Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/9/19
This week, our quick, hot dinners are sure to warm your body and soul. From enchilada casserole to shrimp and cheesy grits, we have winter comfort foods covered in 45 minutes or less!
When there’s a chill in the air, we know it’s the perfect time for comfort foods. That’s why our menu lineup this week consists of a warming noodle soup, scrumptious casserole, and a couple indulgently creamy dishes. We take a few of the world’s most comforting meals, add our own healthier spin, and make sure each one is ready in under 45 minutes!
With choir concerts, final tests, and extra holiday festivities added to everyone’s normal weekly routines, it’s the best time of year to get ahead of schedule. Keep reading to learn about each delicious recipe and see our suggestions for weekend meal prep and leftovers to help you save time when you need it most.
“With Cook Smarts, I have a plan to cook every night . . . We find ourselves wanting to eat out much less often since the meals that I cook at home are generally healthier, taste better, and cost a lot less!”
– Brian P. (Member since Dec 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
Although udon is great any time of year, there’s something so satisfying about a delicious pot of steaming noodle soup when the weather is cold outside. While the traditional soup base requires a long time to simmer, we use a rich combination of miso paste, ginger, and garlic to build flavor quickly so you can sit down to dinner in just 45 minutes.
This quick-cooking weeknight soup can be made in an Instant Pot and is also easy to make vegetarian by substituting tempeh for the ground pork. If you’re on a gluten-free diet, you can still enjoy all of the same flavors with 100% buckwheat soba or other GF noodles. If you follow the Paleo diet, you can enjoy our Spicy Pork Soup with Zucchini Noodles that creates a flavorful soup base with aminos and coconut milk.
Enjoying an elegant and indulgent dinner that doesn’t take forever to cook is the perfect way to treat yourself before the busy holidays set in. This fast dinner features a divine sauce made from white wine and cream that adds a rich depth of flavor that will make you feel like royalty. With a side kale, cranberry, and toasted pecan salad, this meal pairs luxury and healthy nutrients onto a single plate, and takes only 40 minutes to prepare.
Making this dish gluten-free is super simple – all you need to do is coat your chicken in almond flour or any GF flour before cooking. If you want to go meatless for this meal, our Vegetarian Mushroom Farro keeps the same delectable sauce and salad, but pairs it with filling pearled farro. If you are interested in our Paleo version, try our Chicken with Mushroom Pan Sauce with streamlined ingredients and a satisfyingly clean finish.
For a fun twist on classic shrimp and grits, we add sauteed cauliflower and exciting spices to the mix! We also add crispy bacon to the saute, giving the whole dish additional texture and flavor. In just 40 minutes, you can dig into a delicious comfort food that will warm your body and soul.
If you have an Instant Pot at home, you can definitely use it for this naturally gluten-free dish. For our vegetarian recipe, we pair a saute of cauliflower, spinach, and pinto beans with grits and add pepitas for that extra dash of texture. With a great Southern flare, our Shrimp and Cauliflower Saute with bacon and collard greens will hit the spot for anyone on the Paleo diet.
THURSDAY | Enchiladas Mineras Casserole
Have you ever had Enchiladas Mineras (“miner’s enchiladas”) before? If not, you’re in for a treat! These enchiladas originated from Mexico’s Guanajuato and traditionally feature cheese, carrots, potatoes, and red sauce. Putting a fun twist on the original, we’ve created a carrot and zucchini casserole-style version with stacked ingredients in layers. It has all the same flavors as individually rolled enchiladas, but it’s much easier and faster to assemble for a 40-minute weeknight meal.
Even if you’re not used to eating vegetarian or gluten-free dishes, if this dinner was filling enough for miners, it will satisfy any meat-eater! For our Paleo friends out there, our Tex Mex Pork Chops with Sauteed Vegetables uses the same carrots, zucchini, and homemade enchilada sauce while adding protein-rich pork chops.
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
- Thursday looking to be a busy night? Great news! The enchilada casserole can be assembled 2 days early and baked right before serving. Since the tortillas will soften as they sit in the fridge, your finished dish will have a more cohesive and classic casserole texture instead of defined layers. If you want an extra crunch, simply serve it with some tortilla chips.
- Green onions – Fresh green onions add tangy herb flavor to several dishes this week, so you don’t have to worry about not using up the whole bundle you pick up at the store.
- Cheese – A pre-shredded blend of cheeses makes Wednesday’s cheesy grits and Thursday’s enchilada casserole quick and easy without having to pull out the grater.
- Stir-fries and fried rice are a simple yet delicious go-to for busy days, so toss together any leftover veggies and proteins from the week into your wok! (To learn how to stir-fry, check out our Guide to Stir-Frying.)
- Quesadillas are another quick meal that the whole family will enjoy. This week you can use leftover tortillas, cheese, and any extra vegetables from the week to make a 10-minute lunch or dinner.