Every Sunday, we publish a week of Cooking Light dinner plans filled with our favorite recipes—both from current issues and classics. Each meal is designed to be ready and on the table in about an hour so that you have more time to enjoy the food you’ve prepared and the company of those you’ve prepared it for.
If you like having a healthy meal plan but want something customized to your dietary or caloric needs, check out The Cooking Light Diet. It’s a calorie-driven weekly meal plan—breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner—based on your dieting goals and food preferences.
Monday: Butternut-Cauliflower-Coconut Curry and Cilantro-Chile Couscous
Tuesday: Quick Chicken Minestrone and French Bread with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce
Wednesday: Almond-Crusted Trout with Dill and Fresh Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dijon Dressing
Thursday: Seared Chicken Breasts with Green Piri Piri Sauce and Thyme Roasted Potatoes and Shallots
Friday: Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie and Crispy Garlic and Mushroom Green Beans
Weekend Treat: Turmeric-Mango Smoothie
Monday: A range of textures—crunchy peas, tender vegetables, and silky coconut broth—makes this cool-weather Butternut-Cauliflower-Coconut Curry incredibly satisfying. The chickpea mixture can also be a delicious gluten-free snack: After baking, toss with a little kosher salt, ground cumin, and ground red pepper. Serve with Cilantro-Chile Couscous.
Tuesday: Fresh, brightly colored vegetables add some welcome vibrancy to this comforting Quick Chicken Minestrone. Have fun with th enoddle shape, or use any small pasta you have on hand. If you’d like sprinkle each serving with freshly ground black pepper for a finishing touch. Ooey-gooey cheesy French Bread with Cauliflower Cheese Sauce gets an extra dose of vegetables (and more creaminess) from steamed cauliflower. Use this mixture for your next grilled cheese sandwich.
Wednesday: Trout gets an extra-crispy crust from the almonds in this Almond-Crusted Trout with Dill, You could sub flounder for the trout and pecans or walnuts for the almonds. Fresh Brussels sprouts are faintly nutty and crunchy, sturdy enough for bold vinaigrettes yet mild enough to pair with delicate mixed greens. Try them in this Fresh Brussels Sprouts Salad with Dijon Dressing. Trim the ends and outer leaves, and then use a mandoline or a sharp knife to slice.
Thursday: Piri piri is a bright herb-and-chile sauce popular in Portugal and parts of Africa. It’s traditionally red, but we go green with fresh poblano, jalapeño, and cilantro in this Seared Chicken Breasts with Green Piri Piri Sauce. Seed or omit the jalapeño for less heat. A side of quick Thyme Roasted Potatoes and Shallots complements any main, especially those with boldly flavored sauces or marinades.
Friday: This budget-friendly Sausage and Spinach Spaghetti Pie (costing under $10) allows you to stretch a small amount of meat over several servings. We love meahty shiitakes in this side of Crispy Garlic and Mushroom Green Beans, but any mushroom will work. Crisping the garlic adds great texture to the finish dish.
Weekend Treat: Gold Ataulfo mangoes are ideal in smoothies, as they’re creamy and much less fibrous than the red-green variety. Whir a few together in this Turmeric-Mango Smoothie for a relaxing and healing end to your week.
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