Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/18/17

This week’s meal plan menu is packed with a wide variety of savory and flavorful dinners that will become instant favorites.

They say that variety is the spice of life, and it is most certainly one of the spices in our meal plans! When creating our meal plans, we strive to keep each meal different, so that your taste buds won’t get bored, and you’ll never get stuck in a dinner rut.

This week is no exception. To keep your dinner table interesting, we’re bringing you a wide range of meals inspired from different cuisines around the world.

“I️ just signed up for year two. I️ have grown so much as a cook and now it is a passion. My kids have such an adventurous palate, thanks to Cook Smarts. I️ can’t express how great it has been. My only advice is to just go for it, dive in and try everything. Things I️ would have never chosen out of a cookbook / internet have become my faves. ”

– Jeff S. (Member since Jun 2016)

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

Meal Planning Tips


To save time, there’s nothing wrong with buying a jar of your favorite salsa from the store! We know how crazy the holiday rush can be, and this store-bought sauce adds a lot of flavor to two of this week’s meals – stirred into chili one night, and used as a dipping sauce for quesadillas another night.


If you have some extra time over the weekend, make the chili a day ahead. This will allow the flavors to develop overnight in the fridge, and you won’t have to worry about cooking on Monday night.


  • One of our favorite ways to enjoy leftover chili is to turn it into nachos! All you have to do is strain the liquid, top the chili on tortilla chips, sprinkle with cheese, and broil. Serve with your favorite toppings like sour cream, chopped cilantro, or sliced jalapenos.
  • If you have leftover pork cutlets, turn them into Italian-style hoagie sandwiches by adding mozzarella and marinara sauce, and toasting under the broiler.

On the Menu

MONDAY | Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili with Toasted Tortilla Strips

We have several versions of chili in the Cook Smarts archives, but this is our first white chili. A blend of spices and the addition of green salsa give this chili a flavor that is different from traditional tomato-based versions. Garnish with crunchy tortilla strips to add extra texture to the chili. Paleo folks will be skipping the corn and beans in favor of turnips and sweet potatoes, and vegetarians will be enjoying their white chili with poblano peppers and sweet potatoes instead of chicken.

TUESDAY | Pan Roasted Chicken & Brussels Sprouts with Lemon-Soy-Balsamic Marinade

This one-pan dish is all about heartiness and lots of flavors that will make you want to lick all the sauce off the chicken and sprouts. Serve some rice alongside so you can mop up all the saucy, flavorful goodness! Our vegetarian version features the same delicious marinade tossed with oven-roasted tofu, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts.

WEDNESDAY | Butternut Squash & Caramelized Onion Quesadillas with Spinach Salad

Butternut squash and caramelized onions are an unexpected but delicious filling in these not-so-standard, meatless quesadillas. Green salsa, used as a dipping sauce for the quesadillas, adds a good savory / spicy balance to the natural sweet notes of the filling. A side of Spinach & Citrus Salad is a simple and quick way to add even more veggies to this meal. Our paleo members will be enjoying a recipe for Oven-Roasted Sausage, Cauliflower & Butternut Squash, to be served with green salsa drizzled on top.

THURSDAY | Pork Cutlets & Buttered Egg Noodles with Braised Apples & Cabbage

Breaded pork cutlets and buttered egg noodles are comforting and classic. Braised apples and cabbage add tart and sweet flavors to this colorful meal. Vegetarians will be enjoying Mushroom & Lentil Stroganoff instead of pork cutlets, a very savory dish that goes well with the braised apples and cabbage.

Weekly Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/18/17 via @cooksmarts

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