Weeknight Rescue//August 2021//Week 34

Vegetarian Chinese Chickenless Salad

I love this week’s meal plan and hope you do too. You’ll find a favorite new salad that can be turned into a main dish, a recipe for back-to-school/work lunches, and blueberry pancakes that I consider fair game for dinner if you’re in the mood. Enjoy!


These lettuce cups are like little tacos with Vietnamese flavors and a killer ginger lime dressing to finish. Since they’re pretty light on the appetite, you might want to get some carbs on the table, such as steamed brown basmati rice or a favorite Asian noodle tossed with fish sauce, sesame oil, and sliced scallion.


Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta

Slow roasting cherry tomatoes is an excellent way to coax the sweetness from one of summer’s true jewels. Toss the tender, caramelized tomatoes with olive oil, basil, and hot pasta for a delicious, simple summer meal. Add a big summery salad and you’ve got dinner checked off your to-do list.


Peach, tomato, and corn salad on a white platter with a white spoon

This bright, fresh salad doesn’t have quite the heft for a main dish, but that can be remedied by adding a skillet of shrimp or grilled chicken to the table (this and this are good options). You can also tuck slices of fresh Mozzarella or pieces of burrata amongst the peach and tomato slices, scatter roasted pistachios over the top, add a handful of good, salty feta, make it panzanella style by adding torn croutons of toasted baguette.  

Instant Pot Korean Beef Tacos

Instant Pot Korean Beef Tacos in tortillas on a plate with a blue cloth

This Korean-style beef is done in the Instant Pot until fork tender, piled onto warm tortillas, and topped with crunchy slaw. I like to add a simple salad of sliced cucumbers and radishes with a splash of seasoned rice vinegar to serve on the side.


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This is a little taste of my New England roots. It’s essentially the same idea as a lobster roll, just a different shellfish and on the little lighter side. Add corn on the cob or the peach and tomato salad above and soak up all that’s good about summer.


I’ve got blueberry pancakes on the brain, since my kids made them twice last week. Lucky me! I like to serve this nutritious stack with a scoop of plain Greek yogurt on the side to make the meal heftier and higher in protein. There’s also nothing to say this can’t qualify as dinner if you’re in the mood.


Vegetarian Chinese Chickenless Salad

With more and more folks heading off to school and work, a little lunch box inspo might come in handy. This is a good one and assembly is pretty quick, especially if you prep the cabbage and veggies ahead of time.


Vietnamese-Style Pork Lettuce Wraps with Ginger Lime Dressing
4 to 5 limes
½ cup seasoned rice vinegar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
2 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon Sriracha sauce or other hot sauce
2 tablespoons fresh ginger
1 pound pork tenderloin
1 ½ cups mung bean sprouts
¼ cup shredded carrots
½ English cucumber
¼ cup roasted, salted peanuts
1/3 bunch fresh cilantro
Leaves from 1 large head butter lettuce or romaine lettuce

Slow Roasted Cherry Tomato Pasta
4 cups cherry tomatoes (2 baskets)
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic pinches
1/4 cup chopped basil
12 ounces rigatoni, penne, or other dried pasta
1 small chunk Parmesan cheese

Peach, Corn, Tomato Salad
2 cobs corn
2 barely ripe peaches
3 medium or 2 large tomatoes
1 jalapeño pepper
1 1/2 teaspoons fish sauce
2 teaspoons honey
1 1/2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 3 tablespoons olive oil 2 tablespoons chopped mint 3 tablespoons chopped basil
Optional: Add your protein of choice to make it a main dish and/or any of the following 4 ounces fresh mozzarella or burrata, toasted pistachios, a handful of cherry tomatoes, a handful of crumbled feta, a crusty baguette torn into pieces and toasted, pickled red onion4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Instant Pot Korean Beef Tacos
1 1/2 pounds beef brisket
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 large Asian pear (or ripe conventional pear if you can’t find Asian)
3 large cloves garlic
1 tablespoon sesame oil
2 tablespoons mirin
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
2 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
1 scallion (optional)
1 teaspoon sesame seeds (optional)
For serving: small flour tortillas, kimchi, or other pickled cabbage and Sriracha

Lighter New England-Style Shrimp Rolls
12 ounces medium cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp, defrosted (~36 medium shrimp)
1/4 cup light mayonnaise
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup diced celery
1/2 cup diced fennel
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
2 teaspoons fresh tarragon (or dill)
1 teaspoon sriracha
4 hot dog buns (whole grain if you can find them)
4 teaspoons salted butter

Whole Grain Blueberry Banana Pancakes
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour or white whole-wheat flour
1/3 cup wheat germ or flax meal
1/3 cup quick-cooking oats
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 large eggs
1 1/2 cups low-fat milk
1 ripe banana
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
Butter for cooking
1 heaping cup blueberries

Vegetarian Chinese Chickenless Salad
3 cups shredded cabbage
1 large carrot
½ cup cooked edamame
8 ounces baked tofu
3 green onions
¼ cup cilantro
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 ½ teaspoons toasted sesame oil
¼ cup crispy wonton strips or toasted nuts or peanuts


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