Weeknight Rescue//July 2022//Taco Salad, Falafel Burgers, Peanut Noodles, Easy Mussels, Pizza on the Grill

turkey taco salad

Get prepared for a tasty week. I’m pulling out my recipe for Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins, since summer squash is abundant these days. Also, consider making a batch of that Green Goddess dressing to enjoy on the cucumbers and tomatoes that are so good right now.


A satisfying, crunchy chopped salad tossed with old-school turkey taco meat. Top with crumbled tortilla chips and you’ve got a main dish meal on your hands that makes a terrific summer meal.


Noodles with peanut sauce in white bowls

An easy fix for dinner that’s good warm or cold. It’s flavors are reminiscent of the peanut sauce you might get in a Thai or Vietnamese restaurant, only tossed with noodles and crunchy vegetables. You could also add shredded chicken to the mix if you like.


With the summer heat, it’s wise to bring your pizza game outside. A backyard grill doubles as a terrific pizza oven, since it gets piping hot. Make your own dough or pick up refrigerated dough at the market.


Master the falafel one night and enjoy it all week long. Store leftover burgers refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen in an airtight container or plastic bag. They’re excellent with a tangy yogurt sauce and whatever side salad strikes your fancyNot into burger buns? Serve on crunchy lettuce or warm pita instead.


White Dutch oven with Mussels in White Wine and Garlic with toasted baguette

A big pan of garlicky mussels and a good baguette for sopping up all the juices always feels like a celebration at the table to me. And it’s so easy to pull together. If clams are more your jam, I’m crazy about this recipe for Brothy Clams and Chorizo I developed for Simply Recipes. Just add a generous salad and dinner is done.


Make a batch of this dressing to add a splash of brightness to salads or drizzle over raw, grilled, or roasted vegetables. ALSO, if you want to see a spin on the original recipe (that adds avocado to the mix), you’ll find that recipe in my cookbook PREP.


Made with yogurt, zucchini, and whole grain flour, this is sort of a cupcake/muffin hybrid. They make a nice treat for afternoon snack or dessert and beg for a glass of milk to go with. Make them in a mini muffin tin if you want to keep the portions in check.


Turkey Taco Salad with Cumin Lime Dressing
1 pound ground turkey
1 packet taco seasoning mix
1 head Romaine lettuce
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes
1/3 English cucumber
5 radishes
1/2 large avocado
1 cup coarsely grated sharp Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
Handful corn tortilla chips

Easy Noodles with Peanut Sauce

12 ounces dried spaghetti or Asian noodles
1/3 cup creamy unsweetened peanut butter
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon white/mellow miso paste (optional)
2 1/2 cups diced crunchy raw vegetables, such as carrots, snap peas, cucumber, or bell pepper 3 scallions
1 1/2 teaspoons sriracha

Umami Chicken
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
5 chicken legs and thighs (bone-in, skin-on, separated – about 3 lbs)
10 large cloves garlic
1/3 cup soy sauce (or gluten-free Tamari)
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
Steamed brown rice (optional)

Pizza on the Grill
1 pound pizza dough (homemade or store-bought)
Tomato sauce or pesto sauce
Shredded Mozzarella or other firm grating cheese (or fresh Mozzarella)
Favorite toppings (such as arugula, olives, roasted red peppers, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, fresh basil, and prosciutto)

Falafel Burgers w/ Creamy Yogurt Sauce
Two 15-ounce cans chickpeas (3 cups cooked)
1/4 cup sesame seeds
6-8 medium garlic cloves
1 medium red onion
2 large carrots
1 cup cilantro
3/4 cup whole wheat flour (substitute gluten-free flour if needed)
4 teaspoons cumin
4 teaspoons coriander
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons fresh dill
1 large lemon
2 cups plain Greek yogurt
1 cucumber
1 large tomato
8 English muffins, pita breads, or large lettuce leaves

Mussels in White Wine & Garlic
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 small yellow onion
2 large cloves garlic
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 pounds fresh mussels
1 tablespoon butter
Grilled bread for serving
1/4 cup chopped parsley (optional)

Lighter Green Goddess Dressing
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup light sour cream
1/2 cup chopped scallions
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
1 lemon
1 medium cloves garlic (optional)
1 teaspoon anchovy paste or 1 small anchovy (optional)

Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

1½ cups coarsely grated zucchini
2 eggs
1/3 cup nonfat or low-fat plain yogurt
1/3 cup canola oil
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cups whole-wheat pastry flour
3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup bittersweet or semi-sweet chocolate chips
Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional)


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