Meal Plan Menu | Week of 1/13/20
From fancy winter toast to fun tropical burgers, this week’s menu is ready to take you on a flavor journey around the world. Get ready for a dinnertime adventure with recipes spiced with garam masala, Cajun seasoning, and other delectable ingredients!
With January in full swing, that probably means you’re experiencing a bout of cold weather and post-holiday fatigue. That’s why we thought it was the perfect time to bring you a menu that is packed with exciting flavors and warming spices. Cooking is a great way to heat up your home, and this week’s meal plan is a great way to help you look forward to cooking again.
We start with completely unique Winter Toasts on Monday and move to Indian-inspired Curry Drumsticks to excite your taste buds on Tuesday. We then bring you the cozy Italian flavors of Lasagna Soup to get you over #HumpDay and close the week with Caribbean-inspired Jerk Pork Burgers topped with pineapple salsa. These recipes that take inspiration from four different continents are definitely ready to get you out of any dinner rut!
Also, since we still have New Year’s resolutions on the mind, we made sure that this week is all about saving time. With our suggestions for dependencies, make-aheads, and leftovers below, you’ll be shocked at how much extra time you have to play with the kids, spark joy with the KonMari method, or hit the gym.
“Cook Smarts has really helped me create a diverse menu and learn how to improvise to suit our tastes. I have also learned to cook cuisines that I always wanted to make, but never had the courage.”
– Heather H. (Member since Jan 2017)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
Ricotta- and chard-topped toast is the perfect way to impress any guest. This meal provides the best of the ‘rustic’ and ‘sophisticated’ worlds with a variety of flavors and textures that look simply smashing together. With white beans and crunchy pine nuts on top and a delicious winter smoothie on the side, this 40-minute meal will keep you satisfied all day.
If you are on a gluten-free diet, you can still easily enjoy this vegetarian meal by picking up GF sandwich bread at the grocery store. If you usually eat Paleo, you can forgo the toasts and make this delicious Chard and Bacon Frittata with roasted cauliflower and spicy mayo instead!
Fragrant spices never cease to excite the senses. That’s why we use curry powder and garam masala in our drumstick marinade to infuse warming flavors as the meat tenderizes. With Indian-spiced sweet potato mash and buttery peas on the side, this delicious dinner is ready in an hour but will make you remember every bite for days to come.
One of the many great things about this meal is that it’s naturally gluten-free and is super easy to make Paleo by swapping the side dish of peas for asparagus with spicy mayo. If you are eating meatless but still want to enjoy these cozy flavors, our Vegetarian Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry with hearty quinoa is a must-try.
WEDNESDAY | Lasagna Soup with Italian Sausage & Ricotta
Do you ever have a weeknight craving for lasagna but simply don’t have many hours to spend in the kitchen? Well, that’s where this lasagna soup comes in! It has all of the delicious flavors of your favorite layered Italian dish, but takes far less work. It even includes broken up lasagna noodles and a topping of ricotta cheese to give you the same flavors as the original, while being ready to serve in only 40 minutes.
This community-favorite is extra convenient because it is freezer-friendly and can be made ahead of time, yet still tastes great when reheated! It also only requires one pot, making cleanup quick and simple. If you want to make it gluten-free or vegetarian, all you need to do is use GF lasagna noodles or protein-rich lentils instead of sausage. If you are following the Paleo diet, you’ll love the scrumptious flavors of our 35-minute Italian Sausage and Vegetable Soup.
In these cold winter months, it’s always a good idea to keep things fresh with a taste of summer. Topped with avocado and pineapple salsa, these tropical, jerk pork burgers will brighten up even the dreariest weather. With a finishing touch of seared plantains that is sheer perfection, this 45-minute meal will soon find its way onto your ‘favorites’ list.
While picking up gluten-free hamburger buns is an easy way to make the whole meal GF-friendly, we know burgers aren’t exactly up the alley of those on vegetarian or Paleo diets. That’s why we have our Jerk Quinoa Bowls with Black Beans and Corn and Jerk Meatball and Cauliflower Rice Bowls with the same seared plantains to deliver big Caribbean flavors everyone will love.
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
- A great way to make your weeknight dinners come together in a flash is to prep veggies over the weekend. For this week’s menu, start preparing your garlic, onions, shallots, chard, sweet potatoes, and jalapenos all up to 5 days before you use them.
- If you want to make your Wednesday night even more easy, you can make your lasagna soup ahead of time and just wait to add the noodles until right before serving!
- If you are cooking up our vegetarian recipes this week, you can save time by making a double batch of quinoa to use with Tuesday’s curry and Thursday’s jerk bowls.
- Those on the Paleo diet can also save time by whipping up a batch of homemade spicy mayo that is used to bring a creamy kick to Monday’s frittata and Wednesday’s asparagus side dish.
- Remove the meat from the bone of Tuesday’s leftover curry drumsticks and add it to a salad for an Indian-inspired salad. We love it on top of baby spinach (perfect if you’ve bought a bigger bag for Wednesday’s Lasagna Soup!) and topped with raisins from the pantry.
- A great way to bulk up a simple pasta dish without spending any more money is to chop up leftover burger patties, simmer them with tomato sauce, and voilà – you have yourself a tasty new meal!