Meal Plan Menu | Week of 3/12/18
Enjoy memorable family meals with our weekly meal plans! This week is full of fun, creative meals including a special St. Patrick’s Day dinner.
The great thing about our weekly meal plans is that you don’t have to be a cooking pro to make these meals. You can learn to cook along the way with short video tutorials that make prepping and cooking simple, as well as recipes that inspire you to create meals to your taste.
You also don’t have to be new to cooking to enjoy our meal plan service! You may already be experienced in the kitchen and know all the foundations of cooking, but perhaps you need new dinner ideas. Or maybe you just don’t want to spend time coming up with your own weekly meal plans and writing out the grocery lists.
That’s where we come in as well. We teach folks how to cook, and we take care all of the planning to help you save time in the kitchen. Plus, we come up with dinner ideas that the whole family will love . . . and possibly want to get in on the cooking!
For example, this week’s meal plan has pizza hand pies and mashed potatoes on the menu, which are fun cooking activities to do with kids. Mushu chicken wraps provide fun at the dinner table, allowing everyone to customize and assemble their own wraps. Scroll down to read more about the menu, and if you and your family are ready to experience memorable dinners that save time and taste delicious, then try out for meal plan service here:
“I consider myself an experienced cook but it’s been real fun making these tasty [Cook Smarts] meals. One thing I struggled with was what spices to use in meals. I’ve been really impressed with the flavors in each meal. I’ve signed my daughter up now too. We’re experiencing this together!”
– Pam K. (Member since Dec 2017)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Tips
- Make a double batch of tomato sauce to be topped over pasta one night and folded into hand pies another night. Making more sauce the first night really helps to assemble the hand pies quicker, especially if it is a busy weeknight.
- Making vinaigrettes in bulk is one of our favorite tips from Cook Smarts Founder Jess Dang. Whipping up a batch of vinaigrette to be used across the week makes things so much easier! This week, we use a tasty Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette for two unique salads.
- Not only do the tomato sauce and vinaigrette mentioned above save time, but they’re also great to make ahead when you have some prep time on your hands.
- If you have a free weekend and know you’re going to have a busy week, grab your kids or friends and make the Pizza Hand Pies. They freeze well and can be baked whenever you don’t have time to cook.
- If you still have leftover tomato sauce (or if you made an even bigger batch!), use it as a sauce base for pizzas. Or rather, twists on pizzas such as homemade Stromboli with Mozzarella & Salami and gluten-free, low-carb Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini.
- Leftover mashed potatoes can be turned into potato pancakes. Just press them into patties and sear in a skillet.
On the Menu
Bruschetta Chicken is a pasta dish inspired by the Italian appetizer bruschetta, which consists of grilled bread rubbed with garlic and topped with olive oil and toppings – most common being fresh diced tomatoes. To make it a hearty dinner, we serve a chunky tomato sauce over angelhair pasta and top with juicy, broiled chicken breast that is topped with melty cheese. Pasta, red sauce, chicken, and melted cheese – what’s not to love? A simple salad with cherry tomatoes and black olives add freshness to the meal.
Our paleo and vegetarian meal plans feature Bruschetta Soup – a fresh vegetable-packed soup that is colorful and fast. Paleo folks will enjoy their soup with a hearty salad filled with chicken, tomatoes, and black olives. Vegetarians get to dip an Italian Grilled Cheese into their soup!
This Chinese-inspired favorite is so easy to make at home! Chicken, shiitake mushrooms, cabbage, and carrots get stir-fried together, then wrapped up with some sweet-savory hoisin sauce. Instead of fussing with traditional mushu wrappers, the recipe calls for flour tortillas, which makes the meal a bit heartier and a lot easier to work with.
Gluten-free members will be serving their Mushu Chicken as a traditional stir-fry over rice instead of tortillas, while paleo folks will be enjoying these as lettuce wraps. Vegetarians swap out chicken for tofu.
WEDNESDAY | Pizza Hand Pies with Spring Green Salad
Hand pies are fun to make and even more fun to eat! We use puff pastry to create a crispy, golden crust, and fill it with traditional pizza toppings – tomato sauce, Italian cheeses, and pepperoni. And to get ready for spring, enjoy these fun pies with Spring Green Salad tossed with cucumbers, green peas, green onions, and a Lemon-Herb Vinaigrette.
Gluten-free and paleo folks will be enjoying Pizza-Stuffed Zucchini. These zucchini boats are instant favorites with our cooking community, and while we love the combo of sausage and mushroom featured in this recipe, you can also use just about any pizza toppings you like – bell peppers, pepperoni, olives, etc.
In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, we’re highlighting this Irish pub-inspired meal – simple seared sausages topped with a flavorful gravy made from Guinness and buttered peas to add that touch of green. Serve with a side of colcannon, which is mashed potatoes with green cabbage mixed in. Make sure to save some Guinness to enjoy with the meal!
Paleo members will substitute with sweet potatoes in the colcannon, while vegetarian members will be enjoying savory and hearty mushrooms and lentils in gravy.