7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For January 05, 2020

Sunday Family

Prepare your own FLANK STEAK for family day. Serve the thinly sliced beef alongside WALNUT RICE WITH CREAM CHEESE, MUSHROOMS AND SPINACH. Steam FRESH BROCCOLI and offer SOURDOUGH BREAD on the side. For dessert, STRAWBERRY ICE CREAM is good.

Save enough beef and casserole for Monday; save enough ice cream for Thursday.

Shopping List

flank steak, butter, cremini mushrooms, reduced-fat cream cheese, rice, fresh spinach, parmesan cheese, walnuts, coarse salt, pepper, fresh broccoli, sourdough bread, strawberry ice cream.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 10 minutes, plus rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 cups sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 2 cups torn fresh spinach
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet on medium heat. Add mushrooms; cook 4 minutes or until softened. Add cream cheese; stir until melted. Reduce heat to medium-low. Add rice; stir 4 minutes or until well-blended and heated through. In a large bowl, combine rice mixture, spinach, parmesan, walnuts, salt and pepper; toss well to mix. Serve.

Per serving: 273 calories, 9 grams protein, 16 grams fat (51 percent calories from fat), 6.3 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 26 milligrams cholesterol, 287 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

BEEF ROLLS-UPS are easy. Cut the leftover beef into strips, heat and place on a warmed whole-grain flour tortilla. Top with deli COLESLAW and roll. Serve the roll-ups with the leftover RICE dish. PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are good for dessert.

Shopping List

whole-grain flour tortillas, deli coleslaw, pineapple chunks.

Tuesday Meatless

Try these no-meat FENNEL-STUFFED POTATOES for dinner tonight. GREEN BEANS add more color to the plate. A SPINACH SALAD WITH EGG WEDGES and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS round out the meal. How about instant CHOCOLATE PUDDING (made with 1% milk) and a dollop of LIGHT WHIPPED CREAM for dessert?

Shopping List

baking potatoes, olive oil, fennel, onion, garlic, zucchini, pine nuts, fresh basil, coarse salt, unsalted vegetable broth, pepper, shredded low-fat Swiss cheese, green beans, fresh spinach, eggs, whole-grain rolls, instant chocolate pudding, 1% milk, light whipped cream.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour, 20 minutes
  • 2 large baking potatoes, about 1 1/2 pounds total
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus additional for brushing potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped fennel (1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup chopped zucchini (1/4-inch pieces)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup unsalted vegetable broth
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fennel fronds (greens)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup shredded low-fat Swiss cheese, divided

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Scrub potatoes; pierce skin in several places. Bake them about 1 hour; cool. Meanwhile, in a medium-size nonstick skillet, heat oil on medium-high. Add fennel, onion and garlic; cook, stirring, 2 minutes or until softened. Add the zucchini and cook, stirring, 1 minute longer. Stir in the chopped pine nuts and basil. Remove from heat; set aside.

When the potatoes are cool, cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the potato pulp, leaving 1/4 inch of flesh on the skin. Brush the insides of the potato shells lightly with olive oil and season with salt, if desired; set aside. In a medium bowl, place 1 cup potato pulp. Add broth, fennel fronds and pepper. Mash until almost smooth. Stir in reserved vegetables and all but 2 tablespoons cheese.

Divide the filling mixture into the 4 prepared potato shells. Heat in the oven 20 more minutes or until heated through. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining cheese.

Per serving: 237 calories, 8 grams protein, 8 grams fat (28 percent calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 53 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Wednesday Budget

LINGUINE WITH TOMATOES AND ARTICHOKES is a money-stretcher. Serve it with a MIXED GREEN SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. PLUMS are dessert.

Shopping List

linguine, olive oil, garlic, canned Italian-style tomatoes, jar marinated quartered artichokes, crumbled Greek feta cheese, mixed greens, garlic bread, plums.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 15 minutes, plus linguine
  • 8 ounces linguine
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can chopped Italian-style tomatoes, lightly drained
  • 1 (12-ounce) jar marinated quartered artichokes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • Crumbled Greek feta cheese for garnish

Cook linguine according to package directions; drain. Meanwhile, heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium. Add garlic; cook about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain artichokes; reserve 1/4 cup marinade. Add artichokes to tomato mixture; cook 2 minutes. Stir in water and reserved marinade. Reduce heat to low; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until mixture is hot and bubbly. Spoon linguine into a warmed serving bowl. Add tomato-artichoke mixture; toss to coat. Garnish with cheese. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 304 calories, 8 grams protein, 8 grams fat (23 percent calories from fat), 0.3 grams saturated fat, 53 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 425 milligrams sodium, 5 grams fiber.

Thursday Kids

Kids are usually in the mood for CHICKEN FINGERS. Heat oven to 400 degrees. Pour 1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk into a medium bowl. Add 1 pound chicken tenders. Cover and refrigerate 15 minutes. In a resealable plastic bag, place 1/2 cup crushed corn flakes, 1/4 cup Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Drain chicken (discarding buttermilk); add to bag and shake to coat. On a rimmed baking sheet coated with cooking spray, arrange chicken. Coat chicken with spray. Bake 4 minutes on each side or until cooked through (165 degrees). Serve with HONEY MUSTARD SAUCE. On the side, munch on CARROT STICKS. Leftover ICE CREAM makes a good dessert.

Shopping List

low-fat buttermilk, chicken tenders, corn flakes, Italian seasoned breadcrumbs, garlic powder, dried oregano, black pepper, cooking spray, honey mustard sauce, carrots.

Friday Express

Take it easy tonight and enjoy deli EGG SALAD on a bed of MIXED GREENS. Sprinkle with chopped fresh dill. Enjoy TOMATO BASIL SOUP and BREAD STICKS on the side. For dessert, PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES add a sweet touch.

Shopping List

deli egg salad, mixed greens, fresh dill, tomato basil soup, bread sticks, peanut butter cookies.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Treat your guests to TUNA WITH PESTO. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium. Add 2 medium sliced green onions; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until softened. Stir in 1/2 cup pesto and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Top with 1 pound (3/4-inch thick) fresh tuna, cut into 4 pieces. Allow skillet to heat back up, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 5 to 7 minutes or until desired doneness.

Serve with ANGEL HAIR PASTA tossed with olive oil and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Add a BOSTON LETTUCE SALAD and CRUSTY ROLLS.

For dessert, BAKED PEARS will wow any guest: Heat oven to 350 degrees. Drain 1 (28-ounce) can pear halves on paper towels. Place pears, cut side down, in a pie plate coated with cooking spray. Drizzle 1/4 cup caramel topping over pears. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until warm. Transfer pears to serving dishes; spoon warm topping over pears and sprinkle with cinnamon. Add a little VANILLA ICE CREAM to each dish to take it up a notch.

Shopping List

olive oil, green onions, pesto, lemon, fresh tuna, angel hair pasta, parmesan cheese, Boston lettuce, crusty rolls, canned pears, cooking spray, caramel topping, cinnamon, vanilla ice cream.