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: Tofu and Vegetable Lo Mein and Steamed Broccoli with Peanut Sauce Tuesday: Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos and Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad Wednesday: Sautéed Salmon with Citrus Salsa and Cilantro Quinoa with Pine Nuts Thursday: Ginger-Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin and Chili-Spiced Potatoes Friday: Crispy Chicken, Ham, and Swiss Roll-Ups and Roasted Parsnips with Lemon and Herbs Happy Hour: Lemon-Pear Toddy
Each of these recipes are brand new and featured in our special double November issue, which is available on newsstands now. Be sure to pick up a copy for plenty of weeknight dinner ideas, as well as our most epic Thanksgiving Cookbook ever!
Monday: This Tofu and Vegetable Lo Mein has all the umami-rich and crisp-tender qualities we love about classic takeout and none of the greasy, sodium-bomb qualities we don’t. You can substitute any refrigerated fresh pasta or even brown rice noodles, just make sure to boil until just al dente. Serve with Steamed Broccoli with Peanut Sauce.
Tuesday: Your table of eaters will love these Sheet Pan Beef and Black Bean Nachos. Load up the nachos on a baking sheet, then bring straight the to the table for easy serving and a great presentation.You can use pinto beans instead of black beans and shredded rotisserie chicken instead of ground beef. While we love melty shredded cheese, we found that it makes the nachos a bit unwieldy. Instead, a creamy cheese sauce coats each chip and makes them easier to separate from the pack. Serve alongside Zucchini, Carrot, and Radish Salad.
Wednesday: Consider this speedy Sautéed Salmon with Citrus Salsa a fall anecdote to a holiday season filled with rich stews, braises, and roasts. The tart, bright citrus topper cuts through the natural fattiness of the salmon; it would overwhelm lighter fish like cod or flounder. This serves 2 but easily doubles to serve 4. Serve with whole grain Cilantro Quinoa with Pine Nuts.
Thursday: Be sure to seek out sherry vinegar if you're going to make this Ginger-Honey Glazed Pork Tenderloin. Sherry vinegar has more depth and less tang and sharpness than other vinegars. It rounds out the sweet honey and pungent ginger.You can substitute red wine or apple cider vinegar (balsamic and white wine may be too sharp, rice vinegar too mild). Serve with Chili-Spiced Potatoes. A little sweet and spice adds a smoky, caramelized crust to simply roasted potatoes with just a few ingredients and in only about 20 minutes
Friday: Meaty, cheesy, moist, and crunchy: These 5-ingredient Crispy Chicken, Ham, and Swiss Roll-Ups really deliver.Preheating the baking sheet is key to getting the breadcrumb coating crisp within the 20-minute timeframe. Serve with Roasted Parsnips with Lemon and Herbs.
Happy Hour: Lemon-Pear Toddy comes together in a flash thanks to the microwave. A touch of salt, though it may seem counterintuitive, actually heightens the sweetness of the drink, though the beverage is far from cloying. Pear vodka, such as Absolut, can be found at most liquor stores. We love the floral fruit flavor of pear, which is perfect for late fall.
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