A Week of Healthy Meals April 23-27
Monday: Tandoori-Spiced Chicken
You shouldn't let chicken breasts marinate for hours. Chicken breasts are naturally tender, so marinating simply adds flavor. You don't need the brine of marinade to break down the protein. It's best to choose bold ingredients and avoid soaking the delicate meat in acidic liquids for too long—it may become stringy and tough. This recipe calls for four chicken breast halves (two total breasts), so if you plan to add more chicken to the recipe, be sure to double the spices as well. To cut down on cooking time on a busy night, you could pound your chicken to be slightly thinner.
Tuesday: Salmon and Lentil Bowl with Kefir Dressing
Savory lentils, a creamy fresh herb dressing, sweet fennel, and baked salmon come together in just a few minutes to create a satisfying yet light main dish salad. Look for ready-to-eat steamed lentils with other prepared foods in the refrigerated produce section (or make them yourself in less than an hour). Make an extra batch of lentils for tomorrow night's dinner.
Plain kefir—pourable, probiotic-rich cultured milk—adds a super-tangy element to the dressing with fewer calories than sour cream. To make the salad ahead, assemble all the components and hold the dressing separately; drizzle over the top just before serving. Bake a few extra filets of salmon for later in the week.
Wednesday: Lentil Cakes with Mint Yogurt
Use up your pre-cooked lentils from last night's dinner. The food processor not only combines the patty ingredients; it coarsely chops the lentils so the finished cakes will hold their shape in the pan. While we love fat-free and reduced-fat Greek yogurt, go ahead and use full-fat here for a richer mouth feel and less tang in the sauce.
Thursday: Creamy Chicken-Tomato Skillet
Yes! You can make chicken and rice in 20 minutes. When a craving for comfort food hits and you need it in a hurry, this fast take on chicken and rice hits the spot. Stirring chopped baby spinach into warm brown rice is a smart way to get more vegetables and jazz up an otherwise plain starchy side.
Our pro tips for speedy cooking: Cut chicken into bite-size pieces so it cooks in just a few minutes, use precooked rice and heat it in the microwave, then use the hot rice to wilt the spinach for you while you finish the chicken. Fresh thyme, chopped basil, or parsley are all good stand-ins for the rosemary. Round out the meal with a glass of sauvignon blanc.
Friday: Leftover Salmon and Dilly Cucumber Salad with Yogurt
We give the classic cucumber, tomato, and red onion combo a hit of grassy dill for more vibrance. Reheat your leftover salmon from Tuesday night's dinner (or, if you'd rather, use leftover chicken), and pair with this refreshing salad for a light warm-weather supper.
Treat Yourself: Mango-Rum Kefir Lassi
A little rum-spiration turns the popular Indian yogurt shake into a boozy brunch beverage or cooling poolside cocktail. Kefir offers that good lactic acid bacteria that helps fight off harmful bacteria and aid in digestion. Bonus? You can use up leftover kefir from Tuesday night's dinner. Not a fan of booze? Omit the rum to make a delicious and spicy-sweet smoothie.