Week of Healthy Meal Prep: January 27-February 2
Sunday: Creamy Lemon Orzo With Peas and Shrimp
We apply the risotto cooking method to pasta instead of rice for an easy, comforting main dish.Toasting the orzo in oil coats the grains so they will absorb the stock slowly and release their starches into the sauce. This happens quickly—just 15 minutes compared to the 20 to 30 minute preparation of most risottos. Cream cheese adds body and a luxurious creaminess. Shrimp and peas are a delicious duo, but you could substitute any combination like mushrooms and asparagus, chicken sausage and spinach, or parboiled butternut squash and pecans.
Monday: Osso Buco With Gremolata
We love it when classic dishes like osso buco become easier with the help of the slow cooker. With a low, slow, all-day simmer, veal shanks become amazingly fork-tender and perfect for serving over silky pappardelle noodles. If veal shanks are too pricey at your market, you can use lamb, beef, or pork shanks instead. Don't be tempted to leave out the anchovy paste; it adds richness and deeply savory notes to the sauce. And osso buco just wouldn't be osso buco without its signature gremolata topping—a simple combination of parsley, lemon rind, and garlic that adds fresh pop to the whole dish.
Tuesday: Egg Foo Young With Mushroom Sauce
Think of egg foo young as a cross between an American-style omelet and a crispy Chinese pancake, loaded with vegetables and topped with a savory mushroom “gravy.” It’s a super-speedy meal thanks to packaged broccoli slaw, matchstick-cut carrots, and microwaveable brown rice. A smaller (8- to 10-inch) skillet will make for a taller, fluffier pancake. Tamari sauce is slightly thicker than soy sauce with a more robust flavor (many brands are also gluten-free). Use anywhere you’d use soy sauce, especially in meat marinades.
Wednesday: Quick BBQ Chicken Pizzas
Baking the pizzas directly on the oven rack gives you a crisp crust in less time. You can substitute shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese for fresh.
Thursday: Chicken Korma
This recipe proves that you can indeed have it all—the bold flavors you love in your favorite Indian takeout, plus built-in slow-cooker convenience. That’s not to mention the intoxicating aroma that will perfume your whole house. A fragrant flavor base of ginger, curry powder, coriander, cumin, and garlic infuses rich chicken thighs, which hold up beautifully in the slow cooker. We wouldn’t recommend subbing in chicken breasts, which—especially if cut into bite-size pieces—tend to dry out over longer cooking times. We stir in a little plain yogurt at the end to add creaminess and tang; regular yogurt (not Greek-style) works best.
Friday: Take Yourself Out to Dinner
You've cooked at home all month, and you deserve a treat for your hard work! Take yourself out for dinner at your favorite restaurant to celebrate.
Saturday: Quinoa-Arugula Bowl With Peaches and Avocado
This five-minute salad offers a range of flavors and textures: earthy quinoa, spicy arugula, crunchy walnuts, salty cheese, and sweet peaches drizzled with tangy vinaigrette. It’s also quick to make and easily portable.
Treat Yourself: Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
These no-bake peanut butter balls are the perfect pick-me-ups—they pack a sweet punch and will “cure” any sweet tooth. You can make these one-bite treats ahead of time and simply store them in the fridge until they’re ready to serve. We tested these with a variety of peanut butters and found that if you’re using a no added salt peanut butter, you might want to slightly up the salt in the recipe.