5 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Summer Dinner Recipes

This week's meal plan is full of clever ways to squeeze the most out of every meal. Ideas on how to turn last night’s dinner into today’s breakfast, multiple uses for a tasty marinade, and ways to use up extra Tuna Patties. Efficient and delicious!

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!

Wardrobes shouldn’t be the only transitional thing in our lives. Meals and ingredients should be transitional as well, if for no other reason than it helps lessen the stress of cooking and baking.

For me, I need ingredients that transcend recipes. If an ingredient can transform itself from breakfast to dinner, or from a cocktail to dessert, it’s going to find a permanent place in my kitchen.

Staple ingredients relieve the pressure on me to “make it happen” when figuring out what to make for dinner on any given night.

This week’s recipes can go from being served with eggs in the morning, to saddling up alongside a starch and veg for dinner later that night. Think of them as a dress (or a blazer) in your wardrobe that goes from work to cocktails with friends.

Yeah! Just like that.

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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Steak salad made with thinly-sliced pan-seared flank steak on a bed of arugula and lettuce with avocado, pomegranate seeds, and other add-ins

Monday is never an inspiring day for me. If I’m not throwing cereal at my family for dinner tonight, I count it as a win. Instead of stressing over a four-course meal, I can sear this steak, set it atop peppery arugula, and drizzle it with zesty, homemade salad dressing. When morning comes around, leftover steak can be tossed into scrambled eggs and scooped into a tortilla for a steak and egg breakfast burrito. Transitional meal at its finest.

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Sous Vide Pork Chops

Meals aren’t the only thing that need to transition. Even though I work from home, I need a good amount of time to go from work mode to full-on mom/wifey mode. The switch isn’t instant, but with hands-off cooking methods like sous vide, I can get dinner started while I sip some wine and cuddle with my family as we recap our days.

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Tuna Patties

On burgers, on pasta, on their own for dinner with complimentary fixings like mashed potatoes and steamed broccoli. Tuna Patties are the dinner G.O.A.T. Extra patties (because there’s always a good reason to make extra) can be wrapped in flatbread or served with greens for tomorrow's lunch. Doubling recipes like this makes transitional meals even easier.

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Stove Top Char Siu Chicken

This recipe needs its moment. Serve it with a bowl of steamed white rice and crispy Asian coleslaw. Transitional elements go beyond the main ingredient. Can the marinade transition from chicken to seafood? What about red meat? Or tofu? In this case, the answer is a resounding YES! Transitional isn’t limited to the main course, look at the recipe as a whole and take anything from it that can be used in another recipe.

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Quinoa Greek Salad

Don’t feel like every recipe must be made with the ingredient you always see it made with. As a result, we go to our pantries, see we’re out of that particular ingredient, throw our hands up in defeat and resign ourselves to PB&Js. It doesn’t have to be so, my friend. Grains are pretty versatile, and most, if not all of them, lend themselves to bulking up most salads. Quinoa saves the day in this Greek salad recipe, but steamed rice, a shaped pasta, or Israeli couscous (with its large pearls) will fill in nicely for it.

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Weekend Baking

How To make Crepes

French Crêpes with Whipped Cream and fresh berries takes what’s normally breakfast-y and transitions it into a simple dessert. Do as the Europeans do and spread your favorite sauces like a hazelnut-chocolate spread or nut butter over them and fold in sliced bananas.

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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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No Image5 Quick, Easy, and Delicious Summer Dinner Recipes

  1. Kelly

    The tuna patties are a staple on our house and are always a hit.

  2. William

    Can’t wait to dig in, Thanks!

  3. William king

    please continue sending me more and more recipes I’ve been using some of them knew but thank you for everything that you continue to keep sending me song

  4. Rachel

    Nice! Thanks for this.