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Dinner, Planned! Your 1-Month Healthy Dinner Meal Plan: Week 1

By Breana Lai, August 29, 2014 - 1:24pm

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Dinner, Planned! Your 1-Month Healthy Dinner Meal Plan: Week 1

What should I make for dinner? I used to ponder this question on my way home from work everyday, trying to balance my husband’s tastes with my own while also trying to avoid the same-old pasta and salad standby meal. This month, I don't even need to think about dinner because I’ll be using our new 28-day healthy dinner plan from the September/October 2014 issue of EatingWell magazine.

Get the full 1-month dinner plan!

My favorite part of the dinner plan: there are a variety of quick, delicious, healthy meals and side dishes to round out the meal. There are foods inspired by different cultures: Italian, Chinese, French, Thai and American, plus recipes for soups and stews, sandwiches, stir-fries, pasta, pizza and more.

Here’s what I'll make from the first week’s menu:

Sunday: Florentine Steak This week, for an easy yet impressive Sunday dinner, I’m making a big classic Florentine steak for sharing with my husband. I’m making warm spinach and mushroom salad using wild mushrooms like oysters, shitakes and even a few maitakes. And for the complete Italian experience, I’m opening a bottle of Chianti too!



Monday: Paprika Chicken Thighs with Roasted Brussels Sprouts Paprika-rubbed chicken thighs, roasted on top of Brussels sprouts and shallots on a sheet pan are one of my go-to easy meals (I wrote this recipe!). While the chicken is roasting, I’ll make mashed potatoes flavored with rosemary.



Tuesday: Squash & Corn Chowder Our Squash and Corn chowder recipe is so hearty and filling, you’d never believe it saves around 300 calories, 20 grams of saturated fat and 500 milligrams of sodium per serving compared to many store-bought or restaurant chowders. By bumping up the vegetables, using flour-thickened milk instead of heavy cream and reduced-sodium broth, this healthy squash and corn chowder is the perfect way to use up the last few squash and corn coming out of my garden.



Wednesday: Squash & Corn Chowder Tomato, sausage and cheese pasta is the ultimate comfort food for me and this easy recipe delivers great flavor without being too heavy. Ready in just 35 minutes, I'll throw together a salad with a balsamic vinaigrette while the pasta sauce is simmering.



Thursday: Kale & Gruyere Panini Using kale and summer tomatoes, this is the grilled cheese of my dreams because it packs so much flavor into every gooey bite. If you don’t have a Panini maker (like me), you can make this sandwich in a hot skillet with a little butter and another pan on top to weigh down the top piece of bread. Serve with crudités and pickles.



Friday: General Tso’s Chicken For Friday's dinner, I'll skip sodium-and-oil-laden Chinese takeout and make a healthier version of general tso’s chicken. This recipe bumps up the vegetables, uses far less soy sauce and sautees the chicken at a high heat instead of deep- frying.



Saturday: Mussels with Italian Turkey Sausage, Tomato & Basil Mussels cooked with white wine, turkey sausage and tomato are a quick and super-easy way to make dinner. I like to pick a white wine I want to drink, like a crisp Italian Pinot Grigio or Verdicchio, so I can serve the rest with dinner.


Ready to start cooking with me? Get these amazing recipes and the full 1-month dinner plan here!

What’s the hardest part of meal planning? Tell us what you think below.

TAGS: Breana Lai, Food Blog, Dinner, Family meals

Breana Lai
Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D., is an associate food editor at EatingWell where she splits her time among EatingWell magazine, eatingwell.com and cooking new healthy recipes in the Test Kitchen. Breana has a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu London, a Wine Spirit & Education Trust trained sommelier and is a registered dietitian.

Breana asks: What’s the hardest part of meal planning?

Tell us what you think:

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