Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — March 13-17
Monday: Broccoli, Cheddar, and Brown Rice Cakes + Sweet-and-Spicy Carrots and Peas
You're going to be so inspired on this Meatless Monday. These all-new brown rice cakes are loaded with ooey-gooey creamy flavors you know and love. In fact, this recipe was one of our staff's favorites from the April issue. These quick, crispy vegetarian cakes are inspired by cheesy broccoli-and-rice casserole, right down to the layer of melted cheddar cheese on top. Make the cakes ahead and refrigerate or freeze for a last-minute meal. You could also increase the number of servings and serve the cakes as a side with a simple tomato soup. Grainy mustard packs a welcome punch and adds great texture to the cakes. It’s also fantastic in creamy sandwich spreads, rémoulade sauce, and glazes with a sweet base (such as maple syrup or honey) for contrast and balance. Serve with Sweet-and-Spicy Carrots and Peas. Just a little brown sugar helps the carrots caramelize quickly.
Tuesday: Pork Stir-Fry with Snow Peas + Brown Rice with Sesame
A great stir-fry needs only 2 or 3 vegetables as the base; any more would slow cooking and interfere with the sear, or keep other elements from shining through. Use vegetables with bold, contrasting colors (green snow peas, green beans, or broccoli florets; red bell pepper; and yellow squash). We love lean, flavorful pork tenderloin here, though you could substitute chicken thighs or thinly sliced flank steak. A little meat goes a long way here; slice and sear the remaining pork tenderloin for sandwiches, grill and top with a fresh salsa, or dice and sear for soup. Serve with a side of Brown Rice with Sesame.
Wednesday: Tortellini, Chicken, and Arugula Salad
You need a little Hump Day helping hand, and we have just the answer. Quality meets convenience in this speedy springtime main. This salad fits right into your weekday lineup with minimal effort and maximum flavor. Prewashed greens let you grab a handful and go. Build a salad, wilt into sautés, or blend into a pesto. Look to Buitoni pasta packs for quick meals on their own or to help you elevate salads and soups. Rotisserie chicken is one of your best supermarket allies for fast and fresh weeknight meals.
Thursday Night: Spiced and Seared Flank Steak with Carrot Mash and Snap Peas
It's not quite the weekend, but it's so so close. Tonight, we're going to enjoy a restaurant-quality dinner in the comfort of home. Steak, peas, and carrots are a familiar trio, and usually not very exciting. Here, each element is transformed: a smoky spice rub on seared flank steak, crispy snap peas brightened with rice vinegar, and a silky carrot mash. Chop the carrots to about 1/4-inch pieces so they cook through evenly, otherwise the mash may have a few lumps. The grain of the meat refers to the direction of the muscle fibers (in flank steak, they run lengthwise). Cut across the grain, or across the width of the steak, to break up the fibers for slices that are tender, not tough.
Friday: Dijon-Herb Crusted Salmon with Creamy Dill Sauce + Warm Buttered Radish and Edamame Salad
Friday night, date night! Send the kids to grandma's, and enjoy a cozy dinner at home. This elegant meal comes together in just 30 minutes, which gives you plenty of time to eat, clean, and settle in for a night of a fun movies. Salmon is a rich, dense fish, so it takes longer to cook through than white flaked fish like trout or tilapia. Rather than bread the fillets first, add the panko topping to the salmon when it's almost done and broil just until toasted so that the crust doesn't burn before the fish is done. Panko has an incredibly light, crisp texture that's ideal for breading. You could also use regular coarse-ground breadcrumbs or even finely chopped nuts. Dill adds a fresh, vibrant note to the yogurt mixture. Add the rest to vinaigrettes, scrambled eggs, or chicken soup. Serve with our Warm Buttered Radish and Edamame Salad for a quick weeknight dinner perfectly portioned for two.
Happy Hour Bonus: Grilled Pineapple Lemonade
This twist on classic lemonade is the divine union of fruity and smoky flavors. Naturally sweet pineapple goes into the drink, allowing us to use less added sugar. We use an indoor grill pan, but if your outdoor grill is already fired up, use it to lend extra smoky depth. Add a boozy spin with a dash of rum or tequila. It's Friday after all!