Sidney Fry
March 24, 2013

In case you missed last week's post, here’s the gist: each week we’ll be bringing you a week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the love of cooking that deters so many of us from the kitchen each night--it's actually deciding what to cook from the millions of options bombarding us from so many different places. Here, we’ve done the planning for you. Not just menus, but healthy menus that are fast–on the table in less than 45 minutes. Sound good? It does to me, too.

I’ve picked out some of our favorite fast recipes (and some of your favorites too, based on recipe ratings) that all work together to bring you a week’s worth of healthy, tasty meals.

Monday March Madness: We’re experiencing a spot of a cold weather down here in the South, and things aren’t looking as warm and sunny as they were last week. What better way to start the week than with a bowl of chili? And don’t worry–I’ve covered all my chili fan bases with a white and a red recipe. At just about 200 calories per cup, you can’t go wrong either way!!

If you’re a fan of the nontraditional (but oh so tasty) chicken, white bean, and green chile version, our Fast Chicken Chili is for you. Ready in 20 minutes. If you’ve never had it, I suggest you give it a try.

For those with a soft spot for sausage, black beans, and bold spicy tomatoes… go for our Poblano-Turkey Sausage Chili.

It takes a little longer–about 40 minutes total–which gives you plenty of time to make these cute little Corn Bread Sticks. Don’t have a cast-iron corn bread stick mold? Muffin tins work just fine, too.

Tuesday: March happens to be National Peanut Month. Let’s celebrate with some quick and easy Thai Chicken Salad with Peanut Dressing. Don’t let the word Thai scare you. Thai food doesn’t just exist in the form of takeout. It can be conquered in the home kitchen, too. This recipe is jam-packed with flavor, and the store-bought rotisserie chicken helps this dish come together in a flash–just 20 minutes.

Wednesday: It’s time to work on that “Eat More Fish” challenge we like to encourage. Better yet, let’s make it kid friendly and cover the fillets in crispy potato chips. Fish and chips without the deep fry! Our Chip-Crusted Fish Fillets are oven baked and covered in kettle cooked potato chips to give these flaky fish a crunchy bite. We prefer the flavor of salt and vinegar chips–our humble nod to England–but the regular variety works just as well. Be sure to get the kettle cooked; they’re extra crunchy.

Serve them with this super easy Lemon Garlic Asparagus.

And for the adults, what’s a plate of fish and chips without a beer? I’m thinking a bright, crisp, spring ale with some hops. Samuel Adams Alpine Spring is a great place to start. Buy a six-pack. You’ll need one for tomorrow’s chicken.

Thursday: Go ahead and give those frozen chicken breasts some fresh air. You’ll love the bright, salty-sweet flavors of this Chicken with Honey-Beer Sauce… and you’ll really love the 20-minute cook time.

Buy the parsley to sprinkle over the chicken–it’s only a few tablespoons. You’ll need it in the Glazed Baby Carrots and the Parsley-Farro Salad that work perfectly alongside. Get a bunch of basil while you’re at it. You’ll need it tomorrow.

Looked for precooked farro in the freezer section of your grocery store. Can’t find it? Use precooked brown rice instead. Chicken, glazed carrots, and a whole grain salad--now that’s a pretty plate!

Hooray Friday!! Reward yourself with some Italian bistro-worthy pasta, but in the comfort of your own home. Our Pasta with Roasted Tomatoes and Garlic will change your life. It’s bursting with bright, simple flavors–but the key is in the sauce. Our entire staff of food editors was amazed by the technique, which churns oil into a bit of boiling pasta water, creating a deliciously delicate sauce – so simple and tasty – that clings beautifully to the pasta. Ready in just 35 minutes.

Serve this with a Green Salad with Simple Vinaigrette or any other simple salad recipe you’ve got stored away in your back pocket.

And for a bonus, here’s a sweet treat for the week. If Friday’s pasta sauce doesn’t change your life, then these Granola Cookie Wedges should. Soft and gooey on the inside, surrounded in a happy, oat-filled crunchy crust.

Alright, your Sunday Strategist, signing off. Cheers to a week of happy, healthy eating!

Ready to start shopping? View this week's menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. Then create a shopping list when you sign into your MyRecipes account.

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