Meal Plan Menu | Week of 2/3/20
Enjoy a new and fun family-friendly dinner every day this week! Each recipe prioritizes saving you time while still delivering incredible flavors.
Time is always a significant factor in the daily life of a busy family. That’s why we put together a menu that makes sure your cooking process stays as efficient as possible with our easy meal prep instructions and cook-once-eat-twice technique.
However, we know that time isn’t everything. Wherever kids are involved, taste is a huge element in whether a homemade meal results in turmoil or triumph. This week’s healthy menu is filled with thrilling new flavors and fusions that strike the perfect balance with kid favorites like noodles, creamy dressings, and tater tots. The blending of familiar and brand new ingredients will help your kids feel more comfortable exploring novel flavors and help them on their way to becoming an adventurous eater.
Another perk of this week’s menu is that all of the dishes have rich cultural histories. This lets you make family dinners a time of learning around the table! You can tell your kids the fascinating origin stories of Italian bolognese, Middle Eastern fattoush, American “Denver omelet”, and Korean bulgogi as you bond over delicious, home-cooked meals.
Keep reading to learn about what is involved in each recipe and get our time-saving tips below!
“Cook Smarts broke me of the sneaky habit of cooking for the kids. We are many years into our subscription and the constant variety of foods has been great for all of us. I know my kids have learned . . . to enjoy SO MANY MORE FOODS, even ones that are not separate on the plate.”
– Diana W. (Member since Oct 2015)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
Bolognese is a flavorful meat sauce in Italian cuisine, but we have a fun twist for you this week! This Korean-Italian fusion uses sweet and savory beef bulgogi to flavor our bolognese that is great served over ramen noodles. In under an hour, you’ll be ready to sit down to a completely unique meal and enjoy it with a side of pickled cucumbers.
If you want to enjoy this meal meatless, we know you’ll enjoy our Korean Lentil and Zucchini Bolognese. If you eat gluten-free, there’s no need to worry because this dinner still tastes amazing with GF noodles and Tamari in place of soy sauce! Our Paleo recipe version also only takes a few tweaks to the sauce that is served over zucchini noodles.
It’s not surprising that Middle Eastern-inspired fattoush salads are a favorite among our community members. Between the creamy tahini dressing, pan-fried chickpeas, rich feta, and crunchy crumbles of pita chips over crisp greens, what’s not to love? This refreshing and filling meal is ready in just 30 minutes and is a great way to get in those daily servings of veggies in the most delicious way.
This flavorful and satisfying vegetarian salad is super easy to make gluten-free by substituting GF pita chips (or any GF chips). Since pita is a no-go for those following the Paleo diet, we created a Paleo-friendly Greek Salad with Chicken and Avocados recipe that is topped with the same creamy tahini dressing. This is also a great option for anyone who is hitting the gym hard and wants that extra boost of protein!
If you love sitting down at a diner and ordering a Denver omelet, you’re in for a treat this week. Our recipe takes all of the deliciousness of tater tots, veggies, and diced ham and serves it up casserole-style with a poached egg on top. If that already sounds mouth-watering, just wait until you add our Yogurt and Blueberry Smoothie on the side for a sweet finish to this meal that is perfect for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
This scrumptious dish is naturally gluten-free, but if you want to enjoy it vegetarian-style, all you need to do is nix the ham and toss in some kidney beans to make your meal extra hearty. Our Paleo version of this recipe omits the cheese, uses sweet potato tots, and makes the creamy smoothie with coconut milk. If you can’t find sweet potato tots, we also have instructions for using cubed sweet potatoes that will still give you that satisfying potato-ness that makes the dish.
THURSDAY | Korean Bulgogi Soup with Tofu, Kimchi & Rice
Everyone loves spending less time on an amazing meal, especially towards the end of the week. That’s why we combine Monday’s leftover bulgogi bolognese and a few great veggies to get dinner on the table in only 30 minutes! Even though it comes together super fast, this savory soup has enough layers of flavors to taste like it simmered all day.
If you eat meatless, our vegetarian bolognese and the silken tofu in this recipe provide more than enough protein for one meal. If you are currently on the Paleo diet, all you have to do is use Monday’s sauce and swap out the tofu for snow peas and you’ll have a new Paleo favorite on your hands.
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
- With a bit of weekend prep, you can kick off the weekdays with ease! Make Monday night’s bolognese during some weekend down time, and you’ll have one less thing to think about come dinner time on Monday.
- If your Thursdays are too busy for even a 30-minute meal, we have good news! All versions of our Bulgogi Soup reheat really well, so you can make the entire meal ahead of time and serve it whenever you’re ready.
- It doesn’t matter if you are cooking up our Original, Gluten-Free, Paleo, or Vegetarian recipes – everyone can save time by making a double batch of bolognese to use in two creative dinners this week!
- This week, both our Bolognese and Korean Bulgogi Soup freeze and reheat well. That means that you can simply plan for leftovers and then have a couple great dinners ready in a pinch! Make sure you download our All-in-One Freezer Guide for more freezing smarts.
- For another way to enjoy our bolognese, turn it into a stir-fry! Try folding leftovers into fried rice or toss together with veggies for a quick and delicious dinner.
- Our Denver Tots are great for breakfast on their own, but you can also use leftovers to make any breakfast scramble way more exciting.