This week’s meal plan menu is full of comforting, time-saving, and money-saving dinners the whole family will love!
As we approach the end of fall, we start gearing up for the winter holiday season. Holiday shopping and festive gatherings abound, nighttime falls sooner, and the temperature drops. We’re in need of cozy dinners that are both time- and money-saving.
We’ve kept all of this in mind when we created this week’s meal plan. All of the following dinners are not only easy to make, they’re also quick and budget-friendly! In addition, the flavors are all just so comforting and warming, perfect to ease you into the beginning of winter.
“Cook Smarts has changed our lives. I look forward to grocery shopping, I’m spending less, and I’m being less wasteful with the food that we buy. We are learning how to cook and we are sitting down together for dinner. I’m so glad I found this program so early in my son’s life. He won’t know a time when we didn’t have a wide variety of amazing meals every week. ”
– Katie G. (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
It’s hard to use up a bunch of green onions in one sitting, so we use it to add a pop of fresh, savory flavor across a few meals this week. That way, you don’t have to waste all the extra green onions!
Marinate / cook chicken for Monday and make Tuesday’s Dan Dan Noodle sauce ahead of time, and you’ll be off to a great start this week.
- Apple cider is used to marinate chicken and make the salad dressing for Monday’s meal. If you have leftover apple cider, simmer it with some cinnamon sticks for a warm after-dinner drink.
- We love the dan dan sauce for Tuesday’s noodles, but should there be any leftovers, it can be added to sauteed vegetables for a quick stir-fry.
- Any leftover toppings from Thursday’s Taco Pizzas can be used to make tacos, tostadas, or burritos later in the week.
On the Menu
This warm entree salad highlights late fall / early winter flavors like apples, pecans, and brie. The dish is topped with a sweet- tart vinaigrette made from apple cider for an extra special finish. Vegetarians will be enjoying this salad with hearty, nutty barley instead of chicken.
This noodle bowl is inspired by a popular street food from the Szechuan region of China. It is traditionally extremely spicy, but our version is savory with a medium kick of spice. This recipe calls for Chinese egg noodles, but gluten-free folks can use gluten-free pasta (like spaghetti or linguine) for a just-as-delicious alternative, and paleo folks will sub with zucchini noodles. Our vegetarian version cooks up a tasty tofu and mushroom combo in place of the ground pork.
We first created this dinner as a paleo recipe back in 2015, but these “stackers” got such good reviews from our community, we wanted to bring them back for all diet versions! Pita wedges on the side are great for dipping in hummus or soaking up egg yolk from fried eggs. The vegetarian version skips the bacon, while paleo folks will be enjoying a colorful side of crunchy baby carrots and mashed avocado.
ThurSDAY | Taco Pizza with Mexican Side Salad
This is no ordinary pizza! We’ve swapped out traditional pizza ingredients for all the toppings you usually find on tacos including refried beans and salsa instead of pizza sauce. Our paleo version is a delicious recipe for Taco-Stuffed Bell Peppers with Ground Beef.