7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For September 06, 2020

Sunday Family

Prepare an oven-ready ROAST CHICKEN and follow the directions for a 5- to 6-pound roaster. Pair it with BAKED SQUASH AND RICE AU GRATIN. Serve with a SPINACH SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Drizzle chocolate sauce over POUND CAKE for dessert.

Save enough chicken and chocolate sauce for Monday, baked squash for Tuesday and pound cake for Saturday (can be frozen).

Shopping List

oven-ready roasting chicken, cooking spray, onion, yellow squash, zucchini, unsalted chicken broth, rice, 50% light cheddar cheese, reduced-fat sour cream, parmesan cheese, Italian-seasoned bread crumbs, coarse salt, pepper, eggs, fresh spinach, crusty bread, chocolate sauce, pound cake.


makes 10 servings
Prep time:
less than 15 minutes
Cook time:
about 30 minutes
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups sliced yellow squash
  • 4 cups sliced zucchini
  • 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 2 cups hot cooked rice
  • 4 ounces shredded 50% light cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup Italian-seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 lightly beaten eggs

Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. In a large bowl, microwave onion on high (100% power) 2 minutes or until softened; drain. Add yellow squash and zucchini to onion and microwave on high 10 minutes or until softened; drain. Combine squash mixture and broth; lightly mash with forks or a potato masher. Combine mashed vegetables, rice, cheddar cheese, sour cream, 2 tablespoons parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and eggs; stir gently to mix. Spoon into baking dish; sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Cover and microwave 12 to 15 minutes or until bubbly. Heat broiler; broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

Per serving: 163 calories, 9 grams protein, 7 grams fat (37% calories from fat), 3.9 grams saturated fat, 18 grams carbohydrate, 57 milligrams cholesterol, 378 milligrams sodium, 1 gram fiber.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the leftover chicken in COUSCOUS WITH CHICKEN AND ARTICHOKES for a delicious dinner. Serve with TOMATO BROTH (heat tomato juice with unsalted chicken broth and season to taste) to start the meal. Add SOURDOUGH BREAD. For dessert, top VANILLA ICE CREAM with leftover chocolate sauce.

Save enough ice cream for Saturday.

Shopping List

sun-dried tomatoes, unsalted chicken broth, couscous, Greek feta cheese with basil and tomatoes, flatleaf parsley, jars marinated artichoke hearts, pepper, tomato juice, sourdough bread, vanilla ice cream.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 5 minutes, plus the couscous; standing time: 15 minutes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth
  • 1 cup couscous
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Greek feta cheese with basil and tomatoes
  • 1 cup chopped fresh flatleaf parsley
  • 2 (6-ounce) jars marinated artichoke hearts with liquid
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine water and tomatoes; cover and microwave on high (100% power) for 3 minutes or until water boils; let stand 10 minutes or until softened. Drain, chop tomatoes and set aside. In a large saucepan, bring broth to a boil. Remove from heat and stir in couscous; cover and let stand 5 minutes. Fluff with fork and transfer into large serving bowl. Add tomatoes, warmed chicken, feta cheese, parsley, artichokes with liquid and pepper. Toss to mix and serve.

Per serving: 284 calories, 21 grams protein, 9 grams fat (28% calories from fat), 2.2 grams saturated fat, 31 grams carbohydrate, 47 milligrams cholesterol, 327 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Tuesday Budget

With school starting, saving a few bucks serving STUFFED PEPPERS will make everyone happy. Core and halve red or green bell peppers; place in a baking dish cut-side down, cover and microwave on high (100% power) 1 minute per pepper half; drain. Heat the leftover baked squash separately (microwave about 1 minute per cup on high). Heat broiler. Stuff peppers with squash mixture, sprinkle with parmesan cheese and broil until cheese melts.


Shopping List

red or green bell peppers, parmesan cheese, frozen O’Brien potatoes, lettuce, eggs, whole-grain rolls, peaches.

Wednesday Express

You can get TORTELLINI WITH SPINACH on the table in a hurry. Cook 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated three-cheese tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons canola oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high. Add 4 minced garlic cloves and 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper; cook 30 seconds. Add 2 cups grape tomatoes (halved), 1/4 cup unsalted chicken broth, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil, 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt and 1 (6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach. Cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in tortellini; cook 1 minute. Serve and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts if desired.

Add a packaged GREEN SALAD, ITALIAN BREAD and FRESH PLUMS for dessert.

Toast pine nuts on a baking sheet for 4 to 6 minutes at 350 degrees.

Shopping List

refrigerated three-cheese tortellini, canola oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, grape tomatoes, unsalted chicken broth, fresh basil, coarse salt, packaged fresh baby spinach, pine nuts, packaged green salad, Italian bread, fresh plums.

Thursday Kids

Make the kids happy with BARBECUE TURKEY CHEESEBURGERS. Just brush their favorite barbecue sauce on the burgers, top with sliced cheese and serve on whole-grain hamburger buns. Add OVEN FRIES (from frozen) and BABY CARROTS to munch on.

Teach them math while they help you prepare TRIPLE-BERRY BANANA SMOOTHIES: In blender, cover and blend 3/4 cup frozen mixed berries (from a 10-ounce bag), 1 cup sliced banana, 1/2 cup 1% milk and 1 (6-ounce) container vanilla yogurt on high 1 minute or until smooth (for 2 servings).

Shopping List

barbecue sauce, ground turkey patties, sliced cheese, whole-grain hamburger buns, frozen oven fries, baby carrots, frozen mixed berries, bananas, 1% milk, vanilla yogurt.

Friday Meatless

Make no-meat night a favorite with POLENTA WITH GRILLED VEGETABLE SAUCE: Prepare your own or buy GRILLED VEGETABLES. Dice the vegetables and stir them into heated marinara sauce. Spoon over warm slices of prepared polenta (follow package directions). Sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve.

Add a CAESAR SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. PEARS are always good for dessert.

Shopping List

grilled vegetables, marinara sauce, prepared polenta, parmesan cheese, Caesar salad, garlic bread, pears.

Saturday Entertain the Family

The family will love SMOKY PORK KEBABS. Combine 1/3 cup smoky barbecue sauce, 1/3 cup orange marmalade and 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish in a shallow dish. Add 1 pound well-trimmed pork tenderloin (cut into 3/4-inch cubes); turn to coat completely. Cover; marinate in refrigerator 30 minutes. Thread pork onto 4 metal skewers; place on grill and brush with marinade. Discard marinade. Grill kebabs over medium-hot coals 10 to 12 minutes; turn frequently.

Serve with RICE, BAKED BEANS, deli COLESLAW and CORNBREAD (from mix). Use leftover cake and ice cream to make FRESH MANGO SHORTCAKE for a perfect dessert.

Shopping List

smoky barbecue sauce, orange marmalade, prepared horseradish, pork tenderloin, rice, baked beans, deli coleslaw, cornbread mix, orange juice, sugar, lemon, mango, chopped macadamia nuts or almonds, fresh mint.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
12 to 15 minutes
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest (yellow part only)
  • 1 ripe mango
  • 4 slices pound cake (1/2 inch thick), thawed if frozen
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • 1/4 cup chopped macadamia nuts or almonds
  • Fresh mint leaves

In small saucepan, heat juice, sugar and lemon zest on medium until boiling. Reduce heat; simmer 12 to 15 minutes or until thickened and syrupy. On a cutting board, hold mango with one of the narrower sides facing up. Starting 1/4 inch from stem, slice along each side of the pit to cut off the "cheeks." Peel the center section of mango; cut off remaining fruit and dice. Stir diced mango into the syrup; set aside. With a knife or large spoon, carve out the flesh from cheeks in a single piece, cutting as close to the skin as possible. Thinly slice each cheek; cut slices in half.

To assemble dessert: Cut cake slices in halves diagonally. On each plate, place 1 cake triangle; top with 1 scoop of ice cream. Place second cake triangle on plate, leaning against the ice cream. Spoon about 1/4 cup of sauce over ice cream; sprinkle with nuts. Garnish with mango slices and mint.

Per serving: 436 calories, 6 grams protein, 20 grams fat (40% calories from fat), 8.9 grams saturated fat, 61 grams carbohydrate, 70 milligrams cholesterol, 137 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.