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Easy, healthy meal ideas for the week ahead: Kale smoothies, sheet-pan niçoise salad and more

Simplify meal prep — and clean up — with these short-cut recipes that pack in nutrition.

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You asked, we answered! Hundreds of Start TODAY members told us they wanted more healthy, balanced meal ideas to help them reach their health goals. This dietitian-designed meal plan gives you the flexibility to ease into a new year — all while learning the building blocks of healthy eating.

When it comes to sticking with a healthy eating plan, meal prep is key. After all, who has hours to spend in the kitchen? That’s why this week’s lunches and dinners utilize meal-prep tricks that cut down on time like one-pan meals and pre-made ingredients (hello, rotisserie chicken!).

What to Eat This Week, August 28, 2023

Start TODAY Meal Plan, August 28, 2023

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  • Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs with Black Beans, Salsa and Avocado
  • Lunch: Veggie-Packed Sandwich
  • Dinner: Leftovers or takeout
  • Snack of choice


This week's breakfasts are lean and green! Starting your day with a protein-rich option keeps you fuller for longer and tames cravings later on. Here are some quick and easy ways to pack greens and protein into your morning meal.

This smoothie contains protein, vegetables, fruit and heart-healthy fats, making it a simple and balanced meal. If you’re not fond of kale, don’t worry. The sweetness from blueberries and a banana will offset its taste. Or you can sub baby spinach, a milder-tasting green, instead. If you want to make this vegan, use silken tofu or an unsweetened vegan protein powder in place of the yogurt.

Protein-Boosted Avocado Toast

Mash white beans or chickpeas into avocado. Spread on whole-grain toast and top with an egg, cooked any style.

Microwavable Scrambled Eggs

Top with salsa, black beans and avocado slices.


Rotisserie chicken is the multi-tasking ingredient of the week. Remove the skin and pull the meat off the bone to use in sandwiches and salads. A typical rotisserie chicken yields 3-4 cups of meat.

If you’re a vegetarian or trying to reduce your meat consumption, use rinsed and drained canned beans instead (like we do on Friday). When making your grocery list, be sure to add plenty of veggies to serve in salads and alongside sandwiches.

Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich

Spread whole-grain bread with mayo and grainy mustard and stack with rotisserie chicken, lettuce and tomato. Serve with veggies on the side. For a vegetarian option, use mashed chickpeas.

Rotisserie Chicken Salad

Mix rotisserie chicken, chopped celery, and golden raisins with mayo and dijon mustard. Scoop mixture over salad greens and add any veggies of your choosing. Sprinkle with seeds (such as sunflower seeds) or crushed nuts.

Don’t want to buy a rotisserie chicken? Make your own:

Lemon Roasted Chicken

Veggie-Packed Sandwich

Mash some rinsed and drained canned chickpeas into store-bought hummus. Spread the mixture over 2 slices of toasted whole-grain bread. Layer jarred, roasted red peppers and baby spinach between the two bread slices and fold into a sandwich. Serve with some baby carrots.


This week’s dinner menu features nutritious meals that are anything but boring. From tangy pineapple chicken to briny flounder to creamy pasta, there’s something for everyone. The best part? Most of them require you to dirty just one pan, cutting way down on clean up time. Make sure to take note of any suggested sides to keep your meals balanced.

Avocado brings the creaminess to this dairy-free pasta dish. Since this meal is light on protein, we recommend using chickpea or lentil pasta to make it more filling and balanced.

Sheet Pan Flounder with Roasted Tomatoes and Black Olives

Briny, salty olives and roasted tomatoes give this dish Mediterranean vibes. Serve with roasted baby potatoes — also called creamer potatoes — which you can find ready-to-cook in most grocery stores.

Sheet-Pan Salmon Niçoise Salad

This is an example of a Mediterranean-style dinner with plenty of heart-healthy fats, from the omega-3s in salmon and anchovies to the monounsaturated fats in the kalamata olives and extra virgin olive oil. And since it’s made on a sheet pan, you can tend to other things while dinner is cooking. One way to fill that time: Prep extra veggies and boil additional eggs to have on hand for the week.


Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber offer a winning formula that keeps you full for hours. Here are a few ideas:

  • Baby carrots dipped in protein-boosted mashed avocado. To make the dip, mash chickpeas or white beans into avocado.
  • Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and drizzled with tahini.
  • Frozen blueberries (thawed) with ricotta cheese.
  • Red pepper strips with goat cheese.
  • Unsweetened dried fruit and nuts or roasted chickpeas.