Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners—April 2-6
Monday: Creamy Artichoke Soup
This taste-of-spring soup is made creamy with silken tofu and just a touch of half-and-half instead of the heavy cream—slashing the calories and fat found in traditional cream soups. Frozen artichoke hearts add all the flavor of fresh artichokes without the extra prep time. If frozen artichokes aren’t available at your market, you can use three 14-oz. cans drained and rinsed artichokes hearts packed in water instead. When pureeing hot liquids in a blender, it’s always a good idea to remove the center piece of the blender lid and place a towel over top. The center hole lets steam escape and prevents a hot soup accident. Serve as a light supper with a baby kale salad tossed with a Dijon mustard vinaigrette or with toasted baguette slices topped with melted fontina or Gruyère cheese.
Tuesday: Spice-Crusted Flank Steak with Crispy Potatoes
Inspired by stir-fried Peruvian steak and potatoes—lomo saltado—here the potatoes and steak are cooked separately to keep the potato wedges crispy on the outside and to get a nice sear on the steak. To save time, we use prepared pico de gallo (fresh tomato salsa) to add fresh flavor to the tomatillo sauce instead of making salsa from scratch. Depending on your market, individual flank steaks might be large.
Wednesday: Zucchini-Pesto-Sausage Pizza
You can make these vegetable-forward pizzas even more colorful by mixing in yellow squash or yellow bell pepper for half the zucchini. Lose the crushed red pepper if your kids don't like the heat.
Ready-to-use prebaked crusts are the secret to getting this pizza to the table quickly. Cut the zucchini and mozzarella as thin as possible to guarantee tender zucchini and expertly melted cheese in under 10 minutes. If you like to make your own pizza crust and have one on hand, prebake your crust for about 8 minutes before flipping it over and adding the toppings.
Thursday: Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet
Yes! You can make chicken and rice in 20 minutes. When a craving for comfort food hits and you need it in a hurry, this fast take on chicken and rice hits the spot. Stirring chopped baby spinach into warm brown rice is a smart way to get more vegetables and jazz up an otherwise plain starchy side.
Our pro tips for speedy cooking: Cut chicken into bite-size pieces so it cooks in just a few minutes, use precooked rice and heat it in the microwave, then use the hot rice to wilt the spinach for you while you finish the chicken. Fresh thyme, chopped basil, or parsley are all good stand-ins for the rosemary. Round out the meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Friday: Black Bean Tostadas With Cabbage Slaw
Look for salty crumbly fresh Mexican cheese—queso fresco—near other fresh cheeses. Swap crumbled feta or shredded Jack cheese in a pinch. Look for crunchy premade tostada shells near the taco shells. Use up the extra shells as a base for a batch of after-school nachos, or break them into pieces and use in place of tortilla chips. For even more veggie goodness and an extra punch of flavor, try adding a few slices of creamy avocado and a sprinkle of charred corn kernels.
Bonus Cocktail: Cilantro-Lime Margaritas
Skip the super-sugary margarita mix and welcome the warmer weather with this twist on a classic margarita. Lime and cilantro could be no better partners. This is a great use for cilantro stems, which have all the flavor of cilantro but are often overlooked. If you have a lot of cilantro stems, feel free to use 1 cup stems in place of the mix of stems and leaves.