If there’s a season of simplicity and ease, this. is. it. Rosé, bbqs, friends + fam, and sunshine. Planning and structure? Grocery shopping and cooking? Those are September things, right? Well, yes. But here’s the thing: even in the summer, we still need to eat. And if you’re anything like us, life’s a lot better when we’re eating food that’s actually good for us. Hello, simple summer meal prep (…the magic word being simple).
Our simple meal prep answer? Bowls. Like these grille zucchini bowls with basil yogurt dressing. They’re perfect for summer (any season, really… but we’re biased) because bowl meals are easy-breezy, go-with-the-flow meals. These grilled zucchini bowls follow our tried-and-true power bowl formula:
Green Base + Protein + Veggies/Fruit + Healthy Carb + Something Fancy + Dressing
Our formula is like a little blueprint for your mind, giving you the structure to make satisfying prep-ahead meals, but also the freedom to easily change it up. Here we use baby spinach (green base), tofu (protein), zucchini and yellow squash (veg/fruit), beets (healthy carb), sunflower seeds (#fancy), and a basil yogurt (dressing). But don’t like spinach? Swap it out for another green. Paleo? Omit the tofu and add another protein like grilled chicken or shrimp. You do you. Because it’s summertime, baby.
To make the whole summer meal prep thing actually happen, we created a little guide for you. It includes our five favorite summer bowl combos, a printable shopping list, and a simple prep plan to make five servings for the week in just an hour (!). So you can get out of the kitchen and onto the back patio (#yeswayrosé).
Shrimp Noodle Bowls with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Summer Taco Bowls with Cumin-Lime Dressing
Strawberry Feta Bowls with Balsamic Vinaigrette
Grilled Zucchini Bowls with Basil Yogurt Dressing
Greek Power Bowls with Greek Vinaigrette
- ⅓ cup plain Greek yogurt (dairy-free if needed)
- 1 tablespoon white balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped basil leaves
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- salt and pepper to taste
- water to thin, if necessary
- 5 large handfuls baby spinach
- 14 oz extra firm tofu, drained, cubed, and stir-fried
- 5 medium zucchini and/or yellow squash, grilled or stir-fried
- 3 medium beets, cooked and cubed (see notes)
- 10 tablespoons roasted sunflower seeds
- Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
- Prep the bowl ingredients: Cook the tofu, grill the zucchini and/or squash and cut into slices or rounds, and cook the beets (if necessary, see notes).
- Pack the bowls: Add one handful of baby spinach to five meal prep containers. Top with equal amounts of cooked tofu, grilled zucchini, and cooked beets. Keep the basil yogurt dressing in a separate container until ready to use. When ready to eat, drizzle with dressing and top with 2 tablespoons of the roasted sunflower seeds.
Beets: You can purchase pre-cooked beets in the produce aisle of your grocery store. Alternatively, buy raw beets and roast: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Slice off the beet leaves. Wash the beets thoroughly (no need to dry) and then wrap each individual beet loosely in foil. Transfer the wrapped beets to a baking sheet and roast for 45 - 55 minutes, checking every 20 minutes, until a fork slides easily to the middle of the beet. Allow the beets to cool enough to handle. Under cool running water, peel the skin off of the beets and cube.