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.
The PlanMonday: Summer Veggie Pasta and Grilled Green Onions with Lemon and ParmesanTuesday: Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon and Tomato ToastWednesday: Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad and Pan-Seared Potatoes with Quick Pickled Red OnionsThursday: Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa and Quinoa with Toasted Pine NutsFriday: Cheesesteak Burgers with Pickled Peppers, Onions, and Cucumbers and Homemade Pita Chips with Red Pepper DipCocktail Bonus: Raspberry-Lime Rickey Slushies
Monday: Our Summer Veggie Pasta is a glorious bowl of Meatless Monday eating. The only cooking you have to do is to boil the noodles; the rest is fresh, crunchy, juicy, raw veggie goodness. Get the kids involved—making zucchini ribbons is one of those rock-star kitchen tasks, right up there with cracking open eggs. (Oh, wrap up the rest of that red onion; you’ll use it tomorrow night.) If you’ve never tried green onions as a vegetable side dish, prepare to have your mind blown. Grilled Green Onions with Lemon and Parmesan are incredibly delicious and easy to make.
Tuesday: Seriously, I could eat this dish every other day for the rest of my life. Quinoa Panzanella with Wild Salmon combines crunchy cukes (you’ll use what’s left over Friday night), juicy tomatoes, and nutty whole-grain quinoa with silky salmon—and it’s a great way to stretch a small amount of fish. The zippy dressing and hit of briny capers take it to next-level territory. A simple side of Tomato Toast is all you need to complete the meal. Well, a glass of rosé wouldn’t hurt a thing ...
Wednesday: Anything stuffed is automatically fun, so allow Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Tomato Salad to lift your hump day doldrums. They have a decadent cheesy edge, but they’re also veggie-forward and provide about three servings of vegetables in each serving. The potato side dish adds a little hearty satisfaction, and the fast pickle technique is one you’ll turn to over and over whenever you want a little bright pop of color and flavor.
Thursday: Right now is prime time for sweet-fragrant strawberries, so tonight, try tossing a little fruit in your dinner. Chicken Cutlets with Strawberry-Avocado Salsa is done in 20 minutes, and that avo-strawberry coupling is pure produce genius. Quinoa with Toasted Pine Nuts is a go-to simple side that pairs deliciously with any entrée. Feel free to customize it, too: Use almonds or pecans in place of pine nuts, or any herbs you like in place of parsley and chives.
Friday: Oh my goodness, could I love a burger any more than I love Cheesesteak Burgers with Pickled Peppers, Onions, and Cucumbers? Nope, not possible. This is one heckuva meaty handful, but done the CL way—chock-full of veggies to make it fresher and lighter. Homemade Pita Chips with Red Pepper Dip make for a fun side that’s less caloric than traditional chips and dip, and you’ll probably have some leftovers to enjoy on the weekend.
Cocktail bonus: Like slushy, gently boozy sippers? Then Raspberry-Lime Rickey Slushies will be right up your alley. They come together in 5 minutes flat. Not a bad way to kick off the weekend!
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