Next Week's Meal Plan

A Week of Must-Make Summer Dinners from Tara O’Brady

updated Jun 21, 2022
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: Tara O'Brady

You might know Tara O’Brady from her internet-famous chocolate chip cookies, or as an OG blogger, food writer, and award-winning cookbook author. It turns out that just like us (and maybe you, too!), she has limited restraint when it comes to shopping her farmers market. Right now vibrant summer produce is the driver behind Tara’s meal plans, and boy does she have a knack for transforming it all into totally crave-worthy everyday dinners.

Here, she walks us through turning a farmers market haul into a vegetable-forward meal plan that makes the most of summer’s bounty.

Credit: Stephanie Noritz

Tara O’Brady’s Summer Farmers Market Meal Plan

Every week I come home from the farmers market or farm stands with my bags laden with produce, because every week my enthusiasm gets the better of me. The fruits and vegetables are too beautiful to pass by, and I wanted to come up with a produce-forward week of meals that truly takes full advantage of these gifts of the season. Keep things vegetarian, or couple up these recipes with your grilled protein of choice.

Credit: Tara O'Brady

Monday: Zucchini Falafel with Green Sauce

At some point in summer, it feels like everyone goes through a glorious (but sometimes overwhelming) glut of zucchini. I present to you this unexpected twist on classic falafel, with jadeite strands of summer squash in the batter for a delicate falafel that’s fantastic straight from the fryer and cooled with a lush green sauce; swaddled in pita with vegetables you have on hand for company; or straight from the fridge the next day, paired with pickled peppers.

Get the recipe: Zucchini Falafel with Green Sauce

Credit: Tara O'Brady

Tuesday: Barbecue Braised Tomatoes with Chickpeas and Chèvre

This dish is largely hands-off, for a remarkable reward. It is low-and-slow, easy cooking that only asks you to peek in once in a while. Pull together a garlic oil as tomatoes roast on a grill, then the two meet up in the tomato pan and chickpeas join the party. Leave everything alone to get acquainted, finally introduce some cheese at the end, and it’s dinner.

Get the recipe: Barbecue Braised Tomatoes with Chickpeas and Chèvre

Credit: Tara O'Brady

Wednesday: Seared Tofu with Two Sauces

I invariably find greens languishing in my fridge because while I would happily eat them at every meal, not everyone in my family feels the same way. Enter: condiments. This recipe employs not one but two sauces to transform greens and tofu into a spectacular meal that will have everyone asking for seconds.

Get the recipe: Seared Tofu with Two Sauces

Credit: Tara O'Brady

Thursday: Charred, Cheesy Corn Bake

This casserole does triple duty. It can be served alongside a main; as a hearty anchor to a buffet situation alongside lighter salads; or, go all in and present it as a dip for movie night. Whatever your plan, it uses five-ish ears of summer-sweet corn in the most delicious way. Also, corn chips as a topping need more attention.

Get the recipe: Charred, Cheesy Corn Bake

Credit: Tara O'Brady

Friday: Roasted Beet and Tomato Panzanella with Halloumi

While beets and tomatoes are in the title, this panzanella welcomes almost whatever looks tempting from the farm stand or market. Ribbons of raw summer squash would add supple texture; roasted fennel brings sweetness; slide some fava beans in if they happen to be around. Everything is tied together in the zippiest of dressings, with salty, bouncy seared halloumi and rustic croutons to round it all out. And as a bonus, the components can be made ahead and assembled whenever hunger strikes.

Get the recipe: Roasted Beet and Tomato Panzanella with Halloumi

Thanks so much, Tara! Check out Tara’s cookbook, Seven Spoons, and be sure to follow her on the web and Instagram for more delicious recipes.

New to meal planning? Start here.

Click below to get more tips, insights, and ideas from our Meal Plan Club crew and readers like you.

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!