Welcome to Start TODAY. Subscribe to our site FREE newsletter Get started today To receive daily inspiration sent to your inbox. Then, join us on Start a TODAY Facebook group To get tips and motivation, to connect with others following the plan – and to get real-time tips from trainer Stephanie Mansour!
You asked, and we answered! Hundreds of Startup members told TODAY they want more healthy, balanced meal ideas to help them reach their health goals. This dietitian-designed meal plan gives you the flexibility to ease into the new year—all while learning the building blocks of healthy eating.
Meal planning is not as daunting as it seems. Spend just 10 or 15 minutes planning your meals, jot down what you need and head to the store. That’s it. And since the start of the new year is busy enough, we also have suggestions for streamlining meal prep — and best of all, you can even take the weekend off if you’re eating out or getting together with family and friends.
What are we eating this week January 9, 2023
Let’s be real: Even though the holidays are over, life isn’t slowing down. Whether you’re putting the trappings away or getting back into your routine, prepping easy meals will help you free up the things that are at the top of your to-do list. For breakfast, she’ll cook healthy sweet potatoes in batches and add a variety of toppings to keep things interesting. For lunch, you’ll alternate between slow-cooker soup and some stir-fry options. Dinner includes some comforting and healthy meals, with options ranging from tacos to soup to easy lasagna.
The recipe makes four sweet potatoes, so cook them in advance and make half the batch the next morning.
Snack breakfast plate
Eat two hard-boiled eggs, fruit, and nuts or seeds (such as pumpkin seeds).
Courtesy of Page Street Publishing Co.
Prepare the soup before going to bed, and let it cook overnight. Have a slice of whole grain toast with mashed avocado.
Edamame brown rice dish
Warm frozen edamame with frozen brown rice according to package instructions. Mix edamame with pre-grated carrots and chopped red pepper. (Pro tip: Cut out extra red bell pepper strips for a snack this week.) Season the mixture with soy sauce or sriracha coconut acids, to taste. Served with brown rice.
Pesto salmon pita salad
Mix canned or packaged salmon with pesto. Stuff the mixture into whole-grain pita bread and top with green salad. Have it with raw vegetables on the side.
We’ve arranged low-key dinners this week. If you’ve had a busy week or just want to spend less time cooking, double up on one (or more) of the recipes to serve as leftovers for later in the week. You can also look back at previous weeks and switch in any recipes that catch your eye. Also, be sure to include the suggested side dish to keep your meal nutritionally balanced.
Courtesy of Adam Friedlander
This broken-in lasagna dish requires much less maintenance than traditional layered lasagna. Since it’s a little mild in vegetables and will take away from the spinach, serve it with this easy spinach salad. To prepare, drizzle extra virgin olive oil and fresh lemon over baby spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and toss to serve.
A rainbow of plant-based foods dominates the plate in these fish tacos topped with stir-fried vegetables and slaw. You can speed up preparation time by buying pre-chopped cabbage salad. Meanwhile, grab extra red peppers to make a simple black bean and red pepper salad. To make cubes, chop red bell peppers and red onions along with rinsed and drained canned black beans and fresh lime.
Nathan R. Congleton / Today
This sweet and spicy meal only takes 10 minutes to prepare, and the results are more nutritious than traditional Chinese takeaway. If you’re not in the mood for chicken, a no-fuss marinade is also a good match for pork tenderloin. This recipe calls for sautéed cabbage, but this dish would also be delicious with peas or bok choy. Whichever way you go, serve this meal over brown rice.
Nathan Congleton / Today
January calls for a nutritious soup, and this one fits the bill. Green eggs and ham get a lean, healthy veggie upgrade when paired with leafy greens and white beans. Serve it with whole wheat bread or any other whole grain bread.
Samantha Okazaki / Today
Store-bought pesto is key to an easy, delicious dinner. It is a favorite of the hota qutb family, and we have a feeling it will be popular in your home as well. Serve with whole grain pasta or beans with pesto and a side salad.
Snacks that contain whole food sources of protein and fiber make a winning combination that will keep you full for hours. Here are some ideas:
- Baby carrots tossed with mashed avocado for a protein boost. To make the dip, mash chickpeas or white beans into the avocado.
- Apple slices sprinkled with cinnamon and tahini
- Frozen blueberries (thawed) with ricotta cheese
- Red pepper slices with goat cheese
- Unsweetened dried fruit and nuts or roasted chickpeas