Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners - December 25-29
Monday: One-Pot Chicken with Farro
Celebrate Christmas evening with this easy dish that's perfect for a casual get-together with friends. Inspired by arroz con pollo, it is hearty with satisfying complexity. Cumin, saffron, and oregano season rich chicken thighs and nutty farro as the dish simmers. If using saffron, deploy it sparingly; those tiny threads bring subtle flavor and a little color to the dish, but too much will yield a medicinal taste. Serve with a side salad to complete the meal.
Tuesday: Roasted Vegetable Plate with Herbed Dressing
Vegetables can be sparse in winter months when holiday braises, hearty stews, and centerpiece roasts tend to take over. This seasonal vegetable plate will help you stick to your calorie plan, and can be altered easily depending on what's available. Don't be scared of a hot oven—roasting the veggies at 500°F gets the job done quickly and gives the vegetables a nice golden color. Tarragon has an anise flavor similar to fennel; you can omit it or substitute sliced green onions or parsley for a fresh pop.
Wednesday: Kimchi Grilled Cheese
Thursday: Mushroom and Pork Meatballs with Broccolini Rice
Instead of roasting a whole pork tenderloin or slicing and searing, try giving it a coarse chop in the food processor for incredibly rich and tender meatballs. Because the pork is so lean, the meatballs cook in just 8 minutes. Broccolini, a cousin of broccoli, have long stalks and small buds; they'll add plenty of texture to the rice mixture once sautéed and chopped.
Friday: Cheesy Polenta Skillet
Thanks to its firm consistency, precooked polenta (usually sold in tube form) can be seared, toasted, or even layered and baked like a lasagna. We keep the slices on the thick side so they have a creamy texture when heated through. A little ground turkey goes a long way in this dish; stir the rest into chili, make burger patties, or use as a filling for lettuce cups.
Cocktail Bonus: Holiday Coconut Cooler
Wow your guests this holiday season with a whimsical white cocktail. A mix of coconut milk and coconut rum adds Caribbean flair, making even the coldest winter days feel bright and blissful. Entertain a crowd with ease by making a double or triple batch ahead of time—just give it a stir right before garnishing.