Colors and Flavors of Summer | Meal Plan Menu

Don’t let the summer heat keep you out of the kitchen. With our new meal plan menu of easy weeknight dinners, you can enjoy all of the flavors and colors of summer and stay cool at the same time!

  • By Jess Dang
  • August 3, 2018

Vibrant colors take center stage this summer season – from beautiful sunsets to neon sunglasses – and the same is true in the kitchen! This week our meal plan menu features a rainbow of colorful and flavorful produce, herbs, and meals to help you beat the heat and stay cool this summer.

These fun pops of color in the meals let you know that the ingredients are fresh and the best of the season. This week we are using fresh herbs such as green onions and basil, sweet fruits including mango and pineapple, and summertime garden favorites like zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatillos, and red bell peppers.

Utilizing colorful summertime fruits and vegetables not only keeps this week’s grocery list budget-friendly, but eating a rainbow of colors ensures that there are plenty of essential vitamins and minerals in each meal.

This week’s meal plan also includes time-saving tips such as cooking a double batch of the coconut rice for the week, making the gazpacho ahead of time (a few days in the fridge allows the flavors to really come together!), and recommendations for what freezes well for future use.

Our meal plans are flexible and customizable, so you can enjoy summertime colors and flavors just how you like it!

“A more colorful meal with lots of fruits and vegetables provides more nutrition. All those colors represent the abundance of different essential vitamins and minerals in the food.”

– Miriam T.  (Member since April 2014)

All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.

Meal Planning Smarts


  • This week’s grocery list calls for red curry paste, but feel free to use any color of curry paste if you already have it on hand. While they differ in ingredients from color to color, any curry paste you choose will lend spice and unique flavor to our Asian-inspired dishes!
  • Tuesday’s Thai-inspired salad includes beans sprouts which add texture and crunch to the dish. Mung bean and soy bean sprouts are available in the produce section of many grocery stores (and Asian markets). If you can’t find them, feel free to sub chopped raw snow peas (which will also give the salad a tasty crunch) or just omit them altogether.

before and after:

  • Before life gets busy this week, make the coconut rice ahead of time for Tuesday’s and Thursday’s meals.
  • Gazpacho makes great leftovers, so make it ahead and store it in the fridge for a couple days – the flavors will come together and mellow as this chilled soup rests.
  • Many of the meals and ingredients this week are great to toss in the freezer for future use: pork, shrimp, coconut rice, mango (chop and freeze to use in smoothies), baguette, and fried rice. Check out our All-in-One Freezer Guide for more freezing smarts.


  • Enjoy leftovers for lunch this week by stirring leftover cooked tortellini into soup. Try it with tomato soup (homemade or canned) or even stirred into leftover gazpacho!
  • For a quick dinner, add leftover red curry shrimp to stir-fried vegetables and serve it over rice. Try adding some freshly grated ginger and garlic to your stir-fry for extra aromatic flavor.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Grilled Pork Tenderloin with Balsamic Tortellini Salad

Pork tenderloin is an easy and versatile protein that gains fresh seasonal flavor and tenderness when paired with a lemony marinade. We serve the pork with zucchini spears and a balsamic tortellini salad brightened with tomatoes, fresh basil, and a squeeze of lemon juice.  

To make this summer meal gluten-free, pick-up GF tortellini or substitute any GF pasta shape. Our vegetarian members can enjoy the flavors and colors of this meal as a warm summer pasta dish full of sauteed zucchini, fresh tomatoes, and basil. The Paleo variation of this meal substitutes green beans for the tortellini in the side salad.

TUESDAY | Red Curry Shrimp Skewers with Coconut Rice & Thai Mango Herb Salad

This tropic-inspired meal includes shrimp coated in a sweet-spicy glaze, served with coconut rice and Thai mango herb salad. This easy weeknight recipe comes together in a snap either outside on the grill or inside on the stovetop. We know you’ll love the combination of sweet mango with fresh herbs, sprouts, and lettuce topped with a light vinaigrette.

To make this gluten-free, swap out the soy sauce for Tamari in the Thai mango herb salad vinaigrette. Our Paleo members can serve the Red Curry Shrimp with coconut cauliflower rice, and vegetarians will enjoy all the tropical flavors of this meal by using tofu.

WEDNESDAY | Green Gazpacho with Bruschetta

Gazpacho is a chilled soup that is unique and refreshing in hot weather, the perfect soup for summertime! This version is made with fresh green vegetables (in contrast to the typical base of tomatoes) such as jalapenos, cucumbers, and tomatillos. Adding bread cubes soaked in spices and yogurt is a technique used in Spain to give the gazpacho extra substance and texture.

This is a vegetarian-friendly meal that requires no substitutions if you simply choose a vegetable stock for the gazpacho. Paleo members will leave out the bread cubes from the gazpacho and will enjoy almond crusted chicken cutlets topped with fresh tomatoes and basil. To make this meal gluten-free, look for a GF baguette for the gazpacho and bruschetta.

THURSDAY | Pineapple Fried Coconut Rice with Cashews

This fried rice comes together super fast with leftover coconut rice from earlier in the week. We love the bright colors of this one-dish meal that includes fresh veggies such as leafy green kale and bell peppers. Curry paste and pineapple give the finished product a sweet and spicy contrast.  

This meal is naturally vegetarian-friendly. Replace the soy sauce with Tamari to make this meal gluten-free. Our Paleo recipe is for Ginger and Pineapple Chicken Stir-fry with a pineapple smoothie.

Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 8/6/18 via Cook Smarts

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