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Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — December 5-9

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: White Bean and Hominy Chili and Herbed Breadsticks Tuesday: Quick Beef Stroganoff and Grainy Mustard Brussels Sprouts Wednesday: Philly Cheesesteak Pizza and Garlic Haricots Verts Thursday: Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders and Shredded Cabbage Slaw Friday: Pork Chops with Country Gravy and Pan-Seared Potatoes with Quick Pickled Red Onions Dessert Bonus: Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps

Monday: The last thing anyone wants after a long work day is a complicated dinner, so let's just not. Instead, make a batch of White Bean and Hominy Chili and serve with Herbed Breadsticks to sop up any last drips. The chili is meatless--Meatless Monday after all--but super filling. The herbed breadsticks use up some leftover pizza dough you'll have after Wednesday's pizza recipe. Thinking ahead, folks. Total: 345 calories, 7.9g fat, 0.8g sat fat, 778mg sodium

Tuesday: If there's any dish that signifies home cooking for me, it's beef stroganoff. We've lightened it up and sped it up in this Quick Beef Stroganoff recipe. It's creamy, chewy, and oh-so-filling. Serve with Grainy Mustard Brussels Sprouts to round out the dish. You'll like the tart mustard kick from the sprouts with the creamy stroganoff. Total: 424 calories, 14.4g fat, 6.6g sat fat, 600mg sodium

Wednesday: I'm not saying this pizza will make you a dinnertime hero, but I'm not saying it won't. Use up the remaining 12 ounces of pizza dough from Monday night with this Philly Cheesesteak Pizza recipe. All you cheesesteak fans, find everything you love here in the famous sandwich: sautéed onions and peppers, thin-sliced steak, and even cheese sauce! Serve with Garlic Haricots Verts to get a little more green on the plate and finish off the dish. Total: 469 calories, 11.2g fat, 3.8g sat fat, 762mg sodium

Garlic Haricots Verts | Photo: Johnny Autry/Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr/Lindsey Lower

Thursday: Sliders are adorable. They're fun to make and fun to eat, so let's have a little fun tonight with these Barbecue Pulled Chicken Sliders. You'll use rotisserie chicken meat to speed it up, but the barbecue sauce is all you, starting with a ketchup base and building from there. Serve with Shredded Cabbage Slaw for a crunchy and cool side. If you're into it, put a little on top of your chicken in the slider for an all-in-one experience. Use whole-wheat slider buns if you can find them, too. Total: 492 calories, 8.4g fat, 2.7g sat fat, 735mg sodium

Friday: Rarely do you think "country gravy" and "light" in the same sentence, but we managed to do it. Our Pork Chops with Country Gravy have just 252 calories per serving, and you'll get plenty of creamy country gravy goodness. Make our quick Pan-Seared Potatoes with Quick Pickled Red Onions to get both your potato fix and your pickle power. The onions' pickled kick will go with the potatoes and country gravy beautifully. Be prepared to have a new favorite dish. Total: 396 calories, 13.8g fat, 4.9g sat fat, 894mg sodium

Dessert Bonus: Finish the week on a sweet note with these fast Maple-Pecan Sundaes with Cinnamon Crisps. Start the cinnamon crisps, and then scoop the sundaes. They'll be ready just in time to serve. Swap in walnuts if you have them, or almonds even. You can't go wrong with the nut choice here. They'll all be delicious. Total: 303 calories, 6.7g fat, 1.5g sat fat, 203mg sodium

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