Flavorful Meals from Around the World | Meal Plan Menu (10/4/21)
You’re going to be using your spices in this week’s menu, especially for our Indian Butter Chicken recipe and beef spiced with Ras el Hanout. No more buying spices and just letting them sit there. It’s our job to make sure you make full use of all the spices you own! You’ll also make some Oktoberfest food and reuse the Indian Butter Chicken sauce to make a delicious Indian pizza.
Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Soup with Pretzels and Beer Cheese
First up, a true comfort meal to kick off the week. We’re going to have some Oktoberfest food, so grab your lederhosen! This Slow Cooker Oktoberfest Soup is filled with all the German essentials — sausage, sauerkraut, potatoes, cabbage, and beer, and then you’re going to enjoy it with a side of soft pretzels and beer cheese. The beer is going to make a difference in the soup and the cheese dip so if you’re not the biggest beer fan, consider using a lighter tasting brew, like a pale ale. But if you really like that dark stout, go for it. Or skip it altogether — believe me, it’ll still feel like a German celebration meal.
- For the gluten-free version of this meal, use gluten-free beer (or just sub stock!). You’ll also use gluten-free pretzels or pretzel rolls and sub mustard for the beer cheese.
- Use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes in the paleo version, and you’ll skip the beer, pretzels, and beer cheese.
- Use vegan sausage for the vegetarian version of this meal.
Indian Butter Chicken Meatballs with Cauliflower and Spinach
Next up is our Indian Butter Chicken recipe. Here we’re bringing back a dependency duo. The first part of the duo is Indian Butter Chicken with cauliflower, spinach and basmati rice. This dish is full of flavor from the spice-filled curry sauce you’re going to make. And you’re going to double that sauce so you’ll have enough for Thursday’s Indian Pizza. Upon first look, this meal does have a longer ingredient list than most of our meals. A lot of that is just because there are a lot of spices and aromatics in the sauce, which can be made ahead of time so if you have 10 minutes to spare, measure and mix those spices and get the aromatics prepared and it will make the meal considerably easier. You really don’t want to miss this meal, because it is such a flavorful one to usher in cooler weather!
- Use gluten-free bread crumbs for a fully gluten-free meal.
- In the paleo version, skip the half and half in the sauce and use almond meal instead of bread crumbs in the meatballs. Instead of including cauliflower in the curry itself, serve the meal over cauliflower rice instead of basmati rice.
- For a vegetarian meal, you’ll make vegetarian meatballs out of kidney beans for a protein-packed dish.
“Cook Smarts has changed the task of planning and making dinner (every day!) from a chore to a pleasure! I look forward to the new plans each week and shopping is now a breeze. It’s really simplified my life.”
—Bianca B. (Member since March 2015)
Ras el Hanout Spiced Skirt Steak
On Wednesday, we’re having Moroccan food. Our Moroccan-Spiced Skirt Steak is served with roasted carrots, parsnips, and warm lentils. Ras el Hanout is a very common Middle Eastern spice blend and we have the ingredient list and amounts for you to mix it on your own. Feel free to buy a Ras el Hanout blend if you want to save a little bit of time, but it is made with spices you likely already own and if one of them is missing, it’s okay. It’s still gonna be a great tasting meal. Sometimes our perfectionism and feeling like we have to do exactly what the recipe tells us stands in our way in the kitchen, so we’re giving you permission to skip when it makes sense to and it won’t change the meal significantly!
- Use tamari instead of soy sauce for a gluten-free meal.
- The paleo version of this meal skips the lentils and serves the steak with a kale salad along with the carrots and parsnips. You’ll use coconut aminos in place of soy sauce.
- Make tofu steaks in the vegetarian version of this meal.
Indian Pizza with Peas and Bell Peppers
We are finishing up the week with the second part of the dependent duo. It’s our Indian Pizza with Peas and Bell Peppers, made with naan bread for ease, and served with a romaine salad on the side. You’ll have this deliciously spiced Indian sauce as the base, which gives a totally different spin to our typical concept of what pizza is. We came up with this recipe a few years ago because the first time we had Indian pizza from an Indian pizza restaurant, it blew our minds. So we wanted to share with our larger Cook Smarts audience the amazingness of Indian flavors and spices on comforting, classic pizza!
- Use any gluten-free flatbread in place of the naan if you’re cooking the gluten-free version of this meal.
- Those cooking the paleo version will make an Indian Shrimp Sauté with peas, bell peppers, and zucchini noodles.
- No changes are needed for the vegetarian version.
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.