Enjoy this week’s meal plan menu of easy, flavorful meals, including a unique twist on grilled cheese and restaurant-worthy stuffed chicken.
Take a quick scan around a restaurant and you’ll probably notice that just about everyone takes a picture of their food and posts it online before even taking a bite. It’s clear that we LOVE food in our culture and there’s so much information about food nowadays – from TV shows and magazines to food blogs and endless social media platforms.
And even with all of this information out there, making choices about what to make for dinner on a daily basis and how to grocery shop efficiently can still feel really overwhelming. We get it.
Enter Cook Smarts. We are here to end decision paralysis caused by information overload. We’re here to streamline your meal planning and make it easy (and delicious!) with weekly meal plan menus. AND we will cheer you on every step of the way with our community of Kitchen Heroes.
Pretty awesome, right? An active cooking community and stress-free dinners? Just when you think it can’t get any better, our meal plan menu comes into play . . .
This week we have easy, flavorful meals that everyone can make – whether you are brand new to cooking, or you’ve been cooking for over 20 years and need inspiration. We’ve got something for everyone. We put fun, simple twists on classics like jazzing up burrito bowls with slow-cooked carnitas and adding buttery balsamic red onions to grilled cheese sandwiches. We make use of leftovers by re-purposing carnitas into a veggie-packed soup. And lastly, our prosciutto-wrapped chicken makes you feel like a gourmet chef – without all the fuss.
So stop mindlessly scrolling through recipes and start taking charge of dinnertime, your grocery budget, and your health with our meal planning service. Let us help you make 2019 the best year yet!
“Cook Smarts was the best decision we have made in terms of food. Cook Smarts has introduced my family to a whole variety of new flavors and made our lives so much easier without having to compromise healthy cooking / eating.”
– Harinder K. (Member since April 2016)
All meals come with gluten-free, Paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
Our slow cooker pork carnitas recipe is a Cook Smarts community favorite because it is easy and versatile – perfect for the novice or experienced cook to try at home! However, to jazz things up a bit, this recipe puts a twist on the traditional burrito bowl. We start with fluffy quinoa as the base for extra protein and fiber and to this we add the slow-cooked carnitas (which gets crisped in a skillet before adding to the burrito bowl), creamy avocados, fresh cilantro, and a delicious homemade warm corn salsa. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and crunchy tortilla chips and we bet everyone will be begging for seconds!
All of the components of this dish are easily adapted for a variety of dietary needs. Try our Paleo Slow Cooker Carnitas Lettuce Cups with a side of roasted southwestern cauliflower, if you wish to skip the grains. Top your burrito bowl with roasted cauliflower in place of the carnitas for a delicious and satisfying Meatless Monday recipe. Use your favorite GF tortilla chips to make this dish gluten-free.
Who doesn’t love a grilled cheese sandwich? They are comforting, cozy, and a welcome pick-me-up on a weeknight. We add a gourmet flair to this classic sandwich with sweet, tart, caramelized balsamic red onions to balance out the richness of melty fontina cheese. Even better? Everyone can pull off this dish! Whether you are a seasoned chef with every kitchen gadget, or just starting out on your cooking journey with the basics, this recipe is approachable for everyone and yields great results.
Vegetarians won’t need to make any adjustments to this recipe and our gluten-free friends will simply use their favorite GF sandwich bread. Enjoy the same flavor profile in our Paleo Hanger Steak with Red Onions.
WEDNESDAY | Leftover Carnitas Soup with Hominy & Chayote
We love leftovers and we strive to teach our members how to plan meals that incorporate leftovers tastefully to save time, money, and minimize food waste. This week we transform carnitas into a zesty soup with layers of flavors and textures from hominy, chayote, poblano peppers, and onions. We utilize store-bought salsa and coleslaw mix to save you a little bit of time on a busy weeknight. By using leftover carnitas, this one-pot dinner comes together quickly!
No substitutions are needed to make this soup gluten-free. Skip the hominy if you’d like to make this Paleo compliant. Vegetarians will use soyrizo and pinto beans in place of carnitas.
Looking for a showstopper dinner that’s weeknight-friendly? Our Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken is an elegant dish that’s perfect for entertaining guests at the dining table, or eaten while catching up on your favorite TV shows (we won’t tell!). Butterflied chicken breasts are tenderized and then seasoned and filled with creamy fontina cheese. Prosciutto is wrapped around the chicken breasts and everything gets seared in a pan and then baked in the oven. Finished with a white wine pan sauce and a side of lemony garlic broccoli, this dinner is a celebration of weeknight cooking at its best.
Never butterflied a chicken breast before? Not sure how to tenderize the meat and wrap with prosciutto? Not to worry! Every Cook Smarts recipe comes with videos to help you, and this recipe includes a special video that walks you through all these steps and techniques.
Gluten-free members can choose any of their favorite pasta shapes to serve with the chicken. Vegetarians will love this Chard and Cheese Frittata, and our Paleo variation uses a delicious spinach and artichoke filling in place of cheese.
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 Smarts
- Fontina cheese is rich, creamy, and melts well – perfect for both our grilled cheese and stuffed chicken breast recipes this week. (You may need to look for this cheese near the deli counter or “fancy cheese” section of the grocery store).
- A dollop of sour cream goes a long way, so to make the most use of it, top it in both the burrito bowls and the carnitas soup.
- Look for a full, leafy bunch of cilantro at the grocery store, as this flavorful herb will add a fresh pop of flavor to a couple dishes this week!
- Wednesday’s soup calls for chayote, which is a pear-shaped green gourd that is most commonly found in Latin-inspired dishes. Look for it in the fresh produce department. If you can’t find chayote, ask someone in the produce department for assistance or use fresh zucchini as a substitute.
- Hominy is also used in Wednesday’s soup. Look for hominy in the canned vegetables aisle of the grocery store, or perhaps in the international aisle near the Mexican or Latin-inspired foods. Hominy is dried maize kernels that have been soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution. It also adds a wonderful taste and texture to soups!
- Homemade pizza is a great way to use leftover ingredients from the week – try leftover corn salsa, caramelized onions, peppers, a drizzle of barbecue sauce, and cheese of your choice on a pizza! (Top with fresh avocados after baking to switch things up! Or try our pizza guide for more creative toppings ideas!).
- Serve leftover prosciutto-wrapped chicken over spaghetti noodles and your favorite store-bought sauce for a quick pasta meal.