Next Week's Meal Plan

5 Family-Friendly Summer-Ready Vegetarian Dinners

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

There are many reasons my primarily omnivorous family occasionally has meat-free weeks: it helps our budget, forces us out of dinner ruts, and makes the most of seasonal vegetables. The last reason is by far my favorite — especially this time of year. The snap peas, carrots, even early bird tomatoes are arriving at our farmers market and making me oh-so-very excited about cooking and eating at home.

This week's meal plan is packed with vegetable-heavy vegetarian dinners that are easy to make, leave enough for lunches, and perfectly satisfy your summer vegetables cravings.

Welcome to This Week's Meal Plan

I believe meal planning is the secret to stress-free weeknight dinners. Since I'm frequently asked by friends and family what I'm cooking for dinner each week, I share my weekly meal plan here. Whether you're just learning to meal plan and looking for a real-life example of how this works or you're an old pro on the hunt for inspiration, here's a peek at how I'm feeding my family this week.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman | Kitchn

Monday: Light & Fresh Italian Pasta Salad

This tomato and arugula pasta salad is wonderful for cooking one dinner, but building out a few different plates. My 3-year-old will skip the arugula but double down on tomatoes, while my pickle-loving 6-year-old is here for the briny olives (no sun-dried tomatoes for her, please). Really the dressing for the salad is what brings all the plates together. Buy extra mozzarella for Friday's pizza.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

Tuesday: Tex-Mex Quinoa Salad

We make this salad often in the summer and call it Taco Dip — serving it with chips for dipping for the two kids. I'll probably make a double batch of this salad to have leftovers for my work lunch this week.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

Wednesday: Sheet Pan BBQ Tofu

Trying something totally experimental on Wednesday and turning this crispy sheet pan tofu into sandwiches for dinner topped with this pretty cabbage and carrot slaw coleslaw (hold the jalapeño). To be honest, it has been a while since I served tofu to my children, so fingers crossed they love it coated in sticky-sweet sauce.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

Thursday: Roasted Carrot and Chickpea Salad

The real reason I'm making this salad is the green tahini sauce! When I serve salads to my kids, I usually make them more of a composed plate, so carrots, chickpeas, and almonds will be piled on one half and then dressed greens will take up the other half of their plate. Occasionally they turn their noses up at the greens, but since I know they'll devour the carrots and chickpeas I'm not sweating it.

Image Credit: Joe Lingeman

Friday: Vegetable Pesto Puff Pastry Tart

Puff pastry as pizza crust is a shortcut I don't take nearly enough advantage of. Here I'm swapping the feta for small pearl mozzarella (from Monday's recipe) to give this sauce-less take on pizza a more classic pizza appeal.

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