ThePrep: 400-Calorie Mediterranean Dinners to Kick Off a Healthy Year

These light and healthy Mediterranean-inspired dinners will help you start the year on a positive note.

feta kale pear salad

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Happy New Year! Although I don't usually make resolutions, I do love the energy the new year brings. The idea of starting fresh is motivating, and it has me wanting to make the most of this year. So, to kick off this first week on a healthy note, I'll be cooking up dinners that follow the principles of the Mediterranean diet—which research dubs one of the healthiest ways to eat—with plenty of veggies, healthy fats and lean protein sources. Though each meal is on the lighter side, coming in right around 400 calories, they're still incredibly satisfying and will help you feel your best after the busy holiday season.

Your Meal Plan

Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Chicken

If you like making health resolutions, replicating the principles of this week's meal plan is a sustainable strategy to achieve your health goals. The key piece about this week of dinners is that they're just as delicious as they are healthy. This is important because when you eat meals you actually enjoy, you're more likely to stick with healthy eating in the long run. Plus, they don't eliminate any food groups, so you won't feel like you're missing out on anything.

Sunday's dinner starts the week deliciously. We jazzed up basic baked chicken with a lemon-pepper sauce (it's SO good) and served it with sautéed broccoli flavored with balsamic vinegar and Parmesan, which is a match made in heaven. And Monday's Feta, Kale & Pear Salad is anything but boring, and the creamy lemon-tahini dressing and a trio of crunchy seeds take it over the top.

Tuesday's One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach pairs tasty flavors with easy cleanup, and uses a whole pound of spinach to deliver plenty of nutrients to this meal. To amp up the veggie count for the week even more, we bring some zucchini noodles into the mix with Wednesday's yummy Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Chicken and cauliflower rice to go with the Steak, Pepper & Sugar Snap Stir-Fry on Friday. Enjoy!

Sunday: Baked Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Balsamic & Parmesan Broccoli (416 calories)

Monday: Feta, Kale & Pear Salad with 1 slice toasted baguette (379 calories)

Tuesday: One-Pot Garlicky Shrimp & Spinach over Easy Whole-Wheat Couscous (436 calories)

Wednesday: Zucchini Noodles with Pesto & Chicken (430 calories)

Thursday: Easy Salmon Cakes with Arugula Salad (424 calories)

Friday: Steak, Pepper & Sugar Snap Stir-Fry over 2 cups riced cauliflower (379 calories )

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Big Batch Lunch

Greek Meatball Mezze Bowls

Of all our meal-prep lunch recipes, I think these Greek Meatball Mezze Bowls are my favorite. The flavorful meatballs, lemon- and herb-spiked quinoa salad and fresh crunch of cucumber and tomatoes combine to create something really delicious. These bowls make for a satisfying lunch, or you could whip it up for dinner one night.

Get the Recipe: Greek Meatball Mezze Bowls

Treat Yourself

Moscow Mule Mocktail
Antonis Achilleos

I love the gingery kick of a Moscow Mule, but this week I'm skipping the alcohol in favor of this mocktail version. It's refreshing, delicious and feels special enough that you won't even miss the booze. I like subbing in soda water for some of the ginger beer to help make this bevvy a little less sweet, which helps me feel less wired at the end of a busy day.

Get the Recipe: Moscow Mule Mocktail

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