Meal Plan Menu | Week of 10/7/19
Add variety to dinner this week with easy, healthy recipes like Ham and Bean Soup, Thai Drunken Noodles, and homestyle Korean Barbecue!
At Cook Smarts we value having a rock solid dinnertime routine. After all, an evening meal is far more than filling empty bellies – it’s a way to unwind from a busy day, disconnect from smart phones, and reconnect with loved ones at the family dinner table. But a dinner routine doesn’t have to be boring! Dinnertime is also a chance to try new flavors, explore different food combinations, and develop cooking skills.
A subscription to our weekly meal planning service does just that! Each week, we’ll send you 4 delicious dinner recipes complete with step-by-step instructions, videos to improve cooking skills, a customized grocery list, and prep-ahead steps to get a jumpstart on the week. All recipes include gluten-free, Paleo, and vegetarian options as well.
This week we start off with Slow Cooker Ham and Bean Soup and finish it out with fast, flavorful meals that include Thai Drunken Noodles with Chicken, Korean BBQ Platter, and Breakfast Fried Rice with Sausage.
With a wide variety of flavors, cuisines, and cooking techniques – your dinnertime routine can be fresh, fun, and full of flavor.
“Cook Smarts has made having regular family dinners possible. It’s allowed our family to try new things together and find foods that our little one likes that we never would have even thought to try if it weren’t for Cook Smarts!”
– Nikki K. (Member since Feb 2014)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
Start the week with Ham and White Bean Soup – a comforting, classic soup that develops depth of flavor by simmering in the slow cooker. Loaded with savory ham, hearty beans, and a medley of carrots, celery, onions, and kale, this soup is packed with fiber and veggies. Add a warm, crusty baguette alongside a big bowl of this soup, and savor a cozy evening at home after a long, busy day of work.
Substitute a GF baguette to make this meal gluten-free. Our Paleo members will skip the beans in the soup and use a larger portion of ham. Vegetarians will love our recipe for Slow Cooker White Bean Chowder that uses potatoes and an immersion blender technique for a “creamy” vegetable chowder without any cream!
Wide rice noodles simmered in a dark, sweet, and savory sauce known as “drunken noodles” are a Thai take-out favorite for good reason. Fortunately, this dish is easy enough to replicate at home with a few common ingredients, such as dried udon noodles, broccolini, mushrooms, chicken breast, cilantro, and eggs. For the delicious sauce, we combine ingredients you most likely already have in your pantry. Oyster sauce adds a unique and authentic flavor to the dish, so remember to add it to your grocery list!
Paleo members can enjoy all the flavors of this Thai take-out dish with zucchini noodles in Drunken Zucchini Noodles with Chicken. Rice noodles and a few simple substitutions are all that’s needed to make this dish gluten-free. For a delicious vegetarian take on the original recipe, use firm tofu in place of the chicken in our recipe for Tofu Drunken Noodles.
This BBQ platter is the Korean version of a taco bar. Set out the components – sweet and savory beef bulgogi, homemade pickled cucumbers, crisp lettuce, spicy kimchi, fresh cilantro, fluffy rice, and gochujang (Korean hot sauce) – and let everyone customize their own bowl at the dinner table!
This Korean Barbecue is easily adaptable for gluten-free and Paleo members by making simple substitutions to the sauces and by making cauliflower rice (for Paleo folks). Vegetarians will use “meaty” portobello mushrooms in place of the steak and quinoa instead of rice for an extra protein kick.
This delicious fried rice comes together quickly, making it a great and easy way to end the week! Toss leftover rice from Tuesday’s Korean BBQ Platter and breakfast sausage in a wok, and stir-fry with soy sauce and rice vinegar. Finish with a fresh squeeze of lemon, grated cheese, and a fried egg for a fun breakfast twist on the Asian classic. For a unique accompaniment, enjoy a refreshing green smoothie of apples, cucumbers, and spinach on the side for the ultimate breakfast-dinner meal!
For a vegetarian alternative, use flavorful soyrizo and leftover quinoa from Wednesday night. Our Sweet Potato Breakfast Hash with Sausage is a delicious Paleo variation on this recipe. Use Tamari in place of soy sauce to make this stir-fry gluten-free.
Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed below are only a portion of the meal prep tips we include to help you make the most of your ingredients and your time. Join our community to get the full benefits of our meal plan service every day!
Meal Planning Tips
- Monday’s slow-cooker soup can be made ahead of time and simply reheated prior to serving. This is a great option if you won’t have time on Monday morning / afternoon to prep and slow cook the ingredients.
- Cook rice ahead of time, and you’ll have both Wednesday and Thursday covered (quinoa for anyone cooking the vegetarian meal plans)! Rice can be made 5 days ahead, so do this over the weekend, if you have time.
- Monday’s soup uses smoked ham (or look for something labeled “ham steak”) which adds flavor and seasoning to the soup as it cooks. Look for a variety of cuts of smoked ham near other pre-packaged meats like bacon. A bone-in cut works great because the bone will help to make a richer, more flavorful stock. (Just remember to remove the bone before you serve the soup!)
- Oyster sauce gives Tuesday’s drunken noodles a truly authentic flavor. Made by cooking oysters, oyster sauce is very common in Asian cooking and has a subtle fish flavor (similar in intensity to fish sauce). Many Chinese dishes use it, so you’ve probably had it before without even knowing it was there! While we didn’t include oyster sauce in the Paleo, gluten-free, or vegetarian versions of Tuesday’s noodle dish, you can still track down an oyster sauce that is suitable for your dietary preferences. (For vegetarians, there is “vegetarian oyster sauce” available, as well as “vegetarian mushroom sauce.”)
- Make a delicious frittata by pouring whisked eggs over leftover breakfast sausage, eggs, kale, and mushrooms. Top with leftover shredded cheddar cheese for extra indulgence and bake in a 425 degree F oven for 20-25 minutes until golden.
- Turn leftover Korean BBQ Platter ingredients into a fun fusion dish! The bulgogi and rice is perfect for these Korean Steak Burritos.
- Have leftover baguette from Monday’s soup? Stale bread makes great homemade croutons. You can cube up the baguette and toast in a medium skillet with a pat of butter, or watch this video on how to make croutons in the oven.