When it comes to feeding her family of five, the first order of business for cookbook author and blogger Laura Fuentes is meal planning. Like us, she’s a strong believer that planning makes the dinner struggle a whole lot easier, and it’s her key to getting wholesome meals on the table for her family. In fact, Laura is so passionate about meal planing that 10 years ago she founded MOMables, a meal planning service that aims to ease the dinner struggle with fresh meal ideas for busy families.
Laura is all about keeping mealtime simple, getting plenty of veggies on the table, and repurposing leftovers into new meals. Here, Laura shares a week’s meal plan with us, and tells us how she does it.
A Week of Family-Friendly Summer Dinners
These five summer-inspired dinners are fresh, delicious, and family-approved! Whether you choose to cook these in the kitchen or fire up the grill to cook some of the ingredients, these simple recipes give you more time for what really matters: family, daytime trips, and pool time.
Monday: Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Fresh avocado, cilantro, grilled chicken: Are you thinking what I’m thinking? This is the type of recipe you’re going to want to make often. Serve it with cauliflower rice or regular rice, and save any leftovers for salads (like Thursday night’s caprese salad!). Also, if you’re of age, this dish pairs very nicely with a margarita!
Get the recipe: Cilantro Lime Chicken with Avocado Salsa
Tuesday: Curried Cauliflower Tacos
If thinking about tacos brings up meat-stuffed tortillas that are hard to resist, I’m here to tell you that these flavorful and incredibly easy-to-make veggie-filled tacos are both filling and worthy of a spot on your Taco Tuesday menu.
Get the recipe: Curried Cauliflower Tacos
Wednesday: Salmon Bowls with Spicy Mayo
There’s so much to say about this recipe, but I’ll keep it simple: Salmon is delicious. And while we all intend to eat more of it, we rarely come around to it in a way that both kids and adults will like. But in this recipe adults can double up on the spicy sauce and kids can leave it out. It’s a win-win recipe for salmon that’s perfectly flaky and never dry.
Get the recipe: Salmon Bowls with Spicy Mayo
Thursday: Chicken Caprese Salads
Hearty dinner salads are a must in my summer meal plan. I love this recipe because it’s easy to make ahead by using up leftover chicken, stirring together the vinaigrette ahead of time, and keeping the salad in the fridge until the last minute, where all you have to do is dice up the avocado and dress it up.
This is also the perfect meal to turn into a salad bar where kids can build their own bowls and learn to love the fresh veggies available during the summer.
Get the recipe: Chicken Caprese Salads
Friday: Bell Pepper Nachos
End the week with a family movie night and enjoy a veggie-forward take on the classic bar snack. Whether you use ground beef, turkey, or black beans to load up your nachos, this is a super-simple recipe that will satisfy your craving for a loaded chip. And don’t forget the toppings! The possibilities are endless.
Get the recipe: Bell Pepper Nachos
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Meal planning isn’t always easy — especially if you’re just getting started. But we’re firm believers that it’s the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. We want to help you find inspiration and ease some of the pain points that come with getting dinner on the table night after night, whether you’re cooking one or a family of four or five. Every week we share a new meal plan solution specifically customized for you from reader requests or from a guest contributor, for Next Week’s Meal Plan!