Easy but Fancy Dinner Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (12/27/21)

Easy but Fancy Dinner Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (12/27/21)

Next week’s menu includes a couple of extra special meals — Crab Linguine in White Wine Sauce and Beef Bourguignon — to help say goodbye to 2021 and welcome in 2022. We’re also sharing some member favorites like Sesame Chicken and our always-popular Shakshuka recipe, as well as a brand-new recipe for baked Crab Rangoon.

  • By Jess Dang
  • December 24, 2021


Crab Linguine in White Wine Sauce

Gluten-Free: Same as original version

Paleo: Zucchini Noodles with Crab

Vegetarian: Zucchini and White Bean Linguine in White Wine Sauce

To kick off the week, we’re making Crab Linguine in White Wine Sauce. This is a light, creamy pasta with butter and shallots and garlic, tossed with fresh crab meat (use pre-cooked to save time). The sauce is made with creme fraiche, which is similar to sour cream, but has a rich flavor and creamy texture that won’t break like sour cream can. It’s worth seeking out! The vegetarian version is Zucchini and White Bean Linguine in White Wine Sauce. And in both versions, the pasta is served with a butter lettuce salad with cucumbers and chives.


Sesame Chicken with Broccoli, Rice, and Baked Crab Rangoon

Gluten-Free: Sesame Chicken in Gluten-Free Sauce with Broccoli over Rice

Paleo: Sesame Chicken with Broccoli over Cauliflower Rice

Vegetarian: Sesame Tofu with Broccoli, Rice, and Baked Cream Cheese Rangoon

Next on the menu is Sesame Chicken or Sesame Tofu with Broccoli, which is served with rice and baked crab rangoon. This is a total takeout fakeout meal, with slightly crisp chicken or tofu pieces coated in a sweet-salty-sour sauce with broccoli and sesame seeds over rice. Leftover Sesame Chicken and cooked rice freeze well, if you have too much. And for the baked crab rangoon, you’ll save just a little of the crab from Monday’s meal so nothing goes to waste, mix it with cream cheese and some other ingredients, wrap it up in wonton wrappers, and bake in the oven. We’ll show you exactly how to do it, so don’t be intimidated!

“This isn’t the first time that Cook Smarts has given me a jumping off point for a dish I want to give a shot, and I feel like after years of being trained by Cook Smarts to work smarter and not harder in the kitchen, I’m able to accomplish a lot.”

— Rosie G. (Member since June 2013)


Shakshuka with Eggs, Pita, and Yogurt Dip

Gluten-Free: Shakshuka with Eggs, Gluten-Free Pita, and Yogurt Dip

Paleo: Shakshuka with Eggs and Baba Ganoush

Vegetarian: Same as original version

Next, Wednesday’s meal is Shakshuka. We’ve featured Shakshuka in our meal plans a few times, and it always gets great reviews because it’s easy to make, it’s vegetarian, it’s a light, healthy meal, and it just tastes good. Shakshuka is essentially tomato sauce with Mediterranean flavors that has eggs poached right in the sauce. And in this version, we’re having you serve it with a really flavorful yogurt dip, as well as pita bread and romaine lettuce leaves for dipping. This meal is really quick to make, which should give you some time to make Thursday’s meal on Wednesday evening if you choose!


Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon with Mashed Potatoes

Gluten-Free: Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon (with gluten-free flour) and Mashed Potatoes

Paleo: Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon with Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Vegetarian: Slow Cooker Seitan Bourguignon with Mashed Potatoes

On Thursday we’re making Slow Cooker Beef Bourguignon, or Seitan Bourguignon, but the slow cooker is optional (you can also just make it in the oven). If you want to make it ahead, it will really allow the flavors to develop and mesh and it will be even more delicious. Beef Bourguignon is a French stew with red wine that contains garlic, onions, carrots, and mushrooms. You’ll start it cooking in a Dutch oven so that you can brown the meat or seitan and get the veggies going, then finish it in the slow cooker or oven. And then you’ll serve it over mashed potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes with a mixed greens salad on the side. The great thing about Beef Bourguignon is that it also freezes well, so feel free to double the recipe for an easy weeknight dinner later on.

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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