Hello friends! I’ve made it through a month of birthday and holiday celebrations.  Now it’s time to detox (just a little) and get back on track with good, clean eating. Fortunately, healthy options for summer family dinner ideas are as abundant as the fresh summer produce in North Carolina.  In my backyard, tomato plants, peppers and herbs are thriving.  Soon, these plants will provide us with the best tasting and most convenient ingredients possible – one of my favorite things about Summer.

Our 3rd weekly menu in the summer series includes FOUR tasty dinner ideas:

  1. Peruvian Roasted Chicken, Broccoli Salad & Cantaloupe
  2. BLT Sandwiches on Sourdough, Roasted Corn on the Cob, and Watermelon
  3. Crock pot Teriyaki Chicken, Basmati Rice + Summer Fruit Salad
  4. Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli w/Marinara, Kale Caesar Salad & Homemade Garlic Bread

I’ve provided a link to a highly-rated Peruvian Chicken recipe if you’d like to make it on your own. I’ll be trying this very soon.  Honestly though, we usually just buy a whole chicken via takeout from our local Peruvian Chicken restaurant here in Cary, NC. Our favorite is Mami Nora’s.  It’s extremely affordable, slightly addictive, and makes for a quick and easy weeknight meal.

crockpot teriyaki chicken recipe

The Crock pot Teriyaki Chicken recipe (and the photo) comes from my mother-in-law’s blog, Lake Lure Cottage Kitchen.  It’s one of her most popular recipes.  Once you make it, you’ll see why!  I’m pairing this up with the Summer Fruit Salad featured in our last menu.  It was so good, we had to have it again.  I do make my own poppy seed dressing, but instead of poppy seeds, I use chia seeds.  You’d never be able to tell the difference and chia seeds are incredibly nutritious! View the nutrition info on chia seeds for yourself!

The Ravioli dinner is simply storebought marinara and ravioli.  If you’re going to use storebought ingredients, I highly recommend trying out some of the “top shelf” sauces.  It’s easy to have sticker shock over the prices, I know, but keep this in mind: these are the closest you’ll get to homemade, and they usually don’t have preservatives or other junk in them.  If you were to make your sauce homemade (which is fabulous), it’ll likely cost as much or more than the top shelf sauce and take a whole lot more of your time.  My favorite top shelf sauce is Rao’s Vodka Sauce.  And if you don’t have Rao’s in your grocery store, you can buy their gourmet pasta sauces online.

Last, but not least, I’ve worked up a new printable menu option for you.  This free download features 3 menus on 1 sheet (3 weeks, essentially) and they are completely blank so you can pick and choose your favorite family dinner ideas from a variety of choices to build your very own menu each week.  Print multiple sheets and keep them handy in a drawer in/near your kitchen.  I’ll be working on a new printable grocery list next so stay tuned!

printable blank menu - free download