Easy Menu for a Busy Holiday Week | Meal Plan Menu (12/20/21)

Easy Menu for a Busy Holiday Week | Meal Plan Menu (12/20/21)

Ready for an easy menu for a busy holiday week? Whether you’re gearing up for a big Christmas celebration or just wanting to relax while you have some extra days off work or with your kids, these meals are ready in 40 minutes or less!

  • By Jess Dang
  • December 17, 2021


Panko Crusted Salmon with Pearl Couscous Salad

Gluten-Free: Panko Crusted Salmon and Warm Pasta Salad

Paleo: Maple-Dijon Salmon with Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Butternut Squash

Vegetarian: Warm Pearl Couscous Salad with Butternut Squash, White Beans, and Spinach

We’re starting the week off with a 40-minute Panko Crusted Salmon, which is served with a warm pearl couscous salad. Pearl couscous is actually little round pieces of pasta and we use it to make a delicious warm salad with dried cranberries, pistachios, fresh parsley, and a balsamic vinaigrette. There’s also roasted butternut squash in the couscous salad, which you can easily bake a double batch of to save time on Wednesday’s squash soup that accompanies Turkey and Spinach Quesadillas. For the salmon, you’re going to make a maple-Dijon panko crust to go on top, and bake it in the oven so it gets nice and crispy. Or in the vegetarian version, we’ll bulk up that pearl couscous salad into a full meal. 


Honey Garlic Pork Chops with Kale Salad

Gluten-Free: Honey Garlic Pork Chops with Kale Salad

Paleo: Honey Garlic Pork Chops with Kale Salad

Vegetarian: Herb Baked Eggs with Toast and Kale Salad

On Tuesday night, we have a 40-minute Honey Garlic Pork Chops recipe (or Herb Baked Eggs with Toast for vegetarians) that is served with an apple, sweet potato, almond, and kale salad. If you’re doing the pork version of this meal, you’ll bake it in the oven and brush it with a honey-garlic glaze towards the end of cooking, which will drip down and mix with the pork juices to form a really nice pan sauce. If you are cooking meatless for this meal, you will bake the eggs in ramekins over a buttery garlic and herb mixture and serve with toasted baguette.

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Turkey and Spinach Quesadilla with Butternut Squash Soup

Gluten-Free: Turkey and Spinach Quesadilla with Butternut Squash Soup

Paleo: Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Spinach and Artichoke Filling and Butternut Squash Soup

Vegetarian: Spinach Quesadilla with Butternut Squash Soup

On Wednesday, we’re making quesadillas! The original version is a Turkey, Cheese, and Spinach Quesadilla, or you can skip the turkey in our vegetarian version. I really love quesadillas for how simple they are — you can make them practically one-handed, you can easily take them anywhere, and you get a little of everything in each bite. And don’t forget that the Spinach Quesadillas and soup freeze and reheat well, so you can make extras to enjoy during a busy weeknight in 2022. Delicious and convenient.

In our 40-minute Turkey and Spinach Quesadilla recipe, we use Swiss cheese, baby spinach, and just a touch of special dressing. Meanwhile, our paleo meal is a Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken with Spinach and Artichoke Filling. Regardless which option you choose, you’ll enjoy it alongside a creamy butternut squash soup, and if you roasted the squash earlier in the week for Monday’s pearl couscous salad, this soup practically makes itself.


Charcuterie Board with Muhammara Spread

Gluten-Free: Charcuterie Board with Muhammara Spread, Meat, Fruit, and Gluten-Free Crackers

Paleo: Charcuterie Board with Muhammara Spread, Meat, Fruit, and Vegetables

Vegetarian: Cheese Board with Muhammara Spread, Fruit, Crackers, and Olives

We’re finishing out the week on Thursday with a 25-minute Charcuterie Board. If you’re hosting a holiday dinner, this is a great thing to set out and let everyone nibble on over a glass of wine before it’s time to sit down and eat. But you can also serve it as an easy meal on its own because it’s delicious and hearty. We’ve given you specific ingredients and amounts just like with any recipe, but a Charcuterie Board is such a fun one to really make your own — find the little cheese nubs that grocery stores will sometimes have so you don’t have to buy a whole block, or sub in whatever fresh or dried fruit you like, or browse the fun nut combos in the bulk section. And in our version, we also include a homemade muhammara spread, which is a Middle Eastern walnut and roasted bell pepper dip with seasonings, to make the board a little more interesting. And, of course, because we had to sneak in a veggie. 😉

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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