7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For May 24, 2020

Sunday Family

Fire up the grill today for your own GRILLED CHICKEN BREASTS.

Serve the easy entree with MEDITERRANEAN COUSCOUS WITH RAISINS AND FETA: Heat 2 1/4 cups unsalted chicken broth to a boil in a 3-quart pot. Stir in 1 1/2 cups couscous, 1/2 cup raisins, 1/4 teaspoon black pepper, 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 1 chopped small tomato and 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium garbanzo beans; remove from heat. Cover and let stand 5 minutes; fluff with fork. Sprinkle each serving with crumbled Greek feta cheese.

Add STEAMED FRESH CAULIFLOWER and FLATBREAD on the side. Make or buy a BANANA CREAM PIE for dessert.

Grill enough chicken and save enough couscous and pie for Monday.

Shopping List

boneless skinless chicken breast halves, unsalted chicken broth, couscous, raisins, black pepper, cayenne pepper, tomato, canned reduced-sodium garbanzo beans, crumbled Greek feta cheese, fresh cauliflower, flatbread, banana cream pie.

Monday Heat and Eat

Make a favorite, CHICKEN CLUB SANDWICHES, with leftover chicken. Toast 8 slices whole-grain bread and spread one side with low-fat mayonnaise. Layer 4 slices toast with lettuce, sliced chicken, sliced tomato and cooked bacon slices. Top with remaining toast; secure with wooden picks and cut into triangles. Serve with leftover COUSCOUS. Slice the leftover PIE for dessert.

Shopping List

whole-grain bread, low-fat mayonnaise, lettuce, tomato, bacon.

Tuesday Budget

Make dinner low-cost with SOUTHWESTERN "STROGANOFF." Cook 1 pound lean ground beef in a large nonstick skillet on medium about 6 minutes or until no longer pink; drain well. Return beef to skillet; add 1 cup water, 2 cups chunky salsa, 2 cups spiral pasta and 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 15 minutes or until pasta is tender. Stir in 1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream. Serve with a MIXED GREEN SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, FRESH PINEAPPLE SPEARS are good.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, chunky salsa, spiral pasta, coarse salt, reduced-fat sour cream, mixed greens, whole-grain rolls, fresh pineapple spears.

Wednesday Kids

The kids will like this CHILI without any "yucky stuff." Cook 1 pound lean ground beef in a 3-quart pot about 6 minutes or until no longer pink. Drain well and return to pot. Stir in 2 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans, 2 (10 3/4-ounce) cans condensed tomato soup, 2 soup cans water, 2 tablespoons instant minced onion and 2 teaspoons chili powder. Heat to boiling and serve, topped with FISH-SHAPED CRACKERS.

Alongside, add deli CARROT SALAD and BREAD STICKS. The kids can help prepare FRUITY SUNDAES for dessert. Mix sliced bananas, halved seedless grapes and frozen strawberries (thawed) in syrup. Spoon into small bowls. Top with light whipped cream.

Save enough chili for Thursday.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, canned condensed tomato soup, instant minced onion, chili powder, fish-shaped crackers, deli carrot salad, bread sticks, bananas, seedless grapes, frozen strawberries in syrup, light whipped cream.

Thursday Express

SLOPPY SPUDS will be on the table in no time. Prepare 1 (26-ounce) package frozen hash-browned potatoes according to directions. Meanwhile, heat leftover chili until hot. Spoon chili over potatoes and sprinkle with shredded 50% light jalapeno cheese. On the side, add a packaged GREEN SALAD and CORN MUFFINS from the bakery. Fresh TROPICAL FRUIT is an easy dessert.

Shopping List

frozen hash-browned potatoes, 50% light jalapeno cheese, packaged green salad, corn muffins, fresh tropical fruit.

Friday Meatless

VEGETARIAN ENCHILADA CASSEROLE makes an easy dinner. Serve the no-meat dish with a SPINACH SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. For dessert, ORANGE SHERBET is light.

Shopping List

cooking spray, olive oil, onion, green pepper, garlic, chili powder, coarse salt, black pepper, enchilada sauce, reduced-sodium black beans, reduced-sodium pinto beans, frozen corn kernels, cilantro, soft corn tortillas, shredded sharp cheddar cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, jalapeno peppers, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh spinach, crusty bread, orange sherbet.


makes 8 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 35 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 cups enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed
  • 1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 10 soft corn tortillas
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • Chopped tomatoes
  • Shredded lettuce
  • Sliced jalapeno peppers
  • Reduced-fat sour cream

Heat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Heat oil in a large nonstick pot on medium. Add onion and cook 8 minutes or until softened. Add green pepper, garlic, chili powder, salt and black pepper, and cook 3 minutes or until the peppers are softened. Add enchilada sauce, black beans, pinto beans, corn and cilantro. Bring to a simmer briefly. Assemble the casserole by placing 5 tortillas in the bottom of the baking dish. Add half the bean mixture on top, and sprinkle half of the cheese on top of that. Then make a second layer, starting with tortillas, then bean filling, then the remaining cheese on top. Bake, covered with nonstick foil, 15 minutes. Remove foil and bake for an additional 5 to 10 minutes, or until the cheese is fully melted. Serve warm, garnished with your choice of enchilada toppings (lettuce, tomatoes, jalapenos and sour cream).

Per serving: 299 calories, 15 grams protein, 13 grams fat (38% calories from fat), 6.3 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 30 milligrams cholesterol, 601 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.

Saturday Entertain the Family


Shopping List

unsalted chicken broth, Madeira or port, dried thyme, pepper, garlic powder, portobello mushrooms, butter, beef tenderloin steaks, onion, flour, coarse salt, garlic, potatoes to mash, fresh broccoli florets, mixed greens, sourdough rolls, refrigerated piecrust, lemon pudding mix (not instant), sugar, eggs, reduced-fat cream cheese, miniature marshmallows, frozen reduced-fat whipped topping.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
less than 20 minutes
Cook time:
less than 30 minutes
  • 1 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup Madeira or port (see Note)
  • 1 tablespoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 large portobello mushrooms, stems removed, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 6 beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1 inch thick (about 1 1/2 pounds)
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt

In a medium bowl, mix together broth, wine, thyme, pepper and garlic powder until blended. Add mushrooms; toss to coat well. Cover and set aside. In a large nonstick skillet, melt butter on medium-high heat. Add steaks and cook 4 to 5 minutes per side. Remove steaks from skillet; place on plate and cover loosely to keep warm. Add onion to skillet; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes or until softened. Add flour and salt; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Pour mushroom mixture into skillet. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 10 to 12 minutes or until sauce is thickened and mushrooms are tender. Add steaks to sauce; heat 1 minute. Serve immediately.

Note: For a wine substitute, combine 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, 6 tablespoons unsalted chicken broth and 1/2 teaspoon sugar; mix well to dissolve sugar.

Per serving: 222 calories, 26 grams protein, 8 grams fat (34% calories from fat), 3.7 grams saturated fat, 7 grams carbohydrate, 66 milligrams cholesterol, 271 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.


makes 16 servings
Prep time:
25 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour, plus pastry and pudding; chilling time: 3 to 24 hours
  • 1 refrigerated piecrust from (15-ounce) package
  • 1 (2.9-ounce) package lemon pudding mix (not instant)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups water, divided
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 (8-ounce) package reduced-fat cream cheese, cubed
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows
  • 2 cups frozen reduced-fat whipped topping, thawed

Unfold piecrust according to directions; press out folds. Place crust into 9-inch springform pan, trimming to fit bottom only. Bake according to package directions. Cool completely. Make pudding according to package directions (using the sugar, 1/4 cup water, egg yolks and then 2 cups water); cool slightly. Stir in cream cheese until well-blended. Cool completely (about 1 hour). Fold in marshmallows and whipped topping. Spread pudding mixture over cooled crust. Cover and refrigerate 3 hours or until set (but not longer than 24 hours). Run metal spatula around edge of dessert to loosen; remove side of pan. Slice and serve.

Per serving: 175 calories, 2 grams protein, 8 grams fat (39% calories from fat), 4.6 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 35 milligrams cholesterol, 158 milligrams sodium, no fiber.