Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners - December 11-15
Monday: Lentil Cakes with Mint Yogurt
Precooked lentils are a convenience item we love, saving nearly 30 minutes of simmering. Look for plain, steamed lentils (such as Melissa's), in the grain aisle. The food processor not only combines the patty ingredients; it coarsely chops the lentils so the finished cakes will hold their shape in the pan.
Tuesday: Coriander-Crusted Pork Tenderloin with Roasted Potatoes
Crushed whole spices create a beautiful crust on a seared and roasted pork tenderloin. You don't need a spice grinder or mortar and pestle; place the peppercorns and coriander seeds in a ziplock bag and crush gently with a small, heavy skillet until very coarsely ground. Refrigerated potatoes are parcooked, saving you oven time.
Wednesday: Miso-Ginger Noodle Bowls
Think of this comforting soup as a cross between ramen and miso soup. The broth gets instant depth from the bacon drippings in the pan, as well as the miso paste and shiitake mushrooms. You’ll find white miso paste at most supermarkets, either in the refrigerated soy product section or on the international foods aisle.
Thursday: Chicken-and-Kale Alfredo Bake
A creamy, Parmesan-laced sauce is a no-brainer for an easy, cheesy pasta bake. Skip the jar and make your own with sautéed shallot and fresh lemon, picking up all the flavor from the same pan used to cook the chicken.
Friday: Curried Butternut Squash and Apple Soup
Madras curry powder adds warmth and earthiness to the otherwise sweet butternut squash, apple, and maple syrup in the soup. It has a bit more heat than regular curry powder, though either can be used here. Frozen, precooked squash will save time; you can also roast 1 (1 1/2-lb.) peeled, diced butternut squash ahead and refrigerate for later in the week.
Cocktail Bonus: Rejuvenating Rosé Spritzer
Stress runs high during the holidays, which could compromise digestion. Kombucha is packed with gut-friendly probiotics to help maintain healthy gut flora, in addition to compounds that fight harmful free radicals.