Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — December 23-27

December 22, 2013 | By | Comments (2)

Here, another week’s worth of fast, healthy, and tasty menus. It’s not the dread 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: Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi with Garlic Haricots Verts
Tuesday:
Shorty Shrimp Po’boys with Baked Pickle Chips and Garlicky Sautéed Kale
Wednesday: Warm Potato and Steak Salad with Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms
Thursday: Coconut Curry Halibut with Cashew Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables
Friday: Pizza Arrabbiata with Grapefruit, Walnut, and Feta Salad
Dessert Bonus: Orange Gratin

Monday: Cozy, warm, and comforting, our Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi is a perfect menu for starting off this busy holiday week just right. Make this recipe even faster by looking for pre-peeled and diced butternut squash in your produce department. Serve with Garlic Haricots Verts for a quick, flavorful veggie side. Pick up extra haricots verts. We’ll have them again later this week.

Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi

Creamy Butternut, Blue Cheese, and Walnut Cavatappi | Photo: Johnny Autry/Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr/Lindsey Lower

Garlic Haricots Verts

Garlic Haricots Verts | Photo: Johnny Autry/Randy Mayor; Styling: Cindy Barr/Lindsey Lower

Tuesday: These recipes, from our new January/February issue, are featured in the Full Plate/Half the Calories feature. We’ve loaded you up with a plate full of delicious sides and a hearty Shorty Shrimp Po’boy sandwich. This smaller-scale version of the New Orleans favorite is packed full of flavor and much healthier since you’re oven-frying, not deep-frying. A side of Baked Pickle Chips is fun for all ages, and Garlicky Sautéed Kale is a delicious way to take advantage of in-season greens.

Shorty Shrimp Po'boys

Shorty Shrimp Po’boys | Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Baked Pickle Chips

Baked Pickle Chips | Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Garlicky Sautéed Kale

Garlicky Sautéed Kale | Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Wednesday: After a busy day of opening packages, playing with new toys, and seeing family, settle in for a quick meal of Warm Potato and Steak Salad with Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms. Hearty, for sure, but fast. The dressing for the salad is superb–lick-the-plate tasty.

Warm Potato and Steak Salad

Warm Potato and Steak Salad | Photo: Iain Bagwell; Styling: Cindy Barr

Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms

Smoky Haricots Verts and Mushrooms | Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Thursday: This meal is from our Full Plate/Half the Calories feature, too. We challenged our food editors and Test Kitchen professionals to research all the comfort food favorites we know readers love, and then cut the calories by 50% or more. The Coconut Curry Halibut with Cashew Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables is a delicious example of how successful the challenge was. The classic meal, with full-fat coconut cream and coconut milk, has over 1,700 calories, 75g of fat, and 45g of sat fat. Ouch! Our lightened-up version has only 483 calories, 20.4g fat (most of that is coming healthy fats from the fish and cashews), and 7.3g sat fat. Talk about a makeover!

Coconut Curry Halibut with Cashew Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables

Coconut Curry Halibut with Cashew Rice and Stir-Fried Vegetables | Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Friday: It’s Friday! Kick back and relax–you made it through a rather busy week. Holidays are wonderful, but phew! are they stressful sometimes! It’s a great time for pizza–forget delivery though! Our Pizza Arrabbiata is ready in just 30 minutes. I’m a fresh pizza dough convert. Nothing beats the fresh-baked taste of a good pizza dough. But if you go with a pre-made crust, you’ll shave off even more time. Serve with Grapefruit, Walnut, and Feta Salad.

Pizza Arrabbiata

Pizza Arrabbiata | Photo: Francesco Tonelli; Styling: Tiziana Agnello

Grapefruit, Walnut, and Feta Salad

Grapefruit, Walnut, and Feta Salad | Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Dessert Bonus: This Orange Gratin is featured in our January/February issue as well. After a whole month of baked confections and towers of chocolate-dipped this and that, it’s time to take a fresh approach to dessert. The gratin is simple yet stunning. It highlights the beauties of citrus season with a punch of peppery ginger and creamy, sweet Greek yogurt. And for the grown-ups: Add a drizzle of bourbon. Oh, it’s worth it.

Orange Gratin

Orange Gratin | Photo: Johnny Miller; Styling: Sarah Smart

Ready to start shopping? View this week’s menu, which includes every recipe you see mentioned here. From there, you can add all the ingredients to your shopping list in one click when you sign into your MyRecipes account.

COMMENTS

  1. Rudy

    I like reading an article that can make people think.
    Also, many thanks for allowing me to comment!

    August 28, 2014 at 2:29 am
  2. search engine

    Very good website you have here but I was wanting to know if you knew of any forums that cover the
    same topics talked about in this article? I’d really love to be a part
    of community where I can get suggestions from other knowledgeable individuals that share
    the same interest. If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

    Thank you!

    May 22, 2014 at 10:23 pm

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s