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.
The PlanMonday: Crisp Cauliflower Fritters and Spinach with Garlic VinaigretteTuesday: Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa and Golden Saffron RiceWednesday: Bayou Catfish Fillets and Toasted Millet with Cilantro VinaigretteThursday: Pasta Pork Bolognese and Steamed Sugar Snap PeasFriday: Beef-Broccoli Stir-FryDessert: Mocha Banana Split
Monday: These golden-brown, light Crisp Cauliflower Fritters require just 20 minutes from start to finish. The patties are a mix between hash browns and mashed cauliflower, but they're pan seared to crispy perfection. The yogurt dipping sauce might actually be my most favorite part. Finish off the meal with a simple side like our Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette. This entire meal should clock in around the 25-minute mark, which is incredibly fast for this filling Meatless Monday meal.
Tuesday: I think I've shared this recipe with every single one of my friends, and now I'm sharing it with you. Cilantro-Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa is hands down my most favorite recipe this time of year. The simple tomato and avocado salsa works wonders for a basic grilled chicken breast. And no need to spend a lot of time marinating your chicken: This cilantro-lime marinade is potent and quick. Serve with Golden Saffron Rice to complete the plate.
Wednesday: Catfish is a protein that doesn't get as much love as it deserves. It's a neutral fish, and farmed catfish is a sustainable choice that's usually easier to find than other sustainable options. For dinner tonight, try it in this recipe for Bayou Catfish Fillets. The spicy cornmeal breading provides a tasty crunch. If you don't like catfish, try halibut, tilapia, or another white, flaky fish. The side for tonight is Toasted Millet with Cilantro Vinaigrette. It's a versatile whole-grain side, so use whatever veggies you have on hand. Just don't skip the avocado because it'll help balance the heat of the fish.
Thursday: Can you have homemade pasta sauce in just 14 minutes? Yes, you can, with our Pasta Pork Bolognese. Besides extra-virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper, you need just 7 ingredients, and you'll have a filling pasta with meat sauce. Serve up a quick side of Steamed Sugar Snap Peas to finish out the plate.
Friday: After a long week, there's nothing better than takeout, a movie, and a crisp glass of white wine. Unfortunately, takeout isn't in my calorie--or sodium--budget. Instead, I prefer to make something fast and just pour the white wine as soon as I walk in the door. Tonight, let's make Beef-Broccoli Stir-Fry. It's ready in just 20 minutes--it's Friday after all--and it's easy.
Dessert: Save room for a Mocha Banana Split. Banana splits were made for hot summer days. The coffee ice cream and kicks of espresso give the basic banana split a decidedly adult twist, but as all banana splits are, it still manages to be playful and fun.
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