Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — June 2-6
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less.
The PlanMonday: Linguine with Spinach-Herb Pesto and Summer Peach and Tomato SaladTuesday: Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry and Sautéed Miso Cucumber SaladWednesday: Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss and Herb Salad with Mustard VinaigretteThursday: Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy and Green Beans with Toasted GarlicFriday: Mexican Chili-Cheeseburgers, Garlic and Herb Oven Fries, and Tequila Slaw with Lime and CilantroBonus: Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel
Monday: This Meatless Monday dinner is full of fresh flavors and peak-season produce. I love this pesto because it’s less expensive than classic pesto—almonds instead of pine nuts, spinach in place of most of the basil—and it keeps its beautiful green color so nicely. The salad is a beautiful combo of peaches and tomatoes; I was a little skeptical at first but am now absolutely hooked.
Tuesday: Spice up your Tuesday with Szechuan Chicken Stir-Fry, a colorful dish that takes “meh” chicken breasts into “wow” territory. The sautéed cucumber side is savory and rich (if you haven’t tried cooked cukes, they’re amazing) and a great complement to the tongue-tingling main dish.
Wednesday: Come Humpday, I need something simple and no-fail, a surefire hit with the family. Bacon and Shrimp Pasta Toss to the rescue! It has only 5 ingredients (not counting salt and oil), takes only 22 minutes to make, and did I mention it has bacon? It also has a nice garlicky kick and is chockfull of succulent shrimp. The simple salad is all you need to add for an awesome meal.
Thursday: Sometimes, you just need classic, old-school comfort food. Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Gravy satisfies in the way that only mashed potatoes and “brown” gravy can. Don’t worry if you don’t have or can’t find Wondra flour for this dish—just use all-purpose. Green beans on the side get a flavor boost from toasted garlic.
Friday: Here’s a fun family meal that’s perfect for kicking off the weekend. The burgers taste like tacos, and once you’ve tried sour cream on a burger, you’ll be hooked! The oven fries use a cool broiling technique that helps them cook fast and stay crisp, and they’re finished in a little bit of delicious garlic butter. The slaw is super-speedy and delicious; there’s not much tequila, so don’t worry about serving it to the kids—or just leave it out.
Bonus: Man, do I love a coffeecake. It can be dessert, it can be breakfast, and it can be a snack. Though my kids try to convince me it’s also a side dish, I draw the line there… Our Blueberry Coffeecake with Almond Streusel is easy to put together and bakes up perfectly—wonderfully full of berries and with a nice little lemon lift. This is the type of recipe you’ll find yourself making all summer: great for picnics, family reunions, or just having around the house.