A Week of Healthy Meal Prep: July 2-6
Monday: Spinach Pesto Pasta with Shrimp
Pesto is a great big-batch sauce for using up a mix of herbs and greens, but it tends to go army-green if made ahead. We quickly blanch spinach and basil to preserve the color without diluting flavor, then bump up the green with fresh parsley. A simple shrimp and asparagus pasta toss lets the pesto shine; you could also use chicken breast, broccoli florets, or haricots verts.
Tuesday: Black and Blue Steak Salad
The black and blue salad, a combination of spice-rubbed, blackened chicken or steak and crumbled blue cheese, is a staple of the American gastropub menu. Unfortunately, the “salad” interpretation is a bit loose—the lettuce merely a bed for a Flinstone-sized protein serving, the butter-yellow croutons, tons of cheese, and creamy dressing blanketing all. We kept the chargrilled steak, blue cheese, and crisp croutons you love, then topped off with good-for-you avocado and a vinaigrette that complements the vegetables rather than disguise them. A little meat goes a long way: just 12 ounces is plenty to serve 4.
Wednesday: Chicken with Artichoke Pan Sauce
Serve with whole-wheat orzo or fettuccine to sop up the rich sauce. Robust Italian flavors—piney rosemary, peppery pancetta, zingy lemon—make homey chicken breasts sing in this classic Italian chicken dish. If you want to save time at dinner, marinate the chicken breasts before you leave for work. When you get home, they'll be ready to cook. Frozen artichoke hearts are much easier and more time friendly than breaking down whole artichokes, but if you have the fresh variety and want to use them in this dish, feel free. They'll be a bit more firm than the frozen artichokes.
Thursday: Seared Scallops with Warm Tuscan Beans
Pair this one-dish seared scallops meal with a side of garlic bread. It's perfect for sopping up every last drop of the delicious sauce. The iron in spinach and protein in the beans and scallops make this a perfect alternative to a red meat meal.
Friday: Mustard Green Pesto and Egg Open-Faced Sandwiches
Eggs beef up the protein in this delicious meatless main. Any extra pesto will keep refrigerated for 4 days and frozen for up to a month.
Dessert Bonus: Easy Jasmine Rice Pudding
Treat yourself to a comforting bowl of warm, creamy rice pudding and enjoy a better night’s sleep. The goji berries sprinkled on top add fruity chew, while the pepitas offer nutty crunch and a tryptophan boost. Look for both at specialty grocery stores. If you can’t find them, sub tart cherries or pomegranates for the goji berries and walnuts for the pepitas; walnuts also contain tryptophan. A mild, less expensive honey works beautifully here; save the pricier, more robust honeys for a recipe where their flavor will be front and center.