1 Month of Dinners–Planned: Your Menu for Week 2
How did your first week of cooking along with EatingWell's 28-day healthy dinner plan go? Did you have a favorite meal? I tried to pick just one recipe but couldn't, so I'm picking three. I love the Chickpea & Chorizo Fideos from Monday and the Cowboy Beef & Bean Chili and Whole-Grain Cornbread from Friday. These recipes have already been added to my "cook this again" pile (OK, I admit, this pile is huge).
But my mound of make-again recipes will have to wait because my dinner planning for the upcoming week has already been done for me. Thanks to EatingWell's Test Kitchen manager, Stacy Fraser, I already have my weekly menu, sides and all, which I used to create a handy shopping list. The weekday meals are simple and quick for "healthy in a hurry" dinners, while the weekend recipes take a little more time and effort, yet produce dinner for tonight and for a future night when I don't have the time or energy to cook.
Week 2 of the 28-day plan brings Asian dumplings, creamy soup, sweet & spicy salmon, crispy mustard chicken and hearty lasagna. I love the variety of familiar classics interwoven with recipes I might usually skip over. Instead of your normal rotation, try something new! You might be pleasantly surprised.
Here's this week's menu:
Sunday: Shrimp Dumplings
Serve with: Edamame, bell pepper and cucumbers seasoned with rice vinegar
Dumplings are the first food my parents taught me how to cook and to this day, they are my favorite food to make. As a kid, we would make trays of dumplings in an assembly line, with my mom placing the filling in the wonton wrappers, me wetting the edges with a dab of water and my dad sealing them closed. We would make them by the hundreds, freezing most for later as a quick snack or meal. This healthy recipe recreates this same experience, eating some for dinner tonight and freezing some for later. But don't worry: you are only making 48 dumplings.
For an easy side dish, combine 1 cup thawed, shelled edamame, 1 sliced red bell pepper and 1 halved, sliced cucumber with a few tablespoons of rice vinegar and a little salt and fresh ground pepper.
Monday: Brussels Sprout & Potato Hash
Serve with: Rye toast
Having grown up on Asian dumplings, not potatoes, I wasn't sure how much I would like this hash. Boy was I wrong. Shaved Brussels sprouts and frozen hash browns come together for a delicious quick and hearty dinner. And as one of our favorite sayings in the EatingWell Test Kitchen goes, "Put an egg on it" and voilà, dinner is served.
Tuesday: Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup
Serve with: Cheese quesadillas
Get all the satisfaction of a creamy soup without all the fat and calories with this tangy Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup made with low-fat milk instead of heavy cream. Serve with quick cheese quesadillas and fresh salsa.
Wednesday: Apricot-Chile Glazed Salmon
Serve with: Couscous and grilled asparagus
This Apricot-Chile Glazed Salmon has become a go-to staple in my kitchen because it only requires three ingredients: salmon, New Mexico chile powder and apricot jam. While you cook the salmon, toss some asparagus with extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper and add it to the grill. Steam some whole-wheat or spinach couscous, and maybe add some fresh Parmesan and herbs, and in 20 minutes, dinner is ready.
Thursday: Creamy Mustard Chicken
Serve with: Steamed green beans
Using the remaining 8 ounces of whole-wheat pasta left over from last week's Chickpea & Chorizo Fideos, this Creamy Mustard Chicken recipe looks as good as it tastes. We like it with steamed green beans, but broccoli would also be perfect.
Friday: Grape Chutney
Serve with: Pork tenderloin and spinach salad
Grapes become fancy when simmered with shallots, white balsamic vinegar and mustard seeds in this warm and beautiful chutney. Serve with roasted or grilled pork tenderloin, a wilted spinach salad with sherry vinaigrette and a glass of Pinot Noir.
Saturday: Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage Lasagna
Serve with: Mixed green salad
Forget boring lasagna made with high-sodium jarred tomato sauce and mounds of calorie-heavy greasy cheese. We've added tons of flavor and nutrition to plain lasagna by adding Italian turkey sausage and fiber-rich broccoli rabe. (If broccoli rabe is too bitter try broccolini.) And this Broccoli Rabe & Turkey Sausage Lasagna recipe makes two 8-by-8-inch casseroles, one to enjoy now and one to freeze for later. If you don't have a lot of time all at once, assemble the lasagna in the morning and throw it in the oven 30 minutes before you want to eat. While your lasagna is becoming a bubbly crowd-pleaser, toss together a simple mixed green salad and relax.
Find this week's recipes and more here: