Meal Plan for July Week 4

Here's your meal plan for July Week 4! We've got Eggplant Caponata Pasta, Summer Squash Salad, Jamaican Jerk Burgers, and more!

This month, Summer Miller is back, sharing her meal plans for July. Summer is a mom, a full-time food writer, and also helps test the fabulous recipes we bring you every week at Simply Recipes.

Midway through July, my kitchen counters usually succumb to their seasonal role as garden vegetable display tables. Every available surface is covered with cucumbers, beans, onions, carrots, Kohlrabi, and tomatoes -- among others.

The cantaloupes come in faster than we can eat them, the watermelon vines have taken over half of the yard, and I spend hours every evening washing, preparing, and preserving what I can then giving away the rest.

It’s also about this time of year when I think to myself: Why do I garden? We have stores and farmers markets for this kind of thing. I don’t need to plant, weed, water, weed, pull, pick, wash, chop and cook all of this myself.

But I do. Every spring I anticipate preparing the soil, planting the seeds, and watching them grow. I love walking to my garden to get what I need rather than running to the store, because where I live the garden is actually more convenient.

I have had years where I thought, I’m not going to do it this time. I’m going to take a year off, and just put my feet up. But the next morning, I’m out there among the buzzing bees and the barn swallows, on my knees with my fingers in the dirt.

This week’s meal plan is all about making the most of that vegetable garden surplus.

  • Eggplant Caponata Pasta

    Eggplant Caponata Pasta
    Sheryl Julian

    Caponata is like a sweet and sour eggplant relish usually served on bread. In this recipe it’s used to make a vegetable packed pasta dish to fuel you through the end of your week.

  • Summer Squash Salad

    Summer Squash Salad
    Elise Bauer

    Summer squash is one of those bountiful and tender summer vegetables, but it has a short shelf life, especially when compared to winter squash. For dinner tonight, dress thinly sliced summer squash in a simple vinaigrette and pair it with a quick cooking flank steak.

  • Jamaican Jerk Burgers

    Jamaican Jerk Burger
    Elise Bauer

    Looking for a way to spice up your hamburger game? Why not try the feisty flavors of Jamaican Jerk?

  • Classic Chicken Salad

    Chicken Salad with celery and bell pepper in a serving bowl
    Elise Bauer

    If you don’t have left over chicken meat to use in this 10-minute salad, feel free to quickly poach some and dinner will still be on the table in less than 30 minutes. Serve this on its own, toss it with greens, or serve it in hoagie buns. Some fresh summer fruit on the side completes the meal!

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • Smoked Salmon Potato Leek Torta

    Smoked Salmon Potato Leek Torta
    Elise Bauer

    Leeks, potatoes, dill, and salmon are a match made in culinary heaven. This dish takes an hour and 20 minutes in the oven, but it’s Friday night. Feel free to sip on some lemonade and watch the fireflies dance in the yard while you wait.