Please welcome Katie Workman for this month's meal plans! Katie is a mother of two hungry boys and a meal planning wizard, so much so that it led to the creation of her blog The Mom 100 and a cookbook by the same name.
The arrival of August elicits mixed emotions in me. On the one hand, it is the beginning of the last month of summer -- the moment where we all start greeting each other with phrases like, “Where did the summer go?” (Please don't say that to me just yet.)
On the other hand, this is the month when some of the best produce of the year fills the markets. Simply prepared meals almost seem to make themselves if you let the vegetables and fruits do the talking.
So I try to keep the time in the kitchen short, the level of ease high, the ingredients to a minimum, and the flavors clean.
A number of these recipes call for marinating, so read through the recipes and plan for that. The good news? When you get home, the food can go right onto the grill (or into the oven or a pan), and dinner is that much closer!
Many of us default to boneless skinless chicken breasts when it comes to figuring out dinner on the grill, but we often end up with dry meat. A flavorful and simple-to-make marinade with lime juice ensures that this chicken ends up moist and tender. Switch out the cilantro for another herb if it’s not your thing. To serve alongside, try this Sesame-Honey Quinoa and Carrot Salad with Sliced Avocado (from my site The Mom 100).
My family thinks a good stir fry knows no season, and this one is vegetarian, which is a nice chance of pace if you are a meat-eating family (make sure to use vegetable broth). Mushrooms, sugar snap or snow peas, and scallions get glazed with a slight sweet, slightly spicy sauce featuring ginger, garlic, chili, and sesame. You can change up the vegetables, depending on what looked good at the market that day, or what is in the fridge. Serve this over fluffy rice.
The brining process couldn’t be easier, and it results in pork chops that are truly tender – reassuring to those of us who thinking that cooking pork on the grill might result in tough or dry chops. The meat is dusted with a super easy 4-ingredient rub right before it hits the flames for extra flavor. Serve with Grilled Mexican Street Corn.
We are huge fish taco fans in our house, and this recipe takes all of those favorite flavors and translates them into that most popular of meal formats – the bowl! (Don’t worry – it comes with tortilla chips on the side for scooping). Sautéed fish is the star, though if you are inclined to grill that fish, you will be in for another smoky level of flavor – use a fish grilling rack so you don’t lose any of the fish to the fire.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
Ending the week with a steak dinner always makes it feel like your ending on a high note. Slicing it thinly after letting it rest ensures that it’s wonderfully tender, and serve it with mushrooms for a complete meal. If the grill isn’t available to you, the broiler will work, too. Serve this with Mediterranean Tomato Wheat Berry Salad with Fresh Herbs (from my site The Mom 100).
Bonus! Make this Blueberry cake for Friday night dessert or a weekend baking project!