What to cook for dinner this week:
1.) [sg_popup id="5678" event="click"]Southwest Summer Corn Chowder[/sg_popup] 2.) [sg_popup id="5681" event="click"]Skillet Cod with Blackened Corn Relish[/sg_popup] and [sg_popup id="5684" event="click"]Tomato Bacon Salad[/sg_popup] 3.) [sg_popup id="5688" event="click"]Stuffed Poblano Peppers[/sg_popup] and [sg_popup id="5690" event="click"]Watermelon Salad[/sg_popup] 4.) [sg_popup id="5694" event="click"]Paprika Chicken with Bell Peppers, & Yogurt Sauce[/sg_popup] 5.) [sg_popup id="5697" event="click"]Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Salsa and Enchilada Cream[/sg_popup] 6.) Cocktail: Watermelon Tequila Spritzers
If you’re not familiar with this blog, here’s the basic idea:
Using some of the same ingredients in multiple dishes throughout the week is the key to getting delicious, wholesome, good for you, home cooked meals on the table several nights of the week. The recipes in each 5-day meal plan include some prep-work for another meal later in the week.
Like every other meal plan on this blog, this week’s recipes are designed to make healthy, delicious, home cooked meals every night of the week much easier with each meal building on the previous night’s efforts. A little = a lot.
If you’d rather cook three meals instead of five this week…
If two or three home cooked meals is more your style this week, Days #2, # 3, and #5 – OR – #1, and #4 work well together. Please note that the grocery list at the bottom of this page is for all 5 meals.
Meal Prep, Day by Day
What’s for Dinner Tonight: [sg_popup id="5678" event="inherit"]Southwest Summer Corn Chowder[/sg_popup]
Making dinner tonight will be a double-whammy combination of cooking super-yummy Southwest Summer Corn Chowder and getting a bunch of ingredients prepped for the rest of the week at the same time.
- Enchilada Sauce: The recipe for tonight's chowder offers the option of using prepared enchilada sauce or making a batch "from scratch" - a process that only requires about 10 minutes of hands on time and produces a sauce far superior to anything you'll find in a can. Since you'll be using enchilada sauce later this week in Stuffed Poblano Peppers AND Black Bean Tostadas with Enchilada Cream, I encourage you to make a batch. It's really easy and sooooo good. To make the sauce, follow the instructions in this Enchilada Sauce Recipe.
- Roasted Poblano Peppers: Follow the Corn Chowder recipe instructions to roast a total of 14 poblano peppers. Peel and seed all the roasted peppers. Reserve 8 of the peppers for Stuffed Poblano Peppers on Day #3. Chop the remaining peppers and add ⅔ of the chopped peppers to the chowder. Reserve the remaining ⅓ of the chopped peppers for corn salsa on Day #5.
- Sweet Corn: You'll need a total of 14 ears of sweet corn for this week's meal plan. Shuck all the corn and slice the kernels off the cob. Follow the instructions in the recipe for Corn Chowder to sauté all the corn kernels to "blacken" it. Reserve 3 cups of kernels for the corn relish on Day #2 and 3 cups for corn salsa on Day #5. Use the remaining corn for tonight's chowder.
- Potatoes: Optional - if you want to serve Smashed Potatoes with Paprika Chicken on Day #4, cook a double batch of potatoes (48 oz total) in a large pan of boiling water instead of cooking the potatoes for tonight's chowder in the broth. Add 1 tablespoon of salt and the potatoes to a pan of cold water and set it over high heat. Reduce heat to medium once it begins to boil and cook the potatoes them until they are about 75% of the way done. You should be able to poke a fork into them, but will be able to tell that they aren't quite soft enough to eat. Drain the potatoes and add half to the chowder to allow to cook completely. Reserve the other half of the partially cooked potatoes in an airtight container in your refrigerator for Smashed Potatoes.
- Bacon: Follow the Corn Chowder recipe instruction to cook a total of 16 oz of bacon. Use 12 oz of the bacon in the chowder and reserve the remaining 4 oz for Fresh Tomato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette on Day #2. Either reserve 1 tablespoon of rendered bacon fat in the refrigerator to make the Bacon Vinaigrette on Day #2, or just go ahead and make the Vinaigrette now, storing it in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
To get an even bigger jump on the week:
- Follow this recipe to get a batch of black beans going in the slow cooker. Or, cook them in the Instant Pot. Once tender, scoop the beans along with some of their cooking liquid into an air-tight container and reserve in the refrigerator. You'll use them in Stuffed Poblano Peppers on Day #3, and in Black Bean Tostadas on Day #5. (You can also use canned black beans for both of these recipes. But, slow cooker black beans are much tastier and only take about 5 minutes of hands on work.)
What’s for Dinner Tonight: [sg_popup id="5681" event="click"]Skillet Cod with Blackened Corn Relish[/sg_popup] and [sg_popup id="5684" event="click"]Fresh Tomato Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette[/sg_popup]
How much do I love tonight's meal? If you could see me right now, you'd see me spreading my arms as wide as I can and yelling, "THIS much!" Tonight's dinner is my definition of the perfect summer meal. Quick, easy, full of summer produce, and packed with flavor. I could seriously eat this every week. Perhaps I will.
- Use the blackened corn that you reserved on Day #1 to make quick work of the Creamy Corn Relish. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
- If you didn't make the [sg_popup id="5684" event="click"]Bacon Vinaigrett[/sg_popup]e on Day #1, make that before you cook the cod. The cod only takes a few minutes, so have the corn relish, salad and dressing ready to go before you lay the fillets in the skillet.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: [sg_popup id="5688" event="click"]Stuffed Poblano Peppers[/sg_popup] with Tortillas and [sg_popup id="5690" event="click"]Savory Watermelon Salad with Chili and Lime[/sg_popup]
- Stuffed Poblano Peppers is a favorite dish at my house and gets made year round. The most tedious part of making these is roasting the peppers and removing their skin. Since you already did that on Day #1, you're already ahead of the game.
- If you didn't make a batch of slow cooker or instant pot black beans on Day #1, get those going at least 4 hours before you want to make the stuffed peppers. You can also just use 2 cups of canned black beans, drained and rinsed.
- If you've never made homemade flour tortillas, this meal is the perfect excuse to give them a try. They are much easier than you might think and so much better than store bought you'll probably never purchase them again. I suggest making the dough before starting on the stuffed peppers. The dough need a few minutes to rest, giving you time to make the stuffed peppers. Then, roll out and cook the tortillas while the stuffed peppers bake.
- If you've never had a savory melon salad, you might think that watermelon salad with chili, salt and cilantro is not the kind of thing you want to eat. Trust me - this will change with the very first bite. The flavors go together beautifully and are positively addicting.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: [sg_popup id="5694" event="click"]Paprika Chicken with Bell Peppers and Herbed Yogurt Sauce[/sg_popup] and Smashed Potatoes
- In the recipe instructions for tonight's meal, you'll see an option for brining the chicken in buttermilk for a few hours - up to 24 hours. This is optional, but does make the chicken extra juicy and flavorful.
- The recipe includes instructions for grilling or roasting the chicken. Both methods are delicious so do whichever works for you.
- Because you already boiled the potatoes on Day #1 for Smashed Potatoes, this side dish will take a fraction of the time. Simply begin the recipe at step # 2.
What’s for Dinner Tonight: Black Bean Tostadas with Corn Salsa and Enchilada Cream
- Because of all the meal prepping you've done throughout the week, half of tonight's meal is already cooked, prepped and ready. In your refrigerator, you should already have a few cups of slow simmered black beans, a bowl of homemade enchilada sauce, a few cups of blackened corn, and some roasted and diced poblano peppers. Get them out - tonight's dinner will be on the table in no time.
- Tostadas are a great way to use up all sorts of leftovers. If you have any leftover Paprika Chicken in your refrigerator, consider shredding it and adding it as a topping along with everything else.
This Week’s Featured Cocktail: Watermelon Tequila Spritzer
Suggested Recipes for the Baker:
- Peach Cobbler with Brown Sugar Cookie Topping
- Fresh Peach Pie
- Butterscotch Bourbon Praline Ice Cream
- Mixed Berry Plum Pie
[checklist-box title="Shopping List, Weekly Summer Meal Plan #3" extraTitle="*Ingredient amounts are based on a family of 4" extraUrl=""]
*Does not include ingredients for suggested baked goods.
- 7 limes
- 1 - 2 lemons (3 tablespoon juice)
- 3 lb fresh seedless watermelon
- 14 poblano peppers
- 4 red bell peppers (or any color bell pepper)
- 14 ears of corn
- 1 large yellow onion
- 2 small red onions
- 1 large tomato
- 2 shallots
- 2 red bell peppers
- 48 oz (3 lbs) small new potatoes
- 3 ½ cups fresh cilantro
- ¾ cup fresh oregano
- 4 large tomatoes
- 4 cups of summer greens – for bacon and tomato salad. I prefer spinach, frisée, or endive
- 3 cups of arugula or other tender greens (for serving with paprika chicken)
- 9 cloves garlic
- 2 pounds of cod fillets
- 16 oz thick cut bacon
- 4 lbs chicken pieces, bone-in, skin-on (Use a whole cut-up chicken, or any combination of pieces.)
- 2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 4 tablespoon (¼ cup) paprika
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- Dash of ground cayenne pepper (optional, Paprika Chicken)
- 4 teaspoon Tajin Seasoning
- 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 16 oz diced fresh or canned tomatoes
- 1 cup cooked rice
- ½ cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon honey
- 2 teaspoon granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
- 8 fresh corn tortillas – OR – prepared tostada shells
- ½ – 1 cup cream (for corn chowder)
- Sour cream (optional - for serving with stuffed poblano peppers)
- ¾ cup Crema Mexicana (Mexican Sour Cream) - OR sour cream (for tostadas)
- 2 cups buttermilk
- 1 cup plain, unsweetened greek yogurt
- 1–2 cups of Cotija cheese - or Monterey Jack (For black bean tostadas)
- 1 tablespoon butter
- Salt (table salt and kosher salt) and pepper
- Flaky sea salt (for sprinkling over watermelon salad)
- 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cups of corn oil (For frying the fresh corn tortillas. If using prepared tostada shells, disregard.)
You’ll need a total of 2 cups of enchilada sauce for this week’s meal plan. Homemade enchilada sauce is super easy and delicious. To make it from scratch, you’ll need the following ingredients. If you’d rather not make it from scratch, purchase 2 cups of canned enchilada sauce.
- 2 teaspoon minced garlic
- ½ teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 3 teaspoon granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 tbs butter
- 3 tablespoon unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 24 oz red chili paste (I use one 24 oz bag mild and one 24 oz bag hot)
- 1 ½ cups chicken broth or water
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
You’ll need a total of 6 cups black beans for this week’s meal plan. Either use the ingredients list below for slow cooker black beans (which only takes about 5 minutes of hands on time) OR - purchase 6 cups of canned black beans.
- 16 oz. (1 lb) dried black beans
- 8 cups water – or chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 or 2 limes
- 1 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
- 2 tablespoon chopped green onions (optional)
For Homemade Flour Tortillas (Optional, to serve with Stuffed Poblano Peppers):
- 4½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- 1¼ cup water
- ⅔ cup corn oil
For Watermelon Tequila Spritzers (recipe makes 8 drinks):
- 16 oz tequila
- 16 oz Sanpellegrino (Use any flavor, but I prefer the Pomegranate and Orange variety.)