Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — December 14-18
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: Egg Noodle Stir-Fry with Broccoli + Snap Pea SautéTuesday: Chicken Agrodolce with Creamy Polenta + Brussels sproutsWednesday: Pasta with Ricotta and Artichokes + Citrus Salad with Balsamic Honey and Pistachios Thursday: Seared Scallops with Chestnut Puree + Candied Walnut, Pear, and Leafy Green SaladFriday: Grilled Flank Steak Gyros + Kale and Almond Brussels Sprout SaladDessert Bonus: Fudgy Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies
The holiday season is in full swing, and as schedules get busier, takeout and fast food become more and more tempting. Now is time to plan ahead and get your shopping done. Luckily, we've done the planning for you. Head to the store, stock up, and spend an hour prepping today. You'll thank yourself for getting ahead and feel great about getting a healthy dinner on the table each night.
Monday: Try to eat meatless once a week by swapping around your proteins. Slurpable noodles, fried veggies, and one protein-packed fried egg unite in this gorgeous Egg Noodle Stir-Fry with Broccoli. Since the meal has a beautiful balance of protein, carbs, and vegetables, you can enjoy alone, but if you desire another side, serve with our superfast, five-star rated Snap Pea Sauté.
Tuesday: Tender juicy Chicken Agrodolce with Creamy Polenta rests in a warm, velvety broth to deliver you comfort in a bowl in under 40 minutes flat. Perfectly in season, Brussels sprouts are a must-make this time of year, and they so happen to pair wonderfully with this comforting chicken dish.
Wednesday: Quick, easy, and incredibly satisfying, this Pasta with Ricotta and Artichokes dish is ready, start to finish in one pan, making it the perfect solution to busy weeknights. The ricotta adds rich creaminess when mixed into each portion on the plate, while fresh mozza creates that ooey-gooey baked pasta feel. Serve with a sweet tart Citrus Salad with Balsamic Honey and Pistachios for a healthy side that tastes more like a dessert.
Thursday: Oh-so-elegant, yet downright easy—this Seared Scallops with Chestnut Puree dish is a sure-fire way to impress your family members or even someone special this week without all the fancy dish fuss. The nutty coating on the outside lends a crunchy texture that surrounds a buttery inside. Give this delicious dish a touch of green with our wintery Candied Walnut, Pear, and Leafy Green Salad.
Friday: Congrats! You made it to Friday. Now it’s time to kick back, relax, and enjoy these ultra satisfying Grilled Flank Steak Gyros. You can indulge your fast-food craving with a healthier sandwich that packs the same irresistible meaty-creamy combo you get from a street cart. Serve with our Kale and Almond Brussels Sprout Salad, a side that gives you nutrition, flavor, and crunch in every single bite.
Holiday Dessert Bonus: Break out the peppermint and make a batch of these Fudgy Chocolate-Peppermint Cookies this weekend. Make a double batch so you can keep one for you and give one away. Package it up with a simple cardboard hat box (find one at your local craft store), and add a pop of color with a bright ribbon, and tag the recipe with a handwritten greeting. See more holiday desserts.