Salmon on a cedar plank

Donna’s Meal Plan Week of June 23

It’s hot out there. Everywhere, it seems. And I usually fill my meal plans with recipes that require me to do at least a modicum of cooking.

Cooking is the last thing I want to do when it’s triple-degrees out.

So it’s a really good thing my husband loves his fancy grill, because there’s no way I’m turning on my stove or oven until the current heat wave subsides.

Here’s what I’m serving this week:


Grilled Salmon and Grilled Asparagus

Sundays are for relaxing, and a meal centered on salmon is super easy to slap together at the last minute. It’s even easier when I delegate the cooking to my husband.

All I have to do for this meal is soak a cedar plank in the sink for 30 minutes before I send him out to the grill. After I remove the plank, I plonk a couple of salmon filets on top, spritz with olive oil, and then sprinkle with seasoning.

While I soak the plank, I rinse the asparagus, snap off the ends, and then drizzle with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Back before I was worried about my sodium intake, I would sprinkle a little sal de mer on top. These days, I use a salt-free seasoning like Penzey’s Sunny Spain.

The grill allows the asparagus to become pleasantly charred, which is my favorite way to enjoy it.


We had to run some errands in the city on Sunday morning, and ended up getting a late breakfast at a favorite Italian spot in Hollywood, which is where I had the brilliant idea of ordering a Margherita pizza to go. None of the places in our neighborhood make a good Margherita, so this will be a treat when I reheat it on Monday night.

Yes, that will require me to turn the oven on – but only at 350 degrees and for seven or eight minutes. So I can live with that.

I’m also throwing together a quick salad with romaine lettuce, fresh tomatoes, and a little cucumber. I will dress it by whisking up a balsamic vinaigrette (2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, and 1 tsp dijon mustard). And then I’ll garnish it with a few thin slices of parmesan cheese.


This is the day I take an art class and meet the husband in town for a dinner out.


Grilled Chicken Caprese Salad

This dish from Skinnytaste looked like a good one when I wrote out my meal plan for last week. I wrote then that I had not tried it out yet.

And I still have not, because when I published last week’s post I had forgotten that my husband had a work thing on Wednesday night and I was going to be dining alone.

The grilled chicken cutlets in the recipe cook quickly, so that is another benefit. I have a feeling this will taste a bit like Margherita pizza – only instead of pizza crust, we’ll have chicken cutlets on a bed of arugula.


Orzo with Sausage, Spinach and Frozen Corn

This is another recipe that I make again and again (and again!) The only problem with it is that it is a dish you make on the stovetop, so I am hoping the heat wave breaks by then.

The good news is that it’s a really easy dish and only requires one pan.

I substitute ground turkey for the Italian sausage. This reduces the amount of sodium.

While browning the turkey, I add the following seasonings:

1 tsp black pepper
1 1/4 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp brown sugar
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp whole fennel seed
A pinch of dried oregano
A pinch of dried thyme
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar


Dinner out with friends.




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