A Fresh Fun Menu for Spring | Meal Plan Menu (5/3/21)

A Fresh Fun Menu for Spring | Meal Plan Menu (5/3/21)

This week of healthy dinner recipes is packed with fresh vegetables in fun, bright colors, and, of course, lots of flavor! You’ll learn a simple recipe for fish chowder, a carne asada taco recipe, a grilled chicken salad recipe, and a recipe for a croissant sandwich with egg and cheese.

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • April 30, 2021

MONDAY

Fish Chowder with Butter Lettuce Salad

This quick and easy fish chowder recipe uses your choice of white fish, so you can make cod chowder, haddock chowder, or whatever else is fresh at your local store. We include the classic bacon and cream for a rich, flavorful, and creamy fish soup that’s still surprisingly healthy, and potatoes to make the soup heartier and thicker. Pair the chowder with a butter lettuce salad topped with cucumbers and tossed in an apple cider vinaigrette.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Heavy cream makes this soup rich and creamy, and will be used again in Thursday’s croissan’wich — but feel free to sub half and half or milk for a less creamy option.
  • Leftover chowder freezes well, so you can save extras for a future meal.
  • Fresh chives add bright flavor to this meal, as well as Thursday’s croissant sandwich with egg and cheese, so you don’t have to worry about any going to waste!

Diet Variation:

  • Skip the oyster crackers if you’re making the gluten-free version of this meal. 
  • You’ll leave out the white wine and cream in the paleo version of the meal, and use cauliflower instead of potatoes.
  • For the vegetarian version, you’ll make a Lentil Chowder with similar flavors to the original.

TUESDAY

Sesame Miso Grilled Chicken Salad

A miso marinade gives the grilled chicken in this salad a beautifully savory and slightly sweet depth of flavor that we love. This salad is bright and colorful thanks to a bed of baby kale, grilled asparagus, fresh orange segments, and a sprinkling of cilantro. We also include sesame seeds and wonton strips for a light crunch. Don’t want to use the grill to cook the chicken and asparagus? Oven instructions are included in the meal plan!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Save time by prepping all elements of this salad in advance, and simply toss them together when it’s time to serve.
  • Leftover chicken and asparagus freeze well, or can be turned into a stir-fry.

Diet Variation:

  • Use cashews instead of the wonton strips for a gluten-free variation, and make sure to buy gluten-free miso and tamari soy sauce.
  • Use cashews on the salad and tahini and coconut aminos in the dressing if you’re eating paleo.
  • You’ll use tempeh instead of chicken for the vegetarian version, and add some extra protein by keeping the cashews from other diet variations.

“I really appreciate that there’s a veggie version of EVERY meal and that they are as planned and balanced as the meat ones. My spouse is gluten-free and sometimes paleo, and being able to eat versions of the same meal is one of the best parts about Cook Smarts — and very hard to find.”

—Caitlin J. (Member since Sep 2018)


WEDNESDAY

Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo and Zucchini Spears

Fresh-made pico de gallo adds flavor and bite to these homemade carne asada tacos, which are served with a side of seared, spiced zucchini spears. Marinate the steak in a flavorful, bright marinade that includes two types of citrus. Our meal plan also allows you to choose between grill and stovetop instructions! The tacos are assembled by warming tortillas and filling them with carne asada, pico de gallo, and crumbled queso fresco, with a squeeze of lime over the top. ¡Qué rico!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Leftover steak, pico de gallo, and zucchini can be paired with scrambled eggs to make incredible breakfast burritos.
  • Cilantro was used in Wednesday’s Miso Chicken Breast Salad, and makes a second appearance for this meal, making it an efficient way to put a bundle of this fresh herb to good use.

Diet Variation:

  • Use gluten-free tortillas for a totally glutenless meal. 
  • For paleo folks, make Carne Asada Lettuce Cups instead of tacos. You’ll also drop the cheese and add avocado and pepitas.
  • For a vegetarian meal, enjoy Tofu Tacos with the same zesty marinade, and use refried beans and avocados to bulk it all up!

THURSDAY

Breakfast Croissant Sandwich with Raspberry Bellini and Fruit Salad

This festive meal makes a great Mother’s Day brunch, or can be served for a fun Thursday dinner. Creamy chive scrambled eggs, avocado, tomato, and cheese fill a flaky croissant, which is served with a side of lemon poppy seed fruit salad for a brightly colored meal that’s simultaneously decadent and full of nutrients. The bellinis also add color thanks to a raspberry puree that you can make up to 3 days in advance to prepare. All in all, it’s an impressive meal to serve to those you love most. Cheers!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Use sparkling apple cider instead of champagne for a nonalcoholic, kid-friendly bellini — or skip the bellinis entirely if you prefer.
  • If you’re buying croissants in advance with your weekly shopping, keep them fresh by freezing them until you’re ready to use. Warm or toast them before use.
  • Pre-slice croissants before freezing if you plan to warm them up by toasting.

Diet Variation:

  • Use any gluten-free bread instead of croissants if you’re avoiding gluten.
  • The paleo version is an Egg Scramble with Tomato and Avocado Salsa. You’ll make the lemon poppy seed fruit salad but skip the bellini.
  • No changes are needed for 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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