Meal Plan Menu | Week of 4/9/18
Updating childhood recipes to be healthy, balanced, and delicious can take significant time and countless trials and errors. This week, enjoy your favorites with a new spin. (All time and trials are on us!)
When you hear “pasta”, “chicken and veggies”, “grilled cheese sandwich”, and “salad”, you may think it all sounds rather mundane. However, our meal plan service is anything but ordinary. Cook Smarts give you an exquisitely innovative take on the most basic of meals while helping you utilize techniques that save you time and effort.
Together, let’s revitalize the classic dinners you ate growing up and ensure nostalgia still meets you with every bite. This week you can look forward to fun with:
1. HEALTHY PLEASURES
Eating healthy and nutritionally balanced meals is imperative for true wellbeing. Yet, you don’t need to sacrifice all of your comfort foods in the process. Cook Smarts does not believe that health and decadence are mutually exclusive so we teach you how to leave guilty pleasures behind and thoroughly enjoy starches, butter, and cream sauces. (Our secret – a little goes a long way!)
2. SAVORY AND SWEET
Many people go back and forth between eating something savory and something sweet. For this week’s menu, we help you get the best of both worlds by pairing honey and sun-dried tomatoes, peas and prosciutto, mango and Sriracha. Sometimes it’s nice for your taste buds to get exactly what they want.
3. FAVORITES REINVENTED
Once we have eaten the same dish over and over, it no longer matters if it used to be one of our favorites. But instead of letting a meal wear out its welcome, you can simply bring in a new element to excite your senses again. This week our meal planners looked at some oldie-but-goodies with a fresh and innovative eye for a scrumptious lineup.
If you’re ready to reawaken your taste buds and enjoy a familiar dish in a completely new way, join our cooking community here:
“I learned pretty early on to trust Cook Smarts’ recipes. Many times in the beginning I would question an ingredient or a ‘flavor’ only to have it turn out to be absolutely amazing. So, now, several years later into my Cook Smarts journey, I trust.“
— Christine M. (Member since Nov 2016)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Tips
- Make a double batch of sun-dried tomato vinaigrette as you prepare Tuesday’s meal, and you’ll save time on Thursday as you run towards the work week’s finish line!
- Save yourself 25 to 50 minutes during the week when you double the amount of farro you cook over the weekend.
- Since unexpected time constraints can always arise during the week, we equip you with the knowledge of what ingredients you can prepare ahead of time. This week, get sauces made and veggies prepped over the weekend to make weeknight dinners come together quickly.
- Turn leftover sun-dried tomato vinaigrette into a marinade for quick-cook proteins and veggies and serve over couscous for a Mediterranean-inspired dish.
- Use leftover Jamaican chicken to bring extra flavor to sandwiches and salads.
On the Menu
Is there anything more satisfying than the delight of a creamy pasta dinner that only took 35 minutes to make? Try your hand at this new recipe to discover just how quickly you can cook a meal worthy of your favorite Italian restaurant. Speckle your tortellini with peas, mushrooms, and the pizzazz of prosciutto in a surprisingly light cream sauce.
Gluten-free diners will swap the tortellini out for any gluten-free pasta. Paleo members will enjoy prosciutto and chicken in a pan sauce with an asparagus and mushroom sauté. Vegetarians can make the exact same recipe and simply omit the prosciutto.
In the midst of healthy comfort foods, a strong Italian salad can bring a new pleasure to the senses. Inspired by antipasto, the first course in many Italian meals, our salad lets classic Italian aromas transport you to the Venetian shoreline. Sun-dried tomato dressing pulls together the strength of prosciutto and olives, the crunch of rye croutons, and the refreshing flavors of green beans.
Gluten-free members will replace farro with quinoa and make garlic croutons out of gluten-free bread. Paleo cooks will leave farro and croutons behind, but still get a hardy crunch with added walnuts. Vegetarians can still get their protein by substituting meat with cannellini beans or butter beans.
In this recipe, we turn an ordinary chicken tender and veggie dinner into a Jamaican flavor playground. The heat of Sriracha and jerk seasoning is brought to a calm balance with sweet mangoes and cool yogurt. The blending of bold tastes in Jamaican cooking reflects the country’s striking cultural history spanning back to the produce of the Taino and the spice mixtures of West African slaves.
Gluten-free eaters can replace farro with protein-rich quinoa. Those on a Paleo diet will fill out their meal with cauliflower instead of farro and potatoes. Vegetarian cooks can enjoy roasted tofu as a delicious chicken replacement.
While a grilled cheese sandwich can sound quite basic, we bring a childhood favorite back to life with an unexpected balsamic finesse. A mixed green salad alongside sweet and savory layers of caramelized onions, roasted sweet potatoes, and fontina cheese combine for comfort food perfection.
Gluten-free chefs enjoy the same sweet and savory layers on gluten-free bread. Paleo members swap in roasted sweet potatoes in a green salad and our cooking community’s favorite Lamb Chops with Balsamic Reduction.