Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the love of cooking that deters so many of us from the kitchen each night; it’s actually deciding what to cook from the millions of options bombarding us from so many different places. We’ve done the planning for you. Not just menus, but healthy menus that are fast – on the table in less than 45 minutes.
The Plan Monday: Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce Tuesday: Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tostadas and Spicy Black Beans Wednesday: Thai Steak Salad Thursday: Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto and Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette Friday: Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish and Watermelon-Cucumber Salad Dessert bonus: Balsamic Strawberries over Angel Food Cake
I think we can fully embrace the best that late spring and early summer has to offer now, right? This week, I'm calling on all the best and freshest produce I've seen in the grocery stores and farmers' markets. Even though the holiday season is very cheerful, this is the happiest season of all for those of us who love delicious food.
Monday: Let's go meatless this Monday with a mouthwatering yet light take on a very popular restaurant pick. Our Lettuce Wraps with Hoisin-Peanut Sauce are so flavorful you may find yourself coming back to this dish once a week. Not sure about the tofu? You'll be mightily surprised by the chewy, even meaty, texture crumbled tofu takes on when drained and sauteed. Promise!
Tuesday: One taste of this delicious south-of-the-border supper, and you'll see why it's one of our highest-rated dishes. This recipe originally ran in 2006, but it's so popular, we revisited it last year for our list of the best Cooking Light recipes ever. The best part about our Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tostadas? They're ready in 20 minutes thanks to quick-cooking chicken tenders. Go ahead and pick up an extra ear of corn. We'll use it on Friday for a relish. Serve the Tostadas with our Spicy Black Beans.
Wednesday: I really love a good, hearty salad during the week -- this time of year especially. I also enjoy mixing it up a bit and trying a different type of green. Spinach, arugula, and romaine do make great salads, but let's experiment this week with cabbage. The crunch and flavor make the whole Thai Steak Salad sing, but the real star is the dressing. All the flavors are balanced beautifully, so don't skip on anything -- even the Sriracha -- if you can.
Thursday: Can you have restaurant gourmet in 20 minutes? Yes, you can, and this week you will with our Salmon with Red Pepper Pesto and Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette. The salmon cooks while you're blending the pesto. Toss the spinach with your vinaigrette right before serving. Watch our contributing editor Allison Fishman Task share tips about cooking this simple, but oh so gourmet, dish.
Friday: Friday night! You made it through another week. Let's celebrate by breaking out the grill pan and cooking a truly bright, delicious dish, our Grilled Chicken Thighs with Pineapple, Corn, and Bell Pepper Relish. Here's where you need the extra ear of corn you bought earlier this week. This relish comes together quickly, and if you love it as much as I do, remember it for other quick meals: grilled pork, seared shrimp, broiled fish. It's so light and bright it goes great with just about any protein. I'm finally seeing good watermelon in the grocery stores, so pick up one to use in our Watermelon-Cucumber Salad. The recipes makes a lot, so cut it in half for tonight's meal, then use the leftover ingredients for another round this weekend.
Dessert bonus: Lastly, keep the fruit theme going from tonight's dinner and whip up our Balsamic Strawberries over Angel Food Cake. No baking here -- we use store-bought angel food cake to save time. Of course, feel free to make your own and use it in the recipe. It will be even more special that way.
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