By Natalie Bickford, MS
We want to celebrate the change of seasons from a very long, hard winter to a bright, warm, and hopeful Spring and Summer. Many of us spent this past year with the same people, doing a lot of the same activities, and eating a lot of the same foods. After a long winter full of starchy roasted veggies and hearty soups and stews, it’s finally time to hit refresh and brighten up our meals...
How To Get Out of a Cooking Rut
Do you feel like you’re in a cooking rut from months and months of cooking from home with little to no eating out or social gatherings? We hear you! That’s why we created this FREE meal plan - to inspire you to freshen up your menu for Spring!
We included some of our favorite Spring and Summer recipes from all three of our books that are full of seasonal veggies, anti-inflammatory fats, and digestive-supporting ingredients. We hope that this plan will take some of the stress out of meal planning and get you excited to get cooking!
What you’ll get in the free PDF:
- A 7-Day Meal Plan with breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack
- A list of the recipes and which book/page you’ll find them in
- A full grocery list for the week
- For couples or singles this meal plan will stretch longer than 1 week
- We definitely don't except anyone to cook every single dish--space out the meals however works best for you!
Join us for our next and final Spring cooking class! (Live via Zoom)
What’s in Season during Spring/Summer?What’s in season and available to you will depend on where you live, but below is a list of our favorite Spring and Summer produce:
- New potatoes
- Fresh herbs
- Peas + snap pea
- Arugula and Salad greens
What your dinners will look like!
We’re making our go-to DIY Grain Salad for dinner so we can enjoy it for an easy work lunch during the week. Use any combination of seasonal veggies from the list above or leftover grilled or roasted veggies. This recipe is super customizable, so choose your own adventure!
We love making our Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken in the beginning of the week because we can repurpose it for lunch or dinner all week. Taco nights make for a fun kid-friendly family dinner. Set out your go-to toppings and let everyone customize their own tacos. We love them with Purple Cabbage Slaw and Garlicky Guac but you can simplify and just add chopped avocado.
Save leftover chicken and toppings for an easy protein for lunch power bowls and salads!
TuesdayPesto is a great way to celebrate all of the fresh summer herbs. Use classic basil or sub with arugula (or use both!). Since you made a batch of pesto on Sunday for your Pesto Tuna Melt, all you have to do is pull it out of the fridge (or freezer) and add to your pasta. Our simple Pesto Pasta with Sardines is full of anti-inflammatory fats from the olive oil-rich pesto and omega-3-rich sardines.
WednesdayThe Southwest Salad is one of our favorite ways to celebrate the seasons with lots of leafy greens and seasonal veggies. We love salads that are hearty enough to enjoy as a meal and this one definitely fits the bill. Top it with your protein of choice. You’ll also get a big dose of anti-inflammatory fats from the avocado and dressing.
Save leftovers to enjoy for lunch the next day.
Greek Bison Burgers are packed with flavor and make for a super fun family burger night. Stuff your pitas (or buns) with your favorite toppings (beet hummus, cucumber, feta, bell pepper, avocado, etc…) and serve with warm Roasted Potatoes and Cauliflower.
Save leftover burgers for a lunch Power Bowl. Combine cooked grain with any leftover veggies or greens from previous salads and top with a reheated burger and toppings. If you still have pesto leftover, a dollop on top is highly recommended. Save leftover potatoes and cauliflower to have with Blueberry Lemon Scones and eggs for breakfast on Saturday!
This beloved Oregon Summer Salad with Grilled Salmon is another simple celebratory salad of seasonal greens, berries, asparagus (or any seasonal veggie), nuts, cheese and a simple balsamic vinaigrette. Customize this one with whatever leafy greens, seasonal produce, nuts, and cheese that you have on hand. Whip up a super simple balsamic vinaigrette and drizzle it all over.
Save leftover salmon for a lunch power bowl tomorrow!
Finish off the week with a simple dinner of Spring Asparagus Soup with baguette for dunking and leftover burger. If you have greens leftover, you could also make a simple side salad. Best enjoyed outside in the sunshine!
Meal Plan Recipe Index
Spinach and Sausage Frittata (RFCFES, p. 79)
Strawberry Beet Oatmeal Bake (RFES Meal Planner, p. 69)
Honey Cardamom Granola (RFCFES, p. 64)
Rad Raspberry Smoothie Bowl (RFCFES, p. 56)
Blueberry Lemon Cornmeal Scones (RFES, p. 59)
Pesto Tuna Melt (RFCFES, p. 107)
Presto Pesto (RFCFES, p. 172)
DIY Grain Salad (RFCFES, p. 95)
Apple Cider Vinaigrette (RFCFES, p. 186)
Slow Cooker Pulled Chicken (RFCFES, p. 137)
Purple Cabbage Slaw (RFCFES, p. 165)
Garlicky Guac (RFCFES, p. 177)
Pesto Pasta with Sardines (RFCFES, p. 148)
Mighty Cobb Salad (RFES Meal Planner, p. 126)
Power Bowls (RFCFES, p. 122)
Greek Bison Burgers (RFES, p. 138)
Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes (RCFES, p. 162)
Oregon Summer Salad with Grilled Salmon (RFES, p. 82)
Balsamic Vinaigrette (RFES, p. 169)
Spring Asparagus Soup (RFCFES, p. 119)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (RFCFES, p. 207)
Don’t Get Beet Hummus (RFES, p. 73) (carrots, cucumber)
26.2 Trail Mix (RFES, p. 62)
A note on groceries
We included a grocery list to go along with the meal plan. It may seem long, but many of the ingredients are staples you likely have on hand. Also, we’re eating lots of salads, so buy your favorite salad greens and use those. Get creative to buy less. The grocery list is based on what the recipe calls for, but feel free to substitute with your favorite greens, herbs, and veggies for the salads and Power Bowls.
If there are multiple types of cheese, nuts, lettuces, veggies, etc...just pick the ones you like most and go with those. For example, we’re using lots of different nuts for salads, granola, pesto, etc… If you happen to have a huge bag of walnuts or almonds, just use those.
We gave some suggestions for the hummus veggies, burger toppings, trail mix, and seasonal fruit for breakfasts, but just get whatever you and your family will enjoy most.
We hope you love this meal plan and that it gets you inspired to hit refresh and get inspired for Spring and Summer cooking!
Natalie is a nutritionist and personal chef in Portland, OR who specializes in women's health and sports nutrition. She loves creating simple, nourishing meals and recipes to fuel your life. Join Natalie's Cooking Club for weekly menus, grocery lists, videos, and meal prep tips!