Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — April 13-17
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 custom 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: Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce and Sesame BroccoliTuesday: Grilled Ham and Pineapple Pizza and Simple Salad with Lemon DressingWednesday: Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa and Sesame-Miso Cucumber SaladThursday: Smoky Farro and Chickpea SoupFriday: Browned Butter Flounder with Lemon Snap Peas and Balsamic and Grape QuinoaDessert Bonus: Tropical Fruit Nachos
Monday: This Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce is a tasty meatless way to start the week. It's one of the easiest fried rice recipes you'll come across, and it's very versatile for flavor preferences. Don't like a lot of heat? Skip the chiles. Want to add meat? Cook a little shrimp or chicken in the skillet and stir it in right before serving. For a side, keep the flavors simple and the veg heavy with our Sesame Broccoli.
Tuesday: We call this a kid-friendly dinner option, but really, Grilled Ham and Pineapple Pizza is great for adults, too. At least, this adult really loves it. Adults will also love how fast it is. We speed it up by using a pre-baked thin pizza crust. If you have a go-to pizza crust recipe you want to use, go for it. Just be sure to pre-bake it a bit before putting toppings on. Serve with a simple green side like our Simple Salad with Lemon Dressing.
Wednesday: The beauty of simple fish dishes is how easily they come together and how perfect they are every time. We're giving a sear to some tuna steaks in a screaming hot pan. That helps with the beautiful marks but also the flavor--the hot grill pan will create a delicious crustyness on the fish. Then, we'll top the tuna with a simple salsa, and in less than 30 minutes you'll have Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa. You could do a grain side here, such as quinoa with sesame seeds, but let's opt for a little vegetable side instead. Try the Sesame-Miso Cucumber Salad. The flavors will all blend beautifully.
Thursday: This hearty one-pot meal of Smoky Farro and Chickpea Soup comes together in just 25 minutes. You can cook your own farro, which might had a bit of time, or you can look for pre-cooked packets at the grocery store. It's another meatless option that's really filling thanks to the grains and beans, but if you need a bit more bulk, stir in some rotisserie chicken at the end.
Friday: It's Friday night, and there's some daylight hours left to be enjoyed after dinner, so we're going to make it fast, fast, fast, Our Browned Butter Flounder with Lemon Snap Peas is ready in about 20 minutes. Again, this is a simple seafood dish that relies on one simple flavor component--the browned butter--to really make it shine. You don't need a lot of bells and whistles in seafood cooking. Straightforward, simple, and easy. Serve with a side of Balsamic and Grape Quinoa to boost the filling fiber factor. And then get out there and enjoy the start of your weekend!
Dessert Bonus: Before you head off into the weekend, however, celebrate with a little fruit-forward dessert. We sub salty tortilla chips for cinnamon-sugary wonton chips and top them with a fruit salsa and silky coconut sauce that will knock your socks off. Go ahead, enjoy these Tropical Fruit Nachos.