croutons, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh spinach, crusty bread.

Tuesday Meatless

COUSCOUS WITH ROASTED VEGETABLES makes a fine no-meat dinner. Add a MIXED GREEN SALAD and PITA BREAD. For dessert, make instant BUTTERSCOTCH PUDDING with 1% milk, topped with light whipped cream.

Thaw rice for Wednesday.

Shopping List

couscous, red bell pepper, orange bell pepper, yellow squash, zucchini, coarse salt, black pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, crumbled Greek feta cheese (basil-and-tomato flavored, if available), mixed greens, pita bread, instant butterscotch pudding, 1% milk, light whipped cream.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
less than 15 minutes
Cook time:
12 to 14 minutes, plus couscous
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 1 large red bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 large orange bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch strips
  • 1 medium yellow squash, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
  • 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch diagonal slices
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 4 ounces crumbled Greek feta cheese (basil-and-tomato flavored, if available)

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Prepare couscous according to package directions; set aside. In a large bowl, mix together bell peppers, yellow squash and zucchini. Separately, mix together salt, black pepper, garlic, Italian seasoning, olive oil and vinegar. Pour over vegetables and toss to coat. Spread vegetables evenly over large baking sheet covered with foil, reserving marinade. Roast 12 to 14 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Cool vegetables; toss with reserved marinade, couscous and cheese.

Per serving: 326 calories, 13 grams protein, 11 grams fat (29 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 10 milligrams cholesterol, 870 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Wednesday Budget

Saving money is easy with economical ACROSS THE BORDER CHICKEN. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into strips, and cook 5 minutes, stirring often. Stir in 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1 (14.5-ounce) can rinsed no-salt-added corn, 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies, 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder and 1 teaspoon onion powder. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve it over warmed leftover RICE. Add a ROMAINE SALAD and make CORNBREAD from a mix. A bowl of PEACHES sounds good for dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, boneless skinless chicken thighs, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, canned no-salt-added corn, canned chopped green chilies, chili powder, onion powder, romaine, cornbread mix, peaches.

Thursday Kids

Expect the kids to love helping you make TACO MONSTER MOUTHS. Serve them with CARROT STICKS. For dessert, halved KIWIS, scooped with a spoon, are fun.

Shopping List

pimento-stuffed green olives, American cheese, taco shells, 95% lean ground beef, less-sodium taco seasoning mix, lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, kiwis.


makes 6 tacos
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 15 minutes
  • 12 large pimento-stuffed green olives
  • 3 slices American cheese
  • 6 flat-bottom taco shells
  • 1 pound 95% lean ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons less-sodium taco seasoning mix
  • 1/3 cup water
  • Shredded lettuce
  • 2 plum tomatoes, cut lengthwise into thirds and pulp removed

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a slit into 1 side of each olive. Cut each of the cheese slices in half vertically with a zigzag line to look like teeth. Arrange taco shells on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until hot. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, cook beef on medium high 5 to 7 minutes, stirring frequently, until no longer pink; drain. Stir in taco seasoning mix and water. Reduce heat to medium; cook 5 minutes or until water has evaporated.

To assemble, add lettuce to taco shells to look like hair that's sticking out. Divide beef and fill shells. Place each taco on its side on serving plate; insert 1 tomato slice into meat filling to look like the tongue. Place 1 cheese slice with zigzag edge toward meat along top side of taco between the shell and filling for teeth. Press 2 olives onto shell to look like eyes on top.

Per serving: 236 calories, 20 grams protein, 12 grams fat (47 percent calories from fat), 4.8 grams saturated fat, 11 grams carbohydrate, 51 milligrams cholesterol, 838 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Friday Express

Who can resist GRILLED BURGERS (turkey or lean beef on whole-grain buns) with any or all of the trimmings: lettuce, tomato, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onions and pickles? Accompany the all-American favorite with deli BROCCOLI SALAD and BAKED CHIPS. Scoop RASPBERRY SORBET for dessert.

Save enough sorbet for Saturday.

Shopping List

ground turkey or lean beef for burgers, whole-grain buns, lettuce, tomatoes, low-fat mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, onions, pickles, deli broccoli salad, baked chips, raspberry sorbet.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Serve your guests DIJON CHICKEN: Heat oven to 375 degrees. Combine 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 2 tablespoons freshly grated parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; mix well and set aside. Brush 3 tablespoons creamy mustard-mayonnaise blend on 4 (5- to 6-ounce) boneless chicken breasts. Coat in bread crumb mixture; shake off excess. Arrange on a rack coated with cooking spray and place rack in shallow baking dish. Bake 45 minutes or until interal temperature is 165 degrees.

Serve with RICE PILAF. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over steamed fresh GREEN BEANS. Add a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For a festive dessert, serve leftover SORBET in stemmed glasses and add BUTTER COOKIES alongside.

Shopping List

dry bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, dried thyme, pepper, creamy mustard-mayonnaise blend, boneless chicken breasts, cooking spray, rice pilaf, lemon, fresh green beans, bibb lettuce, whole-grain rolls, butter cookies.