Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — July 21-25
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: Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Tomatoes and Simple Salad with Lemon DressingTuesday: Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches and Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint DressingWednesday: Flank Steak with Tomato-Balsamic Sauce; Mint and Pea Pesto on Toasted Baguette; and Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil SaladThursday: Bean Salad with Shrimp and Curry Yogurt and Chile-Spiked RiceFriday: Great Plains Burger and Roasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon VinaigretteDessert: Peaches-and-Cream Frozen Pops
I designed this week's menu plan to have a lot of overlapping ingredients. That way, you can hopefully use up everything by the end of the week and not have a lot of food waste.
Monday: For Meatless Monday, enjoy light and refreshing Fettuccine with Pistachio-Mint Pesto and Tomatoes. Mint makes an interesting swap for basil in this pesto. You could use basil if, like me, your garden is overflowing with it currently. Pistachios might be a bit pricey, so swap them for walnuts if you want. The fettuccine is the star in today's meal, but finish it off with Simple Salad with Lemon Dressing. We'll use the mint, lemon, and tomatoes again.
Tuesday: Tonight we're making Grilled Turkey-Plum Sandwiches. Turkey sandwiches deserve a spot on the dinner table, not just the lunch one. We're skipping the cold cuts, though, and using turkey cutlets. If you can't find them at your grocery store, look for chicken cutlets. And if you used basil instead of mint for last night's petso, you're going to use it again here. Finish the plate off with a little green (and some of our recurring ingredients), like our Steamed Green Beans with Lemon-Mint Dressing.
Wednesday: We're half way through the week, so let's make something really hearty--but light all at the same time. We'll use more cherry tomatoes in our Flank Steak with Tomato-Balsamic Sauce. It's fast--ready in just 20 minutes--and the tomato sauce is delicious on pork chops and chicken, too, if you'd prefer one of those proteins.
Again, we're using mint and whipping up a fast Mint and Pea Pesto. You could, if you want, make extra mint pesto Monday night and have it waiting for tonight's dinner. Serve the pesto on slices of toasted baguette. We need a bit extra to fill out this plate, so let's make a simple salad, like our Apricot, Cucumber, Pluot, and Lime Basil Salad. If you can't find lime basil, use regular basil.
Thursday: We'll enjoy more green beans tonight in our Bean Salad with Shrimp and Curry Yogurt. Both the green beans and shrimp cook quickly, so the whole dish is ready in just about 25 minutes. Serve with a well-seasoned starchy side, such as our Chile-Spiked Rice.
Friday: Friday night is for fun foods, so change up basic hamburgers with our Great Plains Burger. We're using corn chips--yes, Fritos--to make the bison burger extra flavorful, and we're adding fresh corn to the mayo to really amp up the corn experience. Swap sirloin for bison if you can't find it or just prefer beef. Before you start the hamburger, though, get the potato mixture for our Roasted Potato Salad with Creamy Dijon Vinaigrette in the oven. When the hamburgers are almost ready, the potatoes will be ready, too.
Dessert: If you plan ahead, make these on Thursday night so they're frozen for Friday night's dessert. These Peaches-and-Cream Frozen Pops are our version of the classic Creamsicle, but with a distinctly peachy flavor. It's sweet enough the kids will love them, but it's deeply flavorful, so adults can appreciate them, too.