New Year, New You Dinners | Meal Plan Menu

Our meal plan service gives you easy, creative dinners to stay on track with New Year’s resolutions!

  • By Jess Dang
  • January 4, 2019

This week you may find yourself going back to familiar routines – back to carpools, back to school, back to work, back to everyday errands – and we are here to support you in achieving something new. Whether that’s New Year’s resolutions or simply finding creative dinner ideas, we know that support and community are essential in accomplishing your goals.

All of our meal plans provide you with options for gluten-free, vegetarian, Paleo, and (for this month only!) Whole30 compliant meals. We even organize your grocery list, give you meal planning tips for how to save time in the kitchen, and videos for how to prep and cook ingredients.

Our recipes are not only creative, easy, and healthy, they’re also very delicious! This week we have fresh new takes on steak, roasted chicken, tomato soup, and Mediterranean shrimp. Keep reading to learn more about this week’s easy meal plan menu!

Best of all, we have a friendly Cook Smarts community that has your back! Join our Facebook group to see what our Kitchen Heroes are cooking each week, post your meal pics on Instagram and tag us with #cooksmarts. We’re here to help 2019 be your best year yet!

“Cook Smarts has taught me a lot about cooking with new ingredients and cooking styles that I probably never would have tried on my own. I look forward to continuing to learn more over the years ahead.”

– 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

MONDAY | Steak Salad with Apples, Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Balsamic Vinaigrette

We start the week with a warm winter salad that is satisfying, nutritious, and feels like an indulgent splurge. Leafy baby spinach is the base for roasted sweet potatoes, crisp apples, marinated seared steak, and tangy feta cheese. Packed with fiber, protein, and layers of flavor, this is an entree salad that can help everyone overcome a case of the Mondays.

A simple swap of Tamari for soy sauce makes this meal gluten-free. Vegetarians will enjoy all the flavors of this salad with our recipe for Lentil and Roasted Sweet Potato Salad. Paleo and Whole30 friends will substitute aminos for the soy sauce and walnuts for the cheese.

TUESDAY | Lemon Roasted Chicken + Baked Risotto with Spinach

Time to break out your fancy pants because we’ve got a dinner recipe for lemon roasted chicken that is restaurant quality (or better!) but made in the comforts of your own kitchen. The lemon garlic marinade tenderizes the chicken thighs quickly and gives the chicken a bright burst of flavor. Both the chicken thighs and the risotto start on the stovetop and finish cooking in the oven – a great technique to help you save time in the kitchen.

Paleo / Whole30 folks will use leftover roasted sweet potatoes from Monday to make a colorful veggie hash to serve with the lemon roasted chicken. Vegetarians will enjoy the Sweet Potato and Brussels Sprouts Hash as an entree with the addition of fried eggs and garlic bread (yum!). A simple substitution of GF flour is all that’s needed to make this dish gluten-free.

(P.S. We won’t tell anyone if you make this dinner in yoga pants and slippers!)

WEDNESDAY | Tortellini Tomato Soup with Italian Green Salad

Everyone needs a quick recipe for a warm, hearty soup – and one that can be easily assembled with simple pantry staples. We put a creative twist on classic tomato soup by adding tortellini and finishing it with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar and fresh parsley. An Italian green salad adds a fresh crunch of extra veggies and rounds out this meal nicely. Dinner will be ready and on the table in just 30 minutes!

This meal is already vegetarian-friendly, no substitutions needed. Simply use your favorite GF pasta or tortellini in the gluten-free recipe. Paleo / Whole30 folks will be cooking up something a little different (but just as delicious!) with Herb Pork Chops, ready in just 40 minutes.

THURSDAY | Mediterranean Shrimp & Couscous Saute with Kalamata Olives, Artichokes & Feta

Bell peppers, kalamata olives, and artichoke hearts are the perfect backdrop for fluffy couscous and shrimp sauteed with garlic, za’tar, and red pepper flakes. Top with feta cheese, fresh lemon juice, and parsley, and for just a moment, you might be able to escape this cold January day and think you are on vacation in the Mediterranean!

Our vegetarian members will enjoy all the colors and Mediterranean flavors of this meal by substituting cannellini beans for the shrimp. To make this dish gluten-free, simply use quinoa in place of couscous. Paleo / Whole30 members will skip the couscous and add green beans to this shrimp saute.

Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed below are only a portion of the 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 Smarts

Make ahead:

  • If you know that your first Monday back from a holiday vacation will be busy, roast the sweet potatoes for the Steak Salad ahead of time and all you have to do is reheat before adding to the salad.
  • Soup is great to make ahead and reheat as needed throughout the week. With Wednesday’s tomato soup, add the cooked tortellini just before serving.
  • Couscous typically cooks pretty quickly, but if you’d like Thursday’s meal to be a “one pot meal,” make the couscous ahead of time and it will be ready to add to the shrimp saute and help minimize dinnertime cleanup.


  • We like to use specialty ingredients more than just one time in a week so that none go to waste. This week, feta cheese is used twice for both the Steak Salad and Shrimp Saute. (We highly recommend the blocks of feta that you can crumble – they’re especially delicious!)
  • We are big fans of homemade salad dressings – they are so simple and so delicious! Make a double batch of balsamic vinaigrette to use for both Monday and Wednesday’s salads.
  • It’s the little things that can make a big difference! Fresh parsley, lemon juice, and kalamata olives are used in several dishes throughout the week.


  • Leftover tomato soup can be the base for a hearty shakshuka. Try this community-favorite recipe here!
  • Dice leftover lemon chicken and add to leftover risotto or couscous. Toss in other veggies you may have on hand (frozen peas and broccoli would also work well!) Top with your favorite cheese and bake for a comforting casserole.
  • Add sliced steak to your favorite toasted sandwich bread and top with leftover salad fixings and balsamic vinaigrette for a delicious sandwich!

We do more than create meal plans. We create memories around the dinner table.

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Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 1/7/19 via Cook Smarts


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