Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — June 15-19
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.
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.
The PlanMonday: Summer Veggie Pasta with Arugula, Grape, and Sunflower Seed SaladTuesday: Seared Tuna with Avocado Salsa and Corn and Summer Vegetable SautéWednesday: Five-Spice Orange Beef and BroccoliThursday: Black Pepper and Molasses Pulled Chicken Sandwiches with Mardi Gras SlawFriday: Spinach and Ham Stuffed Baked Potatoes with Asparagus with Dill VinaigretteDessert Bonus: Greek Yogurt with Warm Black and Blueberry Sauce
Monday: This bowl of brightness screams "superior summer supper." Using thinly shaved raw veggies keeps cook time low, color vibrant, and texture fresh. The veggies are softened and heated just enough when tossed with warm pasta. As far as sides go, it seems only right to pair such a veggieful pasta with a salad studded with sweet, juicy fruit for balance. Plump grapes are awesome with the peppery arugula, but you could definitely try subbing in fresh strawberries or blueberries if you find some nice ones at your farmers' market this weekend.
Tuesday: The beauty of a tuna steak is that you really don't have to do much to it to make it feel like a special entrée. Make sure to get the pan superhot before adding your tuna so that you get a good sear on both sides without overcooking. Between the chunky avocado and tomato salsa topping and a summery vegetable sauté on the side, you're getting plenty of peak-season goodness on the plate with this supersimple meal—enjoy!
Wednesday: Making it halfway through the week merits celebrating with a one-dish dinner—and a delicious one at that. Orange and five-spice powder define the vibrant flavor profile of this beef and broccoli bowl and deliver a punch of pizzazz to the weeknight routine. If you're serving heat-sensitive palates (like any young kiddos), you may want to take the red pepper down a smidge, as this dish does err on the spicy side.
Thursday: Few things really make a BBQ sandwich like homemade sauce, and it's certainly not hard to do! Ketchup and molasses add sweetness and depth, cider vinegar and mustard bring the tang, while cumin and ginger deliver a smoky spice. But no matter how good, BBQ isn't BBQ without a side of creamy slaw. With red and green cabbages and carrots, our Mardi Gras Slaw is full of color and crunch. Piling a little bit right on top of the sandwich wouldn't be the worst idea in the world.
Friday: Fridays call for a fast and fun dinner, and these spuds definitely fit the bill. Loaded bakers are always a win with the kids, so we love to make sure we're loading them up with nutritious components. If you have extra broccoli from Wednesday's dinner, give it a quick steam and add it into the filling mix.
Dessert Bonus: You can go with all one kind of berry if you'd rather, but no matter how you spin it, warm, juicy berry sauce swirled with cool, creamy Greek yogurt is nothing short of bliss. For a pretty presentation, layer your sauce and yogurt in glasses, then top with fresh berries and maybe a crumbled shortbread cookie for crunch.