7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For January 26, 2020

Sunday Family

Make this SAVORY BEEF POT ROAST, and the aroma will bring the family to the table in a hurry. Accompany the delicious beef with MASHED POTATOES and DINNER ROLLS. Finish this fine meal with warm PEACH COBBLER and VANILLA ICE CREAM.

Save enough beef and mashed potatoes for Monday. Save enough cobbler for Tuesday and enough ice cream for Saturday.

Shopping List

cooking spray, boneless beef blade chuck roast, coarse salt, pepper, lower-sodium beef broth, dry red wine, garlic, any frozen vegetable blend, fresh thyme, potatoes to mash, dinner rolls, peach cobbler, vanilla ice cream.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 2 1/2 hours
  • 1 (2- to 2 1/2-pound) boneless beef blade chuck roast
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (14-ounce) can lower-sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 3 cups any frozen vegetable blend
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, plus sprigs for garnish

Coat stockpot with cooking spray; heat to medium. Place roast in pot; brown evenly. Pour off drippings; season with salt and pepper. Add broth, wine and garlic to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover tightly and simmer 2 1/4 to 2 1/2 hours or until roast is fork-tender. Remove roast; keep warm. Skim fat from broth and discard; bring broth to a boil. Reduce to medium; cook 5 minutes. Add frozen vegetables to pot; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, uncovered, 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender and liquid is reduced slightly. Stir in the chopped thyme. Season with additional salt as desired. Slice roast and serve with sauce and vegetables.

Per serving: 241 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams fat (40 percent calories from fat), 4 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 78 milligrams cholesterol, 206 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

One of the best parts of the leftover beef is BEEF SANDWICHES on toasted SANDWICH ROLLS with horseradish sauce and lettuce. Serve alongside POTATO PATTIES (see TIP), using leftover mashed potatoes. Add COLESLAW. Make dessert light with KIWI.

Mix leftover potatoes with an egg, shape into patties, coat in flour and brown in olive oil in a small skillet until hot.

Shopping List

sandwich rolls, horseradish sauce, lettuce, egg, flour, olive oil, coleslaw, kiwi.

Tuesday Budget

A tasty way to save money is making TUNA-MUSHROOM MELT SANDWICHES for dinner. In a small bowl, combine 1 (6-ounce) can drained water-packed albacore tuna, 1/4 cup chopped celery and 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise; stir until blended. Set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil on medium. Add 4 medium-sized portobello mushroom caps (6 ounces total), gill side up with stems removed; cover and cook 4 minutes. Uncover and turn, then re-cover and cook 3 minutes or until tender. Turn mushrooms; divide tuna mixture among mushrooms and top each with 1 slice low-fat American cheese. Cover and cook 2 minutes or until cheese melts. Place each mushroom on 1 slice toasted whole-grain bread. Serve the open-faced sandwiches with HASH-BROWNED POTATOES (from frozen) and a MIXED GREEN SALAD. Warm the leftover COBBLER and top it with light whipped cream.

For heartier sandwiches, use 2 cans tuna.

Shopping List

canned water-packed albacore tuna, celery, low-fat mayonnaise, olive oil, portobello mushrooms, sliced low-fat American cheese, whole-grain bread, frozen hash-browned potatoes, mixed greens, light whipped cream.

Wednesday Meatless

No need to take a trip to southern Italy for SICILIAN PASTA when you can make your own. Cook 8 ounces bow tie pasta according to directions; drain. Meanwhile, in a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil on medium. Add 1 small eggplant (cubed, about 3 cups), 1 medium red bell pepper (cut into strips) and 1 medium onion (cut into wedges); cook and stir 10 minutes or until softened. Add 1 (26-ounce) jar red pasta sauce with mushrooms and ripe olives; simmer 10 minutes. Spoon over pasta. Serve with an ITALIAN SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. For dessert, PEARS are easy.

Shopping List

bow tie pasta, olive oil, eggplant, red bell pepper, onion, jar red pasta sauce with mushrooms and ripe olives, Italian salad, garlic bread, pears.

Thursday Express

Make dinner quick tonight with a ROTISSERIE CHICKEN. Serve the chicken with packaged SCALLOPED POTATOES. Add GREEN BEANS (from frozen), a packaged GREEN SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS, and you have a fine dinner. For dessert, CHUNKY APPLESAUCE with cinnamon hits the spot.

Shopping List

rotisserie chicken, packaged scalloped potatoes, frozen green beans, packaged green salad, crusty rolls, chunky applesauce, cinnamon.

Friday Kids

Make the little angels happy tonight with a favorite, CHEESEBURGER MACARONI. Add STEAMED FRESH SPINACH (see TIP) and SOFT ROLLS.

Teach the kids to make DESSERT SANDWICHES for a sweet treat: Spoon 2 tablespoons whipped topping between 2 chocolate graham cracker squares, then freeze.

Because spinach is mostly water, 1 pound fresh spinach reduces to 3/4 to 1 cup cooked.

Shopping List

small elbow macaroni, lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, onion, canned Italian stewed tomatoes, ketchup, cayenne pepper, coarse salt, shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese, fresh spinach, soft rolls, whipped topping, chocolate graham cracker squares.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
less than 15 minutes
Cook time:
about 10 minutes, plus macaroni
  • 6 ounces small elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 (14 1/2-ounce) cans Italian stewed tomatoes with liquid
  • 1/4 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 cup shredded 50% light sharp cheddar cheese

Cook macaroni according to directions, but without using oil; drain. Cook beef, turkey and onion in a large nonstick skillet on medium for 5 or 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well and pat with paper towels. Spoon back into skillet and add tomatoes with liquid, ketchup, cayenne pepper and salt; mix well. Cook 4 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cooked macaroni. Sprinkle with cheese and serve immediately.

Per serving: 321 calories, 25 grams protein, 10 grams fat (27 percent calories from fat), 4.1 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 53 milligrams cholesterol, 698 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Treat your guests extra-special and serve them POMEGRANATE AND LIME CHICKEN THIGHS. Serve the savory dish with BROWN RICE, STEAMED YELLOW SUMMER SQUASH and SOURDOUGH BREAD. For dessert, spoon warm caramel sauce over leftover ICE CREAM.

Shopping List

plain Greek yogurt, pomegranate juice, coarse salt, garlic powder, bone-in skin-on chicken thighs, pomegranate arils (seeds) if desired, sugar, lime, honey, Dijon mustard, brown rice, yellow summer squash, sourdough bread, caramel sauce.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes; marinating time: 2 hours to overnight
Cook time:
For chicken: 30 to 40 minutes; For glaze: 20 to 25 minutes
  • For the chicken:
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup pomegranate juice
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 8 bone-in skin-on chicken thighs
  • Pomegranate arils (seeds) for garnish (optional)
  • For the glaze:
  • 4 cups pomegranate juice
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard

To marinate chicken, combine the yogurt, 1 cup pomegranate juice, salt and garlic powder in a large bowl. Add the chicken; turn to coat. Cover; refrigerate 2 hours to overnight, turning several times.

To prepare the glaze: Whisk together 4 cups pomegranate juice, sugar, lime juice, honey and mustard in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook 20 to 25 minutes or until thickened. Remove glaze from heat and set aside.

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Heat a nonstick stovetop grill pan on medium-high. Coat pan with cooking spray just before placing chicken on it. Remove chicken from the marinade; let the excess liquid drip off before setting 4 thighs, skin-side down, on the pan; discard marinade. Leave chicken in place for 1 minute to allow the skin to sear and create dark grill marks. Turn chicken; cook 1 minute more; transfer to a large, parchment-lined rimmed baking pan. Repeat with remaining thighs. Bake the chicken about 30-40 minutes, or until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Spoon a generous amount of glaze over the chicken and garnish with pomegranate seeds, if desired. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 368 calories, 18 grams protein, 12 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 3.1 grams saturated fat, 48 grams carbohydrate, 101 milligrams cholesterol, 481 milligrams sodium, no fiber.