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 45 minutes or less 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 PlanMonday: Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps and Zucchini Oven ChipsTuesday: Beef Tostadas with Quick-Pickled Onions and Two-Bean TossWednesday: Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti and Arugula Salad with Caesar VinaigretteThursday: Crispy Trout with Warm Parsley-Caper Vinaigrette and Asparagus-Parmesan CouscousFriday: Sautéed Chicken with Roasted Pepper PastaHappy Hour Bonus: Bourbon-Peach Limeade
Monday: The beauty of these Roasted Red Pepper Hummus Veggie Wraps is how versatile they are for a meatless Monday. Don't have bell pepper on hand? Try zucchini or squash. No crumbled goat cheese? That's okay. Crumbled feta or even blue cheese would be a great sub. The red pepper hummus is tasty, of course, but feel free to sub your favorite variety. Mine? Roasted garlic hummus. Such a simple main needs an equally simple yet stunningly delicious side. Try Zucchini Oven Chips, one of our most popular recipes.
Tuesday: Another dish that's easily adaptable to your tastes or groceries you have on hand: Beef Tostadas with Quick-Pickled Onions. The recipe calls for corn tostadas, but you could use any leftover tortillas from last night's wraps and just broil under high heat for a minute or two until lightly browned. The quick-pickled onions are a favorite--I use them all the time to brighten up salads, sandwiches, and tacos. Serve with a veggie-forward side, something fresh and simple like our Two-Bean Toss.
Wednesday: I'm not a huge fan of jarred tomato sauces, and I'm not a fan of raw tomatoes at all. But roast 'em for a few minutes, and they turn into a silky, velvety tomato sauce with just a quick smash of the fork. Try them in our Quick-Roasted Cherry Tomato Sauce with Spaghetti with a simple, vibrant green side, such as Arugula Salad with Caesar Vinaigrette.
Thursday: Fish dishes like this Crispy Trout with Warm Parsley-Caper Vinaigrette are so insanely easy and fast that you'll be making it regularly before you know it. The vinaigrette is the real star, so don't be surprised if you start using it on other proteins, such as pork chops and chicken tenders. Make the side bulky, but don't forget the veg. Try Asparagus-Parmesan Couscous.
Friday: This dish reminds me a lot of a favorite pasta salad I enjoy during summer cookouts. It's filled with veggies and a great earthiness from the herbs. I personally add a splash of white wine vinegar for added zing, but Sautéed Chicken with Roasted Pepper Pasta is great just as it's written. If you have any greens or veggies left from the week, make up another simple side to add to your daily vegetable count.
Happy Hour Bonus: CHEERS! You made it to another Friday. There's no better way to celebrate than with our Bourbon-Peach Limeade. Leave out the bourbon for a virgin version. Or don't, if you need a good drink by the time you hit dinner on Friday night like me. Happy weekend!
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