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Prep School: 5 Quick Diet-Friendly Dinners

With just a little advance planning and cooking on Sunday, you can save time and calories all week.
Roasted tomatoes Prep Ahead

Spend a couple of hours whipping up these key ingredients (just refrigerate them in resealable containers), then use them to make dinners a snap.

Roast tomatoes: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Halve and stem 2 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes; cut each half into quarters. Lay in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish, drizzle with 4 teaspoons olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; stir to coat. Roast until juicy and breaking down, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Stir in 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar.

Cook barley: Place 1 cup barley in a large saucepan with 5 cups cold water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until just al dente, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain.

Poach chicken: Place 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until chicken is no longer pink in the center, 9 to 14 minutes. Remove from liquid, let cool, and shred.

Make lemon dressing: Puree 1 chopped shallot, 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice, 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon honey, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Prep vegetables: Slice 1 cup scallions. Dice 3 cups bell peppers.