Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — April 21-25
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans–new recipes from current issues matched with previously published favorites. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less.
The PlanMonday: Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce and Sesame BroccoliTuesday: Grilled Ham and Pineapple Pizza and Simple Salad with Lemon DressingWednesday: Lemon-Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberry Compote and Simple Baked EggsThursday: Mint and Pea Pesto on Toasted Baguette and Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan SaladFriday: Tomatillo-Braised Chicken Thighs and Tex-Mex Couscous PilafCocktail Bonus: Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic
Monday: Fried rice is one of those great Meatless Monday dinners that doesn’t shout at you and your family that it’s meatless. Our Fried Rice with Sweet Soy Sauce is inconspicuously vegetarian, let’s say, because it’s just so hearty and comforting and filling. The recipe calls for cooked brown rice—use leftovers, or pick up two pouches of precooked, unseasoned rice that heats in less than two minutes. Save your leftover herbs for Thursday and Friday night dinners. And round out this meal with an easy-peasy side of broccoli that’s ready in a flash.
Tuesday: Still have some leftover ham from Easter brunch? Grilled Ham and Pineapple Pizza offers a great way to use it up—thinly slice the ham, grill it (along with some pineapple), and use it on a family-friendly Hawaiian-style pizza. Don’t feel like grilling? That’s ok—though we love the smoky flavor, the broiler or a stovetop grill pan will work just as well on the ham and pineapple; bake the pizza at 450° for 8 to 10 minutes. Since the pizza leans to the sweet side, balance it with a tangy salad dotted with peppery radishes.
Wednesday: Fun-up hump day with breakfast for dinner (or brinner). Lemon-Poppy Seed Pancakes with Blueberry Compote are sure to create smiles when kids—or grown-ups—discover their sunny citrus flavor. And that berry compote is just lick-the-plate good. Give everyone his or her own individual egg in a cup to go with; Simple Baked Eggs are creamy, rich, and ridiculously easy to make. Just pop them in the oven first, and tend to the pancakes as the eggy ramekins bake.
Thursday: Tonight’s meal is fresh, light, and veggie-packed. You’ll use up some of your leftover basil and mint from Monday night’s dinner with Mint and Pea Pesto on Toasted Baguette. These delicious spring-veggie toasts are the perfect complement to Grilled Steak with Baby Arugula and Parmesan. We wouldn’t be opposed to a nice pinot noir, too.
Friday: Woo-hoo, you made it through another week! Kick off the weekend with a cantina-inspired meal. Tomatillo-Braised Chicken Thighs are rich and meaty and blanketed in a flavor-packed sauce that’ll use up some of that leftover cilantro. Tex-Mex Couscous Pilaf is all you need for a filling, easy meal.
Cocktail Bonus: Still have a little bit of cilantro and mint leftover? Toss them into Cucumber-Mint Tequila Tonic. It’s a refreshing, absolutely gorgeous sipper that’ll go just fine with a warm spring evening.