Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — July 22-26

July 21, 2013 | By | Comments (0)

Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the love of cooking that deters so many of us from the kitchen each night; it’s actually deciding what to cook from the millions of options bombarding us from so many different places. Here, we’ve done the planning for you. Not just menus, but healthy menus that are fast – on the table in less than 45 minutes.

The Plan
Monday: Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomato, and Basil Pizza with Sauteed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint
Tuesday: Open-Faced Crab Cake Sandwiches with Tzatziki with Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad
Wednesday: BLT Panzanella Salad
Thursday: Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Sausage
Friday: Grilled Sirloin Steak with Mango and Chile Salad with Coconut-Ginger Rice
Dessert bonus: Peachy Almond Shortcakes

The August issue has just hit newsstands, and it’s a sight to behold. It’s full of fresh, fast, and fabulous dishes, plus some great new ways to use your charcoal grill. We’re still in full summer fruit and veg swing, so we’ve pulled the best recipes from the August issue that take advantage of the beautiful produce still available.

Monday: We’re going meatless today, of course, with Fresh Mozzarella, Heirloom Tomato, and Basil Pizza. As written, this recipe is over our 45-minute time limit with 55 minutes of total cook time. However, your hands-on time is only 25 minutes, so that leaves you a bit of time to cook up the peas you can serve as the side dish.

If you have 10 minutes to spare and want to stick with the original recipe, go for it. But if you’d like to shorten this up a bit, we can. Skip the DIY pizza dough and just buy a thin crust pre-made crust, such as Boboli. Make the pesto in step 3, then skip to the pizza assembly portion of step 4. Follow the cooking instructions on the pizza’s wrapper, and cook until the crust is browned and crisp.

Make Sauteed Snap Peas with Ricotta Salata and Mint while the pizza bakes. This side is ready in 5 minutes. That’s not a typo. The August issue has an entire collection of sides ready in five minutes. Save extra basil for Wednesday’s meal and Friday’s drink.

Tuesday: Tonight’s dinner, Open-Faced Crab Cake Sandwiches with Tzatziki, is ready in 40 minutes. The sumptuousness of a crab cake, plus the effortlessness of a sandwich, in less than an hour. This is bound to be a repeat dish for sure. When purchasing the crab, look for trotline-caught blue crab meat. It’s the sustainable choice. Serve with Sweet Pepper and Almond Salad.

Wednesday: It’s a great day to celebrate summer’s beautiful tomatoes. Add to it fresh corn and basil, two other summer stars, and you’ve got a dish you’d be proud to share with company — or even your family. Our BLT Panzanella Salad is ready in just 25 minutes. Bacon or no bacon, you’ll probably find yourself coming back for seconds.

Thursday: Spicy Italian sausage perks up a summer must-have — pesto — in our Spaghetti with Parsley Pesto and Sausage. We use all parsley for this pesto, but you could use any combination of fresh herbs you have on hand: basil, pesto, cilantro.

If your herb garden is churning out lots right about now, make extra pesto. It stays good for about a week and is perfect mixed with pasta any night of the week, on top of pizza, or even with eggs. Experiment with different herbs and cheeses to find your favorite combination.

Friday: Summer Fridays are made for outdoor cooking. It’s been cooler than usual here in Alabama, so I’ve found myself taking advantage of my patio at least once a week for a little al fresco fabulousness. Make a batch of our Blueberry-Basil Lemonade as soon as you get home, start up the grill, and settle in for a night of delicious food and outdoor dining. On tonight’s menu: Grilled Sirloin Steak with Mango and Chile Salad with Coconut-Ginger Rice. The entire meal is ready in 40 minutes. If you’re not a fan of heat, just skip the jalapeno.

Dessert bonus: If summer had an official fruit, it would be the peach. Or maybe the cherry. It could definitely be the blackberry. No, no, the peach. These Peachy Almond Shortcakes are a bit over the time limit, but your hands-on time is only 25 minutes. The rest of the 50 minutes, the oven is doing the work. Put this in to cook when you start up the grill. That way, it’ll be ready when you’re finished with your steak.

Ready to start shopping?

View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can create a shopping list when you sign into your MyRecipes account.

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