5 Hearty Bowl Dinners to Beat the Summer Heat

Bring on the fresh produce and create flavorful dinner bowls for the whole family. Black Bean Burrito bowls, BLT Salad with Buttermilk Dressing, and Sesame Noodle Salad offer the versatility and ease we all crave.

This month, we welcome back Marta Rivera for more of her meal plans. Marta is a trained chef, mom of twins, Army wife, and a Simply Recipes recipe tester and developer!

Salad gets a bad rap because people automatically relate it to diets or boring restrictions, but we shouldn’t judge and we shouldn’t assume salad means a bed of green leaves.

All it takes is a bit of inspiration to tweak all of those garden greens into something you’d want to center your meals around. The simple addition of starches like noodles or rice can elevate your salads to entrée-level status. But don’t stop there! Mix in your favorite proteins like shrimp or chicken.

This week’s meals are all spins on salad—some with greens and some without. You can make them as they are, lighten them up, or fill them out. Either way, they are sure to help you beat the summer heat.

One last thing: Looking for dinner ideas? You’re in the right spot! We just launched our new paid meal plan service. We have delicious meal plans to suit every taste and lifestyle — Healthy Eating, Family Favorites, and Vegetarian just to name a few. These one-week plans are $1.95 and, with them, you get a dessert and weekend prep recipe and a shopping list. They’re beautifully designed and perfect to print and save or simply load and cook right from your computer!

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Black Bean Burrito Bowl

A vegan option that punches up a simple taco salad to more substantial fare. For those who aren’t following a vegan diet, toss in a pound of grilled shrimp and you have an added source of protein. Double your grains—I’m going with steamed brown rice tonight, and any leftovers can be served with tomorrow’s meal.

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Asian Tuna Salad

This is the unicorn of dinner! Make it in the evening, then transform it into a totally different lunch for the following day. For dinner tonight, try scooping it onto steamed brown rice that’s leftover from last night’s dinner. Tomorrow for lunch, serve it on bread and you’ll have a sandwich with a global twist.

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BLT Salad

Flip the popular BLT sandwich on its head and tackle this mid-week meal like a pro. I’m not overthinking tonight’s dinner, but I am going to gussy it up with the help of a medley of salad greens. Mixed greens with herbs are pretty easy to find these days. Look for ways to liven up even the most basic salads by tossing in a new (to you) lettuce or other green leaf.

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Sesame Noodle Salad

I’m going to top this salad with Grilled Chicken Satay with Peanut Sauce. It’s my take on a mandarin orange chicken salad. The pasta noodles replace canned chow mein noodles, and I’m tossing in mandarin orange segments to brighten up the flavors. If you’re chickened out, swap the chicken satay for thinly sliced skirt steak.

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How to Make Caprese Pasta Salad - bowl of caprese salad with pasta

This version uses one of the coolest pastas out there—orecchiette. Sure, you can hold fast to the traditional twisty noodle, but venture further down the pasta aisle and see how many different pasta shapes are available to toss into this dish. Farfalle or agnolotti are two other fun pastas to toss into this salad. Pun very much intended.

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Weekend Baking

American Flag Slab Pie

American Flag Pie will bring some of the festivities we’re accustomed to this holiday weekend. Go ahead and turn the oven on for this weekend baking project. The little bit of heat is totally worth it in my opinion. We may not be able to have the cookouts we want to, but we can still commemorate the holiday deliciously.

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Marta Rivera

Marta Rivera is trained chef with over 20 years in the culinary field and the blogger behind Sense & Edibility. She graduated from the Baltimore International Culinary College with degrees in Culinary Arts and Classical Pastries. Her cookbook is Taste and See Cooks.

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One Comment

No Image5 Hearty Bowl Dinners to Beat the Summer Heat

  1. Christina Perez

    Thank you Marta! I love these types of meals for summer! I will be trying them all. I appreciate the low cost meals you have share in previous posts. Muchas gracias!