Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — July 18-22
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.
When it's summer, I want quick, fast, fresh meals that are ready in no time so I can get back outside and enjoy the last bit of the sun after dinner. This week, we're bringing you a menu filled with six recipes that are all ready in less than 20 minutes. Yes, that's right—20 minutes.
The PlanMonday: Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tostadas and Corn and Summer Vegetable SautéTuesday: Pork Medallions with Scallions and Magic Green Sauce and Green Beans with Toasted Garlic Wednesday: Summer Veggie Sandwich and Tomato and Peach Salad with AlmondsThursday: Silky Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons and Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil SaladFriday: White Pizza with Tomato and Basil and Spinach with Garlic VinaigretteDessert Bonus: Quick Berry Frozen Yogurt
Monday: Nothing starts off a week better than a good day filled with great meals. Since you've already had your protein-packed breakfast, your veggie-filled salad, and your fruit-focused snacks, why not cap off your day with fun, tasty, and easy Chicken & Summer Vegetable Tostadas? They are ready in a snap thanks to quick-cooking chicken tenders. The tostadas can easily become soft tacos if you skip broiling the tortillas. Serve with our Corn and Summer Vegetable Sauté for a flavorful quick-cooking side.
Tuesday: Five-ingredients and 20 minutes is all it takes to get these Pork Medallions with Scallions and Magic Green Sauce on the table. Our trick for turning five ingredients into a bold dinner? Bold flavor. Here, scallions are used three ways: in a sauce, as a vegetable, and as a garnish. The sauce can be made a day ahead and magically transforms the simplest food into something spectacular. Serve with quick-cooking Green Beans with Toasted Garlic to keep the fresh vibe going.
Wednesday: This Summer Veggie Sandwich is, without a doubt, just what Hump Day needs. Packed with fresh veggies and full of flavor, this sandwich comes together in no time at all and is so satisfying. Scooping out part of the bread in this simple version of pan bagnat allows for more tasty fillings and acts as a hull to collect flavorful tomato juices. Save the scooped-out bread and make breadcrumbs to add to your salad the next day. Serve with this perfectly seasonal Tomato and Peach Salad with Almonds.
Thursday: Use up your fresh finds from your famers' market haul this weekend in this summery Silky Pappardelle with Zucchini Ribbons. Here, baby zucchini and cherry tomatoes add fresh flavor to pasta in just 20 minutes. Use a vegetable peeler to make the ribbons. Lime, basil, and a touch of salt give the Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot Salad, our side suggestion, just a kick of fresh flavor, which rounds out this summertime meal. This dinner is probably best served outside with a glass of white wine.
Friday: To me, pizza and Fridays just go together. It's my "Congratulations! You made it to the end of the week" meal. This pizza is perfect for a Friday night—less than 20 minutes and less than 400 calories per serving. Hello, healthy Friday! Did I mention it's also incredibly delicious? Tip: Heating a cookie sheet in the oven before you put the pie on it gives you a crisper crust. Serve with a crowd-favorite, 6-minute side—Spinach with Garlic Vinaigrette to complete this delicious meal.
Dessert Bonus: Kick up the flavor in your average frozen yogurt with this perfect summery treat featuring fresh berries and mint. This treat just screams summer and adds a refreshing finishing touch to this summer menu.
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