Chow Time: Easy Summer Dinner Menu

It’s now officially summer time and in our house we have a favorite saying with this season: “It’s summer time and the living is easy!”  The kids love repeating this often -when they wake up late, when they realize at night they do not have to do homework, and when bedtimes often linger past 9:30.  I love the relaxed schedule the summer brings with it too but one thing never changes from season to season when you have a family…you still need a plan for dinner!!!

Photo Courtesy of Simon Howden

So with that in mind, here is an easy weeknight dinner menu that is perfect for this time of year and is even a great menu to take on vacation.  Think you do not need a plan when you are away at the beach or lake?? I find more than ever when I am renting a house for a summer vacation, the last thing I want to do is write out a shopping list for the grocery store.  Yet, if I do not, that time will come and the dreaded question will be asked…”what are we doing for dinner?”   Print this menu and shopping list before you go and when its time to do the run to the grocery store to fill the fridge for the week ahead, you will not have to think about it.   You can then move on to what your vacation should be about–relaxing and enjoying time with your family!


All these recipes are quick and easy, three of them can be done on the grill, and most importantly they have all been tested by real moms on their kids!  We have outlined below a brief commentary on each meal on the menu:

The Grilled Lemon & Garlic Chicken involves making a very simple marinade with a classic flavor combo-lemon and garlic.  We did it with boneless chicken breast but you could also do this with drumsticks or boneless chicken thighs too.  We all really enjoyed this recipe recently sitting out on the deck and the kids said we should call it “yum yum chicken”. That about sums it up!

The Shrimp on the  Barbie recipe is a perfect summer dinner!  I named it after my Australian husband but he will be the first to tell you that no one in Australia uses this term. In fact, in the world of Down Under shrimp are called Prawns so if I was being really accurate it would be Prawns on the Barbie…doesn’t sound quite the same does it?  Anyway, its delicious, easy, and its a summer grill staple in our house.  I tend to go heavy on the red pepper flakes since we like a bit of spice.  However, you can omit it altogether and it will still be delicious!

The Orange Glazed Haddock is a favorite seafood meal in our house that is equally delicious and simple. It really will take you just minutes to prep.  It is such a versatile recipe you can use it on any type of fish you prefer, such as cod, salmon, etc.  Whatever looks good or is on special would work.   We think it shows there are so many ways to enjoy the health benefits of seafood other than the traditional mayo and breadcrumbs combo!

For a vegetarian option, we included another all time favorite recipe that is not only easy and economical, but it tastes fabulous-Fresh Tomato Pasta with Baby Spinach.  Marinating the tomatoes in the balsamic vinegar is the key to the great taste (are are really the star of the recipe) and although we used thin spaghetti for the pasta, you could use any type you want.  Also, this is a great easy meal to do at the end of the week since you can use any leftover chicken or shrimp  from the other meals…saves you from throwing it in the bin on check out day!


The Dinner Daily is a complete dinner planning service designed for the busy family that is both health and budget focused.  We provide weeknight meal plans, complete with an organized grocery list and coupon listings, all customized to what is on special at several local grocery stores.  Our meal plans are easy to follow, easy to prepare, and only use healthy whole ingredients.  Recipes are reviewed by a registered dietician on an ongoing basis to ensure the recipes used in our meal plans are healthy and appropriate for family dinners.

A complete list of the stores we offer and the menu options available is provided on our website

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