Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/17/18

Meal Plan Menu | Week of 12/17/18

This week’s recipe lineup features delicious quick dinners, such as Butternut Squash Risotto, White Bean Tortellini Soup, and Miso Steak.

  • By Brittany Yamamoto-Taylor
  • December 14, 2018

With Christmas and New Year’s Eve right around the corner, we thought you would enjoy a week of meals that take no more than 40 minutes of active cooking time. This week, enjoy the heat of Thai curry, comfort of Italian cooking, and mouthwatering flavors of miso butter steak without spending all night in the kitchen!

Since you undoubtedly have a billion and one things to get done before the end of the year, we have great cooking tips for what foods to make ahead of time, what meals freeze well for fast warm-ups later, and what makes delicious new meals out of leftovers. Keep reading for our meal planning tips and the details of each scrumptious dinner!

“I have been doing a meal delivery service for several months but there are never any leftovers for lunches and it’s too expensive to do the whole month. I liked that with Cook Smarts you can scale up and do the grocery shopping to keep costs down.”

– Laura C. (Member since June 2018)

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

Meal Planning Smarts

ingredient tips:

  • Dried beans are a lot cheaper than canned beans, and are perfect for slow-cooked meals, like Wednesday’s soup. Dried beans should be soaked overnight to help with even cooking and to remove some of the indigestible sugars. If you aren’t using a slow cooker, use canned beans to reduce cook time. (If you’re thinking about getting a slow cooker, check out our cookware ideas for the holidays here!)
  • On Thursday we use miso, a traditional Japanese fermented soybean paste that is used for sauces, spreads, soups, and pickling. Generally speaking, darker miso (“red” miso) has a stronger, saltier flavor while lighter miso (“white” miso) has a less intense taste. If you’re new to miso, you might want to start with a light-colored variation. You can pick up a small tub of miso in the ethnic food aisle or in the specialty refrigerated section of your grocery store.


  • Since our butternut squash risotto reheats well, it can be made during the weekend and simply warmed up for a quick Tuesday night dinner.
  • Good soups are such a handy meal to make a big batch of and then reheat as needed throughout the week. But when soups have pasta in them, like our Vegetable Tortellini Soup on Wednesday, it’s best to store the soup and pasta separately to avoid soggy pasta.


  • It’s always nice to make use of several leftovers in one meal! Simply stir-fry any leftover rice, veggies, and steak for a steaming hot lunch or dinner. Not too familiar with making your own stir-fry? Check out our Guide to Stir-Frying Infographic that teaches you a foolproof formula!
  • Freezing meals that you can quickly warm up later is ideal for this time of year. The vegetarian version of Monday’s curry, Thai Curry with Tofu, and Wednesday’s slow cooker soup is perfect for cooking a double batch and freezing half for busy weeknights.

Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed above are only a portion of the tips we include to help you make the most of your ingredients and your time. Join our community to get the full benefits of our meal plan service every day!

On the Menu

MONDAY | Thai Curry Mussels with Rice + Wok-Fried Broccoli & Zucchini

Our curry mussels recipe is spicy, creamy, and oh-so-delicious over rice. With a side of broccoli and zucchini fried in toasted sesame oil, this restaurant-quality meal is ready in just 40 minutes and is the perfect way to start your week off well!

If mussels aren’t your thing, try our Vegetarian Tofu Curry Recipe. If you need a gluten-free version, simply swap the soy sauce with Tamari. For those on the Paleo diet, use coconut aminos and serve your curry over a bed of butter-sauteed cauliflower rice.

TUESDAY | Baked Butternut Squash Risotto with Chard & Spiced Pecans

Our best risotto recipe was such a hit with our community last year that we brought it back, this time with garlic chard on the side! With butternut squash, Parmesan cheese, and spiced pecans, this delectable meal is perfect for the holidays. (Click here and scroll down for the reviews to see why everyone loves our roasted pecans!)

Our naturally gluten-free risotto is also already vegetarian to make it easy to entertain guests with various dietary considerations. If you’re craving meat or eating Paleo, our Pecan-Crusted Paleo Chicken Recipe with chard, mushrooms, and butternut squash is a delicious alternative.

WEDNESDAY | Slow Cooker Vegetable & White Bean Tortellini Soup

The hearty beans and silky tortellini in our Italian-spiced, Parmesan-laced broth will have everyone going back for seconds! With carrots, baby spinach, and tomatoes bringing color and vitamins to this warming soup, this recipe is a must for any cold-weather evening.

To make this vegetarian soup gluten-free, you can substitute any GF pasta for the tortellini. To make this meal Paleo, try our Sausage and Spinach Paleo Soup recipe that is served with a side of baby carrots with baba ganoush.

THURSDAY | Sheet Pan Skirt Steak with Miso Butter + Roasted Sesame Brussels Sprouts & Potatoes

A delicious steak and veggie dinner that uses only one sheet pan? And it’s ready in under an hour? Sounds good . . . tastes even better! This easy dinner roasts brussels sprouts and potatoes and then reuses the sheet pan to broil marinated steak, before topping everything with delectable miso butter. Because we know the thing you want most before winter break is a great meal without a sink full of dishes.

With Tamari on hand, just switch out the soy sauce and you’ll have a completely gluten-free meal. To make this meal Paleo, enjoy aminos butter over your steak with roasted sesame brussels sprouts and cauliflower rice. Our vegetarian version of this meal is a miso butter noodle saute with bok choy and chickpeas, served with a side of roasted sesame brussels sprouts.

Weekly Meal Planner | Menu for Week of 12/17/18 via Cook Smarts

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