Savor the flavor of summer with this week’s meal plan, which is filled with fresh produce, exotic spices, and simple dinner recipes that take less than 45 minutes to make!
We know you’re busy. It’s the middle of August, and it’s time to tackle the rest of your summer bucket list, whether that means an extra trip to the community pool or one last weekend road trip. Whether you’re busy running errands, running a staff meeting, or running through the sprinklers with your kids, let us help you run dinnertime so that you can soak up the last bit of summer.
Each meal this week features perfectly balanced spices that will add just the right amount of pep in your step. From za’atar-spiced Middle Eastern Salmon Kebabs to Chipotle Guacamole Burgers, there’s something for everyone. To make dinnertime memorable, we’re introducing unique flavors in the form of a smoky-sweet Halloumi Salad with Apricots and Couscous, and we bring back a classic Cook Smarts favorite – Skillet Enchiladas! Our meal plans are a great way to introduce both kids and adults to new veggies, imaginative flavor combinations, and innovative ways to use proteins.
With a week’s worth of dinners planned just for you, an organized grocery list, and easy prep steps, you can savor the flavor of summer with delicious meals that celebrate fresh produce and exotic spices.
“I feel more in control of meal time. I am making complex (tasting!) meals that include the sides. My kids have found new sides and veggies that they love. Truthfully, they aren’t veggies and spices I would have normally had in our meal rotation. My kids are having culinary experiences that many adults still haven’t had! We love Cook Smarts!”
– Morgan G. (Member since Feb 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
Start your tasty adventure with spiced salmon kebabs seasoned with za’atar and made extra zingy with lemon. You’ll love how eye-catching and flavorful it is to alternate salmon and lemon slices on a skewer and char them over the grill. Served with fluffy couscous and a refreshing side salad of creamy avocados and bright citrus fruit, this meal celebrates summer flavors with an exotic flair.
Our gluten-free members will use quinoa and we recommend cauliflower rice for those on a Paleo diet. Vegetarians will love the za’atar-spiced yogurt in these Middle Eastern Bowls with Lentils and Couscous.
This isn’t your average burger and fries. First, exceptional flavor gets added to the beef burger patty – Worcestershire sauce, chipotle peppers, and cilantro give the burger a full-bodied, savory, spicy, herbaceous flavor. Once grilled to juicy perfection, cool guacamole flavored with a hint of shallots and fresh lime juice is topped on the flavorful patties. Last but certainly not least, a side of paprika-spiced sweet potato fries is the perfect accompaniment, making each bite of this meal a flavor blast.
Simple substitutions make this a great summer meal to serve at any gathering. Our Paleo members will go sans buns and gluten-free folks will use their favorite GF hamburger bun. Vegetarians will enjoy the flavor combination of spicy chipotle and smooth guacamole in a Chipotle Guacamole Portobello Burger.
Ready to make dinnertime memorable? We’ve got an enticing entree salad that is sweet, smoky, nutty, and includes pan-seared cheese! Yes, you heard right. Crisp, golden, incredibly amazing, pan-seared cheese. Can it get any better? Oh, yes it can.
On top of a bed of salad greens, your taste buds will discover fluffy couscous, fresh green beans, sweet apricots, and toasted walnuts alongside the pan-seared Halloumi cheese. Our homemade smoky paprika dressing made with yogurt, honey, Dijon mustard, and smoked paprika ties all the flavors together. The result is a delicious dinner salad that’s guaranteed to carry you through the rest of the week.
This vegetarian salad is super easy to accommodate different dietary needs. Our gluten-free members will use quinoa leftover from Monday’s meal in place of the couscous. To make this meal Paleo compliant, replace the couscous with leftover cauliflower rice (from Monday) and use pork chops in place of the Halloumi cheese.
We love this stovetop version of enchiladas because they’re fast, easy, and offer a variety of ways to work in veggies, protein, sauce, tortillas, and of course, cheese! This spin on skillet enchiladas uses adobo sauce for a smoky flavor that’s perfectly complemented by sweet corn, ground chicken, poblano peppers, zucchini, and Monterey Jack cheese. Topped with cool sour cream, the result is a satisfying meal that’s easy to make ahead and reheat as needed. (It’s also great to make and take to new parents or a friend in need!)
Vegetarians will use black beans in place of the ground chicken in these Black Bean Skillet Enchiladas. Stovetop enchiladas are easy to make Paleo-friendly; simply skip the tortillas and cheese and top with crunchy pepitas in our recipe for Mexican Ground Chicken Skillet. Use your favorite GF corn tortillas for a gluten-free meal.
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
- Salads are great summer meals, but there can be lots of prepping, washing, and chopping veggies. Use the weekend to make Wednesday’s salad come together quickly by making the smoky paprika dressing and chopping the green beans, apricots, and Halloumi cheese. Easily and quickly assemble the salad on Wednesday night.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo sauce add smoky flavor to three meals this week so that nothing goes to waste! The peppers are chopped and mixed in Tuesday’s beef burger patties and the adobo sauce is used in Wednesday’s salad dressing and Thursday’s sauce. If you do have any leftover, both the peppers and the adobo sauce freeze well.
- Buttery avocados are such a treat! This week we use them in two meals – in a citrus salad side dish on Monday and in guacamole on Tuesday. Need your avocados to ripen quickly? Store them at room temperature in a brown paper bag with an apple for a day or two.
- Zesty and bright, cilantro adds fresh flavor to the burger patties, guacamole, and skillet enchiladas this week. Look for a full, leafy bunch at the grocery store, and our meal plan will ensure you use up every last flavorful leaf.
- Chop leftover sweet potato fries and make a quick breakfast hash with sauteed leftover poblano peppers, corn, and zucchini. Top with a fried egg and a dash of hot sauce for an excellent weekend brunch.
- Don’t let extra corn tortillas go to waste! Wrap leftover chopped burger patties in the tortillas for delicious street tacos. Top with your favorite taco fixings such as ripe tomatoes and leftover guacamole or sour cream.
- Veggies are great grilled and roasted, but we especially love them air-fried. Toss leftover veggies from the week in a bit of avocado oil and pop in the air fryer for a fun way to change up how you eat your veggies!