Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy, Clean Dinners — July 20-24
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: Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs with 2 ounces whole-wheat breadTuesday: Arctic Char with Orange-Caper Relish and Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed SaladWednesday: Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic VinaigretteThursday: Chicken Kebabs and Nectarine Salsa and Tarragon-Tomato SaladFriday: Grilled Pork Chops with Two-Melon Salsa and Nutty Almond-Sesame Red QuinoaDessert Bonus: Pineapple-Coconut Dessert in a Cup
This week's meal plan is geared toward readers who prefer natural, clean eating recipes. In fact, these recipes are just a few of our clean eating recipes perfect for weeknight dinners. At its core, clean eating is a way for you to bring your food and meals back to a more natural, whole foods place. So much of what we eat is highly processed and filled with unnecessary chemicals, preservatives, and ingredients. The cleaner your diet, the closer the food is to its natural form. If you're interested in moving toward a cleaner plate, these 7 tips for eating clean can get you started.
Monday: If pizza or pasta is your go-to solution for meatless dinners, switch it up and try this Vegetable Hash with Poached Eggs instead. Here, a beautiful poached egg tops a bowl of hearty, fibrous vegetables to create a balanced vegetarian meal in a flash. This is also a great way to use up any leftover veggies you have from the weekend, so don't be afraid to throw in a little extra veg. Pick up a loaf of whole-wheat bread at your local bakery, and tear off a chunk to sop up the runny yolk.
Tuesday: Arctic Char with Orange-Caper Relish gets its natural flavor hit from both the salty essence of capers and the sweet touch of freshly squeezed orange juice. A side of Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed Salad is the fresh hit of greens you need to round out the plate.
Wednesday: Mild and healthy, spinach is the perfect base to many meals and allows bold flavors to seep in and soak the leaves. Red grape tomatoes add a pop of color to this Fennel and Spinach Salad with Shrimp and Balsamic Vinaigrette. If you have leftover whole-wheat bread from Monday, use another chunk to soak up every drop of vinaigrette.
Thursday:While this recipe for Chicken Kebabs and Nectarine Salsa is almost completely clean, the marinade calls for brown sugar. For an easy sugar substitution, replace 1½ teaspoons of maple syrup for the 1 tablespoon of brown sugar. Make use of the summer-perfect 'maters abundant in grocery stores and farmers' markets right now with this simple side of Tarragon-Tomato Salad.
Friday: Drench grilled meats in salsa to get a natural, low-calorie topping. In this dish for Grilled Pork Chops with Two-Melon Salsa, an array of fresh melons, cilantro, and jalapeño peppers top garlicky grilled pork chops for a delicious meal that's ready in less than 30 minutes. Add a hearty side like our Nutty Almond-Sesame Red Quinoa to really fill up the plate and your belly.
Dessert Bonus: Desserts are one of the trickiest places to eat clean because clean-eating sugars are few and far between. That's why our Associate Food Editor Hannah designed this Pineapple-Coconut Dessert in a Cup. It's super fresh and really adaptable to whatever fruit you have on hand. Coconut-flavored yogurt is delicious with anything, right?
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.