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 shrimp noodle bowls with spicy peanut 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 shrimp noodle 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 cabbage (green base), shrimp (protein), red peppers and cucumber (veg/fruit), rice noodles (healthy carb), cashews and cilantro (#fancy), and a spicy peanut sauce (dressing). But don’t like cabbage? Swap it out for another green. Vegan? Omit the shrimp and add another protein like tofu or tempeh. 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
- 5 tablespoons smooth, natural (no sugar added) peanut butter
- ⅓ cup fresh lime juice
- 2 small minced garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- hot sauce to taste
- ¼ cup warm water
- 10 oz rice noodles or 5 cups zucchini noodles
- 5 large handfuls thinly sliced cabbage
- 20 cooked shrimp
- 2 cucumbers, diced
- 2 red bell peppers, diced
- ½ cup cilantro leaves
- 1 lime, cut into slices
- 10 tablespoons roasted peanuts or cashews, coarsely chopped
- Make the dressing: In a bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients until well combined.
- Cook the noodles: Cook the rice noodles according to package instructions or make the zucchini noodles.
- Prep the remaining ingredients: Slice the cabbage, dice the cucumbers and bell peppers, remove the cilantro leaves from their stems, and coarsely chop the peanuts.
- Pack the bowls: Divide the rice noodles between five meal prep containers.Top with equal amounts of prepped cabbage, cucumber, and bell peppers. Add four shrimp and 1-2 lime slices to each container. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Keep the spicy peanut dressing in a separate container until ready to use. When ready to eat, drizzle with sauce, a squeeze of lime, and top with 2 tablespoons of the roasted peanuts.