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Healthy Food

Green noodles, sheet-pan garlic chicken and more

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

Spring has sprung so we’re lightening up and doubling down on seafood options since the American Heart Association recommends eating at least two servings of non-fried fish per week to lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. While red meat should be eaten less often than other types of meat, you don’t have to eliminate it if you like it. When eating red meat, choose a lean cut and trim it of any visible fat. And instead of making meat the featured ingredient, include it with plant-based foods. The steak salad on this week’s dinner menu is an excellent example of this strategy.

What to Eat This Week, April 10

Start TODAY meal plan for the week of April 10, 2023

Start TODAY meal plan for the week of April 10, 2023

>>Download this week’s meal plan

monday

Breakfast: Smoked Salmon Stack

Lunch: Poke Bowls

Dinner: Dylan’s Green Noodles

Snack of choice

Tuesday

Breakfast: Avocado Toast With Grapefruit and Pomegranate

Lunch: Pizza Toast

Dinner: Sheet-Pan Fish With Green Beans and Tomatoes

Snack of choice

Wednesday

Breakfast: Smoked Salmon Stack

Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup

Dinner: Lavash Pizza With Rotisserie Chicken

Snack of choice

Thursday

Breakfast: Avocado Toast With Grapefruit and Pomegranate

Lunch: Pizza Toast

Dinner: Lucky Greens Steak Salad

Snack of choice

Friday

Breakfast: Yogurt With Fruit and Nuts

Lunch: Carrot Ginger Soup

Dinner: Chicken With Arugula, Potatoes and Garlic Yogurt

Snack of choice

>>Get this month’s workout plan: 30-day walking and resistance band routines

Breakfast

This week’s rotation includes two top heart-healthy ingredients: avocados and salmon. Salmon is a fantastic source of heart-protective omega-3 fatty acids, and smoked salmon is a convenient way to consume fish. Additionally, a large study found that higher avocado intake is associated with a 21% lower risk of coronary heart disease and a 16% lower risk of cardiovascular disease in general. So, go ahead and eat these meals on repeat.

Avocado Toast With Grapefruit and Pomegranate Seeds by Andrea Lynn

Make it with whole grain toast and serve with Greek yogurt or cottage cheese on the side.

Smoked Salmon Stacks

Top a whole grain English muffin or slice of toast with plain Greek yogurt, lettuce, tomato, red onion and smoked salmon. Sprinkle with bagel seasoning if you’d like.

Yogurt with Fruit and Nuts or Seeds

Choose plain or lower-sugar Greek yogurt with one piece or one cup of fruit and up to ¼ cup of nuts or seeds.

Lunch

This week’s lunch menu shows you can put together heart-healthy meals in minutes. While packaged soup can be a convenient way to get your veggies sometimes, it can be high in sodium and may not be appropriate for people on a sodium-restricted diet.

Smoked Salmon Poke Bowls

Top ½ to 1 cup cooked brown rice with ½ cucumber and ⅓ avocado, diced, 1 piece roasted seaweed, crumbled, 2 ounces smoked salmon and a sprinkle of sesame seeds. Drizzle with reduced-sodium soy sauce to taste.

Pizza Toasts

Top each half of a toasted whole grain English muffin with pesto, warm, lower-sugar marinara sauce, tomato slices, and cottage cheese. Serve with snap peas on the side.

Carrot Ginger Soup (boxed or canned)

Heat soup according to package directions and top with toasted pumpkin seeds and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt.

Need a recipe? Try this one:

Carrot-Ginger Soup by Ed Harris

Dinner

This week’s rotation includes heart-healthy spins on pasta, pizza, and steak. If you want to streamline meal prep, choose a recipe that catches your eye and double (or triple) them to serve later in the week. You can also serve leftovers for lunch.

Dylan’s Green Noodles by Dylan Dreyer

This spin on pesto uses baby spinach instead of basil. We recommend using chickpea paste so you’ll get enough protein to make it a balanced meal. Fix yourself a side salad for an easy veggie boost.

Sheet-Pan Fish with Tomatoes and Green Beans by Yasmin Fahr

This sheet-pan dish is as easy to make as it is to clean up. Most markets sell pre-washed and prepped green beans if you want to simplify it further. Serve it with roasted new potatoes, which you can cook on a separate sheet pan.

Lavash Thin Crust Salad Pizza by Joy Bauer

Made with store-bought, whole grain lavash, this pizza will be on the table faster than takeout. It’s heavy on the veggies and light on the cheese — a ratio that’s better for your heart than a typical slice. Since this meal lacks protein, serve it with rotisserie chicken or sautéed shrimp.

Lucky Greens and Steak Salad with Maple Balsamic Dressing by Jet Tila

Heart-healthy superstars in this steak salad include lentils, leafy greens, pears, pomegranates, and pecans. Balancing red meat with nutritious plant foods is a good way to incorporate it into a healthy menu.

Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt by Melissa Clark

Chicken and potatoes are seasoned with cumin and harissa and drizzled with a yogurt sauce in this sheet-pan dish. A sprinkling of arugula is used to add a pop of color to this dish, so we recommend making a separate side salad.

Snacks

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:

  • Berries with ricotta cheese

  • Trail mix made with no added sugar, dried fruit, popcorn and pumpkin seeds

  • Snap peas with avocado dip. To make the dip, mash ⅓ avocado with ¼ cup defrosted frozen peas. Add a squirt of fresh lime juice and salt and pepper to taste.

  • Celery spread with cottage cheese

  • Baby carrots and edamame

Related:

This article was originally published on TODAY.com