Healthy Budget Meals | Meal Plan Menu (1/4/21)

Healthy Budget Meals | Meal Plan Menu (1/4/21)

These fun recipes for dinner are a great way to bring some excitement to your winter meals. This week you’ll make Sriracha Shrimp, a Latin chicken sandwich, Chicken Tetrazzini casserole, and a Huevos Rancheros recipe.

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • January 1, 2021


Sriracha Honey Shrimp with Broccoli & Rice

A simple meal of shrimp and broccoli over rice gets a creamy, spicy, tangy upgrade thanks to the creamy Sriracha sauce we have you put on top. It’s finished with walnuts and cilantro for a delicious but unexpected twist. Altogether, it’s a quick, healthy, and satisfying weeknight meal that our Cook Smarts community consistently loves. This meal comes together in 35 minutes — or much less if you do the prep in advance, which will leave you with nothing but cooking the shrimp and broccoli, reheating the rice, and assembling the bowls when it’s time to eat. 

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • This meal uses fresh cilantro, which you’ll also use in Tuesday’s Latin Chicken Sandwich.
  • Leftover shrimp and cooked rice freeze well, so make extras and freeze for future leftovers.

Diet Variation:

  • Use tamari instead of regular soy sauce for a gluten-free dinner.
  • You’ll make cauliflower rice and use coconut aminos instead of soy sauce if you’re cooking paleo.
  • Vegetarians will make Sriracha Honey Tofu instead of shrimp.


Latin Chicken Sandwich with Curtido & Oven Fries

These Latin-spiced sandwiches start with an unexpected ingredient: rotisserie chicken. You’ll shred the chicken and sauté it with a spice blend to form the base of this sandwich, which gets additional flavors and textures from avocado crema and our curtido recipe, which is pickled cabbage and carrots with spices. You’ll serve the sandwiches with a side of oven fries for a decadent, restaurant-worthy meal containing just 432 calories.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Rotisserie chicken and sour cream are great “cook once, eat twice” ingredients! This healthy budget meal plan menu has you use the second half of the rotisserie chicken for Wednesday’s Chicken Tetrazzini Casserole, and more sour cream for Thursday’s Huevos Rancheros recipe.
  • Prep all sandwich components in advance for an extra-quick assembly.
  • Turn leftover avocado crema into a veggie dip!

Diet Variation:

  • Buns are the only gluten-containing ingredient in this meal, so pick up some GF buns for a fully gluten-free meal. 
  • For a paleo variation, you’ll make sweet potato “toasts” instead of using buns, and skip the sour cream in the avocado crema.
  • A Latin-Spiced Black Bean Burger takes the place of the chicken for the vegetarian version.

“Cook Smarts is kinda changing my life right now and I’m only three meals in. How did I not know about this sooner???”

– Rachel C. (Member since Oct. 2019)


Chicken Tetrazzini with Mixed Greens Salad

This classic comfort-food pasta dish has all the flavors you remember from childhood, plus a few additional ones you’ll love. Gruyere and a touch of white wine and nutmeg make this dish a decidedly more grown-up version. Traditionally, this dish uses long noodles (we recommend linguine), but you can also use short pasta shapes such as fusilli or penne. Bake the pasta in a skillet or casserole dish with cheese on top. Vegetables come from peas and mushrooms in the pasta, plus a simple side salad of mixed greens in balsamic vinaigrette. 

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Using rotisserie chicken cuts the prep / cook time, making this meal come together in 50 minutes.

Diet Variation:

  • Gluten-free linguine and gluten-free flour are the only changes you’ll need for a gluten-free meal. 
  • Using zucchini noodles and making a few other easy switches, such as arrowroot powder instead of flour; dropping the peas, half and half, and cheese; and adding pecans, make this meal paleo-friendly.
  • Vegetarians will make a Leek, Mushroom, and Zucchini Tetrazzini instead of using chicken.


Huevos Rancheros with Curtido & Jicama Sticks

This breakfast for dinner recipe gets a healthy (and delicious!) twist by using a cabbage and carrot curtido recipe and serving it with a side of chili-lime jicama sticks. The meal is assembled by crisping tortillas in the broiler and topping them with fried eggs, curtido, refried beans, salsa, and sour cream. It will come together quickly if you made the curtido earlier in the week, but even starting from scratch will take just 40 minutes. Have other veggies you need to use up, or want to leave out a component? This meal is easy to customize to fit your fridge and your palate!

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Leftover curtido can be sautéd and served alongside proteins or mixed into scrambled eggs.

Diet Variation:

  • This meal is already gluten-free and vegetarian, but if you eat paleo, you’ll be making a Tex-Mex Scramble with bell peppers.

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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