Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — March 9-13
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans--new recipes from current issues matched with previously published favorites. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less.
The PlanMonday: Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta with Garlicky AsparagusTuesday: Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce and Green Beans with Toasted GarlicWednesday: Four-Mushroom Pesto Pizza and Radish Salad with Orange VinaigretteThursday: Herb-Rubbed New York Strip with Sautéed Peas and Carrots and Roasted Potato WedgesFriday: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash SaladDessert Bonus: Granola Cookie Wedges
Monday: I don't know about you, but the Monday after we lose an hour because Daylight Savings begins, I'm playing catchup all day. That's an excellent excuse to make tonight's dinner superfast with our 20-minute Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta. Our Garlicky Asparagus takes just 15 minutes and cooks while you're working on the pasta. Be sure to get plenty of fresh garlic for this week. We'll use it almost every night.
Tuesday: I can't stop making this dish. Our Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce is on almost-weekly rotation at my house. It feels so much more decadent than the calorie count suggests. Meaty, flavorful pepperoni lends maximum flavor to a quick marinara sauce. The leftovers are even better because the flavors have fully blended. Serve with our Green Beans with Toasted Garlic for a quick side that brings the whole meal together perfectly.
Wednesday: Sure, pizza nights are typically Friday nights, but why not shake things up a bit? Tonight, try our Four-Mushroom Pesto Pizza. Dried porcini mushrooms are deeply meaty and full of umami earthiness--so much so the meat lovers in your house may not even notice it's another meatless dish. Shhh! We suggest making your own pizza crust with store-bought pizza dough you can usually find in the bakery section (it really makes a huge difference), but a pre-made one would work, too. Finish the meal off with a simple salad like our Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette.
Thursday: New York Strip is sometimes pricy, so keep the budget in check by keeping portions in line: Stick to the 4-ounce serving size, and you'll only need to buy two steaks for four people. This is a classic homemade meal at its finest. All the dinner-focused food groups are here: Meat, veggies, and potatoes. Tonight's dinner is Herb-Rubbed New York Strip with Sautéed Peas and Carrots and Roasted Potato Wedges.
Friday: Our Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad is a crusty, flaky, fork-tender plate of goodness--and a perfect way to round out this week. It’s a fancier meal, but it doesn’t require a lot of fuss—a must on any day, but especially Fridays. The squash salad is a fresh burst of springtime flavors. Have any leftovers green beans or asparagus from the week? Roast them and add them to your plate. A little extra veg never hurt anyone.
Dessert Bonus: Any time a friend asks, "Got a fun sweet recipe I can try?" I hand them the recipe for Granola Cookie Wedges. It's sweet, chewy, and nutty with small flecks of chocolatey goodness. It's perfect for any night of the week because you don't take the time to roll out individual cookies--you just press the dough into a pie plate. Let it bake while you eat, cut wedges for everyone, and enjoy. I wouldn't be opposed to a scoop of vanilla ice cream with this...
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 calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.