Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — August 19-23
Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the love of cooking that deters so many of us from the kitchen each night; it’s actually deciding what to cook from the millions of options bombarding us from so many different places. Here, we’ve done the planning for you. Not just menus, but healthy menus that are fast—on the table in less than 45 minutes.
The PlanMonday: Summer Pea Pasta with quick cherry tomato saladTuesday: Pork Scaloppine with Mustard Pan Sauce and Baby Carrots and Rolls with Honey-Orange ButterWednesday: Lemon-Parsley Chicken with Corn and Tomato Salad with Herbed CouscousThursday: Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese with Roasted Broccoli and Red Bell PepperFriday: Flank Steak with Tomato-Balsamic Sauce and Mixed Greens Salad with Hoisin-Sesame VinaigretteDessert bonus: Black Forest Parfaits
Our September issue is out on newsstands now, so we're giving you a sneak peak into all the new, tasty recipes you'll find. It's a mix of quick, family-friendly meals that still use summer's beautiful bounty with lots of great early-autumn dishes that are perfect for busy school nights after everyone's home from practices and work.
Monday: Please, please don't let summer end. This week has been unseasonably cold here in Alabama, which has me longing for fall, but I'm not wanting summer to go and take all its beautiful produce with it. To keep the happy, healthy summer vibe going just a bit longer, enjoy our Summer Pea Pasta tonight. It comes together in just 22 minutes, and bonus: It's a budget recipe. Each serving is only $2.32.
As a side, you can make this quick tomato salad: Combine 3 ounces mini mozzarella cheese balls with 1 pint halved cherry tomatoes, 2 tablespoons olive oil, and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar. Or try our Tomato, Sweet Onion, and Parsley Salad instead. Both equally beautiful with candy-sweet bite-size tomatoes. Neither add very many minutes to your overall time. A delightful summer menu, ready in under 40 minutes. Buy an extra three cups of cherry tomatoes if you're picking some up from a local farmers' market. You'll need it on Wednesday and again on Friday.
Tuesday: To scaloppine a piece of meat, you hammer it into thin slices. You then typically dredge the pieces in flour and liquid before a quick cook in a skillet. We'll skip that last part to make this dinner happen more quickly, but you still get to pound on some meat. (Get out that stress!) We're making an everyday pork tenderloin more interesting and more fun to eat -- and make -- by slicing the tenderloin, then hammering each slice into thin, 1/4-inch pieces in our Pork Scaloppine with Mustard Pan Sauce. We use the same skillet to make the pan sauce once the meat has been cooked, so you won't have to dirty up several pans. You'll start roasting Baby Carrots before you start the pork, so they'll be done when finish the pan sauce.
Finish the meal off with with Rolls with Honey-Orange Butter, which come together quickly and need only 10 minutes of baking time.
Wednesday: We're hanging on to that summer vibe with an easy-to-make chicken dish, our Lemon-Parsley Chicken with Corn and Tomato Salad. Lemon and parsley are natural companions and make a quick marinade more flavorful. Plus, they are fresh and vibrant, which pairs beautifully with a corn and tomato side salad. Get a little side dish going with our Herbed Couscous. You'll use some more of the parsley here, which helps bring the flavors of the dish all together.
Thursday: To me, nothing says comfort like macaroni and cheese. One bowlful, and I'm transported to a happy space where deadlines don't exist and bill is the name of a nice man from church, not something I have to pay. Enjoy our September cover recipe, Two-Cheese Mac and Cheese tonight. It's not a thick mac and cheese, which is why it's great this time of year. It's just as hearty without being heavy. This serves 6 (all the others serve 4), so someone can eat the leftovers tomorrow for lunch.
Don't forget your veggies! We roasted carrots on Tuesday, so let's keep the roasted veggie vibe going with Roasted Broccoli and Red Bell Pepper. Roasting adds a ton of flavor to broccoli, plus a punch of color next to the mac and cheese. The entire meal is ready in just 40 minutes.
Friday: I'm not giving up summer tomatoes yet. We'll enjoy them again tonight in our Flank Steak with Tomato-Balsamic Sauce. This time, the tomatoes are pan roasted and cooked down into a divine sauce made thick and flavorful with balsamic vinegar. If you don't want steak, the tomato-balsamic sauce is just as delicious on sauteed chicken breasts or pork chops. So if you try it and you're a fan, you can have it again and again in several different ways.
You've got a lot of veggie greatness already with the steak, so just make a simple salad for the side. Try our Mixed Greens Salad with Hoisin-Sesame Vinaigrette. It's a quick salad that comes together in just minutes, but it will blow your socks off. Really, you'll be amazed at how something so simple can be so flavorful. It might become your regular weeknight side salad. It's that good. The entire menu is ready in just 40 minutes.
Dessert bonus: You made it through another week! It's time to enjoy a sensational superfast dessert, our Black Forest Parfaits. Chocolate, cherries, and frozen yogurt? Sign me up! We've got lots of substitution ideas if you need them: Strawberries work in place of cherries easily. Regular low-fat frozen yogurt can take the place of fat-free frozen Greek yogurt if you can't find it. Or, if you're not a fan of the supersweet, even plain Greek yogurt would make for a delicious parfait.