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Easy, healthy meal ideas for the week ahead: Turkey lettuce wraps, easy enchiladas and more

New week, new meal plan!
During winter months, you can’t go wrong with a veggie-packed, protein-rich soup.
During winter months, you can’t go wrong with a veggie-packed, protein-rich soup.Constantine Poulos for The New York Times

Welcome to Start TODAY. Sign up for our free Start TODAY newsletter to receive daily inspiration sent to your inbox. Then, join us on the Start TODAY Facebook group for tips and motivation, to connect with others following the plan — and to get real-time advice from trainer Stephanie Mansour!

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 13, 2023

If your goal is to eat healthier this year, we’ve got you covered with numerous nutrition strategies in this week’s plan. For breakfast, you’ll get plenty of protein — which keeps you fuller for longer periods of time — and when eaten at breakfast, may help minimize cravings later in the day. Hearty plant-forward lunches reduce your meat consumption while keeping you satisfied. And the range of dinners show how easy seasonings can elevate any dish, so healthy meals pack a flavorful punch.

meal plan for week of January 16


Get your day off to the right start with these protein-packed options. We recommend sitting down while you eat, but these meals can easily be taken to-go.

This recipe makes four burritos that get wrapped and frozen. Spend 15 minutes prepping this on the weekend for heat-and-eat meals during the week.

Although you can swap Greek yogurt for the protein powder in this smoothie, the recommended amount won’t provide the same level of hunger- and cravings-busting protein. To choose a protein powder, look for one with minimal, simple ingredients and no artificial sweeteners.


Plants dominate the plate on the world’s healthiest diets. These filling, plant-centric meals will keep you fueled and focused all afternoon.

Slow-Cooker Farro Soup

Prep the soup before you go to bed, and let it cook through the night. Have a slice of whole grain toast topped with mashed avocado or melted cheese on the side.

Tuna Macaroni Salad

Set aside 15 minutes over the weekend or one evening to make this protein-packed pasta dish.

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.


We’ve offered five delicious recipes this week, but there’s no need to make them all. A great meal prep strategy is to make enough for leftovers, so choose the most tempting ones to make this week. We’ve also included another handy meal prep strategy–using healthy convenience foods, like frozen mashed cauliflower and brown rice. As always, feel free to browse previous weeks and swap in any recipes you love. Don’t forget to include the veggie side dishes, too.

Spicy Shrimp and Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Though the ingredient list looks long, this recipe is surprisingly easy to make. Serve it with frozen brown rice or get more veggie power by mixing brown rice with frozen riced cauliflower.

Garden Frittata

A frittata works for any meal, but we like it for a low-maintenance dinner. This one uses frozen vegetables to keep things especially low-key. Have it with a piece of whole grain avocado toast on the side.

Chicken thighs are less expensive and more tender than chicken breasts. This minimal-ingredient fall-off-the-bone chicken thigh dish is simple to prep, but makes an impressive meal. Serve it with ready-to-heat frozen mashed cauliflower or make a mashed potato-cauliflower blend using premade mashed potatoes.

Spicy White Bean Soup with Greens and Turkey

During winter months, you can’t go wrong with a veggie-packed, protein-rich soup. Don’t let the long ingredient list spook you — only a few ingredients need prepping, so the meal comes together quickly. Serve with a piece of bread (such as sourdough) if you like.

Easiest-Ever Beef Enchiladas

Use whole grain tortillas when making these simple enchiladas, and serve them with sliced avocado, diced tomatoes and a simple side salad to add some veggie goodness to the meal.


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 with creamy taco dip. To make the dip, add some taco seasoning to Greek yogurt and mix.
  • Ricotta cheese topped with sliced grape tomatoes
  • Frozen spiced bananas with tahini. To make, sprinkle cinnamon and cacao powder over banana slices and freeze until firm. Drizzle with tahini.
  • Red peppers and edamame
  • Medjool dates with nut or nutless butter