5 Recipes to Break the Dinner Rut

Looking for a way to break out of the dinner rut? This week’s meals are packed with robust flavors and fresh techniques. Try out Hawaiian Pork Burgers and Jerk Chicken to tingle your taste buds.

This week, 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!

The dog days of summer are in full effect. I don’t know about you, but for some reason, this time of the year finds me in a very rote period of cooking. The same meals are made and served over and over again: It’s like Groundhog Day.

When it comes to keeping repetitive meals to a minimum, meal plans will always be your BFF. They open your eyes to recipes you may never have thought of before. For this week’s plan, the grill is going to earn its keep as most of our meals will be taken outside.

When it comes to planning for meals that break your normal dinner routine, it’s all about picking up that ingredient you’ve always wanted to try. Step outside of your comfort zone by introducing a new vegetable, fruit, or grain to your family this week. Even preparations can liven things up—for example, our gazpacho later on in the week.

One last thing: Looking for dinner ideas? You’re in the right spot! We have delicious meal plans to suit every taste and lifestyle—Healthy Eating, Family Favorites, and Vegetarian just to name a few. These one-month plans are $6.95 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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Hot Dog with Pineapple Bacon Relish

New Yorkers have a love affair with hot dogs. When it comes to a loaded frank, though, I would’ve never thought of pineapple and bacon as toppings. This is one of those times where stepping outside of my comfort zone worked out deliciously in my favor. Don’t confine these sweet and salty bad boys to a regular hot dog bun, a pretzel roll is the way to go if you can find them. Next best option? Hawaiian sweet roll buns!

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Authentic Pad Thai Recipe serve the pad Thai

Noodles are soaked in cold water? I can totally get with that. The entire meal cooks in 10 minutes? Yep. I’m down for all of that, too. If I have to fire up the stove, I want it on and off as soon as possible. The seafood section at the store often has cooked, peeled, and deveined shrimp? Yep. They sure do. Use it to your advantage and you may find you’re more inspired to create more unique dinners.

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Hawaiian Pork Burger

I’m telling you, I’m on a mission to make pork burgers a thing. Your crew will praise this sweet and savory island-inspired version. If you’re grill-less, you can sear these bad boys in your cast iron skillet or griddle. Of course, we want to keep the temps in the house down, so outdoor grilling (with all of its smoky flavor) is optimal. Plain potato chips are all I need to serve alongside these flavor-packed burgers.

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Gazpacho Soup Recipe with Avocado

Chilled soups that double as a salad are underrated. If you want to combat routine and hot weather temps, simultaneously, a cold dish is ideal. Even more ideal is a cold dish that’s packed with pungent flavors like onions and poblano peppers. Don’t assume that this dish isn’t filling; it’s quite the contrary, in fact. I’m never left hungry after finishing a bowl. Throw a couple of pieces of bread on the grill and toast them up to serve alongside your bowls of gazpacho.

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Jerk Chicken

How often do you have Jamaican food? If you’re like most people, it only happens on vacation. Well, this year’s vacation plans seem to go as far as the backyard. That’s okay, though—we can make the most of it by grilling a taste of the tropics. Serve jerk chicken with creamy coleslaw and maybe a few glasses of Planter’s Punch to tie it all together.

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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 Recipes to Break the Dinner Rut

  1. MarieD

    I love all of Marta’s recommendations. She is awesome! Thank you for the great ideas. It has helped to keep our quarantine interesting and my family looking forward to their meals.

  2. Dolores