Cozy Comfort Foods | Meal Plan Menu (3/8/21)

Cozy Comfort Foods | Meal Plan Menu (3/8/21)

Need some good dinner ideas? This week you’ll learn how to make lasagna, discover a new method for how to cook shrimp, try out an Arroz con Pollo recipe, and make a vegetarian Niçoise Salad.

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • March 5, 2021

MONDAY

Sheet Pan Za’atar Shrimp with Creamy Dijon Sauce

Our community loves sheet pan meals, and this one is sure to be a hit! You’ll roast eggplant and cauliflower florets with distinctive, zesty za’atar seasoning, then slide shrimp and garbanzos under the broiler for an unusual (and simple!) cooking method. The roasted vegetables and shrimp are served atop Israeli couscous, and finished with a creamy Dijon sauce. It’s a meal with few ingredients but big flavor that offers an ideal transition out of winter and into the first hints of spring.  

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Za’atar seasoning can be purchased in many grocery stores, or search online for instructions to make this mix from scratch.
  • Israeli couscous is a fast-cooking type of small, round pasta, but you can sub with regular couscous, if that’s what you have on hand.
  • Stretch a bundle of chives by using it in this meal and on Tuesday’s Arroz con Pollo and Wednesday’s vegetarian Niçoise Salad.

Diet Variation:

  • If you’re gluten-free, you’ll make quinoa instead of Israeli couscous to go with this meal. 
  • If you’re eating paleo, skip the Israeli couscous and garbanzos, bulk up the vegetables by adding carrots, and make a tahini Dijon sauce.
  • Double the garbanzos if you’re leaving out the shrimp for a tasty meatless version.

TUESDAY

Arroz con Pollo

You’ll start on the stovetop, then cook rice in the oven the rest of the way to make this classic Spanish dish. The rice is cooked in aromatics including fragrant spices, garlic, onions, and tomato paste alongside peas, carrots, and olives. Cooking the rice and vegetables with chicken on top allows the chicken juices to seep into the rest of the meal and flavor it nicely. Chives add a colorful, flavorful garnish, while salsa, yogurt, and fresh lemon wedges bring even more flavor to the dish.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Exact cook time may vary depending on the thickness of your chicken and the type and age of your rice. Just be sure to check the chicken for doneness and taste to make sure the rice is tender before pulling the pan out of the oven.

Diet Variation:

  • This meal is already gluten-free, but for a paleo version, simply opt for cauliflower rice.
  • Vegetarians will make Spanish Baked Risotto with navy or cannellini beans instead of chicken.

“Cook Smarts meals and the website are so well laid out. Cook Smarts is one of the best things I’ve done for me and my family!”

–Theresa F.G. (Member since February 2017)


WEDNESDAY

Lentil Niçoise Salad with Sherry Vinaigrette

A vegetarian twist on the traditional French Niçoise salad, this version uses all the classic ingredients except tuna, and instead, adds lentils for a hearty, perfectly balanced dinner salad. The crunch of walnuts contrasts with the creaminess of boiled potatoes, and the bright tanginess of roasted bell peppers complements the salty umami flavor of kalamata olives. It’s all topped with a sherry vinaigrette for a satisfying meal that comes in at 21 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber — not bad for a salad, if we may say so ourselves!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Prep ingredients in advance — from boiling eggs to chopping ingredients to whipping up the vinaigrette – and this meal will come together in 5 minutes on the day you’re ready to eat!

Diet Variation:

  • This meal is gluten-free and vegetarian, so no changes are needed for these versions.
  • Paleo eaters will make a traditional Tuna Niçoise, replacing the potatoes with extra green beans.

THURSDAY

Italian Sausage and Kale Lasagna

This easy lasagna recipe uses oven-ready lasagna noodles and a pared-down ingredient list to make a traditional weekend cooking project into a weeknight-friendly meal. You’ll cook Italian sausage, kale, and mushrooms right in the sauce, and can prep the ricotta-based layer in advance for an even quicker experience day-of (or even prepare the entire dish in advance!). Over half the time this recipe takes is while it’s in the oven, so pour yourself a glass of wine and relax as the house fills with the scent of rich Italian herbs and tomato sauce!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Cook lasagna in a loaf pan if you’re making just 2 servings, or use a large casserole dish if you’re scaling up.
  • Be sure to use no-boil lasagna noodles for this recipe!

Diet Variation:

  • Use gluten-free, no-boil lasagna noodles for an entirely gluten-free meal.
  • The paleo version of this meal is Lasagna Zucchini Boats with similar flavors to the original.
  • Use bell peppers instead of sausage for the vegetarian version. 

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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