four food photos: chicken piccata, chicken lettuce wraps, brat with potatoes and salad, shrimp salad
Mindful Eating

Summer Meal Planning

Not only do I hear a lot from people that they struggle with meal planning. But I also get asked quite often how I meal plan.

It can be really easy to fall in a rut of eating the same things week in and week out. That has surely happened to us in the Burken household.

Making meal planning really easy for you. Four weeks worth of meal plan recipes and ideas for you to use during the summer. Don't get stuck in a meal planning rut any longer. #easymealplans #mealplanning #summerdinnerrecipes #easydinnerideas #healthydinnerrecipes #healthydinnerideas

Ever since I began my intuitive eating journey 5+ years ago, I’ve found it a lot less time consuming to meal plan and grocery shop.

I don’t think about calories or trying to completely revamp a recipe I really want to use because it’s too many points. Instead, I just choose recipes that look really good. Or recipes on Pinterest I’ve wanted to try for awhile.

So, to make your life a whole lot easier, I’m sharing four weeks worth of dinner recipes that will:

  • switch things up from your tried and true (or maybe tired and true)
  • get you testing out new recipes
  • see how easy it is to meal plan

The following recipes are one’s we’ve tested out this past month and have enjoyed. It’s all dinner recipes, but between me and Burken, we’ve typically had left overs for lunch as well.

Month long meal planning recipes

Week 1:

Monday – Burgers with asparagus and fries

white plate with a burger, French fries and asparagus

One of our favorite quick weeknight meals is to make burgers and fries.

Burgers – We absolutely love the frozen Costco burgers because they can be thrown on the grill frozen. They turn out perfectly every time.

Asparagus – break off the rough ends. Place a large piece of aluminum foil on the counter and lay the asparagus out in an even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Cover with another piece of aluminum foil. Put on the grill with the burgers and grill for about 15 minutes. Top with grated parmesan cheese.

Tuesday – pasta bolognese with broccoli and garlic bread

Bolognese Recipe – I ended up making this recipe from Half Baked Harvest in the pressure cooker, but I’m sure it would be just as great made in the slow cooker all day.

Broccoli – I love buying the steam-in-bag broccoli. It’s precut, prewashed, real easy.

Garlic bread – my fave way to make frozen garlic bread is in the air fryer. Just 5-ish minutes at 400°F and no need to turn your oven on.

Wednesday – tacos with Mexican cauliflower and chips

Tacos – your very basic ground turkey or beef with a packet of taco seasoning (easy peasy).

Mexican cauliflower – this was a really great recipe! Instead of roasting forever in the oven, I pulled out the air fryer and cut the time more than in half. Mix up the cauliflower like the recipe calls for and then cook in the air fryer at 400°F for about 15 minutes, tossing halfway through.

Thursday – soba noodles with chicken and broccoli

Soba noodle recipe – I really liked the sauce on this recipe and thought it was quite tasty.

Chicken – I included chicken in the above recipe for some protein. Cut into small cubes and sautéed in a pan on medium-high heat until cooked through. Then tossed into the soba noodle mixture.

Friday – chicken piccata with lemon parmesan broccoli

Chicken lemon piccata with roasted broccoli on a white plate

Chicken piccata recipe – this recipe was a huge hit in our house. Including with our 16 month old. She even ate the capers! It makes a lot, so it was perfect for left overs.

Lemon parmesan broccoli – two bags of steam-in-bag broccoli tossed in about 2 Tbsp. of oil. Dump into the air fryer (do you see a theme here?) and cook at 400°F for roughly 15 minutes. Toss the broccoli halfway through. When the broccoli is cooked, squeeze fresh lemon juice over the top, salt and pepper to season and then a hefty sprinkle of grated parmesan cheese. Toss to coat.

Week 2

Monday – beef stir fry with rice

Stir fry recipe – the sauce on this was soo good! I swapped out the tofu for beef and used two frozen bags of stir fry veggies.

Beef – I love to use fajita beef that we get from our grocery store. It’s already cut super thin and in little strips, making it perfect for stir fries. To make this a beef stir fry that’s similar to what you might get at a Chinese restaurant, there’s one additional step I like to take. Put about 2 Tbsp. of corn starch in a large Ziploc bag. Season with season salt (roughly 2 tsp.). Then toss in the beef, close the top and shake to coat.

Rice – keep this super simple with brown or white rice. Even easier? Buy the Uncle Ben’s (pretty sure they’re still calling it that) ready rice that steams right in the bag.

Tuesday – fish tacos with corn and chips

Fish taco recipe – Okay, so this one has been on my weekly list for a while, but I actually haven’t made it yet. It looks super good and really easy, so I’ll update when we actually make this one.

Pickled veggie recipe – I have pickled my veggies to go on these tacos and they’re bright pink now (radishes). So I should probably make sure the tacos are finally made.

Corn – keeping things super simple here too. Either steam-in-bag frozen corn, or rinsed canned corn warmed in the microwave.

Chips – we’ve been loving the new spicy queso chips from Tostitos.

Wednesday – turkey meatballs with cornbread pudding and stir fry veggies

four turkey meatballs with a slice of cornbread pudding and steamed potatoes and veggies on a black plate

Turkey meatballs – I cannot for the life of me remember where I picked up this recipe, but it is seriously my go-to when it comes to meatballs.

  • 1 lb. ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder and onion powder
  • Mix all of the above ingredients together and form into balls. Place on a greased baking sheet.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F and bake for 6 minutes “per side”. If making in the air fryer, place the meatballs with some space in-between. Air fry for 5 minutes at 400°F.

Cornbread pudding recipe – something I make almost on repeat, it’s that good! My mom introduced me to this recipe right after we had Kennedy, and now neither one of us can get enough of it.

Stir fry veggies – by now you know that I prefer the steam-in-bag frozen veggies for ease of use.

Thursday – strawberry chicken with avocado farro salad

farro salad sitting under a grilled piece of chicken on a pink plate

Strawberry chicken with farro salad recipe – this was a recipe I created for a meal plan back in 2018. It still is soo good! I also made it two years ago for a work event and everyone was raving about the recipe.

I think I forgot to include the avocado in the recipe itself, so don’t forget to add it if you want it.

Friday – blackberry shrimp salad

large bowl of salad with grilled shrimp on top, topped with a blackberry dressing

Blackberry shrimp salad recipe – OMG to this one! Another recipe I made back in 2018 for the meal plan I referenced above.

This grilled shrimp salad with easy homemade blackberry dressing is like summer in a bowl. A salad I could definitely eat on repeat.

Week 3

Monday – brats with potatoes and salad

Brats – Another super simple meal that we make a lot in the summer. Just grill your favorite brats (we like Johnsonville).

Potatoes – I recently bought these Simply Potatoes and they were incredible! It’s a tray with baby potatoes that you steam in the microwave. Toss with a little butter or oil and the provided seasoning packet, and you’re ready!

Salad – this was a bag Caesar salad. I love those pre-packaged salads when I just need something really quick to throw together to get a veggie on the plate.

Tuesday – BLT with watermelon, mint and feta salad

BLT – pretty self explanatory here. Add some avo if you want to take it up a notch.

Watermelon, mint and feta salad recipe – this was so refreshing for summer! Such a great easy salad to toss together and serve with literally any meal during the summer.

Wednesday – jerk chicken thighs with pineapple, tomato, pepper and rice

Jerk chicken thighs – okay, I’ll be honest, I had the best of intentions of using the jerk marinade from this recipe, but things were super crazy the day we made this. So instead, I opted for some jerk seasoning and grilled the chicken thighs on their own. You’ll also see that this recipe was for shrimp, but I didn’t want to skewer, so chicken thighs it was.

Pineapple, pepper and tomato – OMG, does this take the whole dish up a notch! All I did was cut the pineapple and pepper into small pieces. Then halved the tomatoes. In a sauté pan over medium high heat, add 2-ish Tbsp. olive oil and add the peppers and pineapple. Sauté until almost soft. Then add the tomatoes. Sprinkle with salt.

Rice – you know the deal here.

Thursday – gazpacho with cucumber avocado sandwich

white bowl with gazpacho and a cucumber avocado sandwich sitting next to it.

Recipe – another recipe I developed. I may be the only one who appreciates gazpacho in our family, but I think it’s so perfect for a summer dish.

Plus when it’s paired with such a tasty, cool sandwich, how can you go wrong on a hot summer day?

Friday – tacos with Mexican street corn and chips

Tacos – can you tell we like tacos in our house? They’re just some of the simplest meals to make, and Kennedy seems to enjoy them as well.

Mexican street corn recipe – I’ve made this as a dip countless times, and it always goes over sooo well. Much easier than making it as the corn on the cob version, but totally up to you since it is summer.

Week 4

Monday – pulled pork tacos with pineapple salsa

Recipe – If we’re going to talk summer on a plate, this is it! The pork can be made on the grill or in the pressure cooker. But the salsa is truly where it’s at.

I could honestly just eat the salsa in a bowl as a whole meal by itself. It’s also great taking the leftover pork and salsa and using it to top a salad.

Tuesday – breakfast for dinner

Pancakes/waffle recipe – making breakfast for dinner always takes me back to my childhood. Any time my dad was gone my mom would make pancakes or oatmeal with eggs for dinner. Kennedy loves it too!

Other sides – bacon, turkey sausage, ham, scrambled eggs, hashbrowns, breakfast potatoes, fruit

Wednesday – chicken lettuce wraps

three chicken lettuce wraps on a black plate

Recipe – if you were a fan of P.F. Chang’s chicken lettuce wraps, then you’re going to love this homemade version.

Thursday – orange chicken with stir fry veggies and rice

Orange chicken – while you can definitely make your own orange chicken, I went the super easy route and bought a bag of pre-made orange chicken from the frozen section in our grocery store. Sometimes you just need those really quick meals.

Stir fry veggies – since this bag of orange chicken didn’t come with any veggies, I added a bag of frozen stir fry veggies.

Rice – you know what to do.

Friday – “homemade” pizza

pepperoni and sausage pizza on a black plate

Crust – we love “homemade” pizza in our house. One of our favorite pre-made crusts is Boboli. The original crust is probably our favorite.

Sauce – you always have to make sure you have plenty of sauce on your crust. I’ve typically been getting organic pizza sauces because they’re so much richer in flavor.

Toppings – I tend to stick to the tried and true in our house. Turkey sausage crumbles and turkey pepperoni. Then top with your favorite shredded cheese.

Let’s Eat!

I hope this list of monthly meal ideas was helpful! It’s something I’m thinking about doing more often on the blog, so I would love to know in the comments if you’d like to see these coming!

Now, let’s go eat!


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