Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/31/18

Whether your New Year’s resolution is to get healthy, lose weight, save money, reduce stress, or enjoy more time with loved ones, our meal plan service will help you reach your goals!

To close out 2018 and enter the New Year in stride, our weekly menu features healthy favorites that can be cooked fast or left to the magic of a slow cooker. Regardless of which cooking methods you use, you’ll find yourself with extra time to spend with friends and family this week since every recipe takes only 25 to 35 minutes of active cooking time. And, if you try our meal prep tips, dinner will come together even faster every night!

If one of your goals is to lose weight or reset your body with the Whole30 diet, we have exciting news for you! For the first time, we’re making all of our Paleo meals Whole30 compliant for the entire month of January. So, if you’re thinking of giving the diet a try, we’ll have a Whole30 meal plan ready in your inbox for 4 weeks straight, starting today.

Want more info on the Whole30 diet? Read all about it in this article.


“Having a plan has been hugely helpful for a) making sure [we] are eating a healthy, balanced meal throughout the week and b) keeping our shopping trip to once per week. This means we get more time together, and it’s less stress on weeknights when we’re short on time.”

– Nicole S. (Member since Sep 2014)


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


Meal Planning Smarts

make ahead:

  • So many of our ingredients this week can be prepped up to five days early: garlic, onions, celery, carrots, bell peppers, mint, lemons, and chicken. So if you have a little down time over the weekend, spend an hour slicing and dicing and have all your dinners come together in a snap during the work week!
  • Since chicken noodle soup reheats so well, you can go ahead and make everything for Tuesday’s dinner beforehand and then add the noodles right before serving.

Efficiencies:

  • We make sure that no rotisserie chicken will go to waste this week by using it in Tuesday’s soup and Wednesday’s shawarma wraps. But don’t worry – we’ll have you season the chicken quite differently for each meal, so you can enjoy it in different ways!
  • Fresh thyme goes well in many cold weather dishes, so we use it to add savory herbal notes to several meals this week.

Leftovers:

  • Since we have 3 delicious shepherd’s pie recipes in our archives (classic, lentil-mushroom, and deconstructed), put any leftover mashed potatoes to good use by making one of these community-favorite recipes!
  • Make a fancy sandwich or salad for lunch this week by topping it with shredded short rib meat for a boost of flavor and protein.

Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed above are only a portion of the 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!


On the Menu

MONDAY | Slow Cooker Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with Mashed Potatoes & Mixed Greens Salad

This elegant meal is great for any celebration, especially on a cold winter night. Braising short ribs in a slow cooker or Dutch oven will take hardly any hands-on cooking time, but the technique will give you meat that is fall-off-the-bone tender. As you wait for your ribs and carrots to be cooked just right, you’ll have plenty of time to whip up the creamiest mashed potatoes, toss a mixed greens salad with balsamic vinaigrette, and finish off that bottle of red wine you opened. With this meal, you’ll be ready to ring in the new year with style!

This naturally gluten-free recipe is easy to make Paleo and Whole30 with a couple tweaks, including mashed sweet potatoes to replace the russet potatoes. Meanwhile, our vegetarian recipe features Red Wine Braised Lentils instead of ribs.

TUESDAY | Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup with Rotisserie Chicken & Salsa

This special chicken noodle soup recipe will bring simple comfort to a chilly day. To infuse it with extra flavor, make sure to stir in your salsa at the end. With only 25 minutes of active cooking time, as well as double tasking by shredding rotisserie chicken for Wednesday, you’ll find yourself with extra time this week to spend with family, friends, or curled up with a good book.

For a gluten-free soup, swap in any GF pasta. To make a Paleo chicken soup, omit the pasta and cheese and add a nice green salad with hearty walnuts on the side. Our Vegetarian Italian Soup recipe will hit similar notes as our chicken noodle, but will get its protein from white or cannellini beans.

WEDNESDAY | Rotisserie Chicken Shawarma Wraps with Tzatziki Sauce

These quick Middle Eastern-inspired wraps take only 25 minutes of hands-on cooking but deliver a deliciously flavorful dinner. Seasoned chicken, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, and crumbled feta come together on a soft flat bread or pita pocket and are topped with homemade tzatziki sauce. This healthy dinner is a great choice for any busy weeknight!

These wraps can be made gluten-free with GF breads and vegetarian by using protein-packed halloumi cheese and adding bell peppers. Our Whole30 Chicken Shawarma Lettuce Wraps are served with a cucumber and avocado side salad and are great for anyone on the Paleo diet as well.

THURSDAY | Mushroom & Spinach Breakfast Sandwiches with Thyme Sweet Potato Fries

Breakfast for dinner is an easy, fun way to round out your week and make sure you never get stuck in a dinner rut! Just grab some sandwich rolls and deck them out with sautéed spinach, mushrooms, shallots, and fresh feta cheese. For a great finish, we recommend using frozen sweet potato fries to accompany tonight’s meal so you’ll have dinner on the table in just 35 minutes. But, if you have a little extra time on your hands, feel free to slice sweet potatoes into wedges to make your own!

This vegetarian breakfast sandwich is easy to tweak for a gluten-free diet by leaving the roll behind and adding hearty bacon. Those on the Paleo or Whole30 diet can enjoy our Mushroom, Spinach, and Bacon Frittata served with sweet potato fries and avocado crema for dipping.

Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 12/31/18 via Cook Smarts

We do more than create meal plans. We create memories around the dinner table.


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