Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — August 1-5
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 about an hour 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.
Since we're now into the hottest month of the year, this week we're featuring no-cook meals. Keep those knobs turned to "off" and your kitchen nice and cool. Relax and don't sweat it—this week will be a breeze.
The PlanMonday: Hummus-Stuffed Pitas and Cucumber and Green Tomato GazpachoTuesday: Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas and Orange-Jicama SaladWednesday: Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad and Wheat Rolls with Orange ButterThursday: Tuna, Olive, and Wheat Berry Salad and Shaved Carrot and Zucchini SaladFriday: Avocado-Buttermilk Soup and Crab Salad and Tomato Salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic VinaigretteDessert bonus: Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Peanuts
Monday: What's cooler than a cucumber? You, when you sit down to this easy, delicious Meatless Monday dinner that requires zero cooking. Hummus-Stuffed Pitas are chock-full of crunch from radishes, cucumber, and red onion, and the hummus holds everything in place while adding creamy richness. Double down on the cooling effects of cucumber with our super-fast Cucumber and Green Tomato Gazpacho.
Tuesday: Instead of taco Tuesday, we're switching to tostada Tuesday this week. Pre-crisped tostadas shells (found with the Mexican foods) mean you don't have to heat up the oven to make Chicken and Guacamole Tostadas. Rotisserie chicken is already cooked for you, and everything else is fresh and easy. (Go ahead and pick up a large bird; you'll need more chicken for Wednesday's dinner.) A crunchy, fresh Orange-Jicama Salad is the perfect accompaniment, and we love that the pepitas are already toasted.
Wednesday: So easy, so refreshing, and just so good, Watermelon and Arugula Chicken Salad will get you over humpday with style. OK, yes, the recipe calls for toasted sliced almonds; to stay truly no-cook, use chopped roasted or Marcona or even smoked almonds. Not a big fan of watermelon? Try swapping in peaches, cantaloupe, or honeydew melon. Go ahead and keep things really easy tonight by serving with Wheat Rolls with Orange Butter. That little bit of citrus essence turns store-bought rolls into something special.
Thursday: High-quality, sustainable tuna packed in oil is a no-cook dream. It's meaty, almost unctuous, and requires little more than a can opener. For this Tuna, Olive, and Wheat Berry Salad, pick up precooked wheat berries (or farro), either near the precooked rice on the rice and grains aisle or in the freezer case; or cook some ahead over the weekend to enjoy the benefits of no cooking throughout the week. Shaved Carrot and Zucchini Salad completes the meal beautifully.
Friday: Start the weekend on an elegant note. You deserve it, after all! Avocado-Buttermilk Soup with Crab Salad is an upscale, flavor-packed main course. If sweet lump crabmeat doesn't fit in your budget, you can go with precooked shrimp instead (chop it for the topping); it will also be delicious. Serve with Tomato salad with Herbed Ricotta and Balsamic Vinaigrette, and you have an entertaining-worthy menu.
Dessert bonus: Brewing coffee doesn't count as cooking, right? We don't think so… But we do think you'll love the way the hot brew melts creamy ice cream and chocolate curls in Coffee-Drenched Ice Cream with Banana and Peanuts. It's an almost-instant treat that's great for beating the heat.
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