Our meal plan menu is full of tips to streamline and save you time this week for the holidays!
Tis the season to be busy, so this week we have a lineup of great recipes with helpful cooking tips on what to make ahead and how to make leftovers count.
Whether you are celebrating Christmas or just enjoying a couple days off work, delicious comfort foods that won’t take you hours to prepare are always welcome. Between buttermilk biscuits, Greek salmon, tater tot egg bake, and Malibu chicken, your holiday week will certainly be merry and bright!
As always, every recipe comes with versions that accommodate vegetarian, gluten-free, and Paleo diets so you can easily prepare meals for all your friends and family.
“Time is very precious to me as a busy mom. Cook Smarts saves me time by providing a grocery list, meal prep tips, and great videos to help make delicious dinners.”
– Maria D. (Member since June 2016 )
All meals come with gluten-free, Paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Smarts
- So you don’t have to do too much cooking on Christmas Eve, we made sure that Monday’s stew can be easily made ahead of time. Just bake fresh buttermilk biscuits right before reheating your stew and you’ll have the most comforting Christmas Eve dinner!
- Christmas week meals can be easier than ever if you simply prepare the toppings ahead of time. Chop this week’s Greek salsa and whisk together the Malibu sauce and vinaigrette up to 5 days beforehand.
- To make sure you have a delicious Christmas breakfast that doesn’t take too long to come together on this special morning, prep your ham, cheese, and parsley up to 5 days ahead and store the ingredients separately. Or consider making the egg bake beforehand, since it reheats well, and simply pop it in the oven to warm up on Christmas morning.
- By the time Wednesday rolls around, you’ll already have used up the buttermilk so none will go to waste. This rich and tangy cream will add flavor and moisture to Monday’s drop biscuits and Tuesday’s pancake breakfast.
- This week we use Swiss cheese in both our egg bake and Malibu chicken. However, our meal plan recipes can be easily customized to fit your palates. We offer substitutions in our recipes, so feel free to substitute white cheddar or any other of your favorite cheeses!
- While you’re at the grocery store, grab a big bundle of parsley to give a fresh pop of flavor to several dishes this week.
- For a quick and delicious lunch, all you need to do is thinly slice leftover Malibu chicken, spread extra Malibu sauce on tortillas or bread for a sweet finish, and you’ll have a tasty wrap or sandwich.
- Make it easy to get a jumpstart on a healthy 2019 by combining leftover salmon and salsa with some on-hand favorites (salad greens, olives, red onions) for a satisfying Greek salad.
Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed above are only a portion of the 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!
On the Menu
MONDAY | Chicken Stew with Chard & Biscuits
Chicken stew with baked biscuits is classic comfort food and a wonderful meal to share with friends and family this Christmas Eve. Carrots, peas, and chard bring the health, while steaming buttermilk biscuits bring the comfort.
Our vegetarian Christmas Eve dinner uses cannellini or butter beans in the stew for hearty protein instead of chicken. For those cooking gluten-free this year, our GF recipe version also adds white beans and replaces the biscuits with an apple and sunflower seed mixed green salad. Those on the Paleo diet will enjoy the same mixed green salad and piping hot Paleo stew that simply omits all legumes and uses almond meal as a thickener.
Whether you’re celebrating Christmas this week or not, we know everyone will enjoy this fun meal that works as breakfast, brunch, or breakfast-for-dinner! With the sweetness of warm buttermilk pancakes and savory flavors of ham, swiss cheese, potatoes, and eggs, you’ll be ready to greet any winter day with a smile on your face.
For a vegetarian breakfast, all you need to do is omit the ham and you’ll still be getting 34 grams of protein per serving. If you are eating gluten-free, you can substitute the pancakes for a sweet kiwi, mandarin orange, and raspberry fruit salad. For those on the Paleo diet, swap out the tater tots for sweet potatoes and enjoy the same GF fruit salad.
After a potentially long day on Tuesday, sit back and enjoy a decadent but easy roasted salmon dinner with a flare of of Greek inspiration. Served with roasted oregano potatoes and a colorful Greek salsa topping, this dinner comes together fast on a sheet pan. To round out your meal, we add a nutrient-packed baby kale salad on the side.
Our already gluten-free salmon recipe is easy to make Paleo by using oregano roasted cauliflower instead of potatoes. For the vegetarians among us, we swap out the salmon for tofu and add lentils to our Greek salsa for a delicious Sheet Pan Greek Tofu with Lentils dish.
THURSDAY | Malibu Chicken with Roasted Broccoli
To end 2018 well, we decided to bring a great request from community members to life! This Sizzler copycat recipe takes a lightly breaded and baked chicken breast to the next level with ham and melted Swiss cheese on top. Our easy tart and sweet Malibu sauce truly makes the dish, so take your chicken and roasted broccoli and dip away!
Gluten-free panko bread crumbs are all you need to make this delicious meal fully GF. To have a vegetarian meal, try our Malibu Mushroom and Green Bell Pepper Melts! If a Paleo version is what you need, simply bread the chicken with almond meal, hold the cheese, and use a nice honey mustard dipping sauce on the side.