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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.
Meal planning isn’t as daunting as it sounds. Spend just 10 or 15 minutes mapping out your meals, jot down what you need and head to the store. That’s it. And since the beginning of a new year is busy enough, we’ve also got suggestions for streamlining meal prep — and, best of all, you can even take the weekends off if you're dining out or getting together with family and friends.
What to Eat This Week, January 23, 2023
All of the world’s healthiest diets have a plant slant, so this week, we’re showing you how to create plant-forward menus without giving up animal foods, like dairy, eggs, chicken, seafood, and meat. We accomplished this goal by packing the menu with nuts, seeds, beans, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains — delivering the goodness of plant foods in everything from from a chicken burrito bowl to a meaty lasagna. Plus, we’ve included some meatless meals that are hearty, filling, and full of protein.
Mornings are hard enough, so keep your breakfast routine simple. Make a batch of the frittata muffins in advance for a grab-and-go option or throw together an easy meal with staple ingredients.
Serve with 1 cup or 1 piece of fruit.
Whole Grain Toaster Waffle with Yogurt and Berries
Spread toasted waffle with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and topped with berries and chia seeds.
Mix ⅓ cup rolled oats with 2 tablespoons unsweetened dried fruit (such as golden raisins) and 3 tablespoons chopped nuts and seeds (such as pumpkin, chia, and flax seeds). Serve over plain or lightly sweetened Greek yogurt.
Continuing with the plant-slant theme, we’ve got some plant-forward ideas for you that are easy to assemble the day of or just before your meal.
Boxed or Canned Lentil Soup
Add a handful or two of baby spinach while the soup is cooking and garnish with feta cheese. Want to make your own? Try this recipe:
Tuna-Chickpea Salad Sandwich
To make, mix 1 can tuna (drained), with ½ can chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 1-2 tablespoons mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds. Stuff half the mixture in a whole wheat pita stuffed with lettuce and tomato.
We’ve rounded up five dinners that feature plants in a variety of ways. For instance, the lasagna uses nutrient-rich sweet potato in place of lasagna noodles, and the spaghetti includes a mix of vegetable and traditional noodles, plus zucchini in the pesto. These are strategies you can apply to your family favorites, too.
This hearty bowl is basically a blueprint for balanced eating. Carbs come from quinoa and beans (which also supply some protein), healthy fats come from seeds and avocado, and protein comes from rotisserie chicken. It’s also loaded with spinach and topped with salsa to meet your veggie requirements.
This recipe offers the best of both worlds: A combination of spaghetti and zucchini noodles means you’ll get the benefits of veggies and the satisfaction of pasta. To balance out your meal with some protein, use chickpea or lentil pasta, or serve it with some chicken or shrimp.
This dinner is a rarity — it’s just as quick to make as it is impressive. Serve it with roasted baby potatoes and a simple side salad. Roasted potatoes are one of the easiest side dishes ever–just clean them (or buy them pre-washed), toss them in oil and seasonings, and roast them on a parchment-lined sheet pan. Put them in the oven ahead of the salmon since they take slightly longer — about 25 minutes — to cook.
Sweet potato “noodles” give a veggie-forward twist to this lasagna. But it still has classic elements like meaty and cheesy layers. Serve with sauteed spinach to round out your meal.
These burgers come together in minutes thanks to hassle-free ingredients like canned beans and frozen corn. When they’re cooked, load on the fixings and serve them with Baked Carrot Fries.
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:
- Clementine and nuts
- Pear and prosciutto
- Pineapple and cottage cheese
- Red peppers with goat cheese-pesto dip. To make dip: Mix store-bought pesto with goat cheese. Thin with olive oil if needed.
- Snap peas and hummus