Easy and healthy meal ideas for the week ahead: creamy garden pasta, chicken thighs Caesar and more

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You asked, we answered! Hundreds of Start TODAY members told us they wanted healthier, more balanced food ideas to help them reach their health goals. This dietician-designed meal plan will help you learn the building blocks of healthy eating and give you the flexibility to enjoy summer.

Meal planning is one of the simplest ways to eat healthier, reduce decision fatigue, stop thinking about what’s for dinner at 3pm, and save money by skipping prepped and takeout meals. To plan for the week ahead, review recipes and make a list of all the ingredients you need. Consider whether you’ll be cooking dinner every night or doubling or tripling a recipe to eat as leftovers over the course of the week. Then go to the shop. With your kitchen stocked and menu planned out, you’ll be able to enjoy a wide variety of healthy dishes from cold oats to creamy pasta to honey mustard glazed salmon.

What to eat this week, July 17, 2023

Start meal plan TODAY on July 17, 2023

Start meal plan TODAY on July 17, 2023

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Eating breakfast is associated with better energy and focus, so start your day off right with these easy-to-prepare breakfast options.

Baked Eggs in Avocado by Adam Richman

Avocados and eggs go together like peanut butter and chocolate, don’t you think? While the avocado cups cook on the grill, slather a piece of whole-grain toast with Greek yogurt and top with smoked salmon and tomato. This will beef up the protein, fiber-rich carbohydrates, and veggies in your meal.

Cold Brew Overnight Oats by Frances Largeman-Roth, RDN

Cold brew is the clever liquid base of these healthy nighttime oats. While oats are a satisfying breakfast high in fiber, most people benefit from getting at least 20 grams of protein in the morning. To help achieve this, pair the oats with a side of plain or low-sugar yogurt.

Whole wheat waffle for toaster

Spread the wafer with Greek yoghurt (plain or low in sugar) and garnish with berries.


This week’s lunches are multi-tasking, both of which can be made into a salad or a sandwich. We recommended one of each. Although leftovers are the choice of eaters, we think the Edamame Roasted Corn Succotash would make a perfect lunch box.

Carrie Parente Waldorf Tuna Salad with Greek Yogurt

Swapping traditional mayonnaise for Greek yogurt not only saves calories, but also boosts nutrition, providing calcium and live, active enzymes that nourish the gut. We suggest serving this dish on a salad with whole-grain crackers on the side, but you could also stuff it in a whole-grain pita and have veggies on the side.

Rotisserie Chicken Sandwich

Slather the brown bread with mayonnaise and grainy mustard and stack with rotisserie chicken, lettuce and tomato. Serve with the baby carrots on the side. For a vegetarian option, use chickpea puree.


This week’s dinner lineup includes numerous time-saving tactics, like bottled salad dressing, frozen edamame, and a one-pan dinner. If something catches your eye, make enough for leftovers—the ultimate time saver.

Honey Mustard Glazed Salmon with Broccoli and Sweet Potatoes by Katie Lee Biegel

A balanced skillet dinner means you don’t have to cook multiple dishes at once, and cleanup is a breeze.

Adam Richman’s Roasted Edamame Corn Succotash

Since edamame is a plant protein, you can easily serve this dish as a meatless main course. However, if you want another easy protein source, go for it with store-bought rotisserie chicken.

Kevin Curry’s Lemon Tarragon Chicken

This is a tough dish to screw up. The combination of lemon juice, olive oil, and fresh tarragon elevates ordinary boneless chicken thighs in less than 20 minutes. Serve over brown rice (frozen, if desired) and roasted vegetables.

Creamy pasta from the garden of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Pasta is an easy and inexpensive meal, and this version is the perfect mix of creamy and nutritious. What could be better?

Nina Elder’s Broccoli Caesar Chicken Thighs

A Caesar without lettuce? You bet! Store-bought Caesar dressing is an easy way to dress up your next chicken dinner. Since this Caesar doesn’t have croutons, serve with a slice of sourdough bread to soak up any leftover dressing.


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

  • Medjool dates with nuts or nut-free butter.

  • Blueberries on ricotta.

  • Cream of celery with ricotta.

  • Baby carrots dipped in protein-enhanced avocado puree. To make the salsa, mash chickpeas or white beans into the avocado.

  • Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and topped with tahini.

This article was originally published on TODAY.com

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