7 Day Menu Planner by Susan Nicholson

7 Day Menu Planner For March 07, 2021

Sunday Family

Enjoy ONE-POT CHICKEN PARMESAN PASTA that’s bursting with flavor. Serve it with GREEN BEANS and MULTIGRAIN ROLLS. For dessert, make it a light one with a scoop of LEMON SHERBET.

Save enough sherbet for Monday.

Shopping List

olive oil, boneless skinless chicken breasts, parmesan cheese, dried Italian seasoning, garlic powder, coarse salt, canned tomato sauce, canned diced tomatoes with basil and oregano, mini penne pasta, dry red wine, sliced fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, green beans, multigrain rolls, lemon sherbet.


makes 6 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
20 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts, about 1 1/4 pounds
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon each garlic powder and coarse salt
  • 1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes with basil and oregano
  • 1 3/4 cups water
  • 8 ounces uncooked mini penne pasta (2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine
  • 4 slices fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 cup each shredded parmesan and torn fresh basil for garnish

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium high heat. Season chicken with parmesan, Italian seasoning, garlic powder and salt. Cook chicken 6 minutes or until browned on both sides, turning once. Add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes with juices, water, pasta and red wine and bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes or until chicken is cooked through and pasta is al dente. Top chicken with mozzarella slices. Reduce heat to low and cook, covered, until mozzarella is melted, about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with additional parmesan and top with basil. (Recipe adapted from SwirlsOfFlavor.com.)

Per serving: 401 calories, 32 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26% calories from fat), 3.6 grams saturated fat, 39 grams carbohydrate, 73 milligrams cholesterol, 738 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber.

Monday Meatless

Skip meat tonight and enjoy SOUTHWESTERN BEAN SKILLET. Serve the easy one-dish meal with a ROMAINE SALAD and WHOLE-WHEAT ROLLS. Leftover SHERBET makes a perfect dessert.

Shopping List

frozen corn, fresh cilantro, coarse salt, green bell pepper, onion, canned chili beans, reduced-sodium canned black beans, 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese, tomatoes, Romaine, whole-wheat rolls.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
about 10 minutes
Cook time:
10 to 15 minutes
  • 1 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped green bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 (15-ounce) can undrained chili beans
  • 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans
  • 1 cup shredded 50% reduced-fat cheddar cheese
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

In a large nonstick skillet, combine corn, cilantro, salt, bell pepper, onion, chili beans and black beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Uncover, simmer 5 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender; stir occasionally. Stir in cheese and tomatoes until cheese is melted.

Per serving: 310 calories, 20 grams protein, 6 grams fat (18 percent calories from fat), 3.5 grams saturated fat, 45 grams carbohydrate, 15 milligrams cholesterol, 569 milligrams sodium, 12 grams fiber.

Tuesday Kids

BEEF ROTINI has kid-delicious written all over it. Cook 3/4 pound 95% lean ground beef in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high 4 minutes or until browned, stirring often. Stir in 1 3/4 cup low-sodium beef broth, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder and 1 cup canned diced tomatoes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups rotini (corkscrew) pasta. Reduce heat to low. Cover and cook 10 minutes, stirring often. Uncover; cook 5 more minutes or until pasta is tender. Serve with CARROT SALAD and SOFT ROLLS. For a light dessert, try PEARS.

Shopping List

lean ground beef, low-sodium beef broth, Worcestershire sauce, dried oregano, garlic powder, canned diced tomatoes, rotini pasta, carrot salad, soft rolls, pears.

Wednesday Family

Whether you’re Irish or not, anyone can enjoy CORNED BEEF AND CABBAGE. In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, place 1 (3- to 4-pound) beef brisket. Sprinkle with 3 tablespoons brown sugar. Cover with water. Add 6 cloves garlic, 2 bay leaves, 12 whole allspice, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 5 halved red potatoes, 1 cup baby carrots and 2 onions, cut into wedges. Cover and cook on low 8 hours. Uncover, add 1/2 medium cabbage, cut into wedges. Cover; cook on high 30 minutes or until cabbage is tender. Serve with PICKLED BEETS and RYE BREAD. For dessert, CHUNKY APPLESAUCE is all you need.

Save enough cooked brisket, rye bread and pickled beets for Friday.

Shopping List

beef brisket, brown sugar, garlic, bay leaves, whole allspice, pepper, red potatoes, baby carrots, onions, cabbage, pickled beets, rye bread, chunky applesauce.

Thursday Budget

SAUSAGE WITH POLENTA is a budget-friendly dish. Slice a 16- or 17-ounce tube of polenta (look in the produce section) into 12 (1/2-inch) slices. Coat both sides with cooking spray. Heat a large nonstick skillet. Cook 2 minutes on each side until slightly browned and hot. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 pound sweet Italian sausage (casings removed) and 1 small chopped onion. Cook 3 minutes, breaking up sausage with a spoon, until no longer pink. Stir in 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed cannellini beans, 1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes and 2 teaspoons dried basil; cook 2 minutes or until sausage is cooked and mixture is hot. For each serving, spoon one quarter of the sausage mixture over 3 slices polenta. (Adapted from Woman’s Day magazine.) Serve with COLESLAW and ITALIAN BREAD. Enjoy PINEAPPLE CHUNKS for dessert.

Shopping List

tube of polenta, cooking spray, olive oil, sweet Italian sausage, onion, canned cannellini beans, canned no-salt-added diced tomatoes, dried basil, coleslaw, Italian bread, pineapple chunks.

Friday Heat and Eat

Use those brisket leftovers for CORNED BEEF SANDWICHES on rye bread. Slather grainy MUSTARD on the bread, layer with the corned beef and top with prepared HORSERADISH SAUCE. Serve with leftover PICKLED BEETS and deli GERMAN POTATO SALAD. How about sliced KIWIFRUIT for dessert?

Shopping List

grainy mustard, prepared horseradish sauce, deli German potato salad, kiwifruit.

Saturday Entertaining the Family

Draw the family near for a casual (and economical) meal of LINGUINE AND SPINACH WITH GORGONZOLA SAUCE. Serve with a packaged CAESAR SALAD and CRUSTY BREAD. Spoon fresh BLUEBERRIES (or frozen and thawed) over CHEESECAKE for dessert.

Shopping List

refrigerated fettuccine, butter, flour, canned evaporated skim milk, crumbled gorgonzola cheese, coarse salt, pepper, fresh baby spinach, packaged Caesar salad, crusty bread, fresh or frozen blueberries, cheesecake.


makes 4 servings
Prep time:
10 minutes
Cook time:
about 5 minutes, plus fettuccine
  • 1 (9-ounce) package refrigerated fettuccine
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 (12-ounce) can evaporated skim milk
  • 3/4 cup crumbled gorgonzola cheese (3 ounces)
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 (5- or 6-ounce) package fresh baby spinach

Cook pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with whisk. Increase heat to medium-high; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low; simmer 3 minutes or until sauce thickens slightly, stirring frequently. Remove from heat and stir in cheese, salt and pepper. Combine the sauce, pasta and spinach; toss gently to coat.

Per serving: 384 calories, 21 grams protein, 11 grams fat (26 percent calories from fat), 7.2 grams saturated fat, 50 grams carbohydrate, 80 milligrams cholesterol, 601 milligrams sodium, 4 grams fiber.