7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 14, 2021

Sunday Family

Take it easy and serve the family a precooked BAKED HAM today. Add MASHED SWEET POTATOES, BROCCOLI, a SPINACH SALAD and CORNBREAD (from mix) to accompany the ham.

Indulge in APPLE-CINNAMON POCKETS for dessert: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Unroll 1 (15-ounce) package of 2 refrigerated piecrusts (on wax paper for easy cleanup) according to package directions. Cut each crust into fourths. Divide 2 (12-ounce) packages frozen cinnamon-spiced apples (defrosted) into eight portions and place in center of each crust; sprinkle with additional cinnamon if desired. Pull corners over apples, pinching to seal. Brush bundles evenly with lightly beaten egg white; place on a baking sheet and sprinkle with sugar. Bake 18 to 20 minutes or until golden. Serve warm.

Save enough ham and apple pockets for Monday.

Shopping List

precooked baked ham, sweet potatoes to mash, broccoli, fresh spinach, cornbread mix, packaged refrigerated piecrusts, frozen cinnamon-spiced apples, cinnamon (if desired), eggs, sugar.

Monday Express

Use some of the leftover ham in TURKEY CUBAN SANDWICHES. Spread 8 slices Italian bread with Dijon mustard. Top each of 4 slices bread with 1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese, thin slices of leftover ham, deli sliced turkey, another slice of cheese and slices of dill pickle. Top with second slice of bread. Coat bread with cooking spray, place in a hot nonstick skillet, press down with a spatula and cook until golden brown. Turn and repeat browning.

Serve with BAKED CHIPS and a packaged GREEN SALAD. For dessert, warm the leftover APPLE POCKETS and top with light WHIPPED CREAM.

Shopping List

Italian bread, Dijon mustard, reduced-fat Swiss cheese, deli sliced turkey, sliced dill pickles, cooking spray, baked chips, packaged green salad, light whipped cream.

Tuesday Kids

CHICKEN RICE BAKE is mild in flavor and will suit kids' taste requirements. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together 2 cups uncooked jasmine rice, 1 (14-ounce) can unsalted chicken broth, 3/4 cup buttermilk, 1/2 cup dry white wine or additional chicken broth, 8 ounces sliced fresh mushrooms and 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt. Spoon mixture into a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Place 3 1/2 pounds bone-in skinless chicken breasts and thighs in dish. Sprinkle chicken with paprika. Cover with nonstick foil; bake 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature of thighs reaches 165 degrees. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley, if desired.

Serve with CHOPPED LETTUCE and SOFT ROLLS. ORANGE SECTIONS are good for dessert.

Save enough chicken and rice for Wednesday; save enough orange sections for Friday.

Shopping List

jasmine rice, unsalted chicken broth, buttermilk, dry white wine (if desired), sliced fresh mushrooms, coarse salt, cooking spray, bone-in skinless chicken breasts and thighs, paprika, fresh parsley (if desired), lettuce, soft rolls, orange sections.

Wednesday Heat and Eat

Heat the leftover CHICKEN RICE BAKE, and dinner will almost be ready. Add a GREEN SALAD and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS on the side. Fresh or frozen BLUEBERRIES, sprinkled with a little brown sugar, will make a fine dessert.

Shopping List

salad greens, whole-grain rolls, fresh or frozen blueberries, brown sugar.

Thursday Budget

TURKEY-COUSCOUS MEATLOAVES received gold stars at our house for their excellent flavor. Serve them with a BAKED POTATO, steamed CARROTS, a LETTUCE WEDGE and WHOLE-GRAIN BREAD. Enjoy RED AND GREEN GRAPES for dessert.

Shopping List

unsalted chicken broth, whole-wheat couscous, zucchini, red onion, rubbed (crumbled) sage, coarse salt, pepper, ground turkey breast, eggs, light brown sugar, Dijon mustard, tomato paste, lower-sodium bacon, potatoes to bake, carrots, lettuce, whole-grain bread, red and green grapes.


makes 6 loaves
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 30 to 35 minutes
  • 3/4 cup unsalted chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat couscous
  • 1 medium coarsely grated zucchini (see Note)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 4 teaspoons rubbed (crumbled) sage
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 pounds ground turkey breast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 3 slices lower-sodium bacon, halved

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Boil broth; stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let stand 5 minutes. Transfer couscous to a large bowl, fluff with fork. Stir in zucchini, onion, sage, salt and pepper. Add turkey and egg and mix to combine. Shape into 6 loaves, each about 1 1/2 inches thick. Place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with nonstick foil. In a small bowl, mix sugar, mustard and tomato paste until blended and smooth; brush most of mixture over loaves. Lay a bacon piece diagonally over each loaf. Brush bacon with remaining mustard mixture. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until loaves' internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. If desired, broil 1 minute to crisp bacon.

Note: I used a box shredder for the zucchini.

Per loaf: 262 calories, 29 grams protein, 4 grams fat (13% calories from fat), 1.2 grams saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 92 milligrams cholesterol, 381 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Friday Meatless

Forget about meat and enjoy SPICY LINGUINE WITH GARLIC AND OIL tonight. Add a ROMAINE SALAD and GARLIC BREAD. Sprinkle leftover ORANGE SECTIONS with toasted COCONUT for dessert.

Save enough coconut for Saturday.

Shopping List

coarse salt, linguine or spaghetti, extra-virgin olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper, parsley, grated parmesan cheese, black pepper, romaine, garlic bread, coconut.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
less than 10 minutes, plus pasta
  • 1 3/4 teaspoons coarse salt, divided
  • 16 ounces linguine or spaghetti
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Bring a large pot of water to a boil on medium high; add 1 1/4 teaspoons salt. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup water. Return pasta with a few tablespoons of the water back to the pot. In a large skillet on medium, heat oil. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring frequently so as not to burn, 2 minutes. Add 1/4 cup of pasta water to skillet; cook, stirring 2 minutes to make a loose sauce. Add cooked pasta to skillet; mix together with tongs. Heat 1 minute. Remove from stove and add parsley, cheese and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and black pepper. Mix together one last time and serve. (Adapted from "Easy Everyday Mediterranean Cookbook," Serena Ball, MSRD and Deanna Segrave-Daly, RD; HMH.)

Per serving: 381 calories, 11 grams protein, 11 grams fat (27% calories from fat), 2 grams saturated fat, 58 grams carbohydrate, 3 milligrams cholesterol, 380 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.

Saturday Entertain the Family

Anyone would enjoy the flavors of HONEY-GINGER GRILLED SALMON. Serve with BROWN RICE, tiny frozen GREEN PEAS, an ARUGULA SALAD and BREAD STICKS. For dessert, VANILLA ICE CREAM topped with CHOCOLATE TOPPING and leftover COCONUT is a fine finish to a delicious meal.

Shopping List

orange, less-sodium soy sauce, honey, ground ginger, garlic powder, green onion, salmon fillets, brown rice, tiny frozen green peas, arugula, bread sticks, vanilla ice cream, chocolate topping.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes; marinating time: 15 minutes to 1 hour
Cook time:
12 to 18 minutes
  • 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/3 cup less-sodium soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 green onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 pounds salmon fillets

In a resealable plastic bag, combine juice, soy sauce, honey, ginger, garlic powder and onion. Add salmon; turn to coat. Refrigerate 15 minutes to 1 hour. Discard marinade, pat salmon dry with paper towels. Grill on medium-high 6 to 8 minutes per side or bake at 425 degrees for 15 to 18 minutes.

Per serving: 230 calories, 36 grams protein, 8 grams fat (31% calories from fat), 1.4 grams saturated fat, 1 gram carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 490 milligrams sodium, no fiber.