Fun Dinner Meal Plan | Meal Plan Menu (12/13/21)
This week we’re going to eat the rainbow! We have a really fun dinner meal plan to brighten up your December, including a Mediterranean Chicken Bake or Mediterranean Pasta, Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs or Veggie ‘Meatballs,’ Winter Cobb Salad, and a vegetarian Miso Ramen.
Mediterranean Chicken Bake and Green Salad with Zucchini Ribbons
Gluten-Free: Same as original version
Paleo: Mediterranean Chicken Bake (without feta)
Vegetarian: Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes and Capers
First up on Monday is a Mediterranean Chicken Bake, which is served with a green salad with zucchini ribbons and oranges. This is such a great weeknight meal because it’s quick, simple, and healthy, but it has a kind of festive feel. You’re going to bake sliced chicken breast in the oven with a Mediterranean topping that includes artichoke hearts, tomatoes, and capers, and while that’s cooking you’ll make your zucchini ribbons and put together the salad. Or if you’re making the vegetarian version, you’ll make a Mediterranean Pasta with Artichokes and Capers, and serve that with a salad of avocado and oranges. Any leftover Mediterranean chicken freezes well for later.
Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes
Gluten-Free: Slow Cooker Gluten-Free Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Potatoes
Paleo: Slow Cooker Paleo Swedish Meatballs with Mashed Cauliflower
Vegetarian: Lentil and Mushroom Veggie ‘Meatballs’ in Gravy with Noodles
On Tuesday, you’ll be making Slow Cooker Swedish Meatballs — and in our version, we’re making chicken meatballs — with mashed potatoes and green beans, or Lentil and Mushroom Veggie ‘Meatballs’ in Gravy with noodles and green beans in the vegetarian version. And of course, feel free to make mashed potatoes or noodles in either version; we just really liked how the lentil and mushroom meatballs went with noodles.
Both versions of Swedish meatballs have a gravy that’s flavored with soy sauce and mustard that really brings out the more subtle flavors in the meatballs, and they’re served with a side of steamed green beans with lemon juice. This is a great meal to make ahead of time to save time on a busy night. Just keep all the elements separate and reheat them when you’re ready to serve.
“My favorite thing about Cook Smarts: Not having to decide what’s for dinner every night. This has been such a huge weight off my shoulders / mental load this year.”
—Laura C. (Member since June 2018)
Winter Cobb Salad
Gluten-Free: Same as original version
Paleo: Winter Cobb Salad (without feta)
Vegetarian: Winter Cobb Salad with Tempeh Bacon
On Wednesday, we have a Winter Cobb Salad. Cobb salad is always a favorite, with its hearty hard-boiled eggs, bacon (or tempeh bacon), and cheese, but for this version we wanted to give a seasonal twist. So instead of the summer produce found in a traditional Cobb salad, we’re using sautéed brussels sprouts, pomegranate seeds, and pears over baby kale. It’s got some sweet flavors, some umami, some salty, and it’s rounded out with a Tangy Shallot Vinaigrette. It’s SO GOOD.
Vegetarian Miso Ramen with Lime and Veggies
Gluten-Free: Miso Noodle Soup with Lime and Veggies
Paleo: Zucchini Noodle ‘Ramen’ with Chicken and Veggies
Vegetarian: Same as original version
Last but not least, on Thursday we have a vegetarian Miso Ramen with Lime, which is full of bok choy, cauliflower, and edamame. If you have an Asian grocery store near you, you’ll probably be able to find dried ramen noodles that don’t come with those powdered flavor packets, but you can also just throw away the packets from instant ramen and use the noodles. Or simply use soba or udon noodles instead! We’re going to make a really flavorful broth for the vegetarian miso ramen with garlic, miso paste, and lime zest, then cook the veggies and noodles right in the broth, and finish it off with some soy sauce and fresh cilantro. This ramen also freezes well, so consider doubling the recipe to freeze for later.
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.