7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 21, 2021

Sunday Family

Mark family day with a feast of ITALIAN ROASTED PORK TENDERLOIN. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a small bowl, mash together (with the back of a spoon) 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, 1/2 teaspoon crushed fennel seeds, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1 clove minced garlic. Rub over 2 pork tenderloins (about 3/4 to 1 pound each). Bake on a rack, coated with cooking spray, placed in a shallow roasting pan. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees. Remove from oven, tent with foil and let stand 10 minutes. Slice pork and garnish each plate with orange slices if desired.


Save enough pork and pie for Monday.

Shopping List

olive oil, coarse salt, fennel seeds, pepper, garlic, pork tenderloins, cooking spray, oranges (if desired), parsley, butter, spaghetti, baby carrots, romaine, crusty bread, Boston cream pie.

Monday Heat and Eat

Use the leftover pork for PORK PANINIS. Spread 1 tablespoon pesto on each of 8 slices Italian bread. Top 4 slices bread with sliced leftover pork and sliced provolone cheese; top with remaining bread. Coat outer surfaces of bread with cooking spray. Grill on medium-high in nonstick skillet or panini pan until browned on each side. Serve with BEAN SOUP and MIXED GREENS. Leftover PIE is your dessert.

Shopping List

pesto, Italian bread, provolone cheese, cooking spray, bean soup, mixed greens.

Tuesday Budget

We really liked the flavor of CHICKEN PARMESAN PASTA BAKE and its low cost. Add a SPINACH SALAD and a BAGUETTE. PEARS are the perfect dessert.

Shopping List

orecchiette pasta, ground chicken, olive oil, onion, garlic, dried Italian seasoning, coarse salt, can diced tomatoes, bay leaf, cooking spray, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, fresh spinach, baguette, pears.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
40 minutes, plus pasta
  • 12 ounces orecchiette pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground chicken
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley

Cook orecchiette according to package directions. Heat oil in a deep straight-sided skillet on medium. Crumble the chicken; cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onion, garlic, Italian seasoning and salt. Cook, stirring often, 5 minutes or until softened. Add tomatoes and bay leaf; bring to boil. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes or until reduced. Toss the cooked pasta with the tomato mixture. Transfer to a 9-by-13-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Toss the mozzarella with the parmesan and parsley, sprinkle over pasta. Broil 5 minutes or until cheese is melted and lightly browned.

Per serving: 386 calories, 26 grams protein, 8 grams fat (19% calories from fat), 1.7 grams saturated fat, 52 grams carbohydrate, 51 milligrams cholesterol, 574 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.

Wednesday Meatless

BLACK BEANS AND RICE has lots of flavor and no meat. Serve it with a LETTUCE WEDGE with hard-cooked EGG SLICES and CUBAN ROLLS. Sliced KIWIS are an easy dessert.

Shopping List

brown rice, onion, green bell pepper, carrots, orange juice, paprika, ground coriander, crushed red pepper, garlic, canned diced fire-roasted tomatoes, canned reduced-sodium black beans, reduced-fat sour cream, lime, lettuce, eggs, Cuban rolls, kiwis.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
15 minutes
Cook time:
about 50 minutes
  • 1 1/4 cups uncooked brown rice
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced fire-roasted tomatoes, with liquid
  • 1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium black beans, rinsed
  • Reduced-fat sour cream for garnish
  • Lime wedges for garnish

Cook rice according to directions without salt. Meanwhile, in a 2-quart sauce pan, heat onion, bell pepper, carrots, juice, paprika, coriander, crushed red pepper, garlic and tomatoes to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer about 45 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat. Stir in beans. In blender or food processor, blend 1 cup of mixture until smooth (see Note). Stir blended mixture into bean mixture in pan. Cook on medium 3 minutes or until hot. Serve over rice; garnish with sour cream. Sprinkle with additional paprika, if desired. Serve with lime wedges.

Note: If you have an immersion blender, use it instead of blender or food processor for easier cleanup.

Per serving: 411 calories, 14 grams protein, 2 grams fat (5% calories from fat), 0.4 gram saturated fat, 86 grams carbohydrate, no cholesterol, 287 milligrams sodium, 11 grams fiber.

Thursday Express

Make it a quick meal tonight with leftover CHICKEN PARMESAN PASTA. Serve with packaged SALAD GREENS and WHOLE-GRAIN ROLLS. Fresh PINEAPPLE CHUNKS are good for dessert.

Shopping List

packaged salad greens, whole-grain rolls, pineapple.

Friday Kids

Kids will come running for MEATBALL SANDWICHES. Heat canned condensed tomato soup (thin with water, if desired) with 1/4 teaspoon each garlic powder, Italian seasoning and pepper; add a package of precooked meatballs (thaw first if frozen). Divide among hero rolls or other sandwich rolls and top with shredded part-skim mozzarella. Broil until the cheese is melted. Serve with CARROT STICKS. For dessert, how about some APPLE SLICES?

Shopping List

canned condensed tomato soup, garlic powder, Italian seasoning, pepper, packaged precooked meatballs, hero rolls, shredded part-skim mozzarella, carrot sticks, apples.

Saturday Family Entertaining

Your family will enjoy delicious FIRE-ROASTED TOMATO SHRIMP VERACRUZ. Serve it over RICE. Add SLICED AVOCADOS garnished with reduced-fat sour cream. For dessert, enjoy MANGO SORBET and BUTTER COOKIES.

Shopping List

olive oil, uncooked medium shrimp, green onions, fresh jalapeno pepper, orange, dried thyme, canned fire-roasted diced tomatoes, rice, avocados, reduced-fat sour cream, mango sorbet, butter cookies.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes, plus cleaning shrimp
Cook time:
about 12 minutes
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound uncooked medium shrimp, deveined and tails removed
  • 1/4 cup sliced green onions
  • 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon orange zest (orange part only)
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with liquid

In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil. Add shrimp; cook 3 minutes or until opaque. Remove to a plate; keep warm. Add onions and jalapeno; cook 2 minutes. Add orange zest and thyme; cook 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes; heat to a boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered about 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add shrimp; cook 2 more minutes or until heated through.

Per serving: 146 calories, 17 grams protein, 5 grams fat (28% calories from fat), 0.6 gram saturated fat, 10 grams carbohydrate, 143 milligrams cholesterol, 510 milligrams sodium, 2 grams fiber.