Seven-day menu planner


Shopping List


95 percent lean ground beef, ketchup, dry steak seasoning (such as Grill Mates or another brand), Worcestershire sauce, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, whole-grain hamburger buns, bacon, low-fat mayonnaise, spicy mustard, tomatoes, lettuce, onions, corn-on-the-cob, canned reduced-sodium black beans, orange, green onions, limes, canola oil, brownies, fat-free vanilla ice cream.


Fresh spinach, 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeno cheese, red bell pepper, green onions, fresh cilantro, fat-free flour tortillas, rice.


Minestrone soup, reduced-sodium pinto beans, reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), orange, yellow bell pepper, fresh cilantro, bottled orange or regular vinaigrette, chili powder, radishes, avocado, eggs, crackers, butterscotch sauce.


Deli roasted chicken, deli tabbouleh, deli carrot salad, flatbread, banana pudding.


Canola oil, ground turkey breast, onion, green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, black pepper, canned no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, fat-free chicken broth, no-salt-added tomato-vegetable juice (such as V8) or no-salt-added tomato juice, canned reduced-sodium pinto beans, frozen corn, red onion, brown rice, lettuce, cornbread mix, fresh strawberries, light whipped cream.


Taco shells, 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, mild salsa, reduced-fat sour cream, vegetarian refried beans, jicama sticks, ranch dressing, Popsicles.


Flounder fillets, cooking spray, low-fat mayonnaise, reduced-sodium soy sauce, fresh ginger, fresh jalapeño pepper, rice, fresh asparagus, Boston lettuce, baguettes, cheesecake, fresh blueberries.

Main dish


Makes 4 servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes.

1 (15- to 16-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed

1 (15- to 16-ounce) can reduced-sodium garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed

1 orange, peeled, with white pith removed, quartered lengthwise and sliced

1 small yellow bell pepper, diced

1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

1/2 cup bottled orange or regular vinaigrette

3/4 teaspoon chili powder

6 red radishes

1 avocado

2 hard-cooked eggs, sliced

In a large bowl, combine beans, orange, bell pepper, cilantro, vinaigrette and chili powder; toss to mix and coat. Before serving, thinly slice radishes, and peel and dice avocado. Add both to bean mixture; toss to mix and coat. Top with sliced eggs. Serve immediately.

Per serving: 348 calories, 10 grams protein, 25 grams fat (61 percent calories from fat), 3.9 grams saturated fat, 26 grams carbohydrate, 93 milligrams cholesterol, 484 milligrams sodium, 11 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 1 starch, 1/2 fruit, 1 vegetable, 1 lean meat, 4 fat.

Main dish


Makes 6 servings. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: about 35 minutes.

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound ground turkey breast

1 medium onion, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons chili powder

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 (14 1/2-ounce) can no-salt-added stewed tomatoes, undrained

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free chicken broth

3/4 cup no-salt-added tomato-vegetable juice (such as V8) or no-salt-added tomato juice

1 (15-ounce) can reduced-sodium pinto beans, rinsed

1 cup frozen corn

1 small red onion, chopped

Heat oil in a large pot on medium. Add turkey and cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink. Add onion and cook 6 minutes or until softened. Add green bell pepper, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder and black pepper. Cook 4 minutes or until green pepper is softened and spices are fragrant. Stir in tomatoes with juice, broth, tomato-vegetable juice, beans and corn; cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes; stir occasionally. Serve immediately and garnish with red onion.

Per serving: 231 calories, 24 grams protein, 4 grams fat (14 percent calories from fat), 0.5 gram saturated fat, 28 grams carbohydrate, 51 milligrams cholesterol, 470 milligrams sodium, 8 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 3 lean meat.

Main dish


Makes 4 servings. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 8 to 12 minutes.

1 pound 95 percent lean ground beef

2 tablespoons ketchup

1 tablespoon dry steak seasoning (such as Grill Mates or another brand)

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

4 (1-ounce) slices 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese

4 whole-grain hamburger buns

4 slices cooked bacon

Low-fat mayonnaise, spicy mustard, sliced tomatoes, lettuce, sliced onions

Mix beef, ketchup, seasoning and Worcestershire sauce in medium bowl until well blended. Shape into 4 patties. Grill on medium heat 4 to 6 minutes per side or until burgers are 160 degrees. Top burgers with cheese and grill buns the last 30 seconds of grilling. Serve burgers on buns with bacon and desired toppings and condiments.

Per serving: 385 calories, 39 grams protein, 16 grams fat (35 percent calories from fat), 6.7 grams saturated fat, 25 grams carbohydrate, 86 milligrams cholesterol, 1,232 milligrams sodium, 3 grams fiber. Dietary exchanges: 1 1/2 starch, 4 1/2 lean meat.

Universal UClick

SUNDAY (Family)

Let your All-American Dad show off his grilling skills with all-American burgers (see recipe) with all the trimmings. Add corn-on-the-cob to the menu. Serve with citrusy black bean salad alongside. In a medium bowl, combine 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed reduced-sodium black beans, 1 large, peeled orange cut into 1/2-inch pieces, 1/3 cup thinly sliced green onions, 1/4 cup fresh lime juice and 2 tablespoons canola oil. Mix gently. For dessert, present Dad with your brownies and a scoop of fat-free vanilla ice cream on the side. Plan ahead: Cook 2 extra burgers and save enough brownies for Monday. Save enough ice cream for Tuesday.

MONDAY (Heat and Eat)

Make beef roll-ups for a quick meal. Crumble and heat the leftover burgers. In a medium bowl, mix the crumbled burgers, 3 cups torn fresh spinach leaves, 1 cup shredded 50 percent reduced-fat jalapeño cheese, 1/2 medium red bell pepper cut into strips, 1/4 cup sliced green onions and 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro. Place 4 (7- to 8-inch) fat-free flour tortillas on a square of waxed paper. Divide beef/spinach mixture and spoon down center of each tortilla. Microwave each for 30 seconds on high (100 percent power). Roll; cut crosswise into quarters. Serve hot and add rice on the side. Bite into the leftover brownies for dessert.

TUESDAY (Meatless)

Start your no-meat meal with minestrone soup. Follow the soup with Tex-Mex salad (see recipe). Add crackers. For dessert, top leftover ice cream with butterscotch sauce.


Buy roasted chicken from the deli along with tabbouleh and some carrot salad. Add flatbread to your meal. Pick up some banana pudding for a homey dessert.


Be budget-wise and try flavorful turkey chili (see recipe) to up your vegetables, fiber, folate, potassium and vitamin C. Serve the nutrition-packed dish with brown rice, a lettuce wedge and cornbread (from a mix). Fresh strawberries with light whipped cream make a great dessert. Plan ahead: Save enough chili for Friday.


Make turkey chili tacos for the kids. Warm the leftover chili and spoon into warmed taco shells. Top with shredded 50 percent reduced-fat cheddar cheese, mild salsa and reduced-fat sour cream. Add vegetarian refried beans to the plate. Dip jicama sticks into ranch dressing for some crunch. All kids, young and old, like Popsicles for dessert.

SATURDAY (Easy Entertaining)

Treat guests to flounder with Asian glaze and enjoy the zesty flavor. Heat broiler. Coat one side of 4 (6-ounce) flounder fillets with cooking spray. Place coated-side down on rack in broiler pan. Combine 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce, 2 teaspoons grated, peeled fresh ginger, and 1 seeded, minced fresh jalapeño pepper. Spread mixture over flounder; broil 4 minutes or until mayonnaise mixture is lightly browned and fish is opaque throughout. Serve with rice and steamed fresh asparagus. Add a Boston lettuce salad and baguettes. For dessert, buy a cheesecake and top it with fresh blueberries.

Susan Nicholson is an Atlanta-based cookbook author and registered dietitian. She can be reached by email: Follow Susan on Twitter: @7DayMenu. The Menu Planner is also accessible at Read Susan’s blog:

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