7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For January 19, 2020

Sunday Family

Celebrate family day with your own LEG OF LAMB.

Serve it with a Southern favorite, CHEESE AND GARLIC GRITS: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 7-by-11-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Stir in 1 cup quick grits and 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt. Reduce heat to medium-low; cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in 1 (10 3/4-ounce) can condensed less-sodium less-fat cheddar cheese soup, 1 tablespoon butter and 1/8 teaspoon hot pepper sauce; mix well. Spread mixture in dish. Sprinkle with 1/2 cup 50% light sharp cheddar cheese and garnish with paprika. Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until cheese melts and bubbles.

Serve with steamed CARROTS and a BAGUETTE. For dessert, buy a BOSTON CREAM PIE.

Save enough lamb, grits and pie for Monday.

Shopping List

leg of lamb, cooking spray, quick grits, garlic salt, canned condensed less-sodium less-fat cheddar cheese soup, butter, hot pepper sauce, 50% light sharp cheddar cheese, paprika, carrots, baguette, Boston cream pie.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make LAMB SANDWICHES for an easy meal. Brush slices of rosemary bread (or focaccia) with olive oil. Top with sliced leftover lamb, roasted red peppers (from a jar) cut into strips, sliced tomatoes, red-tipped lettuce and goat cheese. Warm the leftover GRITS to accompany the knock-your-socks-off flavor of the sandwich. Finish with leftover PIE.

Shopping List

rosemary bread (or focaccia), olive oil, jar roasted red peppers, tomatoes, red-tipped lettuce, goat cheese.

Tuesday Budget

Some would say it's cheap, but we say it's frugal to save money with dishes like MEDITERRANEAN LEMON CHICKEN AND POTATOES. Serve the combo with STEAMED BROCCOLI and CRUSTY ROLLS. Enjoy PEARS for dessert.

Shopping List

boneless skinless chicken breasts, yellow potatoes, onion, olive oil vinaigrette, Kalamata olives, lemon, dried oregano, garlic powder, coarse salt, tomato, broccoli, crusty rolls, pears.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
30 minutes
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 pound yellow potatoes, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil vinaigrette
  • 1/3 cup quartered Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped tomato

Heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients except tomato. Place equal amounts of mixture onto 4 large squares of heavy-duty foil. Fold top and sides of each packet to enclose filling, leaving room for air to circulate. Place on a baking sheet; bake 30 minutes. Carefully open packets away from your face; sprinkle equal amounts of tomato over each.

Per serving: 418 calories, 39 grams protein, 15 grams fat (33 percent calories from fat), 2.3 grams saturated fat, 30 grams carbohydrate, 109 milligrams cholesterol, 777 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Wednesday Meatless

We're always in the mood for no-meat lasagna, and this ZUCCHINI LASAGNA didn't disappoint. Serve it with a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and ITALIAN BREAD. For dessert, sprinkle sliced PEACHES with nutmeg.

Shopping List

no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce, large zucchini, dried basil, no-boil lasagna noodles, reduced-fat ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese, parmesan, dried oregano, shredded part-skim mozzarella, bibb lettuce, Italian bread, peaches, nutmeg.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
45 minutes; standing time: 15 minutes
  • 3 cups (or one 26-ounce jar) no-salt-added or regular red pasta sauce
  • 1 large zucchini, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 12 uncooked no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 1 cup reduced-fat ricotta or small-curd cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix pasta sauce, zucchini and basil. Spread one-third of mixture in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish; top with half the noodles. Mix ricotta cheese, parmesan and oregano; spread over noodles in dish. Spread with one-third of the pasta sauce mixture. Top with remaining noodles and pasta sauce mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake, uncovered, 45 minutes or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before portioning.

Per serving: 316 calories, 19 grams protein, 9 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 4.5 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 31 milligrams cholesterol, 367 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Thursday Kids

Tell the kids they are having PIGS IN A JACKET for dinner and watch them laugh. Spread vegetarian refried beans on whole-grain flour tortillas. Place heated hot dogs (look for lowest fat and lowest sodium) on the beans. Top with any shredded cheese; roll and heat in the microwave until the cheese melts.

Make a SALAD by tossing shredded lettuce with chopped tomatoes and ranch dressing. For dessert, FRESH ORANGE SLICES are refreshing.

Shopping List

vegetarian refried beans, whole-grain flour tortillas, hot dogs (lowest fat and lowest sodium), any shredded cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, ranch dressing, oranges.

Friday Express

Try BREAKFAST-FOR-DINNER BURRITOS. In a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, cook 1/2 cup chopped onion 4 minutes on medium or until softened. Add 1 cup egg substitute (Southwestern style, if available); sprinkle with pepper to taste. Cook and stir mixture until eggs are set. Divide mixture evenly among 4 (8-inch) warmed whole-grain flour tortillas; top with 1/2 cup shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese. Fold tortillas over egg mixture; top with drained salsa.

Serve with HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (from frozen). For dessert, make instant BANANA PUDDING with 1% milk. Stir in sliced bananas and garnish with vanilla wafers.

Shopping List

cooking spray, onion, egg substitute (Southwestern style, if available), pepper, whole-grain flour tortillas, shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese, salsa, frozen hash-browned potatoes, instant banana pudding, 1% milk, bananas, vanilla wafers.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Invite friends for delicious ASIAN FLOUNDER. Remove tops from 8 green onions and slice tops into 1-inch pieces to measure 1/4 cup; set aside. Cut white portion into 2-inch pieces. Combine 1/4 cup minced fresh cilantro, 1 tablespoon peeled, minced fresh ginger and 1 teaspoon dark sesame oil in a 7-by-11-inch baking dish. Fold 4 (5- or 6-ounce) skinless flounder fillets in half and place in baking dish. Arrange white part of onions around fillets. Combine onion tops, 1 more teaspoon dark sesame oil and 2 teaspoons lower-sodium soy sauce and pour over fish. Cover with plastic wrap and vent. Microwave on high (100% power) 4 minutes or until fish is opaque throughout. Let stand 1 minute, covered. Spoon liquid over fish.

Garnish with a lemon slice and serve with JASMINE RICE. Add fresh steamed SUGAR SNAP PEAS, a BIBB LETTUCE SALAD and SOURDOUGH ROLLS. LEMON-BLUEBERRY ANGEL CAKE DESSERT is a delicious and beautiful lower-calorie dessert.

Shopping List

green onions, fresh cilantro, fresh ginger, dark sesame oil, skinless flounder fillets, lower-sodium soy sauce, lemon, jasmine rice, fresh sugar snap peas, bibb lettuce, sourdough rolls, angel food cake, Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese, frozen light whipped dessert topping, fresh or frozen blueberries.


makes 12 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
about 4 hours
  • 1/2 (7- to 8-inch) angel food cake (about 5 ounces)
  • 8 ounces Neufchatel or low-fat cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon zest (yellow part only)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen light whipped dessert topping, thawed and divided
  • 2 cups blueberries, fresh or frozen, thawed and drained (divided)
  • Lemon peel strips for garnish, if desired

Cut cake into 1/2-inch cubes; place half of cubes in 2-quart souffle dish. In a medium bowl, beat cheese with an electric mixer on medium until smooth. Add lemon juice and continue beating until combined. Stir in lemon zest. Fold in about 1/4 cup of dessert topping until combined, then fold in remaining topping. Divide mixture in half; stir 1 1/2 cups berries into one portion of cheese mixture. Spoon over cake cubes in dish. Top with remaining cake cubes and remaining plain cheese mixture. Cover and freeze about 4 hours or until firm. Before serving, sprinkle with remaining blueberries. If desired, garnish with lemon peel strips.

Per serving: 113 calories, 3 grams protein, 5 grams fat (41 percent calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 14 grams carbohydrate, 14 milligrams cholesterol, 170 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.