Meal Plan Menu | Week of 4/29/19

Meal Plan Menu | Week of 4/29/19

Bring the joy back to eating your veggies with our new meal plan menu featuring veggie-packed dinners!

  • By Chelsea Paxton
  • April 26, 2019

We’ve all heard how important it is to “eat your veggies,” but preparing veggies in an exciting way for every dinner of the week can seem overwhelming. How can veggie side dishes actually taste good and complement the meal? And, how do you keep these veggies from sitting in your fridge for too long and going to waste?

Meal planning is kind of like putting together a puzzle – and we are masters at piecing together wonderfully balanced meals with a variety of veggies, grains, and proteins all week long! With weekend prep steps, and directions on how to properly store ingredients and save leftovers, our meal planning service will not only save you time, but money, too! With our meal plans, you can bring the joy back in preparing and eating your veggies!

This week we serve pan-seared asparagus alongside perfectly cooked Salmon with Pesto Butter. We’ll show you how to make spicy Szechuan-inspired green beans for Tuesday’s potsticker night. On Wednesday the veggies take center stage as we use portobello mushrooms for individual pesto pizzas! We end the week with Carne Asada Tacos and grilled zucchini spears – just in time for Cinco de Mayo fun!

Sign-up for our subscription meal plan service below and let us show you how delicious getting out of a dinnertime rut can be!

“We love that Cook Smarts pushes us to try new vegetables and new styles of cooking to get us out of our dinner rut.”

–  Joanna & David E. (Members since Apr  2014)

All meals come with gluten-free, Paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Salmon with Pesto Butter, Couscous & Pan-Seared Asparagus

Asparagus is at its peak right now, and let’s seize this spring-time opportunity to incorporate this verdant veggie into a quick, flavorful weeknight meal. The asparagus is pan-seared to guarantee full depth of flavor, and then we add a bit of water to steam the asparagus until it’s fully cooked. Using the same pan, the salmon is also seared until golden-brown and then served over fluffy couscous and decadent pesto butter that melts beautifully over the dish.

Serve the salmon and asparagus over quinoa to make this Monday night meal gluten-free. Our Paleo members will skip the cheese in the pesto sauce and make cauliflower rice in place of couscous. To make tonight a Meatless Monday, try our Pesto & White Bean Bruschetta with Roasted Asparagus.   

TUESDAY | Pork Potstickers with Sweet Chili Dipping Sauce & Szechuan Green Beans

One of the joys of meal planning is setting an intention to try something new – whether it’s a new technique or a new ingredient. Breaking out of a dinnertime rut is exciting! Homemade pork potstickers take just a bit of practice, but are a lot of fun to make. We encourage you to create new memories and traditions in your household with this recipe!

We provide you with the step-by-step instructions and a video to show you how simple and rewarding homemade potstickers can be. Potstickers also reheat well, so make an extra large batch and freeze some for later, or make these over the weekend and reheat for a quick dinner. You’ll love the Szechuan green beans flavored with toasted sesame oil and red pepper flakes that are served alongside the dumplings.

Feel free to change up the recipe and try our vegetarian Mushroom Cabbage Potstickers for a vegetarian filling. Our gluten-free and Paleo members will utilize the same flavor profiles in a simple Szechuan Pork Stir Fry.  

WEDNESDAY | Portobello Pesto Pizzas with Italian Pasta Salad

For a midweek pick-me-up, we have an Italian veggie-filled dinner that’s been a longtime crowd pleaser in our Cook Smarts community and is ready in just 30 minutes. Portobello mushrooms are the perfect vessel for using up leftover homemade pesto. To these we add freshly sliced tomatoes and velvety mozzarella cheese – all the flavors of a gourmet pizza without the dough! A fresh pasta salad with bell peppers, cucumbers, and olives rounds out this colorful meal nicely.

This vegetarian recipe is easily made gluten-free by using your favorite GF pasta for the side salad. Paleo members will love our Mushroom and Sausage Frittata recipe topped with pesto and served with marinated veggies on the side.  

THURSDAY | Carne Asada Tacos with Pico de Gallo & Grilled Zucchini Spears

Just in time for upcoming Cinco de Mayo festivities this weekend, we have a delicious recipe for homemade carne asada tacos that can be made on the stovetop or outside on the grill (if you’re lucky enough to have warm weather right now!). Fresh flavors shine through in this recipe, thanks to a quick homemade steak marinade of cilantro, garlic, lime juice, orange juice, and lime zest. Fresh pico de gallo and queso fresco compliment the steak nicely. The perfect taco is all about the balance of flavors and textures, and who’s not on a quest for the perfect taco?! Served with a side of grilled (or seared) zucchini spears, this dinner is destined to be an instant favorite in your household.

Enjoy your tacos sans tortilla with our Paleo Carne Asada Lettuce Cups served with avocado and pepitas instead of cheese. The marinade is great for tofu, too! Grilled or seared marinated tofu is served with refried beans, avocados, and pico de gallo in these vegetarian Tofu Tacos. These tacos are easy to make gluten-free by using GF tortillas.

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!

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Make aheads:

  • To save time (and dishes!) during busy weeknights, make this week’s pesto over the weekend to serve with Monday’s Salmon dish and Wednesday’s Portobello Pizzas. Pesto also freezes very well – and a great tip is to freeze pesto in an ice cube tray so that it is portioned out for individual servings and convenience.
  • Potstickers are fun to make, but can take a bit of time if you are new to the technique. Rather than the weeknight dinner rush, take your time and assemble them over the weekend, so Tuesday’s dinner comes together seamlessly.


  • This week we use a lot of fresh herbs – basil in the pesto and cilantro in the potstickers and tacos. Go ahead and look for full, leafy bunches and be sure to check out our Guide to Fresh Herbs for how to store and prep fresh herbs. Should you have any leftover herbs, be sure to give our podcast episode on Strategies for Using Leftover Herbs a listen!
  • Tomatoes are used to top the portobello pizzas and in the pico de gallo. Look for several large, ripe tomatoes and keep them on your counter (not the fridge) to ensure their flavor stays fresh all week.

Ingredient notes:

  • The bottoms of asparagus can be really fibrous and tough. Check out this video to learn how to trim these woodsy stems.


  • Make a fancy toast for brunch this weekend with toasted bread of your choice (try a hearty multigrain or a decadent sourdough) and smooth on some fresh avocado, leftover seared asparagus (or Szechuan green beans), and top with a poached or fried egg. For extra indulgence, add any leftover cheese or pico de gallo.
  • Build yourself a flavorful burrito bowl by topping with these leftovers from the week: couscous, chopped carne asada, pico de gallo, cheese, and grilled zucchini.

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