Meal Plan Menu | Week of 10/28/19

Meal Plan Menu | Week of 10/28/19

Meals that are short on time are never short on flavor, especially when it comes to our quick fall dinner recipes! Our meal plan this week packs in quick-cooking meals that are comforting, cozy, and full of flavor.

  • By Chelsea Paxton
  • October 25, 2019

This week may feel especially busy as you do your best to squeeze in all the fun fall festivities – pumpkin picking, baking, decorating, and of course, Halloween! And when life gets busy, it’s even more important to fuel up with hearty meals that are packed with protein, veggies, and whole grains to keep you going through a hectic week. That’s why at Cook Smarts, you’ll find meals that are short on time but never short on flavor!

On our meal plan menu this week, you’ll get a taste of quick-cooking meals packed with flavor. On Monday, experience a Mexican spin on classic Shakshuka by combining warm spices with poached eggs in a rich tomato sauce. The next night, delight in an easy clean-up dinner with our recipe for Balsamic Pork Tenderloin & Roasted Brussels Sprouts. Our menu rounds out the week with simple-to-make favorites – Sriracha Honey Shrimp bowls and Slow Cooker Sopa Azteca, the latter being super easy to keep warm throughout a busy Halloween night.

With our meal plan service, you’ll get to enjoy so many convenient ways to save time without sacrificing flavor. Make this upcoming holiday season a lot more stress-free by signing up for a meal plan subscription (starting at $6-8 a month!) today: 

“I am so happy that we get to eat amazingly at home, my shopping trips are easy and the cart is filled with mostly produce that I know I’m going to use before it spoils, and my kid is exposed to a wide variety of flavors. I’ve learned how to cook in the process and can now improvise and create yummy meals from items we have in the pantry. I cannot express enough how big of a deal Cook Smarts has been for my family!”

– Emily R. (Member since Feb 2017)

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 | Mexican Shakshuka with Tortillas

Begin the week with a quick-cooking and budget-friendly dinner the whole family will love! We put a Cook Smarts twist on Shakshuka (eggs poached in a veggie-packed tomato sauce) with the addition of a homemade Mexican spice blend, giving this classic dish an updated flavor. This warming dinner comes topped with crunchy pepitas, savory queso fresco, and cool sour cream. Serve with your favorite tortillas alongside to scoop up any extra sauce!

Shakshuka is naturally gluten-free and vegetarian, making it a great dish to feed a variety of dietary needs. To make this meal Paleo compliant, simply skip the cheese, sour cream, and tortillas and serve with creamy avocados instead.

TUESDAY | Sheet Pan Balsamic Pork Tenderloin & Brussels Sprouts with Apple Chutney & Quinoa

Sheet pan dinners are a fantastic way to enjoy top notch flavors on a busy weeknight, since you cook all the ingredients on one pan, making clean-up afterwards super fast! This recipe features pork tenderloin and brussels sprouts tossed with a lip-smacking balsamic-mustard sauce. To make this meal even more flavorful and filling, we include a recipe for homemade apple chutney and a side of fluffy quinoa.

This meal is already gluten-free and can be made Paleo-friendly by skipping the quinoa and increasing the portion size of the pork tenderloin. Vegetarians will enjoy all the flavors of fall in our recipe for Roasted Brussels Sprouts Quinoa Bowl with Apple Chutney that features crunchy walnuts and tangy goat cheese. 

WEDNESDAY | Sriracha Honey Shrimp & Broccoli with Quinoa

As we mentioned earlier, short on time never has to mean short on flavor! This Sriracha Honey Shrimp recipe comes together in just 30 minutes and features sauteed shrimp tossed in a creamy, spicy, unique sauce. Inspired by the classic Chinese restaurant dish, Honey Walnut Shrimp, we turn this calorie-heavy dish into something healthier and easier to make at home. Enjoy with quinoa, broccoli, and walnuts for a satisfying and delicious meal!!

Use firm tofu in place of the shrimp to make a delicious vegetarian grain bowl topped with Sriracha Honey Tofu. Try our Paleo Walnut Shrimp Bowl served over cauliflower rice or substitute Tamari for the soy sauce to enjoy this dish gluten-free. 

THURSDAY | Slow Cooker Sopa Azteca with Avocado & Baked Tortilla Strips

It can be tempting to make a dinner out of sugary treats and snack foods on a holiday evening – especially during Halloween! Instead, fuel up with a wholesome soup that’s sure to warm you from the inside out and keep those sugar cravings in check. Our slow cooker recipe for Sopa Azteca is full of veggies such as onions, bell peppers, carrots, tomatoes, and corn that provide fiber, vitamins, and satiety. We use chicken thighs in this recipe for depth of flavor and as an excellent protein source. Keep the soup warm in the slow cooker and serve as needed throughout the evening with delicious toppings like avocados, sour cream, lime wedges, crispy baked tortilla chips, and cilantro.

Simple substitutions can be made to this recipe for a variety of dietary needs. Use GF tortillas (or chips) to enjoy this meal gluten-free. Our Paleo members will simply skip the sour cream and tortillas and top the soup with crunchy pepitas. Vegetarians will use lentils in place of the chicken in this recipe for Sopa Azteca with Lentils.

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

Make Aheads:

  • This week is all about making quick meals during a busy week. Save extra time by making a double batch of quinoa on Tuesday and saving part of it for Wednesday’s dish. Save even more time this week by making the quinoa over the weekend (it can be made up to 5 days early) to make both weeknights a lot easier.
  • Thursday’s Slow Cooker Sopa Azteca can be made ahead of time and then put back in the slow cooker to be kept warm throughout the evening. This may be especially helpful if you have a busy day on Halloween or have guests dropping in throughout the evening!


  • By using our grocery list feature, we calculate the total amount you need for all the ingredients this week, which is especially helpful when an ingredient is used several times. For example, you will need a total of 3 tablespoons of adobo sauce (from a can of chipotle chilis), to be used in both Monday’s and Thursday’s dishes.
  • Cilantro is a bright green herb that adds a bright pop of flavor to three meals this week. Look for a full, leafy bunch, and you’ll be able to use it up by the end of the week!
  • Stock up on pantry items this week such as canned fire roasted tomatoes and stock (chicken, beef, or vegetable) as you’ll find them being used several times over the week.
  • Sour cream adds a cool, rich topping to Monday’s Mexican Shakshuka and again to Thursday’s Sopa Azteca. By using it twice in a week, you’ll be able to use up more of the tub!


  • Make deconstructed enchiladas by layering extra corn tortillas with leftover Shakshuka sauce and cheese (try mozzarella or jack cheese) in a casserole dish and baking until warm and bubbly. You can also add a can of black or pinto beans to the sauce for a protein boost!
  • Bring a delicious fall salad to work with your favorite greens, leftover roasted brussels sprouts, toasted walnuts, goat cheese, and dried cranberries. Toss with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette. (For more salad inspiration, check out our infographic 50 Simple Salads for Every Season.)
  • Add a can of black beans to leftover Sopa Azteca, strain some of the broth, and serve over leftover quinoa (or rice, if you don’t have any quinoa leftover!) for a quick chili-inspired dinner.

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