7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For January 12, 2020

Sunday Family

Spice up the family gathering with SWEET AND TANGY PORK TENDERLOIN. Combine 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 1/4 cup cider vinegar, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 2 teaspoons cumin and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a resealable plastic bag; mix well. Add 2 trimmed pork tenderloins (1 pound each), turning to coat. Seal and marinate in refrigerator 1 hour or up to 24 hours. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place tenderloins on broiler rack coated with cooking spray; place rack in broiler pan lined with foil. Brush with marinade. Bake 20 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees. Remove from oven, cover and let stand 5 minutes. Slice 1 tenderloin and serve.

To accompany the pork, add ROASTED RED POTATOES, PETITE GREEN PEAS (from frozen) and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, slice POUND CAKE and top with BLUEBERRIES.

Save one of the tenderloins and enough cake for Monday.

Shopping List

light brown sugar, cider vinegar, tomato paste, chili powder, cumin, pepper, pork tenderloins, cooking spray, red potatoes, frozen petite green peas, whole-grain rolls, pound cake, fresh or frozen blueberries.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the leftover pork tenderloin for a smoky-flavored PORK CHILI. Heat 1 teaspoon canola oil in a Dutch oven over medium. Add 1 cup chopped onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Mix in 2 tablespoons chili powder. Cook 1 minute; chop and add the leftover pork tenderloin and cook 3 minutes. Add 2 (8-ounce) cans no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1 (15 1/2-ounce) can rinsed white hominy, 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes with liquid and 1 tablespoon minced chipotle chilies in adobo sauce; mix well. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Serve with COLESLAW and CORNBREAD (from a mix). Slice the leftover POUND CAKE for dessert.

If chipotle chilies in adobo sauce are not available, use 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper and a dash of liquid smoke.

Shopping List

canola oil, onion, chili powder, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, canned white hominy, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, chipotle chiles in adobo sauce, coleslaw, cornbread mix.

Tuesday Meatless

It takes a little extra time, but TANGY TOMATO AND LEMON RISOTTO is worth it. Serve the creamy rice concoction with an ITALIAN SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. For dessert, try TROPICAL FRUITS.

Shopping List

unsalted chicken broth, olive oil, shallots, Arborio rice, cherry tomatoes, lemon, Italian salad, garlic bread, canned or fresh tropical fruits.


makes 6 servings
Cook time:
about 35 minutes
  • 4 cups unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Zest of one lemon

In a 2-quart saucepan on medium, heat broth to a simmer; reduce heat to low and keep warm. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large saucepan on medium. Add shallots; cook until soft. Add rice; stir 2 to 3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high; stir in 1 cup broth. Continue stirring and adding remaining broth, 1 cup at a time, allowing each cup to be absorbed before adding another. Cook, uncovered, stirring frequently, 25 to 30 minutes or until broth is absorbed. Cook until rice is tender and mixture has a creamy consistency. Stir in tomatoes, lemon juice and zest. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 159 calories, 3 grams protein, 2 grams fat (15 percent calories from fat), 0.3 gram saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 86 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Wednesday Express

Make it a SOUP-AND-SANDWICH NIGHT. Buy or make MINESTRONE SOUP for this quick meal. The deli will have TURKEY SANDWICHES on whole-grain bread waiting for you, and you can add a MIXED GREEN SALAD. Scoop CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM for dessert.

Save enough ice cream for Friday.

Shopping List

minestrone soup, deli turkey sandwiches on whole-grain bread, mixed greens, chocolate ice cream.

Thursday Budget

We never mind low-cost menus, especially when they have as much flavor as LENTILS WITH BACON AND TOMATOES. Serve the high-fiber dish with a SPINACH SALAD and FLATBREAD. PEACHES work for dessert.

Shopping List

bacon, canola oil, onion, dry lentils, quick-cooking barley, canned lower-sodium beef broth, cumin, allspice, canned stewed tomatoes, fresh parsley, fresh spinach, flatbread, peaches.


makes 5 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 40 minutes, plus bacon
  • 3 slices bacon
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes with liquid
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Microwave bacon on high (100 percent power) 2 to 3 minutes; let stand 2 minutes. In a Dutch oven, heat oil on medium. Add onion and lentils and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is soft and lentils are lightly browned. Add barley, broth, cumin and allspice. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and simmer 15 minutes or until lentils are soft; add tomatoes. Cook uncovered 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils and barley are tender and liquid is absorbed. Before serving, stir in parsley and crumble bacon on top.

Per serving: 325 calories, 19 grams protein, 5 grams fat (12 percent calories from fat), 0.9 gram saturated fat, 55 grams carbohydrate, 5 milligrams cholesterol, 347 milligrams sodium, 10 grams fiber.

Friday Kids

You'll hit a home run with BAT BOYS on the menu: Spread a thin round of deli-sliced ham with low-fat mayonnaise and sprinkle with any shredded cheese. Roll tightly around a sesame bread stick or pretzel rod.

Add OVEN FRIES (from frozen) and CARROT SALAD alongside. For dessert, top leftover ICE CREAM with MARSHMALLOW TOPPING.

Shopping List

deli-sliced ham, low-fat mayonnaise, any shredded cheese, sesame bread sticks or pretzel rods, frozen oven fries, carrot salad, marshmallow topping.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Our guests were impressed with the flavor of this version of CHICKEN MARBELLA, and I was impressed with how easy it was to prepare. Serve it with MASHED POTATOES to catch the juices. On the side, add a ROMAINE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. RASPBERRY SORBET with CHOCOLATE WAFERS is a simple dessert.

Shopping List

pitted dried plums (prunes), brown sugar, dry white wine, pitted green olives, capers, red wine vinegar, olive oil, fresh oregano, garlic, bay leaves, bone-in skinless chicken parts (breasts, thighs, legs or a combination), parsley, potatoes to mash, romaine, whole-grain rolls, raspberry sorbet, chocolate wafers.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes; marinating time: 8 hours
Cook time:
45 minutes
  • 2/3 cup pitted dried plums (prunes)
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup pitted green olives
  • 1/4 cup capers, rinsed
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 6 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds bone-in skinless chicken parts (breasts, thighs, legs or combination)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley for garnish

Combine plums, brown sugar, wine, olives, capers, vinegar, oil, oregano, garlic and bay leaves in a large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; seal and marinate in refrigerator 8 hours, turning bag occasionally. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Remove and arrange chicken in a single layer in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; pour marinade evenly over chicken. Bake 45 minutes or until internal temperature is 165 degrees. (Baste every 10 minutes with marinade.) Place chicken, plums, olives and capers on serving platter, reserving pan drippings. Discard bay leaves. Sprinkle chicken with parsley and serve with reserved drippings as a sauce.

Per serving: 549 calories, 42 grams protein, 23 grams fat (38 percent calories from fat), 4.3 grams saturated fat, 42 grams carbohydrate, 155 milligrams cholesterol, 583 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.