Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — February 10-14
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans--a mix of new recipes from the current issue and previously published favorites. These meals are designed to be tasty, healthy, and fast--on the table in 45 minutes or less.
The PlanMonday: Vegetable and Greens Hash with Poached Egg with Snap Pea and Bell Pepper SautéTuesday: Tex-Mex Rice Bowl with Garlic and Red Pepper AsparagusWednesday: Pork Tenderloin Paprikash with Egg Noodles and Apple Salad with Mustard DressingThursday: Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Sauce and Balsamic and Grape QuinoaFriday: Salmon with Polenta and Warm Tomato VinaigretteDessert Bonus: Warm Coconut Rice PuddingThis week, we're featuring a mix of new recipes from our March issue (which will be on newsstands Friday) and favorites from previous months. Take the whole week as it is--you can download and print each recipe plus a shopping list--or mix and match some of these recipes with a few of your favorites. It's up to you! The important thing is that you have a game plan. Execution is 90 percent planning.
Monday: The best part about this Meatless Monday main is that it's so versatile you can use whatever greens and veggies you have in your fridge. No kale? That's fine. Use a 10-ounce container of spinach instead. Mustard greens or chard work beautifully, too. If you don't have sweet potatoes on hand, double up on the Yukon golds. You can't go wrong when making our Vegetable and Greens Hash with Poached Egg. Just don't skip the egg--the yolk makes a creamy sauce that brings the whole thing together.
The same is true for the side, Snap Pea and Bell Pepper Sauté. Sub any quick-cooking vegetables for this recipe, and the results will be spot-on every time.
Tuesday: I have a hard time convincing myself fast food is acceptable when I know our Tex-Mex Rice Bowl is faster than most drive-throughs. Think I'm joking? I'm not. This dish is done in 11 minutes. Serve it with Garlic and Red Pepper Asparagus, and your entire meal will be ready in the time it takes you to decide on a restaurant, wade through the cars, place your order, and wait in line.
Wednesday: Pork Tenderloin Paprikash with Egg Noodles is fun to say but more fun to eat. It makes great leftovers, too! Start your noodles, then prepare your pork mixture. While the pork cooks, make Apple Salad with Mustard Dressing. The whole menu is ready in 35 minutes.
Thursday: The Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Sauce make my heart sing. This is my most favorite dish from the March issue. I love cilantro so much I seek out recipes that feature it. And chicken thighs? Now we're talking. They take a bit more time, but they're dense, succulent, and much more flavorful than the basic boneless-skinless chicken breast. Serve with Balsamic and Grape Quinoa. We show red quinoa here because we love the color, but regular quinoa works, too. A simple side salad brings the whole meal together.
Friday: To me, Valentine's Day means one thing for restaurants: Crowds. Call me crazy, but I'd much rather dine-in while other love birds fight for seats and space at super busy dining establishments. If you're making dinner for one, two, or more, try our Salmon with Polenta and Warm Tomato Vinaigrette. It's sophisticated and special, and you can slip on over to the couch for some couple time as soon as you're done.
Dessert Bonus: It's not cold everywhere across the U.S., but it seems where it is chilly, it's just plain frigid. And as much as I love ice cream or frozen yogurt, sometimes you need dessert to warm your heart and soul. Our Warm Coconut Rice Pudding can do just that.