Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners - January 1-5
Monday: Smoky Black-Eyed Peas
Celebrate New Year's Day with these peas that are supposed to bring good luck. Start with dried peas that have bean soaked overnight—they will become starchy and creamy with slow simmering, and absorb all the salty, meaty notes from the ham hock. Serve with Stewed Collards to make a traditional New Year meal.
Tuesday: Kimchi Fried Rice
Chopped kimchi and kimchi juice adds lots of tangy-spicy goodness to this quick meatless main. Though there's no meat, do be aware that most traditional kimchi isn't vegetarian (it includes fish).
Wednesday: Pork Milanese with Kale Salad
Milanese is Italian for "breaded and sautéed until golden," an easy (and fast) way to dress up sliced pork tenderloin. Top the pork with a creamy mushroom sauce and serve with a simple kale salad for a complete meal. Golden raisins have a way of elevating everything they touch; try stirring into rice pilaf or sprinkling over roasted broccoli or Brussels sprouts.
Thursday: Shrimp-And-Orange Salad
Practice and show off your knife skills by making this main course salad. Zest the orange before segmenting it. To give precooked shrimp a refresh, toss them in a good 1/2 teaspoon salt, then rinse and pat dry. Cutting the shrimp in half symmetrically makes it go further and makes them easier to eat.
Friday: White Bean Soup with Garlicky Croutons
This simple cold-weather soup is an easy go-to when you crave comfort—creamy and full of body, yet not as heavy as other dairy-based soups. The golden color of the broth comes from the sautéed onion and carrot; keep an eye on the mixture as it cooks to make sure it doesn't overbrown. Make the croutons and stem and chop the kale while the soup simmers.
Dessert Bonus: Molasses Crinkle Cookies
These soft, chewy, beautifully spiced gingerbread cookies look like they just took a romp in fresh snow—a holiday look that saves you the trouble of having to ice each one. A dual coat of granulated and powdered sugar will help the slightly sticky dough balls hold their shape and get that crinkled texture.