Sunday Strategist: Week of April 22
Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the love 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.
Monday: I've been working on a story for our August 12 Healthy Habits challenge (Go Meatless One Day a Week), so I've got great meat-free dishes on the mind. Embrace the challenge this week with a delicious pasta salad. Our Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk Dressing is one of my all-time favorites. For one thing, I usually have most of the ingredients to make this great salad on hand. Two, it's very, very easy to pull together, and three, if you have leftovers for the next day's lunch, it's even more delicious. Cut back a bit on the ground red pepper if you're not a big fan of heat. This dish isn't overly spicy, but it'll warm your mouth.
Tuesday: For a fun spin on Taco Tuesday, let's stick with the flavors of a great chicken taco, but let's make it a quesadilla. Our Spicy Chicken Quesadillas come together easily and are ready in 20 minutes. Omit the pickled jalapenos if you are cooking for kids or people who don't favor heat.
The 20-minute cook time leaves you with enough time on the clock to make a simple side. Our Mixed Greens Salad is a fun spin on a simple plate of greens. You've got your lettuce, but you also have shaved zucchini or squash to add some veggies to your dish. This is a great salad to keep handy for other weeknights, too.
Wednesday: Chicken is the most popular search term on CookingLight.com. Makes sense: It's convenient, most everyone likes it, and it is very versatile. Our Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken is one of our most highly rated chicken recipes. I come back to this dish time and time again because it's quick (just 25 minutes), delicious, and easy to pull together from the staples in your pantry and fridge. I've used the exact same glaze combination on salmon with great success, too.
Serve with our Butter-Roasted Carrots. They bake in the oven while you're finishing the chicken so there's no stirring multiple pots and pans. Have any leftover lettuce from last night's salad? Chop any fresh veggies you have on hand, and toss them with the lettuce for another easy side salad.
Thursday: I am what you might call "Fish's Less-Than-Enthusiastic Fan." I like fish, but I only like it prepared certain ways. Our Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama Slaw might convert me to a Big Fish Fan, however. The crusty tilapia and jicama slaw make the sandwich super crunchy. The creamy dressing balances everything beautifully. The apple in the slaw is unexpected, but I wouldn't serve it without it. You'll be missing out. The best part: they're ready in 21 minutes.
Serve with our Quick Chilled Pea Soup if you're looking for a cooling side. If you want something warmer and crunchier, bake some sweet potato fries once you've finished toasting the bread. Try one of our favorite sweet potato brands.
Friday: Take a spin down Fusion Food Lane with our creative combination of the much-loved Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich and a pizza: our Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. Stop by your favorite pizza place or a grocery store and pick up fresh pizza dough. Good dough makes all the difference in pizza. It's ready in 30 minutes, which leaves you enough time to pick out a movie, pop open a beer (or soda), and get ready to relax on this Friday night.
Here's to another week of tasty and fast dishes for you and your family!
Monday: Orzo Salad with Spicy Buttermilk DressingTuesday: Spicy Chicken Quesadillas and Mixed Greens SaladWednesday: Maple-Mustard Glazed Chicken and Butter-Roasted CarrotsThursday: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia Sandwiches with Jicama SlawFriday: Philly Cheesesteak Sandwiches