a really simple meal plan v.2
to ease the transition into fall
Ask and you shall receive. Here is a really delicious, simple meal plan for you to use in the busy weeks ahead as we transition from loosey goosey summer days to a more structured fall season.
I want to make this a really awesome resource for you, so I’ve also included a PDF grocery list! Organized by grocery aisle! That’s how much I love you. It is detailed. But check the menu — if your family eats a lot of meat, buy more meat! Customize it to fit your crew.
Make a double batch of chicken so that you have leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch and day #3 dinner. Chop all leftover chicken into bite-sized pieces. Reserve 1 1/2 cups chopped chicken for Dinner #3, and the rest can be used for lunch tomorrow.
Lunch #1: Strawberry, Chicken & Feta Salad
These are directions for how to make ONE salad, so double/triple as necessary for your crew.
Toss 2 cups baby kale into a large bowl and season the greens with salt and pepper. Add 1 cup chopped (warmed!) chicken, 1/2 cup leftover strawberry salsa (be sure to drain off any liquid), 1/4 cup crumbled feta, and 2 tablespoons chopped nuts (whatever you have in the pantry, toasted almonds, cashews or pepitas are my go-tos because of their nutritional density).
For the dressing, you’re just going to toss in the juice of 1/2 lemon and 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil. Add more as needed.
Note: I always like to use a fork and chef’s knife to chop my salads into tiny bits, do your thing!
Dinner #2: Sunshine Pasta
You can prep your bowl of tomatoes the night before, keep it in the refrigerator overnight, then set it in the sun before you leave for work / whatever the next day. When you get home, just boil pasta and toss it all together!
Lunch #2: Leftover Sunshine Pasta!
Honestly, it’s freakishly good cold. If you want to reheat it, throw it in a skillet with a splash of water and reheat over medium heat.
Dinner #3: Chicken Flautas & Roasted Corn Salad
Use the reserved leftover chicken from dinner #1 to make the flautas. Use two forks to shred it really finely. Another quicker option is to just make tacos with the chicken, corn salad, and some cheese!
Instead of Mexican cheese, you’re going to use white Cheddar cheese so that you can use the other half in the farrotto on day 4.
Lunch #3: Leftover Flautas & Roasted Corn Salad OR Summer Salad
To crisp the flautas back up, throw them in a 400°F oven for 7 to 10 minutes.
If you don’t have any leftover flautas, make a summer salad.
Salad (one portion): 2 cups baby kale, 1 cup leftover corn salad, 4 ounces thinly sliced deli turkey, 2 tablespoons crumbled feta, and 2 tablespoons chopped nuts. Add some fresh herbs like basil or cilantro if you have them. Toss with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and extra-virgin olive oil.
Dinner #4: Roasted Asparagus Farrotto
Swap in whatever looks great at the farmer’s market in place of the asparagus! Eggplant, cherry tomatoes, zucchini, squash…
Add some seared shrimp: Pat 1 to 2 pounds (depending on how many people you’re feeding) of large peeled, deveined shrimp dry, then season with salt, pepper, and Greek seasoning. Warm 2 tablespoons EVOO in your largest skillet over medium-high heat for several minutes. Cook the shrimp for 1 to 2 minutes per side, or until golden-brown all over.
Lunch #4: Leftover Farrotto
This is one of those “the leftovers are even better than the first day!” recipes.
I am deeply obsessed with this recipe. I’ve made this salad at least 20 times this summer.
The recipe for marinade/dressing is fantastic, but I give you full permission to just purchase a sesame-ginger dressing and use that instead. I’m especially obsessed with this dressing which I used to be able to get at Costco but can no longer find, and I also love Makoto sesame-ginger dressing, which is available at most of the major grocers.
Lunch #5: Leftovers!
You have a week of leftovers in the fridge! Get creative! Make a big salad! Or tacos! Or a quesadilla! Or a random ass plate of things that don’t really go together but will be delicious anyway! If you come up with an awesome leftovers creation, let us know in the comments!
Are you into these weekly meal plans? Should I make them a more regular feature? Let me know if you use them or what would make them even more helpful!