Meal Plan Menu | Week of 1/15/18

Enjoy hearty, fresh, and flavorful meals this week that will suit you and your family’s dietary needs.

Did you know that our meal plans come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options? When we first started creating meal plans, we didn’t want to lock people into just one diet choice. We understand that there will be times you may want to, say, eat more vegetarian meals but not become pure vegetarian.

That’s why we don’t want to limit your options by having you choose from specific diet plans. Eating is much more enjoyable when we can tailor meals to our needs. Paleo one night, gluten-free the next, and vegetarian the day after . . . it’s great having this flexibility!

Many of our community members combine diet versions, so that there is something for everyone in the family. We always hear about how there is one vegetarian in a family of meat-eaters. Or someone who can’t have gluten but the rest of the family can.

Our meal plans make it easy for you and your family’s dietary needs. Dinnertime should not be a chore, and you shouldn’t have to spend hours planning what to make. We’ll do it for you, so you can spend that time enjoying the delicious cooking with your loved ones.

See what’s on our meal plan this week below (or watch the video to see our meal plan features in action), where you can also find out any diet variations we may have for the original recipe.

“I appreciate that I can choose regular or vegetarian options for any given meal. The recipes are not time consuming, but the depth of flavor is wonderful . . . Now I can support my vegetarian daughter and still make her delicious meals that aren’t separate from the rest of the family. And we are all healthier and happier each night because of this service. It is truly life changing.”

– Kate P. (Member since Jan 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


  • Cooking a double batch of grains is always a great idea, because it really helps you save time and the cooking time is not much different whether you’re making one cup of rice or two. With a double batch of grains, you can make two different meals like our meal plan this week. Rice with Lemon Paprika Chicken one night, then turned into fried rice for another night.
  • We also like to make a double batch of chili just so we can have extra to top on easy-to-make nachos for another night.


  • If you have some spare time over the weekend, cook the chili or rice ahead of time. Chili always tastes better after a day or two (all the flavors come together), and rice can be cooked 5 days ahead and easily reheated when needed.


  • A tasty and unique way to use up leftover cornbread muffins? Cube the leftovers and toast in the oven for croutons! They can be added to soups or salads for a flavorful crunch.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Sheet Pan Baked Chicken Thighs with Lemon Paprika Butter & Rice

We love sheet pan meals because they’re easy to prep and even easier to clean. This one has chicken thighs, bell peppers, and sweet potatoes drizzled with a flavorful lemon-paprika butter for a gourmet twist on roasted chicken and potatoes. Drizzle all the pan juices over fluffy rice and this is one dinner the whole family can get behind.

Paleo folks will be making the same dish but with cauliflower “rice” instead, while vegetarians will be enjoying something completely different but just as irresistible – Fajita Vegetable Tostadas with Refried Beans and Cilantro Lime Rice!

TUESDAY | “Almost” Texas Chili with Jalapeno-Honey Cornbread Muffins

Texas chili differentiates itself with a unique mix of spices (including a tiny bit of cinnamon for depth) and uses only meat – no beans. We call our version “Almost” Texas Chili because the base is usually made entirely with dried peppers (no tomatoes), but we’ve taken some liberties to make our version workable for all spice preferences. And because you can’t have Texas chili without cornbread, enjoy it with a Cook Smarts first – Jalapeno-Honey Cornbread Muffins!

Our gluten-free and paleo versions will be swapping the cornbread muffins for a delicous Lemon Garlic Broccoli side dish. Vegetarians have Pinto Bean, Quinoa & Sweet Potato Chili on the menu instead.

WEDNESDAY | Chinese Hot & Sour Soup + Simple Fried Rice

No need to rely on take-out for this Chinese restaurant favorite anymore! You can now make Hot & Sour Soup at home, and it’s super simple. This recipe is a vegetarian version with shiitakes and tofu, but the paleo option includes sliced pork, like the traditional. Choose whichever version – you get both! – and warm up with this comforting soup on these cold evenings.

THURSDAY | Leftover Chili Nachos with Pico de Gallo & Avocado Romaine Salad

How can you go wrong with nachos for dinner, right? Crunchy tortilla chips topped with hearty chili, refreshing pico de gallo, melty cheese, and a dollop of sour cream . . . YUM. Since the chili has been made a couple nights earlier, there’s not really much to do for these nachos except to pop ‘em in the oven.

Because it’s so easy, there’s no excuse to not make your own pico de gallo. It calls for only 5 ingredients and can be made while your nachos are heating. Pico de gallo is fantastic on top of nachos, but we also toss it with a side salad – it’s so flavorful, it can double as a dressing and you don’t have to make a separate salad dressing on the side! If you don’t feel like nachos, try our paleo version. We top warm leftover chili on lettuce and drizzle with a tangy paprika vinaigrette for a healthy, filling Chili Taco Salad.

Weekly Meal Plan Menu | Week of 1/15/18 via @cooksmarts

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