7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For April 05, 2020

Sunday Family

Celebrate a family Easter with your ROAST CHICKEN, MASHED POTATOES and GRAVY. Alongside, GREEN BEANS with sliced mushrooms are perfect. Serve with DINNER ROLLS. For dessert, EASTER EGG COCONUT CUPCAKES are fun!

Save enough chicken for Monday; save enough cupcakes for Tuesday.

Shopping List

chicken to roast, potatoes, gravy, green beans, mushrooms, dinner rolls, butter, granulated sugar, eggs, cream of coconut (or light cream), coconut extract, vanilla extract, all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt, 2% milk, premade vanilla frosting, shredded coconut, green food coloring, egg-shaped malted milk candies.


makes 15 cupcakes
Prep time:
25 minutes
Cook time:
25 minutes; Cooling time: 5 minutes
  • 12 tablespoons butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs plus 1 egg white
  • 1/2 cup cream of coconut (or 1/2 cup light cream plus 1/8 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular salt
  • 1/4 cup 2% milk
  • 1 (16-ounce) container premade vanilla frosting
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
  • Green food coloring
  • 45 egg-shaped malted milk candies

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake tins with 15 cupcake liners. With mixer on medium-high, beat butter and granulated sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, egg white, cream of coconut, coconut extract and vanilla extract and beat until creamy and blended. Add flour, baking powder and salt, and beat until just combined. Add milk and beat until a thick batter forms. Using a 1/2-cup scoop, divide batter evenly among prepared cupcake liners; bake 25 minutes or until tops are golden and toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes in pan. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely. Frost with pre-made frosting. Decorate with shredded coconut (tinted with green food coloring) and candies. (Recipe adapted from www.swirlsofflavor.com.)

Per cupcake: 431 calories, 4 grams protein, 21 grams fat (43% calories from fat), 11.8 grams saturated fat, 59 grams carbohydrate, 51 milligrams cholesterol, 287 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

CURRIED CHICKEN POTPIE using leftover chicken is easy, delicious and inexpensive. Serve it with a deli BROCCOLI SALAD. Add STRAWBERRIES for dessert.

Shopping List

canola oil, onion, carrots, unsalted chicken broth, flour, curry powder, coarse salt, golden delicious apple, frozen green peas, 2% milk, refrigerated pie crust, deli broccoli salad, strawberries.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 35 minutes
  • 1 teaspoon canola oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 cups cooked chopped chicken
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 medium golden delicious apple, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup 2% milk
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Heat canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add onion and carrots and cook 4 minutes or until softened. Add chicken and cook 1 minute.

Meanwhile, whisk together broth, flour, curry powder and salt. Add to skillet and bring to a boil. Stir in apple. Reduce heat to medium and cook 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in peas and milk. Pour into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate. Lay the piecrust over the top; crimp or flute edges around the rim to seal tightly. Cut several small slits in crust so steam can escape. Place pie plate on cookie sheet and bake 20 to 25 minutes or until top of crust is golden. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 319 calories, 18 grams protein, 13 grams fat (36% calories from fat), 4.9 grams saturated fat, 33 grams carbohydrate, 45 milligrams cholesterol, 457 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Tuesday Budget

Even if it's a little warmer outside, CORN AND SAUSAGE CHOWDER will hit the spot. In a large pot, combine 1 (20- to 25-ounce) package refrigerated shredded hash-browned potatoes, 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth and 2 cups frozen corn. Bring to a boil; reduce heat. Cover and simmer about 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender; stir occasionally. Slightly mash the potatoes. Stir in 2 cups 1% milk, 1 (14-ounce) package reduced-fat cooked sausage (halved lengthwise and sliced), and 1/3 cup sliced green onions; heat through. Add coarse salt, black pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste.


Bake 3 medium potatoes for Wednesday.

Shopping List

refrigerated shredded hash-browned potatoes, canned unsalted chicken broth, frozen corn, 1% milk, packaged reduced-fat cooked sausage, green onions, coarse salt, black pepper, hot pepper sauce, fresh spinach, mandarin oranges, whole-grain rolls.

Wednesday Express

Make it quick tonight with TURKEY BURGERS on WHOLE-GRAIN BUNS topped with LETTUCE, TOMATOES, ONIONS and MUSTARD.

Serve with SPICY POTATO WEDGES: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Cut baking potatoes into wedges, coat with cooking spray and sprinkle with chili powder. Bake 15 minutes or until heated through.

For dessert, sprinkle sliced PEACHES with nutmeg.

Shopping List

ground turkey, whole-grain buns, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, mustard, baking potatoes, cooking spray, chili powder, peaches, nutmeg.

Thursday Kids

Kids will like the mild flavor of SKILLET PASTA. In a large Dutch oven, cook 1 pound lean ground beef and 1 pound ground turkey breast for 8 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well. Return meat to skillet and add 3 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in 8 ounces elbow macaroni. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 10 to 15 minutes or until pasta is tender; stir often and drain. Mix in 3 cups no-salt-added red pasta sauce; sprinkle with 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and 1 (3- to 4-ounce) can sliced black olives (drained). Sprinkle with 1 more cup mozzarella and 1/4 cup parmesan. Cover and cook 4 minutes or until cheese melts.

Serve with halved CHERRY TOMATOES and any DIP. Add SOFT ROLLS. For dessert, APRICOT SUNDAES are perfect for the kids: Puree canned apricots and pour over vanilla ice cream.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, ground turkey breast, elbow macaroni, no-salt-added red pasta sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, canned sliced black olives, cherry tomatoes, any dip for tomatoes, soft rolls, canned apricots, vanilla ice cream, crushed red pepper (if desired).

Friday Meatless

You'll think the texture is meatlike, but it's the eggplant in EGGPLANT PARMESAN that surprises you. Serve the easy entree with MIXED GREENS with hard-cooked egg slices. Add ITALIAN BREAD. For dessert, make or buy BANANA PUDDING.

Marinate Saturday's pork tonight.

Shopping List

eggplant, garlic, Italian-style bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, rice, no-salt-added red pasta sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, mixed greens, eggs, Italian bread, banana pudding.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 30 minutes
  • 1 medium eggplant, peeled and sliced 1/2 inch thick (1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2/3 cup Italian-style bread crumbs
  • 3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 3 cups no-salt-added red pasta sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Heat oven to 375 degrees. Place eggplant and garlic in a 9-by-13-inch microwave-safe baking dish; add water. Cover and microwave on high (100% power) 5 to 7 minutes or until tender; drain well. Combine bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons parmesan. Sprinkle eggplant with bread crumb mixture. In large bowl, combine rice, pasta sauce and remaining parmesan; spoon mixture evenly over eggplant. Sprinkle with mozzarella. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Per serving: 340 calories, 16 grams protein, 11 grams fat (29% calories from fat), 5.3 grams saturated fat, 44 grams carbohydrate, 24 milligrams cholesterol, 787 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Saturday Easy Entertaining

Invite guests for ORANGE SESAME ROAST PORK TENDERLOIN. Place 2 (1-pound) pork tenderloins in a resealable plastic bag. In a small bowl, mix together 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce, 3 tablespoons sesame oil and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Pour half of marinade over pork, turn to coat evenly and refrigerate 8 hours; turn occasionally. Cover and reserve remaining marinade for basting.

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Remove tenderloins from bag; discard marinade. Place meat in shallow roasting pan; roast 20 minutes or until internal temperature is 145 degrees, basting occasionally with reserved marinade. Remove pork from oven; cover lightly with foil and let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

MOO GOO RICE goes well alongside. Add cooked sliced mushrooms and canned sliced water chestnuts (drained) to hot cooked rice; mix well. Serve with STEAMED SNOW PEAS and SOURDOUGH BREAD. Buy a BLUEBERRY PIE and top it with light whipped cream for dessert.

Shopping List

pork tenderloins, frozen orange juice concentrate, garlic, teriyaki sauce, sesame oil, pepper, rice, sliced mushrooms, canned sliced water chestnuts, snow peas, sourdough bread, blueberry pie, light whipped cream.