7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 08, 2020

Sunday Family

Our extended family couldn't get enough of CHICKEN WITH OLIVES AND PEAS. Serve the easy, flavor-packed entree over RICE. Add a RED-TIPPED LETTUCE SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Buy a BOSTON CREAM PIE for dessert.

Cook enough rice and save enough pie for Wednesday.

Shopping List

baking potatoes, green bell pepper, onion, no-salt-added tomato sauce, unsalted chicken broth, pimiento-stuffed olives, garlic, olive oil, no-salt-added tomato paste, coarse salt, pepper, bay leaves, bone-in skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks, frozen green peas, rice, red-tipped lettuce, whole-grain rolls, Boston cream pie.


Makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
6 hours on low; 1 hour on high
  • 3 medium baking potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 large green bell pepper, cut into thin strips
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup pimiento-stuffed olives
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon no-salt-added tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 small bay leaves, broken in half
  • 3 to 3 1/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken thighs and drumsticks (about 6 each)
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen green peas

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, combine potatoes, bell pepper, onion, tomato sauce, broth, olives, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste, coarse salt, pepper and bay leaves; mix well. Add chicken and mix well. Cover and cook on low 6 hours; add peas and cook 1 hour on high or until chicken is cooked through and potatoes are tender. Discard bay leaves and serve.

Per serving: 334 calories, 33 grams protein, 13 grams fat (34 percent calories from fat), 2.9 grams saturated fat, 22 grams carbohydrate, 162 milligrams cholesterol, 469 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Monday Kids

The kids will be happy when you serve them RANCH SKILLET SUPPER. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 pound ground turkey breast and cook 4 minutes or until no longer pink. Stir in 1 (8-ounce) package seasoned rice and black beans, 1 (10-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild), 2 cups frozen corn and 2 3/4 cups water. Bring to boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes or until water is absorbed. Sprinkle with chopped fresh cilantro and 1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

Serve with CARROTS STICKS and add CORNBREAD (from a mix). Make GINGER ICE CREAM SANDWICHES for dessert. Spread 1 1/2 tablespoons fat-free vanilla ice cream on flat side of small (1 3/4-inch diameter) gingersnap cookies; top ice cream with second cookie. Roll sides in chopped, crystallized ginger or any finely chopped nuts. Wrap individually and freeze until firm.

Shopping List

canola oil, ground turkey breast, packaged seasoned rice and black beans, canned diced tomatoes with green chilies (mild), frozen corn, fresh cilantro, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, carrot sticks, cornbread mix, fat-free vanilla ice cream, small gingersnap cookies, chopped crystallized ginger or any finely chopped nuts.

Tuesday Entertaining

Celebrate St. Patrick's Day with friends and make LUCK O' THE IRISH STEW. Serve with a LETTUCE WEDGE and RYE BREAD.

GREEN OMBRE CUPCAKES top off your meal. Prepare 1 (2-layer size) box white cake mix as directed on package using whole eggs. Stir in 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract. Divide batter evenly into 2 bowls. Stir 3/4 teaspoon green food color into one bowl, tinting to dark green. Stir 15 drops into second bowl for medium green. Spoon heaping 1 tablespoon dark green batter into 18 paper-lined muffin cups; spread gently. Repeat with medium green batter, spreading over dark batter. Bake as directed on package; cool on wire rack.

For frosting, beat 2 sticks softened butter and 2 teaspoons vanilla until light and fluffy. Gradually add 1 (16-ounce) package powdered sugar, then 2 tablespoons (any) milk; beat until light and fluffy. Stir in 3 drops green food color. Frost cupcakes.

Shopping List

boneless lamb or boneless beef chuck roast, lower-sodium beef broth, onions, black pepper, bay leaf, potatoes, carrots, dried thyme, dried basil, flour, coarse salt, lettuce, rye bread, white cake mix, eggs, pure vanilla extract, green food color, butter, powdered sugar, any milk.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 1 1/2 hours
  • 1 pound boneless lamb or boneless beef chuck roast, well-trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 4 cups lower-sodium beef broth
  • 2 medium onions, cut into wedges
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 6 medium carrots, cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • Coarse salt to taste

In a large saucepan, combine meat, broth, onions, pepper and bay leaf. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 45 minutes; skim fat. Add potatoes, carrots, thyme and basil. Bring to boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 30 to 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Discard bay leaf.

In small bowl, stir together water and flour. Add to stew. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Season to taste with salt and additional pepper.

Per serving: 382 calories, 29 grams protein, 6 grams fat (15 percent calories from fat), 2.1 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 588 milligrams sodium, 9 grams fiber.

Wednesday Meatless

Make this colorful SANTA FE SALAD for your no-meat dinner. Heat 1 tablespoon canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 1 medium green bell pepper (cut into thin strips) and 1 thinly sliced medium onion; cook 5 minutes or until softened. Add 1 cup salsa, 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium kidney beans, 1 (11-ounce) can drained Mexican-style corn, and 1 1/2 cups cooked (leftover) rice. Cook 5 minutes on medium-high or until thoroughly heated.

For each serving, place 1 cup torn lettuce on 4 serving plates. Surround lettuce with baked tortilla chips. Top with the warm vegetable/rice mixture. Sprinkle each serving with 2 tablespoons shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese.

Serve with TOMATO BROTH (mix tomato juice with unsalted vegetable broth and heat). Slice the leftover PIE for dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, green bell pepper, onion, salsa, canned reduced-sodium kidney beans, canned Mexican-style corn, lettuce, baked tortilla chips, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, tomato juice, unsalted vegetable broth.

Thursday Budget

Introduce the family to lower-fat bison with this easy MEATLOAF. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and slightly mashed reduced-sodium white beans, 1 pound ground bison (or 95 percent lean ground beef), 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce, 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs, 1 finely chopped carrot and 1 egg. Shape into a loaf and place in a nonstick foil-lined shallow baking dish. Spread top with 1/3 cup drained salsa. Bake 1 hour or until internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.

Serve with BAKED POTATOES, FRESH BROCCOLI with any shredded cheddar cheese and CRUSTY BREAD. Fresh ORANGE SECTIONS are dessert.

Save enough meatloaf and bake enough potatoes for Friday.

Shopping List

canned reduced-sodium white beans, ground bison or 95 percent lean ground beef, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, dry bread crumbs, carrot, egg, salsa, baking potatoes, fresh broccoli, any cheddar cheese, crusty bread, oranges.

Friday Heat and Eat

Make MEATLOAF SANDWICHES ON WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD tonight. Slice and warm the leftover meatloaf. Spread the bread with low-fat mayonnaise, add the loaf and top with a lettuce leaf. Cut the leftover potatoes into POTATO WEDGES, coat with cooking spray, sprinkle with paprika and bake in a 425-degree oven until hot. Add deli COLESLAW to the meal. Halve KIWIFRUIT for dessert.

Shopping List

whole-grain bread, low-fat mayonnaise, lettuce, cooking spray, paprika, deli coleslaw, kiwifruit.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Treat your guests to CITRUS LAMB CHOPS. Serve COUSCOUS and SUGAR SNAP PEAS alongside. Add a MIXED GREENS SALAD and BAGUETTES. For dessert, buy a COCONUT LAYER CAKE.

Shopping List

garlic, olive oil, loin lamb chops, butter, shallots, oranges, dry white vermouth or unsalted chicken broth, Herbes de Provence, coarse salt, freshly ground black pepper, couscous, sugar snap peas, salad greens, baguettes, coconut layer cake.


Makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 10 minutes
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 loin lamb chops, 3/4-inch thick
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons dry white vermouth or unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 orange, peeled and cut into sections
  • 1 teaspoon dried Herbes de Provence
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat broiler. In a small bowl, mix garlic and oil. Rub mixture evenly on both sides of chops. Broil 3 minutes per side for medium-rare.

Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt butter on medium. Add shallots and cook 3 minutes. Stir in orange juice and vermouth or broth; bring to boil. Boil 10 seconds or until slightly reduced. Remove from heat. Stir in the oranges and Herbes de Provence. Return to heat briefly to warm the fruit. Season chops with salt and pepper to taste. Place each chop on dinner plate and spoon sauce over chop. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 235 calories, 19 grams protein, 12 grams fat (47 percent calories from fat), 4.4 grams saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 126 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.