Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — February 17-21

February 16, 2014 | 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: Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese and Green Beans with Toasted Garlic
Tuesday: Bombay Shrimp Curry with Coconut Rice and Celery and Parsley Salad with Golden Raisins
Wednesday: Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale
Thursday: Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew with Ciabatta Parmesan Toasts
Friday: Chicken Piccata with Orzo and Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins
Dessert Bonus: Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce over Yogurt

Monday: Ease into the week with a super simple, but totally satisfying, sandwich supper. Arguably one of the greatest comfort foods of our time, the glorious grilled cheese gets a sophisticated boost here with veggies, salty Parmesan, and pleasantly pungent raclette cheese. Caramelized onions offer the perfect touch of sweetness to balance faintly bitter notes from nutrient-dense kale. No worries that you only need four kale leaves from the bunch for this recipe–you’ll be using the rest, along with any leftover fresh Parmesan cheese (be sure to buy at least 2 1/2 ounces), later this week. We pop these sandwiches into the oven for 5 minutes at the finish in order to ensure the highest quality of soul-warming, gooey, cheese melting. Well composed between hearty whole grain bread slices and full of textural complexity, this Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese sandwich makes for an exceptionally delicious start to the week. To add a bit more green onto your plate, quick, garlicky green beans are a delightfully crisp side dish. For a bit more flair, you can try one of our three variations of the Green Beans with Toasted Garlic listed on the recipe; I’m all for the Citrus-Nut!
Total Calories: 385

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese | Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

Kale and Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese | Photo: Brian Woodcock; Styling: Cindy Barr

green-beans-toasted-garlic

Green Beans with Toasted Garlic | Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

Tuesday: Spice up your weeknight dinner routine with this Indian-inspired, quick-fix meal. A combination of curry powder, cinnamon, mustard seeds, and ground red pepper instills our Bombay Shrimp Curry with Coconut Rice with bold flavor and a deep sweet heat. A bed of lightly sweet and fluffy coconut rice and a sprinkling of fresh cilantro round out the dish. With this hefty entrée, all you need is a light side salad to complete the meal. Plump golden raisins balance out a blend of fresh parsley and peppery celery dressed in a super simple vinaigrette. Hold on to at least 2 tablespoons of the fresh parsley and 1/4 cup golden raisins to use on Friday.
Total Calories: 453

bombay-shrimp-curry-with-coconut-rice

Bombay Shrimp Curry with Coconut Rice | Photo: John Autry; Styling: Cindy Barr

celery-parsley-salad

Celery and Parsley Salad with Golden Raisins | Photo: Jonny Valiant; Styling: Deborah Williams

Wednesday: Break out your kale from Monday; it’s going to provide a burst of nutrients and fresh green color to our Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale. This hearty one-dish meal stands strong on its own. Packed with lean protein from turkey sausage and white beans, a plate of this pasta isn’t about to leave anyone hungry. Shave fresh Parmesan over the warm pasta right before you serve.
Total Calories: 329

sausage-farfalle

Farfalle with Sausage, Cannellini Beans, and Kale | Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Jan Gautro

Thursday: If you’re anything like me, you can’t go a week during the winter without at least one or two meals dedicated to soup. This quick and comforting fish stew from our December issue has quickly become one of my favorites. Bottled arrabbiata sauce–a spicy sauce made from garlic, tomato, and chile pepper–acts as a base for our Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew, creating a rich and flavorful broth. Sliced fennel adds further depth to the stew, as clam juice provides faintly briny notes to compliment the fresh fish. If tilapia isn’t your seafood of choice, feel free to substitute cod or shrimp. You’ll definitely want crusty bread to sop up that scrumptious broth, and since we already have Parmesan in the fridge from earlier in the week, why not take it one step further and go for cheese toasts? With just 30 seconds under the broiler, Ciabatta Parmesan Toasts are cheesy, crunchy, and ready for dunking.
Total Calories: 302

spicy-tilapia-fennel-stew

Spicy Tilapia and Fennel Stew | Photo: Justin Walker; Styling: Cindy Barr

ciabatta-parmesan-toasts

Ciabatta Parmesan Toasts | Photo: Jason Wallis; Styling: Cindy Barr

Friday: You made it to the weekend–you deserve a special dinner. TGIF, right? Now, when I say special, I sure don’t mean time consuming or labor intensive. Chicken Picatta with Orzo is a classic, wow-worthy entrée that comes together in 20 minutes. Using thin chicken breast cutlets keeps cook time low–they’ll only need roughly 3 minutes per side. Remove the cutlets and add a few more ingredients into the same pan to create a lush white wine-lemon butter sauce incorporating all the crispy browned bits left from our chicken. Adding bit of fresh lemon rind to our orzo perks up the pasta and compliments the lemony picatta sauce nicely. To complete the plate with a pop of greenery, Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins is a great simple side dish that’s ready in under 10 minutes. With a little sweet from the raisins and a little heat from crushed red pepper, this broccoli rabe brings full-bodied flavor and holds it own next to our saucy chicken.
Total Calories: 440

chicken-piccata

Chicken Piccata with Orzo | Photo: John Autry: Styling: Leigh Ann Ross

broccoli-rabe-garlic-golden-raisins

Broccoli Rabe with Garlic and Golden Raisins | Photo: Johnny Autry; Styling: Missie Neville Crawford

Dessert Bonus: This Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce is a fantastic recipe to use up the rest of a bottle of merlot. Of course, if you too live in a household where “leftover merlot” isn’t a phrase often uttered, it’s worth picking up a bottle for this elegant treat. We absolutely love the contrast of tangy frozen yogurt against the sweet cherry sauce, but feel free to serve over vanilla ice cream if you prefer.
Total Calories: 211

dark-cherry-merlot-sauce-yogurt

Dark Cherry Merlot Sauce over Yogurt | Photo: Romulo Yanes; Styling: Kira Corbin

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. Marjorie Melton

    Is it possible to get next weeks menu plan on Saturday? Sometimes the stores are out of stuff on Sunday.

    February 21, 2014 at 6:36 pm
  2. L. Lugar

    I love cooking light! Thanks for this! I see several in there I would like to try. Being diabetic I find these recipes to be just what I need. I also use http://www.easy-diabetic-recipes.com/
    and find some great stuff too!

    February 20, 2014 at 4:24 pm

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