Simple Flavorful Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (4/12/21)

Simple Flavorful Recipes | Meal Plan Menu (4/12/21)

This week of spring meals features healthy easy dinner ideas that use marinades to build flavor. It includes an idea for how to use furikake, a delicious marinade for steak that doubles as a salad dressing base, a red Thai curry recipe, and an unexpectedly delicious recipe for fried rice.

  • By Leila Kalmbach
  • April 9, 2021


Miso Black Cod with Rice and Furikake Kale Chips

This classic Japanese recipe is surprisingly simple in its ingredients list, yet is rich with elegant flavors thanks to the careful balance of umami, sweet, and sour. You’ll marinate the cod for a full day before cooking in order to fully flavor the fish, and the thick marinade gets scraped off before cooking to prevent burning. The fish is served over rice with a side of kale chips flavored with chili powder and furikake, a Japanese seasoning made of toasted sesame seeds, nori, salt, and sugar.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Double the rice to use later in the week to use for Wednesday’s recipe for fried rice. It takes little extra effort to cook more rice, which helps you save time in the kitchen!
  • Though you can sub another white fish in place of cod, we recommend making the effort to track down the real deal for this meal.
  • Be sure to marinate the fish a full day in advance.

Diet Variation:

  • No changes are needed for a gluten-free meal.
  • You’ll make a few swaps in the marinade for the paleo version, including using tahini and coconut aminos. You’ll also use cauliflower rice instead of rice.
  • The vegetarian version of this meal is a tasty Tempeh, Cashew, and Mushroom Stir-Fry.


Thai Red Curry Noodle Bowls with Glazed Tofu

Somewhere in between a soup and a dry noodle bowl, the noodles, tofu, bell peppers, and zucchini in these bowls sit in flavorful broth made of coconut milk and stock flavored with lemongrass, ginger, red curry paste, fish sauce, and lime juice. The glaze on the tofu gives the meal a slightly sweet, rich taste, and the amount of curry paste is customizable depending on your spice preference. The vegetables soak up the flavors as they cook right in the broth.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Leftover tofu freezes well, or can be added to Wednesday’s fried rice or Thursday’s steak salad recipe.

Diet Variation:

  • Use tamari instead of regular soy sauce for the gluten-free version of this meal.
  • The paleo version of this meal is Thai Red Curry Zucchini Noodle Bowls, and it’s served with glazed shrimp.
  • Use soy sauce instead of fish sauce if you’re making the vegetarian version.

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Middle Eastern Turkey Fried Rice

This fusion meal uses Middle Eastern flavors but Asian fried rice methods to create something completely new and ridiculously delicious. A Middle Eastern spice mix provides background flavors to the dish, while ground turkey, garbanzos, and peas and carrots form the backbone of the meal. You’ll also use harissa, a Middle Eastern hot sauce with a distinctive flavor, and provide contrast through the use of crunchy, buttery pine nuts and sweet golden raisins. It’s a filling, vibrant, and high-protein meal that comes together in just 30 minutes.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Using leftover rice from Monday’s miso black cod recipe makes this meal fast.
  • This dish reheats well, so it’s a good one to make in advance or double for lunches.

Diet Variation:

  • Tamari is the only substitution you’ll need for a gluten-free variation. 
  • A few tweaks are needed for the paleo meal, including skipping the garbanzo beans and using cauliflower rice.
  • Skip the turkey and add cauliflower florets for the vegetarian version.


Balsamic Marinated Steak Salad

A light but hearty dinner for a sunny spring day, we’ll give you directions to cook the steak for this salad outside on the grill, or to stay indoors in the case of April showers and cook on the stovetop. A rich balsamic marinade brings big flavor to the meat; save half to whisk into mayonnaise, mustard, and honey for an easy salad dressing. The rest of the salad is a simple matter of chopping roasted bell peppers and avocado and topping the greens with the veggies and sliced steak. You’ll finish with a sprinkle of pine nuts for a buttery crunch.

Meal Planning Smarts:

  • Thinly slice leftover steak and use on sandwiches for a tasty and filling lunch.

Diet Variation:

  • Make sure to buy tamari instead of soy sauce if you’re cooking the gluten-free version.
  • Use coconut aminos and paleo-friendly mayonnaise if you’re making the paleo variation, and we have you leave the (already optional) Worcestershire sauce out of the marinade.
  • Vegetarians will enjoy a Balsamic-Roasted Eggplant and Red Pepper Salad with avocados and lentils.

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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