Y'all, July is heating up to a swelter in Georgia right now following a rain-filled June. After a weekend of cooking in the heat, I'm saying no more and planning a week of low-cook meals. There will be no turning on the oven and absolutely no grilling this week.
The key to successfully avoiding the stove this week is grabbing some precooked proteins at the grocery store (you could easily avoid the extra expense by doing a little meal prep over the weekend with the air conditioning cranked to 11). Here's what we eat when it's too damn hot to eat.
Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan
Planning my weekly meals is a habit I enjoy. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I thought it'd be useful to share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.
New to meal planning? Start here.
Monday: Tomato Chickpea Salad
We have been loving this meatless Monday staple. For the kids, we'll serve this in whole-wheat pita pockets with plain greek yogurt for dipping. Sheela's recipe calls for "toasting" the chickpeas, which can be skipped entirely if you want a truly no-cook dinner.
Tuesday: Chicken and Veggie Pesto Salad
Here's where a rotisserie chicken and steam-in-bag green beans come in handy. Those two shortcuts will help me pull off this zucchini noodle salad without actually doing any cooking. My 5-year-old will turn the zucchini into noodles for me with the help of a peeler.
Wednesday: Smoked Turkey Sandwich for a Crowd
I have very fond memories of my grandmother making this boule-style sandwich every summer to take to the lake. This recipe will make enough sandwiches for dinner and leave me with leftovers to pack for day-camp lunch. Potato chips are an acceptable summer side dish, right?
Thursday: Make-Ahead Veggie Chopped Salad
The dressing in this recipe is the secret sauce that can bring any — and I mean any — vegetables together. I'll be swapping canned black-eyed peas for the chickpeas and adding some sugar snap peas and raw corn kernels that need to be used up because I can't be motivated to boil.
Yes, there are tomatoes in nearly every single dinner this week, but can you blame me? I just want my fill of juicy ripe tomatoes before summer ends. My neighbor brought over six giant heirlooms from her backyard haul this weekend and I've been thinking about BLTs ever since. I don't mind heating the stove for bacon, but if you need to beat the heat, you can totally microwave the bacon instead!