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Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners—April 4-8

Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes—both from current issues and classics. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in about an hour so that you have more time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared and the company of those you’ve prepared it for.

If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something customized to your dietary or caloric needs, check out The Cooking Light Diet. It’s a calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.

The Plan Monday: Braised Artichokes, Favas, and Carrots in Creamy Lemon Sauce with Fennel + Lemon and Sage Chicken Tuesday: Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis + Radish Salad with Goat Cheese Wednesday: Spring Vegetable Penne with Lemon-Cream Sauce  Thursday: Red Snapper with Arugula Salad Friday: Ultimate Grilled Cheese + Creamy Tomato Soup Not-So-Boozy Bonus: Blood Orange and Ginger Soda

Monday: Celebrate the start of the week with Braised Artichokes, Favas, and Carrots in Creamy Lemon Sauce with Fennel, a kind of springtime Greek ratatouille. We love the artichokes in this dish—they add their unique flavor and somehow make everything taste just a little sweeter. Serve with Lemon and Sage Chicken—flavor-packed guaranteed!

Tuesday: Everyone in your family will rave about our tasty Cheesy Meat Loaf Minis. We've updated the classic recipe by adding cheddar cheese and tangy buttermilk. Add Radish Salad with Goat Cheese to the mix—fresh radishes add peppery heat and crunch to round out the meal.

Wednesday: What’s not to love about Spring Vegetable Penne with Lemon-Cream Sauce? Packed with fresh vegetables and creamy, cheesy flavors, this pasta dish will quickly become a family favorite. Proof: Reader kallen18 says, "Great flavor, very fresh, and kid-friendly (approved by a 2, 7, and 11 year old!)" More peas, please!

Thursday: Incorporate more fish into your weeknight dinner menu. Delight friends and family with Red Snapper with Arugula Salad, a 25-minute dinner from under the sea. While cooking, gentle pressure will keep the skin in contact with the pan to encourage it to crisp up wonderfully. Paired with a lemony arugula salad, red snapper is the perfect hassle-free, great-tasting weeknight meal.

Friday: For the Ultimate Grilled Cheese, we slather reduced-fat cheddar cheese that's combined with light cream cheese and canola mayo on whole-grain bread, then sauté it in olive oil. This mixture melts into a gloriously silk, ultracheesy filling. Dunk in Creamy Tomato Soup—the perfect solution for feeding a large family or getting dinner ready in a pinch.

Not-So-Boozy Bonus: Mint is decidedly one of the most refreshing flavors, especially when paired with ginger and blood oranges. Blood Orange and Ginger Soda, a non-alcoholic beverage, delivers a delightfully pungent, spicy kick with every sip. Cheers!

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