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Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — February 24-28

OK, it’s official: We are all tired of winter. We’ve had more than enough snow, more than we can bear of traffic/travel/school delays. Bring on warm, sunny, happy days! Since we can’t bend Mother Nature to our will, we’re bringing sunny, fresh, bright flavors to your table—fast.

The Plan Monday: Spring Vegetable Pizza with Gremolata and Arugula-Tomato Salad Tuesday: Meyer Lemon Chicken Piccata and Roasted Potatoes and Green Beans Wednesday: Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Mango Salad and Sesame Wonton Crisps Thursday: Pan-Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple Salsa and Thai Cilantro and Serrano Rice Friday: Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers and Fennel Salad with Lemon Cocktail Bonus: Piña Coladas 

Monday: Here’s a substantial Meatless Monday dinner—our Spring Vegetable Pizza with Gremolata. It starts as a white pizza, with a ricotta cheese base, and then gets topped with fennel, green peas, and asparagus. And that lemon rind–infused gremolata makes adds the freshest accent. A simple Arugula-Tomato Salad completes the meal.

Tuesday: This is peak season for Meyer lemons—those egg yolk–colored, thin-skinned fruits. The juice is sweeter than regular lemon juice and wonderfully floral, making Meyer Lemon Chicken Piccata a thing of real beauty with its zippy flavor. Roasted Green Beans and Potatoes is a quick and easy side that goes in the oven while the chicken cooks on the stove. Serve with a crisp, minerally white wine such as Chablis.

Meyer Lemon Chicken Piccata | Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Wednesday: Shake up humpday with Grilled Asian Flank Steak with Mango Salad, a dish where garlic and ginger–rubbed steak tops an herb-packed salad dotted with sweet mangoes—a tropical fruit that’s great this time of year. Serve with crunchy Sesame Wonton Crisps and a crisp, ice-cold beer.

Sesame Wonton Crisps | Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Bar, Lindsey Lower

Thursday: Some might think this dinner is a bit of a mash-up because it combines Caribbean and Thai flavors. Well, it may be a mash-up, but it’s one that works. The sweetness of Pan-Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple Salsa, with its juicy, fruity tropical fruit topping, is countered beautifully by spicy-herbal Thai Cilantro and Serrano Rice. Here again, an ice-cold beer would be great.

Pan-Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Pineapple Salsa | Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Melanie J. Clarke

Thai Cilantro and Serrano Rice | Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Friday: Bring some Island heat to the start of the weekend! With Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers, meaty chicken thighs stand up to a fiery herb paste, while the cream cheese–stuffed peppers offer cooling relief. Bright, tangy, and crisp, Fennel Salad with Lemon features those lovely Meyer lemons again, this time as sections instead of juice. Though the recipes instructs you to chill the salad for an hour, you can cut that time in half for a faster dish (and it’s still delicious).

Jerk Chicken and Stuffed Mini Bell Peppers | Photo: Mary Britton Senseney/Wonderful Machine and Randy Mayor; Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

Fennel Salad with Lemon| Photo: Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr

Cocktail Bonus: There is something so fun, so delightful about Piña Coladas. They’re rich and sweet, like a dessert and drink combined. One sip instantly transports you to a sunny island, with the soothing sound of waves breaking on the beach. Ahhh, that’s what we need right now!

Piña Coladas | Photo: Randy Mayor

Ready to start shopping? View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list in one click when you sign into your MyRecipes account.