Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — March 6-10
Monday: Zucchini and Spinach Chilaquiles + Sofrito Pinto Beans
This verde version of a Mexican brunch classic is the perfect introduction to a brand new week. If you have time, try switching out canned tomatillos for fresh: Remove the papery husks from 8 ounces fresh tomatillos, toss with 1 tablespoon oil on a baking sheet, and broil 6 minutes or until lightly charred. Cool before processing. Queso fresco has the texture of strained ricotta—it won’t quite melt under the broiler, but its mild flavor will be a welcome contrast to the heat in the tomatillo mixture. Add scrambled eggs to each serving for a little extra protein, or try our Sofrito Pinto Beans, which features a shortcut to the rich, deep flavor of slow-simmered beans by starting with a quick sofrito. The result is better than any seasoned bean you'll find in a can.
Tuesday: Salmon and Spinach Salad + Toasted Whole-Grain Baguette Slices
Tarragon and fresh fennel both have the same faint licorice flavor, but they don’t overwhelm this simple spring salad. Salmon is the perfect protein for this dish: It cooks quickly, separates into large, pretty flakes, and stands up to the mint, tarragon, and garlic. This dish would also be a great use for leftover salmon. Refrigerate the cooked fillets whole, and then separate into flakes just before serving. If you don’t care for fennel, swap in another crunchy element like sliced cucumber or celery. Serve with toasted whole-grain baguette slices spread with softened goat cheese or salted butter.
Wednesday: Chipotle Hanger Steak with Sour Cream Mashed Sweet Potatoes
Hanger steak is a flavor-packed cut of beef from between the rib and the loin. You may have to ask for it at the butcher's counter; if you can't find it, a different flat cut, like flank or skirt steak, works just as well. If your steak is thicker than 1 inch, it may require a slightly longer cook time or a quick finish in a 400°F oven. If you loved grandma's hamburger steak suppers growing up, this grown up version is guaranteed to make you cheer. It has all the comfort-style food you crave in a more attractive, satisfying package.
Thursday: Pork Tenderloin with Blue Cheese and Pears + Lemony White Bean-and-Arugula Salad
To match the robust flavors of this dish—pungent blue cheese, sweet-tart vinegar, sharp red onion—serve with a hearty salad made from endive or radicchio. The meal will feel decidedly Italian. If you love the pairing of pork and fruit with cheese, try playing around with a variation on the dish by using apples instead of pears and goat cheese in place of blue. To keep the pork perfectly cooked (and slightly pink in the center), remove it from the heat when the internal temperature is 140°F. As it stands, its temperature will continue to rise to the recommended safe temperature of 145°F without overcooking or drying out. Serve with Lemony White Bean-and-Arugula Salad for a rounded out plate of you've-almost-reached-Friday goodness.
Friday: Chicken Fingers and Green Beans with Tahini Sauce
Chicken fingers aren't just for kids. These chicken fingers are coated in panko, lemon rind, and Parmesan cheese. You can use plain breadcrumbs instead, but we prefer panko for the added flavor. Savory-sweet and addictive, the tahini-tomato dipping sauce offers a palate intrigue adults will love but enough flavor familiarity to keep it kid-approved. The flavorful dipping sauce pairs perfectly with both the crisp, broiled green beans and the pan-seared chicken fingers. Take advantage and make this a fun family twist on the chicken-and-fries combo that tops your favorite take out menus.
Brunch Bonus: Simple Leek Frittata
When there’s nothing else in the fridge, you can always count on a carton of eggs. If you don’t have a leek for this frittata, go with an onion. Feel free to toss in other sautéed veggies such as spinach, mushrooms, or red bell peppers. Elegant enough to serve at a brunch gathering, frittatas are the way to go when you need something to whip up fast. Don’t shy away from this recipe because of the two-stage stovetop-to-oven technique. It’s easy and fast, and doesn’t leave you with a pile of dishes. This dish is also cheap, balanced, gluten-free, and healthy.