Sunday Strategist: A Week of Healthy Menus — March 10-14

March 9, 2014 | By | Comments (8)

Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans–new recipes from current issues matched with previously published favorites. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in 45 minutes or less. This week, we’re sharing a few recipes from our April issue, which will be on newsstands this week.

The Plan
Monday: Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta with Garlicky Asparagus
Tuesday: Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce and Green Beans with Toasted Garlic
Wednesday: Four-Mushroom Pesto Pizza and Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette
Thursday: Herb-Rubbed New York Strip with Sautéed Peas and Carrots and Roasted Potato Wedges
Friday: Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad
Dessert Bonus: Granola Cookie Wedges

Monday: I don’t know about you, but the Monday after we lose an hour because Daylight Savings begins, I’m playing catchup all day. That’s an excellent excuse to make tonight’s dinner superfast with our 20-minutes Grape Tomato, Olive, and Spinach Pasta. Our Garlicky Asparagus takes just 15 minutes and cooks while you’re working on the pasta. Be sure to get plenty of fresh garlic for this week. We’ll use it almost every night.

Tuesday: I can’t stop making this dish. Our Chicken with Pepperoni-Marinara Sauce is on almost-weekly rotation at my house. It feels so much more decadent than the calorie count suggests. Meaty, flavorful pepperoni lends maximum flavor to a quick marinara sauce. The leftovers are even better because the flavors have fully blended. Serve with our Green Beans with Toasted Garlic for a quick side that brings the whole meal together perfectly.

Wednesday: Sure, pizza nights are typically Friday nights at my house, but why not shake things up a bit? Tonight, try our Four-Mushroom Pesto Pizza. Dried porcini mushrooms are deeply meaty and full of umami earthiness–so much so the meat lovers in your house may not even notice it’s another meatless dish. Shhh! We suggest making your own pizza crust with store-bought pizza dough you can usually find in the bakery section (it really makes a huge difference), but a pre-made one would work, too.  Finish the meal off with a simple salad like our Radish Salad with Orange Vinaigrette.

Thursday: New York Strip is sometimes pricy, so keep the budget in check by keeping portions in line: Stick to the 4-ounce serving size, and you’ll only need to buy two steaks for four people. This is a classic homemade meal at its finest. All the dinner-focused food groups are here: Meat, veggies, and potatoes. Tonight’s dinner is Herb-Rubbed New York Strip with Sautéed Peas and Carrots and Roasted Potato Wedges.

Friday: Our Cornmeal-Crusted Tilapia with Squash Salad is a crusty, flaky, fork-tender plate of goodness–and a perfect way to round out this week. It’s a fancier meal, but it doesn’t require a lot of fuss—a must on any day, but especially Fridays. The squash salad is a fresh burst of springtime flavors. Have any leftovers green beans or asparagus from the week? Roast them and add them to your plate. A little extra veg never hurt anyone.

Dessert Bonus: Any time a friend asks, “Got a fun sweet recipe I can try?” I hand them the recipe for Granola Cookie Wedges. It’s sweet, chewy, and nutty with small flecks of chocolatey goodness. It’s perfect for any night of the week because you don’t take the time to roll out individual cookies–you just press the dough into a pie plate. Let it bake while you eat, cut wedges for everyone, and enjoy. I wouldn’t be opposed to a scoop of vanilla ice cream with this…

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.


  1. Meal Plan for 3-24-14 « Newest Obsession

    […] to my Google calendar and created a customized grocery list when I stumbled upon this meal plan on Cooking Light last week—and you can do just the […]

    March 22, 2014 at 9:22 pm
  2. Kathy

    Made Monday’s dishes on Tuesday!! I didn’t have (forgot to buy) grape tomatoes so I did substitute a can of diced tomatoes. I also added fresh mushrooms and sweet onions. After preparing the asparagus I cut the spears and placed them on top of each serving of pasta. My husband LOVED this and I will definitely be making this combo again!

    March 11, 2014 at 6:35 pm
  3. hanelene

    Reblogged this on Vital Mommy and commented:
    here’s another little helper for busy moms. I have been following this blog for a long time, but never took advantage of the brilliant menus. Pepperoni marinara was GENIUS. (We substitute salami – all I could find) but still yum.

    March 11, 2014 at 5:38 pm
  4. minnie

    I love your fresh vegetables recipes, wish you could share more calcium reach veges…thank you for sharing those easy to prepare food this summer.God bless

    March 10, 2014 at 9:11 pm
  5. Yolanda Ortiz

    Thank you so much for sharing a different kind of food which is easy to prepare and will surely love by the kids.

    March 10, 2014 at 12:23 pm
  6. Meria Wright

    Thank you for the recipe ideas. Honestly if someone doesn’t care for what is shown, then they are welcome to substitute something else within its place. They may look to older posts for more ideas that might give them what they are looking for. My husband loves Italian and was totally thrilled over the choices offered this week. Thanks again. I look forward to trying these dishes.

    March 9, 2014 at 5:31 pm
  7. Kristin

    Pasta, Italian style chicken and then pizza all in the first 3 days is Italian overkill! And I love Italian food. Agree with PP and would love to see more variety. Was excited to read about this online feature, but this week’s meals disappoint.

    March 9, 2014 at 5:12 pm
  8. Sandi Hall

    I think a week of healthy menus should consist of items that are easily available, especially if you have them on hand. Buying an entire package of something you will never finish is a waste. For instance, buy a bag of spinach and make several recipes that week that use spinach. Buy a container of feta cheese and make several recipes that use it up. This is a much more efficient way to cook and purchase products for your week. How about it?

    March 9, 2014 at 4:37 pm

Leave a Comment

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

You are commenting using your 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