Fast Weeknight Dinners | Meal Plan Menu (4/5/21)

Fast Weeknight Dinners | Meal Plan Menu (4/5/21)

This week’s healthy meal plan includes a recipe for kale salad with pork chops topped with a Thai peanut salad dressing that you’ll reuse later in the week. We’ll also share a green shakshuka recipe, which is an easy vegetarian dinner packed with veggies. And you’ll learn the fun tortilla wrap hack that went viral earlier this year!

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • April 2, 2021

MONDAY

Asian Kale Salad with Seared Pork Chops and Peanut Dressing

Rich peanut dressing adds depth to an otherwise light, fresh meal of baby kale, crisp celery, and sweet Asian pear topped with sliced pork. This is a great make-ahead meal for when you’re short on time, as you can make the dressing, prep the pork, and chop the produce in advance, so all that’s left is searing the pork and assembling the salads. Or for an even faster meal, cook the pork in advance as well and simply reheat it or serve it at room temperature! It’s a flavorful study in contrasts thanks to the variety of flavors and textures, from sweet to salty to sour, and crisp to crunchy to creamy.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Finely chop leftover pork and simmer with tomato sauce for an easy pasta meal.
  • Make good use of a whole bunch of cilantro when you use it for this meal, for Tuesday’s green shakshuka recipe, and Thursday’s Thai chicken recipe.
  • Save time by making double the dressing and saving half for the Thai peanut salad dressing used for Thursday’s salad.

Diet Variation:

  • Swap tamari for soy sauce in the gluten-free version of this meal. 
  • Make cashew dressing for a paleo variation, and top with sunflower seeds instead of peanuts. 
  • Edamame and crunchy chow mein noodles make for a delicious vegetarian twist.

TUESDAY

Green Shakshuka with Pita Bread

Our Cook Smarts community loves Shakshuka, a Mediterranean egg dish that’s quick and easy without sacrificing flavor. This time around we decided to give it a springtime twist by turning the dish green instead of red — with green salsa, zucchini, leeks, spinach, and avocado, and a sprinkling of cilantro over the finished dish. This one-pot meal involves cooking the eggs right in the saucy vegetables so they soak up some of those great flavors. Toast pita wedges and serve them on the side for dipping.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Extra pita bread freezes well. Learn how with our All in One Freezer Guide!
  • Leftovers can be wrapped in a burrito-sized tortilla along with rice for a delicious breakfast or lunch.

Diet Variation:

  • Use gluten-free tortilla chips instead of pita bread in the gluten-free version of the meal.
  • Go with plantain chips (and skip the dollop of yogurt on top!) if you’re eating paleo.
  • No changes are needed in the vegetarian version.

“Thank you, again, Cook Smarts, for another wonderful meal! … I’m cooking more and better-tasting food, and more variety, and I have enough leftovers to get off my cold salad lunch rut.”

—Rachel S. (Member since Dec 2020)


WEDNESDAY

Warm Ham, Broccoli, and Cheddar Tortilla Wrap

Somewhere in between grown-up grilled cheese and fancy quesadillas, you’ve got these wonderful tortilla wraps! They follow the simple but brilliant wrapping technique that was popularized on social media in January, and in this meal plan recipe, we’ll show you step-by-step how it’s done . The wraps feature roasted broccoli, deli-sliced ham, white cheddar, and harissa aioli. They’re seared on the griddle until crisp, and served with a side of sweet potato fries for a meal that tastes much more decadent than it is!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Be sure to slice the broccoli thin enough so it will work well in the flattened wraps.
  • These wraps are simple enough to throw together in minutes, so keep a pack of tortillas in the freezer for busy nights. You can also freeze cooked wraps.

Diet Variation:

  • If you’re following the gluten-free version, simply make sure to buy gluten-free tortillas and sweet potato fries.
  • For a paleo meal, make a Baked Ham and Chicken Roll with harissa aioli, and serve it with roasted broccoli and sweet potatoes on the side.
  • Use white beans instead of ham for a vegetarian version, and add some miso paste for extra umami flavor.

THURSDAY

Thai Marinated Chicken with Mango Cashew Chopped Salad

In this meal, you’ll marinate chicken thighs in umami-rich Thai flavors and cook it on the grill — if the weather’s nice — or keep things simple and cook it indoors on the stovetop. You’ll serve it over rice with a fresh side salad featuring cucumber, mango, and cashews, which you’ll drizzle with a delicious peanut dressing. 

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Most of the time this meal takes is hands-off time, so it’s a great one to prep in advance. When it’s time to eat, simply cook the chicken, reheat the rice, and toss together the salad!

Diet Variation:

  • Make sure to buy tamari soy sauce if you’re making the gluten-free version of this meal. 
  • You’ll make a cashew dressing with coconut aminos if you’re cooking the paleo variation.
  • Swap out the chicken for tofu in the vegetarian version of this meal.

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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