Meal Plan Menu | Week of 2/12/18
Enjoy new versions of old community favorites in this week’s meal plan menu! We’ll teach you how to make homemade potstickers, and you can impress your loved ones with a special Valentine’s Day dinner.
Once a year, the Cook Smarts team gets together (from all around the States) to plan out an entire year’s worth of meal plans. That is some serious meal planning there, but it’s fun to meet with the team and talk about all things food! (Check out last year’s Kansas City adventures here.)
We discuss new food trends, current cravings, and of course, all of our cooking community’s favorite meals. We read all the feedback we receive and come up with ways to make these favorites even tastier and more weeknight-friendly.
The menu for this week’s meal plan is completely made up of community favorites – potstickers, fish tacos, pepper steak, and miso soup. Each of these recipes incorporate quick videos to show you how to prep and cook efficiently, as well as kitchen tool recommendations to help you cook with ease.
Our meal plan service is not just about tasty-sounding recipes. It’s about doable and delicious weeknight meals that you can easily make in your own kitchen. And along the way, we help you become a better cook so you don’t have to rely on recipes.
So if you’re skeptical about making potstickers for dinner, trust us – it’s super simple and we’ll guide you step by step so that you can say goodbye to take-out and enjoy homemade potstickers whenever you want!
“My confidence and skills in the kitchen have expanded so much since I started using Cook Smarts. The instructional videos and online guides are incredibly helpful. I would probably be surviving on breakfast food and tacos if not for Cook Smarts.”
– Katharine K. (Member since Jul 2015)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
Meal Planning Tips
- Coleslaw mix is one of our favorite time-saving dinner shortcuts. They save on lots of prep time, but one bag can be too much for one meal. That’s why we always split a bag of coleslaw mix between two different meals. For this week, enjoy it as a crunchy slaw in fish tacos for one night, then add extra flavor to a miso soup for another night.
- Wonton wrappers also come more than you’ll need for Monday’s potstickers. While they can be frozen for future potstickers (perhaps shrimp potstickers next time?), they can also be turned into tasty “noodles”! We love them stirred into Thursday’s miso soup.
- Although potstickers are a lot easier to make than you would think, we highly recommend getting these assembled over the weekend to save you time in the kitchen on Monday. Make the filling, set out the wrappers, and enlist your kids, friends, or other family members to help assemble the potstickers! You can even make extra to freeze for future meals when you’re short on time.
- Tuesday’s fish tacos comes with a side of roasted Cajun cauliflower. If you have any leftover, turn them into a filling for a frittata. Add some corn or diced bell pepper (or whatever leftover or quick-prep veggies you have in your fridge / freezer / pantry), add whisked eggs and shredded Mexican cheese, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 425 degrees F.
- Ricotta is used to add creaminess and flavor to Tuesday’s risotto. Leftover ricotta can be used to make this other community favorite meal – Spinach Calzones!
On the Menu
Yes, you can totally make your own potstickers at home! It’s a lot of fun to make and gets easier with practice. Just like the potstickers you find at Chinese restaurants, these are crisp and golden brown on the bottom and steamed to finish cooking. Serve them with a sweet chili dipping sauce and a side of spicy Szechuan Green Beans for a better-than-takeout meal.
Gluten-free and paleo folks will be enjoying a quick and flavorful spicy Szechuan Pork Stir-Fry with Green Beans & Carrots. Vegetarians will be swapping the pork filling for a tasty shiitake mushroom and cabbage filling that is a hit with meat-eaters as well!
Spice up Taco Tuesday with our newest fish taco recipe! A Cajun-inspired spice blend is an easy way to add big flavor to this weeknight favorite. Top with a tangy cabbage slaw and creamy avocado for the perfect blend of textures and flavors, and round out the meal with warm roasted cauliflower.
Our paleo members won’t be missing out on this delicious meal, since they’ll just be skipping the tortillas and serving the cool, tangy slaw over Cajun Tilapia. Vegetarians will still enjoy taco night with Cajun Tofu Tacos instead.
Wednesday is Valentine’s Day, and we’re taking you and your loved ones to a steakhouse for a fancy dinner! Peppered steak and creamy risotto make it seem like you’re dining out at a gourmet restaurant, but it’s all homemade and done in a hour. This luxurious dinner is sure to impress your date or any guests. Just don’t forget the bottle of red wine!
Our paleo meal plan features a hearty, colorful Steakhouse Salad instead of risotto. Walnuts, hard-boiled eggs, and a tasty balsamic vinaigrette pair perfectly with a good steak. Our vegetarian recipe includes a warming side of Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Brown Sugar to make the risotto dinner even more special.
THURSDAY | Chicken Miso Soup with Wonton “Noodles”
To make use of leftover wonton wrappers from Monday’s potsticker dinner, slice the wrappers into strips and add them to an Asian-style chicken noodle soup. Savory miso adds rich creaminess, making this a delicious alternative to the classic. With simple, year-round ingredients, this soup can be made anytime you need something easy to make and comforting to eat.
The gluten-free version of our recipe uses gluten-free pasta (we like fusilli), while the paleo version bulks up noodle-less soup with zucchini. Vegetarians will get their protein boost with soft-boiled eggs in their miso soup and a side of steamed edamame.