Meal Plan Menu | Week of 1/8/18

Fresh, flavorful ingredients make dinnertime more memorable and delicious! Enjoy them in a variety of dishes with our meal plan of the week.

This week’s meal plan menu is infused with lots of flavor from spices, fresh herbs, and specialty condiments. Many times, these ingredients get eliminated from a dish because the recipe calls for a small amount and . . . what do you do with the rest?

Don’t forgo these flavorful ingredients which can really turn a boring dish into an amazing one! We’re all about minimizing food waste while eating flavorful, delicious meals. That’s why you’ll see these ingredients come up every now and then on our meal plan menus.

You’ll never have to worry about buying harissa paste for just one dinner. Or using only a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, leaving the rest of the bottle to sit forgotten in your cupboard. With a subscription to our meal plan service, you can search by ingredient in our Archives to look for meals to use up a specific item.

Buying these flavorful ingredients will help you build your pantry, and our meal plans will ensure you make the most use of them. With these ingredients conveniently at your fingertips, you will never be far from a simple, healthy, delicious, homemade meal.

See how our meal plan service works with this week’s meal plan:

“Trying new things has been exhilarating. And the reduction in expense and and food waste have been incredible. I’m having so much fun in my kitchen. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate this life-changing service.”

– Sarah B. (Member since Feb 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


  • Mint adds a sweet, cool, and fresh flavor to two meals this week, so you’ll be able to use up more. If you do have leftover mint, be sure to store it properly with the help of our Guide to Fresh Herbs to make it last for your next meal – perhaps these Chicken Shawarma Wraps?
  • Crumble feta cheese in two meals this week and enjoy them in different ways – one night with a carrot salad, another night in crunchy tacos.


  • Marinating Monday night’s pork over the weekend will allow the flavors of the marinade to seep into the meat. Then come Monday, you’ll only need to cook the meat and toss together the salad, since you would have also made the vinaigrette / marinade as well.


  • Monday’s meal calls for harissa, a roasted chili pepper paste that has a unique, smoky flavor. If you’ve purchased a jar of harissa, you can prolong the shelf life by portioning the sauce into ice cube trays and freezing for future use. Learn more about freezing with our Guide to Frozen Food Storage.
  • Pomegranate seeds are used in Tuesday’s salad. Use leftovers to top oatmeal for breakfast, or add them to a glass of champagne for an easy, festive, and pretty cocktail.
  • Leftover lentil filling from Wednesday’s tacos can be added to marinara sauce for additional protein to top on pasta.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Honey Harissa Pork Chops + Warm Carrot Ribbon Salad

We were inspired by Middle Eastern flavors for this dish. Smoky harissa and sweet honey come together for a delicious, flavorful sauce that doubles as both a salad vinaigrette and a meat marinade. Pair with a unique side dish of warm carrot ribbons, creamy white beans, salty feta cheese, fresh mint, and crunchy pine nuts. Paleo folks will be replacing the beans in their salad with peppery arugula, while vegetarians will be enjoying tofu strips to dip in honey-harissa sauce.

TUESDAY | Turkish Pita with Hummus + Green Salad with Citrus & Pomegranate

This quick dinner is inspired by traditional Turkish flatbreads called Lahmacun, which are topped with spiced ground meat. We’ve added our own twist by spreading creamy hummus on for extra flavor and topping with spiced ground turkey. A colorful winter salad with oranges and pomegranate seeds complete the meal. Vegetarians swap out the turkey for broiled veggies, and our paleo meal plan calls for spiced ground turkey stuffed in sweet potatoes instead of flatbread.

WEDNESDAY | Crunchy Lentil Tacos + Roasted Cauliflower with Lemon

Spiced lentils stand in for beef as a vegetarian filling in these crunchy tacos. Topped with salsa, feta cheese, lettuce and yogurt, we don’t think you’ll miss the meat in this twist on a classic! Simple roasted cauliflower adds even more veggies and health to this dish. Our paleo folks will be having Chicken “Taco” Lettuce Cups instead, filled with spiced chicken, avocados, and pepitas.

THURSDAY | Blackened Chicken Caesar Salad with Avocados, Roasted Radishes & Croutons

We love a classic chicken Caesar salad and wanted to give it a Cook Smarts twist. In our version, the chicken is flavored with Jerk seasoning, and the salad gets a boost of extra veggies and color with the addition of roasted radishes and baby spinach. Paleo subscribers will switch out crunchy croutons for just-as-crunchy almonds. Vegetarians will still be able to enjoy a satisfying, hearty salad with the addition of hard-boiled eggs and chickpeas.

Weekly Meal Plan Menu | Week of 1/8/18 via @cooksmarts

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