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 Game Plan:Monday: Penne with Asparagus, Pistachios, and Mint with Spinach Salad with Berries and Goat CheeseTuesday: Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Buttery Lentils with Shallots with Olive-Almond Green BeansWednesday: Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cherries and Shallots with Cabbage SlawThursday: Chicken with Quick Chile Verde with Bell Pepper and Corn SautéFriday: Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir-FryDessert Bonus: Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge
Monday: This 25-minute Penne with Asparagus, Pistachios, and Mint main has the kind of green on green (on green) we love—fresh asparagus, nutty pistachios, and herbaceous mint. Whole-grain penne is an added healthy bonus. Serve with a quick, colorful Spinach Salad with Berries and Goat Cheese.
Spinach Salad with Berries and Goat CheeseTuesday: Lentils may just be the most underrated members of the legume family—they’re inexpensive, quick, and become a luscious side when sautéed with butter and shallots. Mustard-Glazed Salmon with Buttery Lentils with Shallots is weeknight fast but impressive enough for company. Serve with crisp-tender Olive-Almond Green Beans.
Olive-Almond Green BeansWednesday: Use any remaining shallots from last night’s lentils for the simple, delicious Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Cherries and Shallots. Cherries and pork pair beautifully, and a hit of balsamic vinegar really makes the dish sing. Pair with a simply dressed Cabbage Slaw.
Cabbage SlawThursday: You won’t believe how easy it is to make your own quick verde sauce from scratch in this Chicken with Quick Chile Verde—it’ll be ready right when the chicken finishes cooking. The salsa would also be great spooned over fish tacos or simply steamed rice. Serve with a Bell Pepper and Corn Sauté, ready in minutes.
Bell Pepper and Corn SautéFriday: Time to use up all the produce remainders in your fridge. Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir-Fry uses the asparagus, corn, and red bell pepper from during the week, though you could use any produce you like. Serve with simply steamed white or brown rice.
Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir-FryDessert Bonus: If a peanut butter cup and a piece of fudge fell in love, this would be the perfect result. Peanut Butter and Dark Chocolate Fudge gets deep chocolate flavor from unsweetened dark cocoa and a little instant coffee. Chopped peanuts on top add crunch. Happy Friday indeed!
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