Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — September 30-October 4
Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the dread of cooking that deters so many of us from the kitchen each night; it’s actually deciding what to cook from the millions of options bombarding us from so many different places. Here, we’ve done the planning for you. Not just menus, but healthy menus that are fast – on the table in less than 45 minutes.
The PlanMonday: Mushroom and Lentil Burgers and Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted GarlicTuesday: Chipotle Pork Tacos and Avocado-Butter Lettuce SaladWednesday: Thai Steak SaladThursday: Rainbow Trout with Seared Sugar Snaps and Quinoa with Toasted Pine NutsFriday: Chicken, Arugula, and Radish Pizza and Rosemary Lemon DropDessert Bonus: Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter GlazeMonday: A worthy burger cooked on the stove top makes for a smooth, emotionally painless transition away from grilling season. Relying on a hearty blend of cremini mushrooms and lentils, our Mushroom and Lentil Burgers are a super satisfying and speedy go-to for meatless Monday. These burgers come together in a flash using pre-cooked lentils and match earthy notes from the lentils, mushrooms, and thyme against rich, tangy goat cheese and Dijon to create a sensational palate pleaser.
Top the burgers off with peppery arugula, and you’re looking at one beast of a veggie burger. And what could possibly be better than a main dish that comes together in under 30 minutes? ...A side dish that comes together in four. With the punch of flavor this crisp Broccoli with Red Pepper Flakes and Toasted Garlic packs, french fries will be the farthest thing from your mind.
Tuesday: When it comes to tacos, my philosophy is pretty straightforward: Make it simple, make it flavorful. A short list of vibrant ingredients can yield a tortilla-bound flavor fiesta, with minimal prep work to boot. Ready in 20 minutes and bursting with bright taste, that is certainly the case for our Chipotle Pork Tacos.
Pounding the pork to 1/4-inch thickness allows for quick cooking and tender texture, while fresh lime (zest and juice) balanced by heat from the chipotle chilies brings the tenderloin to life. Side note: go ahead and grab a few limes while grocery shopping, you’ll need them throughout the week. A final touch of fresh cilantro along with a dollop of sour cream rounds this lively recipe out perfectly.
Tying the meal together, an Avocado-Butter Lettuce Salad is easily tossed up as the taco filling is cooking. With a simple lime and olive oil dressing, this light salad compliments our tacos beautifully and adds a pop of green color to the plate. Not to mention, slightly sweet and tender butter lettuce paired with rich, creamy avocado slices tastes like indulgence, but weighs in at only 119 calories per serving… victory.
Wednesday: Halfway through the week is the ideal time for a pick-me-up with a meal that’s abundant in exciting tastes and textures. To pack it all into a single dish, a main course salad is one of my favorite solutions. For a seriously happy humpday, this Thai Steak Salad lays tender flank steak over a bed of crisp veggies and pumps up the flavor volume using fresh herbs and a salty-sweet dressing of lime juice, brown sugar, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, and Sriracha. All you need pull from the cabinets is one pan for cooking, one bowl for mixing, and plates for serving, so that cleanup is as easy as making the meal. After next-to-no prep time, you’ve got tang and heat, you’ve got veggies and meat. I say mission accomplished.
Thursday: A recipe sure to impress, our Rainbow Trout with Seared Sugar Snaps livens up a delicate, heart-healthy fish with cumin and fresh lime, while offering a pleasant crunch by combining sugar snaps, pine nuts, and shallots to serve alongside. Bonus points: U.S.-farmed rainbow trout is a highly sustainable seafood selection. Start to finish, this recipe takes about 11 minutes, so I’d recommend starting on your Quinoa Salad with Artichokes and Parsley, which will need 32 minutes to complete. Savory artichokes are highlighted in this dish that is deepened by thyme and parsley and brightened with lemon. While quinoa is in fact a whole grain, it is technically a seed; thus, offering complete protein. Between the quinoa and trout, you’ll rack up 36.1 grams of lean protein to help you power through the end of your week.
Friday: Is there any better way to celebrate the weekend's arrival than with a slice of warm, cheesy pizza in hand? I think not. With our Chicken, Arugula, and Radish Pizza, you can bypass kneading your own pizza dough and purchase a rotisserie chicken to seriously cut down the prep time involved in a typical homemade pizza party. Peppery arugula and radish contrasting creamy goat cheese makes this pie to die for. Pair with a Rosemary Lemon Drop for a bright and herby TGIF toast.
Dessert Bonus: Traditionally, pound cake involves a pound of butter as well as a pound of guilt. Skip on both and enjoy our Canola Oil Pound Cake with Browned Butter Glaze. Our version of this comfort food classic offers plenty of sweet satisfaction while lightening the recipe with heart healthy canola oil. Now, as marvelous as cake can be on its own, what truly puts this cake over the top is the browned butter glaze. If you’ve never browned butter, you might be thinking, “How in the name of all that is good can you make butter better?” I promise, it gets better. Browning the butter brings out loads of nutty complexity, and laying that flavor blanket over the depth you’ll gain from infusing your oil with vanilla bean provides this cake with a decadent balance of sophistication and comfort. Though the cake takes over 45 minutes to complete, the majority of time required is hands-off baking time. Go ahead and whip up your batter, pop it in the oven, set the timer, and go about your life as dreamy vanilla aromas permeate the kitchen.