Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners — February 20-24
Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes—both from current issues and classics. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in about an hour so that you have more time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared and the company of those you’ve prepared it for.
If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something customized to your dietary or caloric needs, check out The Cooking Light Diet. It’s a calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.
Monday: BBQ Beef-Stuffed Potatoes
Wednesday: Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie
Friday: Greek Chicken Nachos
Dessert Bonus: Crunchy-Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Mondays call for an all-in-one dinner that's a guaranteed winner. BBQ Beef-Stuffed Potatoes are the perfect one-dish meal for cool winter nights. The onions, roast, and potatoes in this recipe all cook in the slow cooker, so whether you're off work today or not, prep your ingredients the night before and let dinner cook while you're away. Be sure to wrap the potatoes in parchment paper; foil can add a metallic taste to the dish.
Fifteen minutes is all it takes to get Roasted Salmon with Kale-Quinoa Salad on the table, so plan this meal for your busiest weeknight. Prep the salad while the salmon roasts to ensure your dinner comes together at the right moment. When shopping, look for wild salmon, which has 5 to 10 times fewer contaminants and persistent organic pollutants (POPs) than farm-raised.
Upside-Down Shepherd's Pie is the ultimate winter indulgence, so we updated your favorite casserole to be weeknight friendly. To keep things lightning-fast, we forgo the layered-in-a-skillet approach to shepherd's pie and instead serve the veggie-flecked beef mixture on top of a bed of creamy mashed potatoes. This hearty meal is a cool-weather favorite, a sure addition to your weeknight rotation.
The All-Purpose Citrus Dressing atop the Winter Salad with Easy Herbed Pork Tenderloin adds the perfect dose of bright flavor to this easy weeknight meal. While you're sure to add the dressing to other weeknight salads, it pairs particularly well with the flavors in this easy pork recipe. Make a second helping and leave it undressed so that lunch is ready to go tomorrow.
Dinner doesn't get much easier, or more fun, than sheet pan Greek Chicken Nachos. Toast the chips in 2 batches first; then combine the chips, pile high with toppings, and return to the oven to heat everything through. The dish takes a detour to Greece with pita chips, a shredded Greek salad, and crumbled feta. Serve this easy one-dish dinner plated or straight on the sheet pan as you unwind from your busy week.
Crunchy-Chewy Salted Chocolate Chunk Cookies have been our go-to cookie for office celebrations for years--when we tell the staff cookies are ready, it's these guys, made with no-frills, good ol' whole-wheat flour. The good news is that they work with other flours, too. They're wonderfully crisp around the edges and chewy in the middle; that soft center comes from using all brown sugar (no granulated) and a drizzle of honey.