Fast Easy Dinner Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (6/21/21)

This week’s fast easy meal plan includes a Cobb Salad recipe, a recipe for corn chowder with sweet potato and white beans, a berbere chicken thighs with jollof rice recipe, and an avocado and cucumber sandwich with crispy chickpeas.

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • June 18, 2021


Summer Deli Cobb Salad with Creamy Herb Dressing

This easy Cobb Salad recipe uses chopped deli meat, so you don’t have to bother with cooking something extra on a hot day. It’s topped with traditional Cobb ingredients including hard-boiled eggs, tomatoes, corn, and avocado, then drizzled with a homemade creamy herb dressing. The herb dressing gets its bright, savory flavors from garlic, lemon juice, and chives, and is blended with yogurt for a simple but delicious dressing that can double as a dip for pita chips or veggie sticks. Perfect for busy weeknights, this meal will take you just 25 minutes to put together!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Use chives in the herb dressing, then save the rest of the chives for Tuesday’s meal to make good use of a bundle of fresh herbs.

Diet Variation:

  • There’s no gluten in this salad, so gluten-free cooks will make the same as the original version.
  • For a paleo variation, you’ll use tahini instead of yogurt, and trade in the corn for a sprinkle of pepitas.
  • Vegetarians will add toasted bread cubes and pistachios to fill out their meal without the deli meat.


Southwestern Corn, Sweet Potato, and White Bean Chowder with Bacon

Creamy and comforting, yet chock-full of summer produce, this recipe for corn chowder is unlike any you’ve made before. Zucchini, sweet potatoes, and corn add body and nutrition, while a Southwestern spice blend and chopped bacon up the flavor. This chowder goes from a side to a main course when you add white beans for additional heartiness. You’ll finish off the dish with a sprinkling of cheese and crumbled tortilla chips for a well-balanced, healthy chowder that tastes decadent and delicious — and will make it on the table in just 40 minutes!

Meal Planning Smarts:

Diet Variation:

  • This is another naturally gluten-free meal.
  • An abbreviated ingredients list will make this meal paleo; you’ll add carrots and tahini and increase the amount of bacon to make up for what you skip.
  • Vegetarians will simply skip the bacon.

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Berbere Chicken Thighs with Jollof Rice and Salad

Berbere is a spicy, fragrant Ethiopian spice blend that goes beautifully with roast chicken thighs. Here we pair the chicken with a simple jollof rice recipe — a baked rice dish in which the rice is mixed with obe ata, a Nigerian red pepper and tomato sauce flavored with onion, garlic, and fresh ginger along with dried spices. The rich, spicy flavors of the rice and chicken are balanced by a simple mixed greens salad with cucumber in a vinaigrette. Get a head start on this meal (if you wish) by marinating chicken, making vinaigrette, chopping vegetables, and making obe ata ahead of time.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Make extra obe ata to braise meat or use as a dip; you can also freeze it for future use.
  • Leftover chicken thighs and jollof rice freeze well, although you can also mix leftover jollof rice with breadcrumbs or flour, form into patties, fry in a skillet, then serve over salad greens or with yogurt on top.

Diet Variation:

  • A simple swap of tamari instead of soy sauce is all you need to make this meal gluten-free.
  • If you’re making the paleo version of the meal, you’ll use coconut aminos and skip the sugar in the chicken marinade. You’ll also make jollof cauliflower rice instead of rice.
  • The vegetarian version of this meal is Berbere-Spiced Tempeh with the same delicious sides.


Green “Everything” Sandwich with Avocado

Don’t let these light, fresh dinner sandwiches fool you — they’re plenty filling and energizing without weighing you down! Pesto and pepper jack cheese add fantastic flavor to the vegetarian avocado, sprouts, and cucumber sandwich. They’re paired with a side of BBQ crispy chickpeas, which are baked in the oven and tossed with a savory and lightly sweet homemade barbecue seasoning. This meal is the epitome of summer: quick, easy, delicious, and full of seasonal produce. It’s an ideal patio meal while you’re watching the fireflies on a breezy June evening.

Meal Planning Smarts:

Diet Variation:

  • Use gluten-free bread in the gluten-free version of this meal.
  • The paleo version of this meal is Pesto Avocado Boats with Smoked Salmon and Sprouts, which is served with a tomato cucumber salad.
  • No changes are needed for the vegetarian version.

All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps. Join our weekly meal plan service to get the grocery list, dinner steps, and more cooking tips for these 4 simple dinners.

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