Colorful Spring Dinners | Meal Plan Menu (4/19/21)

Colorful Spring Dinners | Meal Plan Menu (4/19/21)

Feast your eyes on this week’s colorful spring dinners, including a fresh cilantro nint sauce, Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps, Chicken Samosa Stew, and our Buddha Bowl recipe with a homemade Green Goddess Dressing. With vibrant colors and flavors in every meal, we’ll help you cook fun and exciting dinners every night of the week!

  • By Chelsea Paxton
  • April 16, 2021


Lamb Chops with Cilantro Mint Sauce

Start the week with a classic spring combination of lamb and mint. The cilantro mint sauce is bright, fresh, and absolutely delicious with pan-seared lamb chops. Serve with hearty bulgur and roasted cauliflower for a dressed-up meal that’s weeknight friendly.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Cilantro and mint are bright and zesty spring herbs. Enjoy them throughout the week to make use of fresh ingredients efficiently. 

Diet Variation:

  • Serve with fluffy quinoa for a gluten-free variation.
  • For a great paleo option, add extra veggies such as eggplant to this dish in place of the bulgur.
  • Vegetarians will use the cilantro mint sauce in our recipe for Black Bean Falafel.


Hoisin Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Lettuce wraps add a fun twist to serving dinner. Fill crisp romaine lettuce leaves with sweet and savory hoisin chicken, crunchy peanuts, and fresh lime juice. Serve with brown rice on the side, or add directly to the lettuce wraps. 

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Get a head start on this meal by making everything 2 to 5 days ahead of time and then assembling right before serving. (Our meal plans indicate how early ingredients can be prepped!)

Diet Variation:

  • Use GF hoisin sauce and tamari in the stir-fry sauce for an easy gluten-free meal.
  • For a paleo option, substitute a few ingredients in the stir-fry sauce and skip the rice.
  • Use tofu in place of the chicken for a delicious vegetarian and budget-friendly alternative.

“I love how Cook Smarts gives me the opportunity to try dishes inspired by different cultures or with ingredients I have never even thought to try before. I step out of my comfort zone but it always feels safe. It’s so fun to try new things for dinner instead of eating the same stuff over and over!”

— Emily L. (Member since Feb 2017)


Chicken Samosa Stew with Naan

For this stew, we deconstructed samosas – a savory Indian pastry filled with spiced vegetables and meat –  and created a hearty stew full of rich spices and hearty veggies. Top the stew with creamy yogurt, fresh cilantro, and serve with warm naan on the side.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • We include instructions to make this stew with the Instant Pot, slow-cooker, and stovetop. Choose the cooking method that works best for you!
  • Yogurt is used twice this week – in the cilantro mint sauce on Monday and to top tonight’s stew to ensure that none goes to waste.

Diet Variation:

  • To make this meal gluten-free, skip the naan bread and use tamari in place of the soy sauce.
  • A few simple substitutions, including using sweet potatoes, are all that’s needed to make this meal paleo.
  • Vegetarians will love our recipe for Instant Pot Lentil Samosa Stew.


Buddha Bowl with Green Goddess Dressing

Buddha bowls are colorful, bright, and full of hearty vegan ingredients. Our recipe includes a base of fluffy brown rice, baby kale, and roasted chickpeas and walnuts spiced with chili powder, turmeric, paprika, and garlic powder. Top with crisp cucumbers, juicy oranges, and a homemade avocado-based green goddess dressing to bring a beautiful balance to each bite.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Serve this meal buffet style by setting out all the ingredients and letting everyone build their own Buddha bowl!

Diet Variation:

  • This meal is naturally vegan and easy to make gluten-free by using tamari in place of the soy sauce.
  • Our paleo members will love our recipe for Vegetable Bowls with Hard Boiled Eggs served over cauliflower rice and topped with a paleo green goddess dressing.

All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps. Join our weekly meal plan service to get the grocery list, dinner steps, and more cooking tips for these 4 simple dinners.

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