After work, it’s always much easier to head inside a Chipotle Mexican Grill and grab a burrito bowl or head to Whole Foods and fill up a plastic container with salad, veggies and a protein. But I know for me, sometimes at the end of the meal, I’m still unsatisfied. There’s nothing better than a home-cooked meal. And while it’s sometimes a pain to be in the kitchen when the weather gets warmer, we’ve simplified things for you.
Luckily for you, you can make five amazing meals for the entire week and use most of your ingredients more than once. In this week’s meal plan, you’ll have a summer bowl every night this week, filled with veggies, grains and fish — it’ll taste delicious, keep you satisfied and cost less than what you would spend on prepared food at Whole Foods in a week. I know you like the sound of that.
For this meal plan, we’ve decided to explore a few grains that might not normally land on your dinner table, like red rice and bulgur wheat. And we’re spicing things up with a little sumac. I know bulgur wheat, red rice and sumac may sound a tad bit intimidating, but they really don’t have to be.
Bulgur is a great grain to use if you want to try something a little different. The texture, when cooked, is very similar to quinoa, so sub out quinoa in recipes, and give bulgur wheat a try. Red rice is another unusual grain, but it cooks the same as brown or white rice would. You can find red rice blends that include white and brown rice in them, so you can start out with a blend if you don't want to dive right into the unfamiliar.
If you’re not feeling the sumac, we’re fine with that too. You can just omit it in the spinach bowl and use brown rice instead of red rice in the dishes that call for it — it’s that simple. You can add your own twists and spices to any of these recipes. My motto is simply, eat what you want to eat.
The goal of this meal plan is to eat healthier where and when you can as well as save money on dinner. With these five recipes, you’ll be doing just that.
Meal plan grocery list:
If you’re making dinner for yourself, you can make one serving of red rice and one serving of bulgur wheat, and use it for multiple days — both reheat well. It’ll cut down on cooking time so you can do more of what you want to do — relax.
If you're looking for a healthy and simple alternative to quinoa, try bulgur. It's similar in taste and texture. If you're not too familiar with it, this is the perfect recipe to try it out. This recipe includes sumac, which is a Middle Eastern spice that you also might not be familiar with. It's red in color but has lemon notes throughout. You could even season your chicken with a little sumac if you're feeling bold.
Prep time: 2 minutes | Cook time: 31 minutes | Total time: 33 minutes
Red rice is a little unusual, but it works perfectly with this Asian salmon bowl recipe. I used a rice mix filled with white, brown and red rice, but feel free to use plain red rice or another rice mix for this recipe. I think red rice adds texture you don't find in any other grain. Give it a try, I know you want to...
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 38 minutes | Total time: 43 minutes
This is a super-simple recipe that can land on your table in under 35 minutes. You can use any white fish at the market. Cod and halibut work well for this recipe. Sear it on the stovetop, and serve it with a simple bean salad and bulgur. For this recipe I use watercress, but micrograins or raw baby spinach (if you have any left over) work as well. Take the ingredients you have on hand, and make your perfect Alaskan cod bowl.
Prep time: 5 minutes | Cook time: 29 minutes | Total time: 34 minutes
This recipe requires no grain at all, and you'll have dinner in your hands in 10 minutes tops. Season your chicken with salt, pepper and lemon zest, throw it on the grill, and assemble your salad. It's that easy. For this recipe I season my greens with salt, pepper and a little drizzle of olive oil and balsamic vinegar. A lemon vinaigrette would also work really well for this dish. Your options are endless.
Prep time: 2 minutes | Cook time: 8 minutes | Total time: 10 minutes
For this recipe I went to the market and picked out my favorite summer veggies: radishes, asparagus and peas. You can do the same; make a batch of red rice (or bulgur or quinoa), and serve it with your favorite blanched veggies. You can customize this recipe any way you want. This is a super-healthy bowl that's filled with ingredients you want to eat.
Serves: 3 – 4
Prep time: 2 minutes | Cook time: 30 minutes | Total time: 32 minutes
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