Delicious Salads for Main Course Meals
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A Meal Plan That Will
Give Your Oven a Break

Hello, hello. It’s soupy humid where I am in Connecticut, and I am looking at my dog lying on the weird cooling pad that I bought for him, wishing he would move over a squidge so I can lay down next to him. We have reached the part of the summer where turning on the oven feels unappealing, so at best it’s the stove top, and better still it’s no-cook meals. 
Which still often means that you have to suck it up at some point during the week and make some components for meals that reward you with the ability to pull together lunches and dinners with pre-made elements. So this means being smart in the mornings before the air gets thick (my kitchen is not air conditioned, and the windows cannot open wide enough) and making some recipe “modules”, if you will, that can be transformed into dishes that can be pulled together quickly, and with no additional cooking involved.
I’m talking about proteins (chicken, pork, beans), grains (I’m in a big wheat berry phase these days), sautéed chard (another phase), cooked beets, pickled onions, all made and tucked into their lovely little containers, ready to join forces and become dinner. 
Here are a handful of recipes that lean on elements that you can and should make ahead of time.

And also this: I just finished Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison, the audio version, which was breathtaking in the writing and in the reading and in the content. Pop in your earbuds and listen while you take socially distanced walks (with a mask people—masks aren’t political; they are courtesy and common sense). And this video about systemic racism has made the rounds, but if you haven’t seen it, it’s an accessible 4-minute excursion into how things got to where they are, and a glimpse of what can be done to fix them.
Stay safe, stay well, be kind.

This is the salad for people who might not think a main course salad is really a thing. (And if you've ever ordered Chinese Chicken Salad on a menu, this is for you.)

Click here for the recipe.

Pretty and delicious, with a nice little kick. Make the salmon early in the day and pull together the salad in a snap for dinner. This recipe has instructions for poaching salmon, but if you have leftover grilled or roasted salmon, you should feel free to use that.

Click here for the recipe.

Adding grains to green salads gives them a definite level of oomph. Use whatever whole grains you like in place of the kamut. You can also cook up a whole batch of whole grains and freeze them to pull out as needed.

Click here for the recipe.

These are really nicely stuffed and filled with so many good things, all of which can be made ahead (and let’s have a quick round of applause for rotisserie chicken). These could definitely function as an appetizer, but also seriously qualify as a meal.

Click here for the recipe.

This is so, so pretty, and not only can you make the components (orzo, chicken, dressing) ahead of time, you can make the whole dang thing ahead of time, and then dinner is ready whenever you are.

Click here for the recipe.

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If you have meal-planning gripes, questions, or things you want to suggest, come hang out with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

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