Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Dinners - February 19-23
Monday: Tomato, Basil, and Chicken Pasta
Think of this as a lighter, fresher take on chicken Parmesan: We ditch the breading on the poultry and let juicy cherry tomatoes stand in for jarred pasta sauce. A little grated carrot adds just enough sweetness to round out the acidity in the tomatoes. Mini balls of fresh mozzarella, also called ciliegine, melt just enough in the finished pasta so that the dish feels extra cheesy. This would also be delicious with cooked, crumbled Italian turkey sausage or with simply sauteed shrimp.
Tuesday: Seared Scallops with Chile-Garlic Spinach
The trick to perfect scallops is to leave them alone once they hit the pan—they’ll stick to the skillet at first then release once they sear. If you prefer less heat, use just one Fresno chile and remove the seeds before adding to the pan.
Wednesday: Lamb and Beet Meatballs
These lamb, beet, and bulgur meatballs are a great example of using meat as a supporting player rather than the star and getting more veggies and whole grains into your diet. If you can't find precooked beets, wrap 2 medium trimmed beets in parchment paper and microwave at HIGH for 2 minutes or until tender, then peel and finely chop.
Thursday: Panko Salmon with Snap Peas
Fresh tarragon kicks this simple, classy main up a notch. It has a sweet, anise-y flavor that pairs beautifully with pungent Dijon mustard (try the two together in a vinaigrette or meat marinade). Make sure to sear the salmon fillets with the crusted side down first; it will be easier to flip once crisp and golden. We love the sweetness of crisp-tender snap peas. You could also use haricots verts (French green beans) or broccoli florets.
Friday: Tuscan White Bean Soup
This hearty soup makes it easy to pack in your daily dose of veggies, and the hard rind from a hunk of Parmesan cheese is packed with umami and imparts savory depth as the soup cooks. Keep leftover rinds in a ziplock bag in your freezer for soups and stock.
Bonus Weekend Breakfast: Coconut Oil Waffles
Look for unrefined or virgin coconut oil to provide a hint of coconut essence, which gives these waffles a unique flavor. The batter comes together really easily, but be sure your coconut oil is melted before adding it to your wet mixture, and don't overmix. To continue the tropical theme, top the waffles with mango or kiwi and toasted unsweetened coconut flakes.