By Breana Lai, M.P.H., R.D. , September 13, 2013 - 4:29pm
Congrats! You’ve made it to Week 3 of the 28-day meal plan. With a hectic schedule lately, I’ve enjoyed having the question, “What should I make for dinner?” already decided for me. And if you’ve been following along with the plan, two of your dinners this week, salmon cakes and shrimp dumplings, are waiting for you in your freezer. All you have to do is reheat and add a quick side dish and voilà, dinner is done.
This week we are making zesty fajitas, a super-quick frittata, pasta, a casserole and panzanella with end-of-summer tomatoes. All of these recipes, except the pasta—I could eat pasta every day for the rest of my life—are dishes I would never have prepared in the past, but my palate, friends and family love the variety.
So hang in there and keep cooking with me! Maybe you’ll see why I love cooking so much. I’d love to hear which recipes are making their way into your normal dinner rotation.
Here's this week's menu:
Sunday: South Texas Steak Fajitas
Serve with: Belizean Habanero Hot Sauce and brown rice
The days of having to go to a restaurant for sizzling hot steak fajitas are over. Now you can make them just as delicious, yet healthier, at home. Here we serve them with homemade hot sauce and brown rice, but I’m going to add black beans and make burritos!  Belizean Habanero Hot Sauce 
Monday: Salmon Cakes with Olives, Lemon & Dill (from the freezer) 
Serve with: Toasted whole-wheat buns with lettuce and tomato, and roasted red potatoes
 Belizean Habanero Hot Sauce 
You can relax tonight! Straight from the freezer, these salmon cakes taste just as good cooked from frozen as they do fresh. This week we’re serving them as “burgers” on toasted whole-wheat buns with lettuce and tomato (and a little Sriracha mayo for me).
Tuesday: Chard & Chorizo Frittata 
Serve with: Roasted acorn squash
On my parents’ mini farm in North Carolina we have 18 chickens, which means we are always blessed with fresh brown, blue and white eggs. And while we are always bringing eggs as gifts, we also are constantly trying to find ways to incorporate them into meals. Frittatas are a favorite because of their versatility and ease. In this delicious frittata, chorizo and chard offer the perfect balance of savory and spice.
 Roasted acorn squash 
Wednesday: Panzanella 
Serve with: Grilled or broiled chicken breast
Now while you can still get local, never-refrigerated ripe tomatoes, make panzanella. Toss those tomatoes with crusty bread and your best olive oil and vinegar and let all the flavors meld together while you grill chicken. With a glass of rosé, you can’t ask for a better “hump day” dinner.
 Grilled or broiled chicken breast 
Thursday: Braised Cauliflower & Squash Penne Pasta 
Serve with: Arugula, pine nut & fennel salad
With the ultimate summer meal on Wednesday, this one-pot cauliflower-and-squash pasta feels like fall. The recipe calls for “no-chicken” broth, but if you are not a vegetarian, I highly suggest using chicken broth, which adds another layer of flavor. To accompany the pasta, toss together 4 cups arugula, 1 cup shaved fennel and 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts, and serve with a white-wine vinaigrette.
Friday: Shrimp Dumplings (from the freezer)
Serve with: Vegetable Fried Rice
Friday brings my favorite “cook once, eat twice” meal: shrimp dumplings. These delicious morsels can be cooked from frozen while you throw together some vegetable fried rice. Feel free to experiment with different vegetables or add some shrimp, chicken, tofu or a fried egg on top. And since it’s Friday, pour a cool hefeweizen or glass of dry Riesling and put up your feet.
 Vegetable Fried Rice 
Saturday: EatingWell King Ranch Casserole 
Serve with: Red cabbage, black bean & avocado salad
King Ranch Casserole is typically made with cans of cream-of-something soup; however, we’ve lightened it by making a homemade cream sauce and loading it with vegetables. Serve with a shaved red cabbage, black bean and avocado salad tossed with lime juice, olive oil, salt and pepper.
Find this week's recipes and more here:
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Have you tried a recipe you wouldn’t usually make while following the 28-day plan? Tell us what you think below.