Meal Plan Menu | Week of 8/26/19
Save time and enjoy quick healthy dinners without sacrificing any flavor with our latest meal plan menu! We’re featuring fast family meals that everyone around the dinner table will enjoy.
There’s just something about knowing that September is on its way that beckons us to get back into a rhythm or try a new routine. Whether your little ones are already back in school or this is your last week of summer vacation, we know that just about everyone’s routines are on the brink of change. This time of year is getting busy – really busy, really fast!
Let us help you with this change in season. Our meal planning service provides you with a weekly menu of fast, fresh meals the whole family will love! We know that typically “fast food” means less-than-healthy food options that lack lean protein, fresh produce, and healthy fats. But with a bit of meal prep, we’ll show you how healthy and flavorful meals come together quickly right from your kitchen!
This week, you’ll discover easy-to-make dishes filled with flavor:
- Monday: Shrimp Scampi with Angel Hair Pasta
- Tuesday: Poached Eggs with Creamy Spinach & Marinated Tomatoes
- Wednesday: Asian Chicken Salad with Crunchy Ramen
- Thursday: Beer Brats with German Potato Salad
Not only do we save you time with efficient dinner recipes, but a subscription to our meal plan service will save you precious time each week with a custom grocery list, weekend prep steps, and instructional videos of easy cooking techniques.
“I love not having to think about what’s for dinner! This [meal plan] service frees up precious time for our family of two full-time working parents and a one year old.”
– Erin M. (Member since Jan 2018)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
This fast and fresh meal comes together quickly – perfect for a Monday night! The shrimp is briefly marinated in garlic, parsley, and oil to deepen the flavor of this dish before being sauteed with butter, white wine, tomatoes, and red pepper flakes. A fresh squeeze of lemon ties everything together beautifully. Served over delicate angel hair pasta and nutritious broccoli, this meal will have everyone asking for seconds!
A few simple substitutions are all that’s needed to honor a variety of dietary needs. Vegetarians will use white beans and pine nuts in place of the shrimp in our recipe for Garlicky White Beans with Tomatoes. To make this dish gluten-free, use your favorite GF pasta. Trying a Paleo diet? No worries! Enjoy all the flavors of this dish by using zucchini noodles in place of the pasta.
Breakfast for dinner is always a welcome treat! While many brunch dishes may be heavy, our Cook Smarts twist on the classic Eggs Florentine lightens up the creamed spinach by stirring in yogurt and lemon juice instead of heavy cream. Served over toasted English Muffins and topped with a perfectly poached egg, you might just think you’re at a hip brunch spot! A delicious salad of balsamic tomatoes adds a fresh burst of end-of-summer flavor to this dinner.
Mix it up this week and try Salmon with Poached Eggs and Creamy Spinach, the Paleo variation of this recipe – it won’t disappoint! The creamy spinach and poached eggs are served over seared salmon filets, making it a savory treat. For a gluten-free meal, use your favorite GF bread or English Muffins. Vegetarians won’t need to make any substitutions to the original recipe.
Always a crowd-pleaser, our Asian Chicken Salad is anything but just-an-average-salad. Crunchy greens such as Napa cabbage, celery, green onions, edamame, and creamy avocados serve as the backdrop to this dreamy salad. We kick it up a notch by toasting the almonds and ramen noodles in the oven to give this salad extra crunch, and complete the dish with marinated chicken and a drizzle of lip-smacking sweet and sour vinaigrette.
Vegetarians won’t ever miss out on the great Cook Smarts flavors of the original recipe, and you can still enjoy all the delicious sweet and sour flavors without the chicken in our Asian Tofu Salad with Crunchy Ramen. To make this salad gluten-free or Paleo compliant, leave out the ramen noodles and make a few simple substitutions to the dressing.
THURSDAY | Beer Simmered Brats with German Potato Salad
A popular summer dinner in the Midwest, German-style bratwurst sausages (“brats”) are simmered in beer or stock to add flavor and then finished on the grill to get a crisp sear. Top them with peppers and onions and serve with or without buns. A classic side dish of German potato salad is the perfect companion on the plate. This would be a great meal to serve to a crowd over the Labor Day weekend!
A delicious vegetarian alternative to the brats is Mixed Vegetable Hoagie Melts. Toasted hoagie buns are topped with a variety of veggies (zucchini, bell peppers, onions, olives, and artichoke hearts) and cheese, then popped in the oven until melty. Use your favorite GF beer and buns for a delicious gluten-free meal, or swap out the potatoes for cauliflower in the side salad for a Paleo-friendly dinner.
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
- Marinades help proteins and veggies in this week’s meals develop deeper flavor. Get a head start on dinner by making the marinades up to 5 days in advance, and proteins / veggies can be marinated up to 1 day ahead of time. (For more marinating tips and times, check out our infographic Guide to Marinades.)
- Salads are a great weeknight staple in our meal planning, and you can save valuable time by chopping the veggies over the weekend. Prep all the elements of Wednesday’s Asian Chicken Salad so that dinner comes together quickly mid-week.
- Crunchy celery adds depth of flavor and crunch to dishes, but one bunch doesn’t always get used up. By using celery in two meals this week – Wednesday’s Asian Chicken Salad and Thursday’s German Potato Salad – none will go to waste! Meal prep tip: Store the celery in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator to ensure that it stays crisp.
- Parsley brightens up several dishes this week with fresh, herby flavor, so be sure to purchase a big, leafy bunch at the grocery store. Check out this video to see how to properly chop these leafy herbs without bruising them.
- Make the ultimate grilled cheese with your favorite sandwich bread, leftover creamy spinach from Tuesday, and cheese of your choice (like Swiss).
- Chop leftover brats, peppers, and onions and simmer with a can of fire-roasted diced tomatoes for a delicious, flavorful pasta sauce.
- Make a yummy frittata with any extra eggs and leftover boiled red potatoes, peppers, onions, tomatoes, and spinach. (Such a great way to clean out the fridge and use all the fresh late-summer produce!)