Restaurant-Quality Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (12/6/21)

Restaurant-Quality Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (12/6/21)

Cook restaurant-quality recipes at home with this week’s meal plan! Saving on food is easy when you can cook meals you’d normally have to go out for, like Slow Cooker Carnitas Bowls, White Fish Piccata, leftover carnitas “nachos” with waffle fries, and Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spinach.

  • By Jess Dang
  • December 3, 2021


Slow Cooker Carnitas Bowls with Quinoa, Corn Salsa, and Avocado

Gluten-Free: Same as original version

Paleo: Slow Cooker Carnitas Lettuce Cups with Roasted Cauliflower and Avocado

Vegetarian: Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowls with Quinoa, Corn Salsa, and Avocado

We’re starting off the week with Slow Cooker Carnitas Bowls (or Roasted Cauliflower Burrito Bowls). Carnitas is slow-cooked pork with jalapeños, garlic, stock, and spices, and you’re going to make a double batch of it to save lots of time later in the week. The bowls consist of a bed of quinoa, which you’ll also double for tomorrow night’s dinner, and then topped with the pork or cauliflower, a warm corn salsa, avocado, some fresh cilantro, and tortilla chips for dipping and crunch.


White Fish Piccata with Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa

Gluten-Free: White Fish Piccata in Gluten-Free Flour with Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa

Paleo: White Fish Piccata with Sautéed Artichokes, Spinach, and Roasted Broccoli

Vegetarian: Mediterranean Chickpea Sauté with Roasted Broccoli and Quinoa

On Tuesday, we’re making a White Fish Piccata with roasted broccoli and quinoa. There’s so much to love about this meal. It’s warm but still light, flavorful, and if you made the quinoa for Monday, it will be even simpler. You can use any flaky white fish you like here, like tilapia, cod, or snapper; simply dip it in flour to help it crisp up in the pan. Then that’s served with a simple but flavorful white wine sauce. The vegetarian version uses a similar sauce in a Mediterranean Chickpea Sauté. Whichever version you’ll choose, you’ll seriously start to think of yourself as a restaurant chef!

“Cook Smarts helped me develop my cooking instincts – how long something will take to cook, what flavors go well together, and so much more!”

— Deirdra A. (Member since March 2016)


Leftover Carnitas Waffle Fry “Nachos”

Gluten-Free: Same as original version

Paleo: Leftover Carnitas Sweet Potato “Nachos”

Vegetarian: Bean and Lentil Waffle Fry “Nachos”

Next up on Wednesday is leftover carnitas “nachos” made with waffle fries instead of chips, or Bean and Lentil Waffle Fry “Nachos” in the vegetarian version. This is a great meal for having friends over because it can easily be scaled up, and it’s just a lot of fun. For an easy shortcut, use frozen waffle fries or sweet potato fries, which get topped with the rest of the slow cooker carnitas that you made for Monday’s meal, or a bean, lentil, and soyrizo mixture in the vegetarian version. You’ll top that with cheese and get it nice and melty under the broiler, then finish it off with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and salsa. If you still have leftover carnitas after making this meal, it freezes very well!


Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spinach

Gluten-Free: Ricotta Stuffed Gluten-Free Shells with Spinach

Paleo: Pan-Seared Chicken Breast with Olives and Tomatoes 

Vegetarian: Same as original version

Finally on Thursday, we’re making Ricotta Stuffed Shells with Spinach, which is served with an Italian house salad. I am so excited for this dish because it is comfort food but looks like a really special holiday dish. The filling for these pasta shells contains spinach and artichoke hearts along with mozzarella and ricotta cheese, and then they’re baked in marinara sauce. You can stuff these shells up to two days ahead, and bake them straight from the fridge — or you can also make a double batch and freeze them. And while they’re baking, prepare a traditional Italian house salad with tomatoes and black olives in an oregano red wine vinaigrette. Again, salad dressings might seem like something other people make, but they’re so easy to throw together with just your pantry ingredients.

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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