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Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — October 3-7

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: Wild Mushroom Farfalle Tuesday: Baked Chicken Breasts with Dijon-White Wine Sauce and Haricots Verts and Herbed Breadcrumb Tomatoes Wednesday: Glazed Salmon and Rice Bowl and Orange-Sesame Snow Peas Thursday: Breaded Pork Cutlets with Root Veg Mash and Sage Gravy with Sautéed Lemony Brussels Sprouts Friday: Spiced Beef Tostadas with Cilantro-Lime Rice and Cheesy, Smoky Pinto Beans Dessert Bonus: Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls

Monday: Meatless Mondays are a great day to explore new textures and flavors. Mushrooms are extra meaty, so we've used plenty in this Wild Mushroom Farfalle so no one at your table will feel like they're missing out. You can substitute fresh parsley or thyme for the dill. A little starchy pasta cooking liquid helps to bind the delicate sauce. Serve with a side of roasted broccoli or green beans to finish this pasta plate.

Tuesday: White wine and Dijon mustard are a classic bistro-style pair for chicken. Carrots add body and a touch of sweetness to the pan sauce in this Baked Chicken Breasts with Dijon-White Wine Sauce and Haricots Verts, but you can leave them out, if you like. Serve with a side of Herbed Breadcrumb Tomatoes while you can still find a few decent ones in the grocery store or at the farmers' market.

Wednesday: A soy sauce, honey, and vinegar mixture doubles as a marinade for the salmn and a drizzle over the finished Glazed Salmon and Rice Bowl. Keep the side fresh and crisp. We like this Orange-Sesame Snow Peas, but you could toss any sliced veggies in a simple dressing for an easy side.

Thursday: This is classic comfort food at its finest. Wondra flour has a fine, powdery consistency that yields smooth sauces and crispy crusts. Sifted cake or rice flour would also work if you can't find Wondra for this Breaded Pork Cutlets with Root Veg Mash and Sage Gravy. Just because it's finally sprouts season again, it's time to bring them to the plate with these Sautéed Lemony Brussels Sprouts.

Friday: Friday night is for fun! These Spiced Beef Tostadas with Cilantro-Lime Rice are inspired by classic taco night toppers and sides. Our version amps up the spice while keeping sodium numbers in check. Serve with a bowl of comforting  Cheesy, Smoky Pinto Beans. Mashing half the beans retains just a bit of texture while keeping them creamy and cheesy.

Dessert Bonus: Guess what? This is a whole-grain dessert! To keep the stickiness at bay when you're making these Old-Fashioned Popcorn Balls, wear latex gloves coated with cooking spray as you shape the popcorn balls. Make a few extra for the weekend, and you'll have a sweet treat on hand when you've got a quick craving.

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