Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — February 27-March 3
Monday: Half-Moon Browned Omelet + Spinach Salad
It's another Meatless Monday, but you don't have to trade going sans meat for feeling full after dinner. Protein-rich eggs are a great go-to option, and an omelet is a fun way to serve up a little creativity at dinner. We use olive oil to sauté the veggies and cook the omelet because it brings mild fruity-grassy taste to the dish and keeps saturated fat in check. There’s just a tablespoon of cheese here, so we chose sharp cheddar: It melts nicely and packs a flavor wallop in a small dose. The recipe makes an omelet for one, so you can customize each person's omelet and serve to order with a side dish of spinach salad, home fries, or fruit.
Tuesday: Pan-Roasted Pork Chops with Cabbage and Carrots + Rice
Super-succulent pork chops are browned on the stovetop before being finished in the oven for tenderness. Roasted carrots are paired with vastly underrated cabbage to create a vibrant vegetable medley that is equal parts flavorful and nutritious. This meal is pretty enough to showcase, yet fast enough for weeknight cooking. Enjoy it with a side of wild rice or roasted potatoes for a well-balanced meal the whole family will love.
Wednesday: Fluffiest Multigrain Pancakes with Almond Butter Drizzle + Bacon
Hump Day is the perfect day for some brinner. These pancakes are wonderfully hearty, thanks to old-fashioned oats and white whole-wheat flour, yet their texture is still fluffy and light, with a beguiling creaminess in the middle. Instead of dousing this short stack with syrup, we opt instead for a nutty sauce of maple-sweetened almond butter—cutting about 27g added sugars from the typical pancake breakfast. (Feel free to sub any nut butter you have on hand). Soaking the oats first softens them and helps create that creamy interior texture. As they soak, you can make the almond butter sauce, measure out the other ingredients, and cook bacon in the oven for the perfect side.
Thursday: Korean-Style Pork and Rice + Slaw
Gochujang is a spicy, deeply savory sauce made from Korean chiles, fermented soybeans, and salt. It adds a mild heat to the finished dish so kids can still enjoy. The pork mixture in this dish would also be fantastic in an East-meets-West sloppy joe: Pile on a toasted hoagie roll with a carrot and radish slaw, sliced green onions, and a squeeze of fresh lime. If you prefer this dish served as is over rice, use the slaw as a crisp side to blunt the pork's heat.
Friday: Beef Tenderloin with Balsamic Asparagus
Beef tenderloin steaks are often considered a special-occasion cut, but when they go on sale (or you're ready for a splurge), this classic preparation is foolproof. Use a timer rather than turning, prodding, or overcooking the steaks, and set the timer again while they rest so you don't slice too soon. You could also use two (8-ounce) strip steaks, or 1 (1-pound) flank steak. Balsamic glaze has been reduced until syrupy. Look for it in the vinegar aisle to save time, or simmer 1 cup balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until reduced by half, about 20 minutes.
Brunch Bonus: Bloody Good Bloody Mary
You can't wing it with Bloodies. Random recipes might yield a crazy-thick throat-coater or a thin, insipid glass of blah. And many bottled mixes are sodium bombs. Here's a Bloody blueprint you can trust. Our streamlined version is zingy and sippable, with a fraction of the sodium you'll find in most others. Get mixing; its noon somewhere. Pickle juice is the secret weapon here, delivering briny tartness. We've tried pickled okra juice and dill pickle juice—both work. Add little cracked black pepper if you like.