Our four recipes in this week’s meal plan feature delicious summer produce in fresh and exciting ways!
When we think of how seasons affect us, the first thing that comes to mind is usually weather. Of course rain, snow, wind, and heat directly influence how we live our daily lives, but they also indirectly influence our diets through what is available.
Seeing “seasonal” items on any menu from Starbucks to restaurants may have you thinking that seasonal ingredients are mostly a marketing tactic. However, eating fruits and veggies in their peak season can actually make a difference. We encourage people to utilize seasonal produce because it will have a richer flavor, more vitamins and minerals, and a lower price at the grocery store.
This week, we let the flavors and aromas of summer influence our fresh and flavorful menu. While carrots and lettuce are in season most of the year, we have added zucchini, tomatoes, cucumbers, and corn to our mid-June dinners since they are hitting their peak season right now.
Join us to enjoy innovative recipes that always keep the seasons in mind:
“I believe that what we put into our bodies is a direct reflection of what we get out of them. Homemade meals with fresh, seasonal ingredients help me retain energy and live an overall healthier lifestyle.“
— Emily B. (Member since Dec 2013)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Smarts
- Whether you use white, brown, or cauliflower rice, save time by making one big batch and dividing it between two recipes throughout the week.
- We make sure your bundle of green onions won’t go bad because you’ll be using the fresh herb in several meals this week!
- Since our Sriracha ramen salad keeps well in the fridge, you can make it ahead of time (add the second half of the marinade in just before serving) or make extra for lunch leftovers.
- It’s easy to make our green enchilada sauce up to 5 days beforehand. You can even assemble your enchiladas up to a day ahead so you can just slide them into the oven when you’re ready to bake.
- For a quick sandwich, chop up leftover chicken cutlets, top with cheese, and pop under the broiler until melted.
- Fusion burritos are excitingly delicious, so fill a tortilla with leftover beef bulgogi, rice, and lettuce for a Korean burrito!
On the Menu
Although it has been almost 4 years since this recipe first entered the Cook Smarts scene, it has remained a favorite for many of our community members. The star of this dish is the marinade that artfully mixes brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, toasted sesame oil, miso paste, and Sriracha. Meanwhile, the fresh and bright flavors of green beans, carrots, green onions, and lime juice add that extra special flare of summer.
Our vegetarian recipe replaces the chicken with firm tofu for a perfect blend of flavors. The gluten-free version uses Tamari instead of soy sauce and swaps out traditional ramen noodles for a gluten-free noodle like soba or rice spaghetti. Our Paleo recipe enhances this meal’s freshness by substituting in spiralized zucchini noodles and coconut aminos.
This quick and easy dinner recipe is packed with fresh summer flavors and produce. The main course pairs our divine herb butter with blackened tomatoes over chicken cutlets. Evolving from the Narragansett tribe, our bright succotash side dish is made from fresh corn and lima beans. Once you’ve tried this meal, you’ll quickly want to add it to your list of favorite summer recipes.
Gluten-free members can keep all of the elements of our original recipe by simply substituting flour with GF flour or almond meal. Vegetarians can pack in the protein with a savory tomato herb scramble with the succotash side. Meanwhile, Paleo eaters can make a delicious zucchini sauté to eat with their chicken cutlets.
Enchiladas take a bit of extra time to assemble, but they make a super satisfying one-dish meal that can be made ahead or even frozen. This vegetarian recipe is rich in protein, stuffing the enchiladas with zucchini, rice, and beans and topping them with Mexican cheeses. This meal’s flavorful twist comes from homemade green enchilada sauce, roasted cumin broccoli, and yogurt served on the side.
The Paleo recipe version gives you the flavorful enchilada flare with the same green sauce over a shrimp skillet and cauliflower rice.
This BBQ platter fuses the idea of a taco bar with classic Korean staples. Adding bulgogi beef, pickled cucumbers, kimchi, and Gochujang hot sauce over a bed of rice and crisp greens builds layers of sweet, savory, and sour flavors with a deliciously subtle heat. All you have to do is set out the components and let everyone make their own sweet and savory bowl at the dinner table.
Gluten-free members can keep the recipe the same while swapping out soy sauce for Tamari. Vegetarians can enjoy the same great flavors with portobello mushroom “bulgogi” and add in some avocados for a good level of healthy fats. Those on the Paleo diet can make a few easy alterations: use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce, honey instead of sugar, and Wednesday’s leftover cauliflower rice instead of white rice with some added avocados.