Do you remember? All of the produce in September? (My apologies both to you, reader, and to Earth, Wind and Fire, but I pretty much sing everything to the tune of “September” this entire month).
September is one of the greatest months for produce IMO. The markets are flooded with tomatoes, apples, corn, radishes, bell peppers, broccoli, cabbage, eggplant, grapes, squash and of course, pumpkin. I love to hit the farmer’s markets in September because the weather is just a bit crisper and the veggies hold up so much better after sitting out.
Can’t make it to the farmer’s market near you? Do a quick Google Search for “locally sourced grocery stores near me” – you may be surprised to see which stores source from local farmers.
With that, let’s make a meal plan for coming week that makes good use of all the fruit and vegetables that September has to offer.
1. Fresh corn salad and a DIY hot dog bar for the kids
Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chiptole Crema | © The Modern Proper
(PS If you don’t have access to a grill, no worries! Don’t miss Liz’s brilliantly simple tip for making the best corn on the cob ever.)
If you’ve got leftovers from freshly-picked corn like I do, we can both enjoy a huge bowl of this Mexican Street Corn Salad with Chiptole Crema from The Modern Proper. This salad is just the perfect blend of spice and crunch and is highly addictive. While I am happy just eating this salad and enjoying an ice cold margarita, my kiddos need a little more protein so I’m grilling up some hot dogs DIY style for them> (Actually, I imagine this salad is probably really delicious as a hot dog topping! I will try and report back).
2. Easiest Eggplant Pasta
Instant Pot Eggplant Pasta | © Two Sleevers
Eggplant is just coming into season in September and one of my favorite ways to serve it is in an eggplant parmesan, but that really takes way too much time for weekday meal. That’s why I was super excited to find this recipe for Instant Pot Eggplant Pasta from Two Sleevers. In less than 45 minutes, you have an ooey gooey casserole dish of eggplant, pasta and cheese that everyone will devour.
If you are thinking that your kids don’t like eggplant – trust me, they may not even realize there is a vegetable in this dish. The peeled eggplant gets broken down by the acidity of the tomatoes, and the Instant Pot keeps it from getting slimy.
Note that if you don’t have an Instant Pot, this 8-Quart Instant Pot Duo Plus 9-in-1 Cooker gets top marks from pro cooks and experienced home chefs. It functions as an electric pressure cooker that speeds up one-pot cooking by 70%, plus a classic slow cooker, rice cooker, steamer, sauté shortcut, bottle warmer and sterilizer, and even a yogurt maker.
3. Wild Salmon with a Seasonal September Salad
Salmon with Apple, Cucumber, Avocado Salsa | © The Vintage Mixer
Not only do apples start to ripen beautifully in September, we are in the thick of wild salmon season. See where this is going?
If you can get your hands on some fresh wild Coho Salmon it is worth it; wild salmon is generally preferable to farmed salmon if that’s available to you. This recipe for Salmon with Apple, Cucumber, Avocado Salsa from Becky at The Vintage Mixer is a simple way to prepare salmon using crisp apples and cucumbers in a bright salsa. In fact, the entire meal comes together in about 15 minutes.
Be Sure to Read: How to cook salmon perfectly
4. Ground Beef Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed Peppers | © Downshiftology
My mom used to make the absolute best stuffed peppers and I have forever been in search of her recipe–which I am pretty sure only existed in her head. This excellent Stuffed Pepper recipe from Lisa at Downshiftology comes pretty close to my perfect memory, with a hearty combo of ground beef, rice, veggies and garlic. And it’s a great use of any leftover ground beef you may have from Labor Day weekend cookouts.
If you’ve never grown your own peppers, you’ll love Lisa’s explanation about all bell peppers starting out green, then changing colors as they ripen and get sweeter. In fact, red bell peppers have twice the amount of vitamin C of green bell peppers–one reason they typically cost more than green ones–so grab yellow, orange, or red peppers when available.
5. BLT Done
BLT with Pepperoncini Mayo | © Carolyn’s Cooking
Glorious tomatoes come into season over the summer and straight through to October if you’re lucky. So that means September is also BLT sandwich season in our home. I have found a new favorite twist on the classic in Carolyn Mazzocco’s exquisite BLT with Pepperoncini Mayo.
Her 3-ingredient pepperoncini mayo is just pure genius and so dang good that she warns you may find yourself eating it on all of the things. (And she would be right.) I suggest making this sandwich with ripe, delicious heirloom tomatoes you can find at your local farmer’s markets and at most stores right now and don’t skimp on the good bread!
I put these weekly meals plans together based on recipes I am actually cooking for my family, and with you in mind. If you have suggestions, tips or recommendations for recipes or other food bloggers I should check out please comment here, or shoot me a message in our Recipe Rescue group on Facebook. – Lisa
Follow our Weekly Meal Plan Ideas for Families board on Pinterest @CoolMomEats for even more ideas
Top photo by Anne Preble via Unsplash