Meal Plan Menu | Week of 3/16/20
Get ready for a week of international-inspired meals with cuisines from China, Ireland, and Italy. Travel the world from the dinner table and save time and money with homemade weeknight dinners the whole family will love!
Char Siu Sandwiches with Cucumbers & Sesame Broccolini
Tonight we take classic Chinese BBQ pork – char siu – and serve it with a twist for a fun weeknight meal the whole family will love! Pork loin is marinated in a sweet and savory char siu sauce and then seared and roasted for maximum flavor. Sliced thinly and served on a toasted bun with creamy hoisin sauce and crisp cucumbers, it’s a delightful new way to enjoy a favorite cuisine!
For a vegetarian alternative, use the same marinade for roasted tofu. Paleo members will enjoy all the classic char siu flavors by serving the pork in lettuce wraps with a creamy cashew sauce. To make a gluten-free variation, simply use your favorite GF buns and use GF tamari and hoisin for the marinade.
Irish Sausage & Colcannon with Gravy & Buttered Peas
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we have a traditional Irish pub meal that is ready in under an hour – so much better than trying to get a seat at a restaurant! Colcannon is mashed potatoes with green cabbage mixed in, and it happens to pair really well with savory sausage and buttered peas. You’ll love this hearty, comforting meal, especially with a pint of Guinness!
Making traditional foods at home allows you to make substitutions to accommodate different dietary needs. For a gluten-free Irish meal, use GF flour and your favorite GF beer (we suggest a dark beer). Make Paleo colcannon with sweet potatoes and serve with a side of steamed broccoli instead of peas. And vegetarians will devour colcannon served with hearty mushrooms, carrots, and lentils in a savory gravy sauce.
Char Siu Lo Mein with Hoisin Stir-Fry Sauce
This midweek meal comes together quickly by using leftover char siu from Monday with fresh, colorful vegetables in a lo mein stir-fry. One of the secrets to making an amazing stir-fry is to prep all of the ingredients ahead of time, so that each component of the dish can be cooked at just the right time. This way, all the flavors and textures work well together in the final dish. Luckily, all of our recipes come with prep steps (that include videos on how to chop veggies) and step by step instructions for how to make the dish, making recipes like this stir-fry a breeze to cook!
A gluten-free stir-fry is easy to pull together by using GF noodles, GF hoisin sauce, and tamari. Likewise, a Paleo meal comes together quickly by using zucchini noodles and cashew butter in the stir-fry sauce. For our vegetarians out there, enjoy a big dose of yummy veggies in our meatless Vegetable Lo Mein with cashews, snap peas, and carrots.
Antipasto Salad with Tuna & Red Wine Vinaigrette
With spring just around the corner, we have a colorful no-cook salad that will get everyone excited about warmer weather. Think of all the delicious meats, cheeses, and veggies on an Italian antipasto platter . . . well, that’s exactly the inspiration for this salad! We top a bed of fresh salad greens with salami, provolone cheese, bell peppers, artichoke hearts, pepperoncinis, tuna packed in olive oil, olives, and walnuts and drizzle homemade red wine vinaigrette over the whole salad. It’s a hearty salad indeed, and just the right thing for the end of the week.
This salad is naturally gluten-free and Paleo compliant, making it a great recipe for entertaining a large crowd with a variety of dietary needs. For a meatless antipasto salad, simply leave out the salami and tuna and use cannellini beans. Alternatively, set out all the ingredients salad bar style and let everyone assemble their own salads!
“Without Cook Smarts I would probably be so unhealthy with the pressures of PhD work encroaching on cooking time. But now I always look forward to my dinners and cooking is a really nice peaceful break where I get to use my hands instead of my brain and just unwind.”
– Sophie B. (Member since Oct 2015)
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
- Get a jumpstart on Monday’s char siu sandwiches by marinating the pork loin overnight. Extra time in the marinade develops more flavor, so it’s worth the effort to start prepping this meal early.
- Prepare and chop all of the components for Thursday’s antipasto salad so that you can get a delicious dinner on the table in about 10 minutes.
- The week’s meal plan menu features green cabbage in two meals. Pick up a large green cabbage to use throughout the week, or purchase two bags of coleslaw mix if you prefer a shortcut!
- Fresh green onions add a pop of color and a zip of flavor to several meals throughout the week. By using fresh ingredients in several meals, we make sure that none goes to waste.
- If you haven’t cooked with hoisin sauce before, this is a great week to try it! Hoisin sauce is commonly used in Chinese cuisine and has a rich depth of flavor that is salty but also slightly sweet. We feature hoisin sauce in Monday’s sandwiches and Wednesday’s lo mein.
- Toss leftover chopped antipasto ingredients with cooked and cooled pasta (we suggest penne or bowtie pasta) and drizzle with more red wine vinaigrette for a beautiful antipasto pasta salad. Perfect for a weekend potluck!
- Use leftover colcannon to make potato pancakes by adding an egg, a bit of flour, and then shaping into patties and pan-frying them in cooking oil. For extra indulgence, serve with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions or applesauce.
- Make Classic Shepherd’s Pie by adding cooked ground beef to leftover butter peas with other veggies like carrots, onions, etc. Top with leftover colcannon and broil until the potatoes are golden and crisp.
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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.