Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus--April 27-May 1
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: Crispy Vegetable Quesadillas with Snap Pea and Radish SautéTuesday: Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Butter-Chive Pasta and Arugula-Herb SaladWednesday: Cheeseburger Pizza and Green SaladThursday: Pork and Asparagus Stir-FryFriday: Sriracha Shrimp Rolls with Sweet and Savory Pan-Seared Brussels SproutsDessert Bonus: Bananas Foster Parfaits
Monday: Crispy Vegetable Quesadillas with Snap Pea and Radish SautéThese loaded vegetarian quesadillas are cooked on a hot baking sheet under the broiler rather than in a skillet on the stovetop, making for a more hands-off preparation. The key to supreme crispness is using just enough cooking spray—a light spritz is all it takes. An excess of cooking spray will soak into the tortillas, leaving you with no bueno soggy quesadillas. Add a bright pop of color to the plate with a buttery sauté of snap peas and radishes. While you're chopping chives for this dish, go ahead and chop 3 additional tablespoons and set aside in a small container to save yourself a step on tomorrow's pasta.
Snap Pea and Radish SautéTuesday: Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Butter-Chive Pasta and Arugula-Herb SaladContinuing with the "crispy" theme, you're going to love how crisp these schnitzel-inspired chicken cutlets get with a mere 6 minutes of cooking. Even better, this entire impressive plate—chicken, pasta, and herbaceous salad—comes together in less than 30 minutes. Can't ask for much more than that on a Tuesday.
Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Butter-Chive Pasta and Arugula-Herb SaladWednesday: Cheeseburger Pizza and Green SaladSure to be a family favorite, our quick and easy Cheeseburger Pizza saves more than 200 calories, 16 grams of fat, and nearly 670 milligrams of sodium over the leading fast-food version. This beefy, cheesy pie is balanced out by a simple side salad with white wine vinaigrette. Feel free to throw any leftover leafy herbs from yesterday's salad into the mix for added character.
Green Salad with Simple VinaigretteThursday: Pork and Asparagus Stir-FryStir-fry is the ultimate weeknight supper—it's quick, it's simple, and you can load in as many fresh veggies as you like. Soy sauce, sesame oil, and sake (a mildly sweet rice wine) are combined to make a bold, super savory sauce. However, if you don't have sake on hand, you can substitute an equal amount of dry sherry. We used pork tenderloin for this bright spring stir-fry, but the combo of garlic, ginger, bell pepper, and asparagus works equally great with a variety of other proteins, such as chicken, beef, or tofu.
Pork and Asparagus Stir-Fry Friday: Sriracha Shrimp Rolls with Sweet and Savory Pan-Seared Brussels SproutsNothing says Friday night quite like sandwich night. This spicy twist on a New England classic makes for a fun, special meal to celebrate the start of the weekend. A little sweet and a little salty, these sprouts deliver an amazing umami flavor bomb. The sugar, rice vinegar, soy sauce, and fish sauce create a lovely glaze over the sprouts as they caramelize in the pan.
Sweet and Savory Pan-Seared Brussels SproutsDessert Bonus: Bananas Foster ParfaitsTreat yourself to saucy, caramely banana goodness—you deserve it. When making this rich sundae for adults, try subbing rum for half of the apple juice.