7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For July 19, 2020

Sunday Family


Shopping List

coarse salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, pork tenderloin, cinnamon, butter, couscous, mango or peach chutney, fresh zucchini, mixed greens, crusty rolls, banana pudding.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 10 minutes, plus couscous
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1-pound pork tenderloin, well-trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch-thick medallions
  • 2 1/2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 1/2 cups couscous
  • Mango or peach chutney for garnish

Combine salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder; rub mixture over all surfaces of medallions. Heat broiler. Broil 6 to 8 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 145 degrees; turn once. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, bring water, cinnamon and butter to a boil; stir in couscous. Cover, remove from heat and let stand 5 minutes. Serve medallions with couscous and chutney.

Per serving: 380 calories, 30 grams protein, 5 grams fat (11% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 62 milligrams cholesterol, 210 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Monday Express

Stop by the deli for the always-popular BARBECUE ROTISSERIE CHICKEN. While you're there, add deli MACARONI SALAD and COLESLAW to your menu. Make CORNBREAD (from mix) and slice WATERMELON for dessert.

Save enough coleslaw and watermelon for Tuesday.

Shopping List

deli barbecue rotisserie chicken, deli macaroni salad, deli coleslaw, cornbread mix, watermelon.

Tuesday Meatless

Keep it simple tonight and make PINTO BEAN CHILI. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a Dutch oven on medium. Add 1 finely chopped onion; cook 7 minutes or until softened. Add 3 cloves minced garlic; cook 1 minute. Stir in 2 tablespoons chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon chipotle chili powder and 3/4 teaspoon cumin. Stir in 3 tablespoons tomato paste. Add 3 1/2 cups unsalted vegetable broth, 8 ounces frozen white-kernel corn and 1 (8-ounce) can no-salt-added tomato sauce. Stir in 4 (15-ounce) cans rinsed reduced-sodium pinto beans. Cover; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer about 30 minutes. Stir in a handful of chopped fresh cilantro and serve with grated light sharp cheddar cheese, finely chopped red onion, reduced-fat sour cream and corn chips for garnish. Add leftover COLESLAW and your own fresh GUACAMOLE. Leftover WATERMELON is a sweet summer dessert.

Shopping List

olive oil, onion, garlic, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, unsalted vegetable broth, frozen white-kernel corn, canned no-salt-added tomato sauce, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, fresh cilantro, light sharp cheddar cheese, red onion, reduced-fat sour cream, corn chips, avocados for guacamole.

Wednesday Kids

Here come the kids for CHICKEN CALZONES! Heat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. On a lightly floured surface, roll 16 ounces of refrigerated pizza dough to form a 9-by-14-inch rectangle (1/4-inch thick). Transfer to baking sheet. Spread 1/2 cup pizza sauce, 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 cup cooked shredded carrots and 1 (6-ounce) can drained chicken breast over half the dough. Fold other half of dough over filling. Seal edges by pressing with the tines of a fork. Prick top with fork and coat with cooking spray. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool 5 minutes, then cut and serve.

Add CELERY STICKS to munch on. For dessert, make a SUNSHINE LEMON SMOOTHIE. In a blender, combine 2 cups 1% milk, 2 cups reduced-fat lemon yogurt, 1/2 cup ice and 3 tablespoons powdered lemonade mix. Blend until mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour and drink.

Shopping List

cooking spray, flour, refrigerated pizza dough, pizza sauce, shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese, shredded carrots, canned chicken breast, celery, 1% milk, reduced-fat lemon yogurt, powdered lemonade mix.

Thursday Budget

The family is always at the table on time when these BEEF STUFFED PEPPERS are on the menu. Serve this updated family favorite with BAKED POTATOES and top with reduced-fat SOUR CREAM. We always have FRESH GREEN BEANS from the garden on the side. For dessert, PEACHES are all we want.

Bake 2 extra peppers for Friday.

Shopping List

red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers, 93% lean ground beef, onion, garlic, canned diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, brown or white rice, tomato paste, parsley, coarse salt, black pepper, potatoes to bake, reduced-fat sour cream, fresh green beans, peaches.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
about 30 minutes
  • 4 medium red, green, yellow or orange bell peppers
  • 1 pound (93% lean) ground beef
  • 1/2 cup minced onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes with green peppers and onions, drained
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown or white rice
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon minced parsley, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cut tops from peppers (reserve); carefully remove seeds and membranes from peppers and discard. Arrange peppers, cut side down, in a large baking dish. Place tops in dish. Microwave on high 1 to 1 1/2 minutes per pepper; drain, turn right side up in dish and set aside. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Meanwhile, heat a large nonstick skillet on medium until hot. Add ground beef, onion and garlic; cook 3 to 4 minutes, breaking beef apart; stir occasionally. Stir in tomatoes, rice, tomato paste, parsley, salt and black pepper; cook 3 to 4 minutes or until heated through, stirring occasionally. Divide mixture evenly among peppers; replace tops. Bake 17 to 22 minutes or until thermometer inserted into center of beef mixture reaches 160 degrees. Garnish with additional parsley.

Per serving: 374 calories, 27 grams protein, 13 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 4.3 grams saturated fat, 37 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, 698 milligrams sodium, 7 grams fiber.

Friday Heat and Eat

Chop the leftover peppers and fill corn taco shells for PEPPER TACOS tonight. Garnish them with shredded 50% light cheddar cheese and reduced-fat sour cream. Alongside, you'll want PINTO BEANS. Fresh PLUMS make a dandy dessert.

Shopping List

corn taco shells, shredded 50% light cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, pinto beans, fresh plums.

Saturday Entertain the Family

Showcase your grilling skills to the family with your GRILLED SALMON. Top it with this CUCUMBER DILL SAUCE: In a small bowl, combine 1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream, 1/4 cup seeded and diced cucumber, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill, 1/2 teaspoon light brown sugar, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon hot pepper sauce and 1/4 teaspoon white or black pepper.

Serve the delicious combo with your ROASTED RED POTATOES and STEAMED FRESH ASPARAGUS. Add a BAGUETTE. For a special treat, slice MILLION-DOLLAR POUND CAKE for dessert and top it with FRESH STRAWBERRIES.

Shopping List

salmon to grill, reduced-fat sour cream, cucumber, fresh dill, light brown sugar, coarse salt, hot pepper sauce, white or black pepper, red potatoes, fresh asparagus, baguette, butter, sugar, eggs, all-purpose flour, whole milk, almond extract, pure vanilla extract, strawberries.


makes 16 slices
Prep time:
20 minutes
Cook time:
1 hour and 40 minutes; cooling time: 10 to 15 minutes
  • 1 pound butter, softened
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 300 degrees. In an electric mixer, beat butter on medium 1 to 7 minutes (or until creamy and lighter-yellow color). Gradually add sugar, beating on medium, until a fluffy white. (Times vary according to power of mixer.) Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until yolk disappears. Add flour to creamed mixture, alternating with milk; begin and end with flour. Beat at low speed until just blended after each addition. (Batter should be smooth, and flour should be well-incorporated. If batter has lumps, stir gently with a rubber spatula.) Stir in almond extract and vanilla extract. Pour batter into a greased and floured 10-inch tube pan. (To grease pan: Use butter or vegetable shortening, greasing every part of pan. Sprinkle with a light coating of flour over greased surface.) Bake 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a long wooden pick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 to 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely on wire rack. (Adapted from Southern Living magazine.)

Per slice: 499 calories, 6 grams protein, 26 grams fat (45% calories from fat), 15.4 grams saturated fat, 62 grams carbohydrate, 132 milligrams cholesterol, 235 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.