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One-Week Mix-and-Match Meal Plan for Weight Loss

 


 

Use these delicious mix-and-match healthy recipes to create your perfect diet plan—one that's free of calorie-counting and hassle. Start with these satisfying base meals, created by Cynthia Sass, R.D., then swap in your favorite ingredients to change things up. All you need to do is satisfy each of five categories of nutrients at every meal. We've given enough substitutions for a one week of meals, but don't stop there—keep going all month long. Pair this with our Bikini Body Countdown workout and you'll be beach-ready in no time!

Love this healthy diet plan? It's adapted from Cynthia Sass's book, S.A.S.S! Yourself Slim, available at amazon.com.

BREAKFAST
Peach and Pecan French Toast
Produce:
1 medium peach, pitted and sliced
Whole grain: 1 slice 100 percent whole-grain bread
Lean protein: 1 egg (or the whites from 2 eggs)
Plant-based fat: 2 tablespoons chopped pecans
SASS: dash ground cinnamon; dash nutmeg; dash cloves

Heat a skillet over medium. In a small bowl, whisk egg or egg whites and soak bread in mixture. Transfer to the skillet and pour excess egg over the top. Cook until golden brown, flip and cook until second side is browned. Transfer to plate, top with peaches, pecans, and spices.  

Variation 1: Pesto Toast With Scrambled Eggs and Peaches
Add cracked black pepper to the egg and scramble over medium-high heat. Toast the bread and top with 1 tablespoon pesto (omit the pecans). Serve with a side of sliced peaches dusted with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.    

Variation 2: Open-Faced Egg Sandwich with Peaches
Replace the bread with half a toasted whole-grain English muffin. Top with an egg, cooked sunny-side up. Serve with a side of sliced peaches topped with cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, and chopped pecans.    

Variation 3: Hearty Breakfast Smoothie
Trade the egg for one cup of skim milk. Replace the toast with ¬º cup dry, rolled oats, and the pecans with 2 tablespoons pecan butter. In a blender whip together the milk, oats, pecan butter, peach (remove pit and skin), spices, and a handful of ice. Pour into a glass.     

Variation 4: Cherry French Toast
Cook French toast as in base recipe. Replace the pecans with 2 tablespoons almond butter and the peach with 1 cup frozen, pitted cherries. Heat cherries in the microwave or in a saucepan until warm and juicy. Fold the spices into the cherries. Slather the cooked French toast with the almond butter and top with cherries.   

Variation 5: Egg and Avocado Toast With Peaches
Hard-boil the egg. Spread the toasted bread with 1/4 of a ripe Hass avocado (omit the pecans) and top with sliced egg. Serve with a side of the sliced peaches dusted with cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves.

Variation 6: Ricotta and Peach Toast
Trade the egg for 1/4 cup nonfat ricotta cheese. Toast the bread, spread with ricotta cheese, season with spices, and top with the peach slices and pecans.

LUNCH
Chicken and Red Quinoa Lettuce Wraps
Produce:
5 large Romaine leaves; 1 medium plum or vine-ripened tomato, diced
Whole grain: 1/2 cup cooked red quinoa, chilled
Lean protein: 3 ounces cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast, chopped
Plant based fat: 10 large black olives, sliced
SASS: 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

In a small bowl, toss tomatoes, quinoa, chicken, and olives with lemon juice and garlic. Spoon mixture evenly into Romaine leaves and serve.

Variation 1: Quinoa and Chicken Salad
Replace the Romaine with 1 cup mixed greens. Whisk lemon juice and garlic with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and toss with the greens and tomato. Pile on a plate and top with quinoa, chicken, and olives.

Variation 2: Cucumber and Tomato Quinoa With Lentils
Replace the Romaine with 3/4 cup sliced cucumber and 1/2 cup minced red onion. Trade the chicken for 1/4 cup cooked lentils and swap the olives for 2 tablespoons sliced walnuts. Whisk lemon juice and garlic with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Spoon quinoa onto center of plate and top with tomato, cucumber, and onion. Sprinkle lentils and walnuts over the top and drizzle with dressing.

Variation 3: Wild Rice and Salmon Lettuce Wraps
Replace quinoa with 1/2 cup cooked, chilled wild rice; the chicken breast for 3 ounces cooked wild salmon; and the whole tomato with 1/4 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half, and 3/4 cup minced red onion. Toss the wild rice, salmon, olives, and red onion with lemon juice, garlic, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar. Fill Romaine leaves with salmon mixture and top with sliced grape tomatoes.

Variation 4: Chicken and Broccoli Penne Pasta
Replace Romaine with 1 cup broccoli florets, trade olives for 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, and swap quinoa with 1/2 cup cooked whole-grain penne. In a pan over medium heat, sautéed  broccoli and tomatoes in olive oil with garlic. Toss sautéed veggies with penne and chicken, and drizzle with lemon juice.

Variation 5: Cold Pasta and Veggie Salad
Replace Romaine with 1/3 cup each minced green bell pepper, minced red onion, and shredded carrots, and swap quinoa with 1/2 cup cooked, chilled whole grain penne. Whisk lemon juice and garlic with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar and add 1/2 teaspoon salt-free Italian herb seasoning. Toss dressing with veggies, tomato, pasta, chicken, and olives. Refrigerate and serve cold.

Variation 6: Pesto-Chickpea Lettuce Wraps
Replace olives with 1 tablespoon basil pesto and trade chicken for 1/2 cup chickpeas. Toss pesto, chickpeas, and quinoa with the garlic. Fill Romaine leaves evenly with mixture, top with diced tomato and a drizzle of lemon juice.

SNACK
Cinnamon Walnut Apple Crisp
Produce
: 1 medium apple, finely chopped (skin on)
Whole grain: 1/4 cup whole oats
Lean protein: 1 cup skim milk
Plant based fat: 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts
SASS: 1 tablespoon lemon juice; 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon

In a bowl, mix chopped apple with lemon juice and cinnamon and microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until soft and juicy. Top with oats and walnuts; serve with a glass of milk.

Variation 1: Walnut-Apple Smoothie
Replace the walnuts with 2 tablespoons walnut butter. In a blender, mix together the apple (remove core, seeds, and skin), oats, milk, walnut butter, spices (omit lemon juice), and a handful of ice. Serve in a glass.     

Variation 2: Apple-Ricotta Toast
Replace oats with 1 slice toasted 100 percent whole grain bread and trade milk for 1/4 cup nonfat organic ricotta cheese. Top toast with ricotta, apple, and walnuts, then sprinkle with cinnamon (omit lemon juice).

Variation 3: Open-Faced Cheese and Apple Sandwich
Replace the oats with 1 slice 100-percentwhole grain bread and trade the milk for 1 ounce smoked Gouda. In a small bowl, toss apple with lemon juice and cinnamon and microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until soft and juicy. Top the bread with thin slices of Gouda, the warmed apple, and walnuts.

Variation 4: Cinnamon and Pear Crisp
Replace the apple with a pear and trade walnuts for sliced almonds. In a small bowl, toss the chopped pear with lemon juice and add cinnamon; microwave on high for 3 to 5 minutes until soft and juicy. Top with oats and almonds; serve with a glass of milk.

Variation 5: Creamy Strawberry Swirl
Preheat the oven to 350°. Replace the apple with 1 cup sliced strawberries, trade the milk for 1/2 cup nonfat cottage cheese. Toast the oats on a baking pan in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Fold the cinnamon into the cottage cheese (omit lemon juice), stir in strawberries, and top with walnuts and the toasted oats.  

Variation 6: Ginger-Apple Parfait
Preheat the oven to 350°. Replace the milk with 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt. Toast the oats on a baking pan in the oven for 3 to 5 minutes until golden brown. Fold cinnamon into the yogurt and replace the lemon with 1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger, mix and layer, parfait-style, with apple slices, oats, and walnuts.



DINNER
Salmon Cashew-Ginger Stir-Fry
Produce:
 1/2 cup red bell pepper, sliced into strips; 1/2 cup diced white onion;1/2 cup shredded carrots; 1/2 cup shredded purple cabbage 
Whole grain: 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
Lean protein: 3 ounces cooked wild salmon
Plant based fat: 2 tablespoons cashew pieces
SASS: 2 tablespoons orange juice; 2 tablespoons brown rice vinegar; 2 tablespoons chopped scallions; 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

In a small dish, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions. Coat a pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium.Sauté vegetables with the ginger sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes minutes, until peppers are slightly tender. Add salmon and cook until heated through. Pile brown rice on a plate, top with vegetable mixture, and garnish with cashews.

Variation 1: Chilled Chicken Pilaf
Cook and chill rice, finely mince the vegetables and trade the salmon for 3 ounces of boneless, skinless chicken breast, diced. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions and toss with the veggies, rice, and chicken, then Refrigerate. Serve chilled and garnish with cashews just before serving.

Variation 2: Vegetarian Cashew-Ginger Stir-Fry
Replace salmon with 1/2 cup shelled edamame and swap cashews for sliced almonds. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, and ginger, and scallions. Coat a pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium. Sauté vegetables with ginger sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes minutes, until peppers are slightly tender. Add edamame until heated through. Pile brown rice on a plate, top with vegetable mixture, and garnish with almonds.

Variation 3: Spinach Salad With Salmon
Replace vegetables with 1 1/2 cups tightly-packed fresh spinach, 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper, and 1/4 cup diced white onion; chill the cooked rice. In a small bowl, whisk together the orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions. Toss with spinach, transfer to a plate and add onion and pepper. Top with the rice, salmon, and cashews.

Variation 4: Peanut Noodles With Salmon
Replace rice with 1/2 cup cooked brown rice pasta and trade cashews for 2 tablespoons peanut butter. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions. Coat a pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium. Sauté vegetables with ginger sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes minutes, until peppers are slightly tender. Toss warm pasta with peanut butter and a pinch of crushed red pepper. Place noodles in a bowl and top with vegetables and salmon.

Variation 5: Shrimp Stir-Fry
Replace the salmon with shrimp, trade the brown rice for wild rice, and swap the cashews for 1 tablespoon coconut oil. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions. Coat a pan with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium. Sauté vegetables with ginger sauce for about 3 to 5 minutes minutes, until peppers are slightly tender. Heat a separate pan over high, add coconut oil and shrimp; cook until translucent and pink. Pile wild rice on a plate and top with vegetable mixture and shrimp.

Variation 6: Chilled Broccoli and Salmon
Replace the veggies with 2 cups broccoli florets, chill the cooked rice, and trade the cashews for 2 tablespoons black sesame seeds. In a small bowl, whisk together orange juice, vinegar, ginger, and scallions. Place broccoli, rice, and ginger sauce into a resealable container, then close the lid and shake to thoroughly coat mixture with sauce. Mix in salmon and sesame seeds. Refrigerate and serve cold.