Five Days, Five Dinners: July 14-18

July 13, 2014 | By | Comments (0)

Weeknight chaos can make putting a home-cooked meal on the table a daunting task.
Don’t fret—we’ve designed this handy weeknight meal planner to help you stress less and chill out more. By using a few key ingredients and giving new life to leftovers, you can serve a delicious meal each night no matter what.

Summer heat and high humidity attract us to light and refreshing dishes, so we’ve packed this week’s meal plan with plenty of them! To help you plan your shopping list, here’s a list of key ingredients used repeatedly throughout the week:

  • Rotisserie chicken
  • Fresh vegetables: English cucumbers, carrots, snap peas
  • Fresh herbs: cilantro, basil
  • Limes and lemons
  • Pasta

The Plan:
Monday: Pepper Gazpacho and Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwiches
Tuesday: Sesame Chicken Garden Salad
Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Tacos
Thursday: Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto
Friday: Mix ‘n’ Match Spring Pasta Toss

Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwiches; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwiches; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Pepper Gazpacho; Jennifer Davick

Pepper Gazpacho; Jennifer Davick

Monday: A classic comfort pairing—a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup—gets a fresh summer makeover. Salty, sweet, and tart Grilled Cheese & Apple Sandwiches are well-balanced by speedy Pepper Gazpacho. Save the leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch.

Sesame Chicken Garden Salad; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Sesame Chicken Garden Salad; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett Miller

Tuesday: We love the crunch from barely-cooked veggies in our Sesame Chicken Garden Salad. Fresh ingredients such as cilantro and lime juice combine with bottled Asian salad dressing and rotisserie chicken to create a versatile and flavorful dinner. On the side, serve steamed brown rice or vermicelli noodles tossed with a small amount of sesame oil, adding soy sauce and lime juice to taste.

Grilled Chicken Tacos; Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

Grilled Chicken Tacos; Photo: Beth Dreiling Hontzas; Styling: Amy Burke

Wednesday: Grilled Chicken Tacos helps you take advantage of unused ingredients from the previous night. Substitute shredded rotisserie chicken for grilled chicken breast tenders and make sure your salsa is the fresh variety, not the kind you might find in the chip aisle. On the side, serve black beans sautéed with a little chopped onion finished with lime juice, cilantro, and queso fresco (fresh Mexican cheese).

Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Thursday: Vegetable Soup with Basil Pesto is the perfect excuse to clean out your fridge. Freeze the leftovers or enjoy for lunch the next day. Basil Pesto is one recipe you’ll want to keep close—for instant flavor, spread it on pizzas, toss it with pasta or brush it over grilled or sautéed chicken, fish, or veggies.

Mix 'n' Match Spring Pasta Toss; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Mix ‘n’ Match Spring Pasta Toss; Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Caroline M. Cunningham

Friday: Get creative with our Mix ‘n’ Match Spring Pasta Toss—don’t be afraid to stray from the recipe. Use up any extra veggies you have, cook any remaining pasta from last night’s soup, and shred the last of your rotisserie chicken. Instead of using bottled Greek dressing for the sauce, mix in leftover Basil Pesto.

View this week’s menu on MyRecipes and create a shopping list with this week’s ingredients! 

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