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: Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches + Spinach and Radicchio Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette Tuesday: Greek-Style Chicken Breasts + Rosemary-Parmesan Polenta Wednesday: One-Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac 'N' Cheese + Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Rind Thursday: Spicy Beef and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry + Double-Sesame Rice Friday: Roasted Shrimp with Mushrooms, Broccolini, and Foaming Chive Butter Sauce + Lemon-Orange Orzo Happy Hour Bonus: Blackberry-Vanilla Vodka Lemonade
Monday: Our hefty Grilled Farmers' Market Sandwiches are great for Meatless Monday and make a perfectly elegant late-summer supper. Feel free to swap in any of your other favorite veggies for the eggplant and zucchini—like maybe yellow squash and portobello mushrooms, or even broccolini (which tastes great grilled). If you don't feel like lighting up the outdoor grill, just use a stovetop grill pan. Round out the plate with easy-peasy Spinach and Radicchio Salad with Lemon Vinaigrette; the bright dressing pairs well with the rich, smoky sandwich. Roll up your sleeves, 'cause it just might get deliciously messy.
Tuesday: You'll love how the simplest quick sauté of onion, garlic, tomato, and olives brings on maximum flavor in Greek-Style Chicken Breasts. And a good sprinkling of feta cheese never hurts. It's a saucy dish, so serve over Rosemary-Parmesan Polenta so that none of the tasty juices go to waste.
Wednesday: What's the best way to counter the midweek blues? Maybe with a big ol' pan of creamy comfort. That's exactly what our One-Pan Broccoli-Bacon Mac 'N' Cheese delivers, plus it's absurdly easy to make (you don't even have to drain the macaroni!). While you'll feel good knowing there's butternut squash puree amping the nutrition and boosting the color, not everyone else needs to be in on the secret. Get in even more veggie goodness with a side of Pan-Roasted Asparagus with Lemon Rind.
Thursday: You've almost made it to the weekend—just hang in there! Let's make dinner lightning-fast and super-easy. Spicy Beef and Bell Pepper Stir-Fry gets you there; it's saucy, packed with flavor, and done in less than 20 minutes. And all you need to wrap up the meal is Double Sesame Rice—and to keep with our easy/fast theme, start with a pouch of precooked, unseasoned brown rice.
Friday: Roasted Shrimp with Mushrooms, Broccolini, and Foaming Chive Butter Sauce may sound intimidating, but it couldn't be simpler. This genius recipe uses only five ingredients (yes, five!!), and everything cooks on the same sheet pan together so that it only takes a half-hour to pull together. Served with a side of whole-grain Lemon-Orange Orzo. It's a festive way to kick off the weekend.
Happy Hour Bonus: Treat yourself with fruity Blackberry-Vanilla Vodka Lemonade. At only 142 calories per serving, you'll be happy to raise a glass. The recipe makes a pitcher to serve 8 but can easily be cut in half to serve fewer people. Though the vanilla bean adds rich, heady flavor, you can also substitute 1 teaspoon vanilla extract.
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