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.
The PlanMonday: Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with Lime TzatzikiTuesday: Shrimp and Shiitake Rice Bowl with Orange-Sesame BroccoliWednesday: Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash and Simple Salad with ParmesanThursday: Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos with Avocado-Butter Lettuce SaladFriday: Pork Tenderloin and Cannellini Beans with Pear and Winter Lettuce SaladDessert Bonus: Orange Gratin
The PlanMonday: You'll find all the flavors of a falafel in our meatless Fried Chickpea and Arugula Pita Sandwiches with Lime Tzatziki--just without as much saturated fat and calories. Be sure to pick up whole-grain pitas so you can sneak in a serving. If you need a side idea, try baby carrots or cucumber slices with hummus.370 calories, 10.4g fat, 1.8g sat fat, 586mg sodium
Tuesday: A Shrimp and Shiitake Rice Bowl will convince you that you might never order takeout again because it's so fast, so delicious, and so much healthier. Keep the side dish fresh. A recipe like our Orange-Sesame Broccoli is warm and toasty thanks to the nutty sesame seeds but the crisp, bright acidity from the orange sections will keep the side light against the hearty rice of the main dish. Pick up extra oranges when you grocery shop. We'll use them for dessert later this week.329 calories, 13.7g fat, 1.4g sat fat, 699mg sodium
Wednesday: I call this dish comfort on a plate. A one dish meal, our Sausage and Black-Eyed Pea Hash combines spicy andouille sausage, tender black-eyed peas, and roasted veggies with a tangy sauce. On top, a fried egg brings the whole dish together beautifully. Keep the side simple and fresh, like our Simple Salad with Parmesan. Don't have parm? Any hard cheese will do, and the tang of the cheese will be a welcome partner to the creaminess of the egg.325 calories, 16.4g fat, 4.4g sat fat, 671mg sodium
Thursday: Mexican night is the best night. (Okay, maybe all nights are the best night, but I really like Mexican food.) These Chicken and Black Bean-Stuffed Burritos are fast--ready in just 25 minutes. Even better, making burritos at home helps you keep the serving size and calories in check. In fact, one burrito comes in at less than 375 calories, which leaves you a little room for a side. Try creamy-tangy Avocado-Butter Lettuce Salad.472 calories, 19.5g fat, 5.5g sat fat, 749mg sodium
Friday: Pork tenderloin is one of the best weeknight meal proteins. It's lean, versatile, and quick to cook. You should keep several pork tenderloin recipes in your back pocket for crazy nights, so be sure this recipe for Pork Tenderloin and Cannellini Beans is one such recipe. Earthy fennel seeds pair beautifully with the tang of tomatoes and floral notes from the sage. This great main dish needs a fresh side, maybe something a little sweet. Try the Pear and Winter Lettuce Salad for a sweet, juicy salad.330 calories, 13.5g fat, 2.3g sat fat, 663 mg sodium
Dessert Bonus: Take advantage of what remains of this year's citrus season, and make a delicious dessert in the process. The recipe for this Orange Gratin calls for two kinds of oranges and a grapefruit, but you could use any type of citrus you find. The peppery ginger flavor spices up the citrus, and the yogurt-marmalade brings the whole dessert together on a creamy note.187 calories, 2.3g fat, 0.6g sat fat, 16mg sodium
Ready to start shopping? View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list in one click when you sign into your MyRecipes account.
If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something custom to your dietary or caloric needs, check out the Cooking Light Diet. It's a a calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.