Meal Plan Menu | Week of 9/30/19
Get ready to make healthy changes to your dinnertime routine with our meal plan menu! We’ve got flavorful, healthy dinner recipes lined up, including Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu and Middle Eastern Fried Rice.
As the leaves begin to turn stunning colors of red, orange, and yellow, you can feel the stirring of change in the air. It’s a natural time to reexamine one’s routine and make positive changes. Chances are that if you’re reading this, you are looking for some dinner inspiration. Whether it’s new recipes or ways to make meal planning easier, more affordable, and / or more healthful – we are here for all of it!
Cook Smarts is more than a meal plan subscription service – we are a thriving community of home cooks, cheering each other on as we go through the stresses and successes of cooking. All of our weeknight dinner recipes are approachable, easy to prepare, and absolutely delicious – whether you are a novice to the kitchen, a seasoned chef, or have picky little ones to feed. We strive to find something that everyone will love!
This week’s meal plan menu features favorite recipes from our Cook Smarts community like creamy cilantro sauce drizzled over pan-seared salmon, baked Chicken Cordon Bleu, and crisp Deli Cobb Salad. We also introduce a new recipe that’s sure to be a fall favorite – Middle Eastern Fried Rice with turkey and chickpeas.
With weekend prep steps, a customized grocery list, helpful video instructions, and a close-knit Facebook community, you’ll have a team of Kitchen Heroes cheering you along each time you prepare dinner at home. So let’s make healthy changes together this season!
“Finding Cook Smarts has been an absolute life saver for me! I always loathed cooking, and I was terrible at it, but that is finally changing. The recipes are easy, and the videos have been so helpful.”
– Emily R. (Member since Jan 2016)
All meals come with gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options, as well as a grocery list and optional weekend prep steps.
On the Menu
Fresh and flavorful cilantro is the inspiration behind this dish. With its bright and zesty flavors, it brings a ton of flavor and brightens up any meal, especially this dinner! When paired with garlic to create a sauce, you get so much flavor in every bite, and it goes great with a variety of proteins. In past versions of this dish, we drizzled the sauce over steak, but this time, we’re drizzling it over pan-seared salmon. Served over fluffy basmati rice and a side of roasted tomatoes and zucchini, this meal is simultaneously simple enough for a busy Monday night and dressed-up enough to serve to dinner guests.
This meal is naturally gluten-free and easy to prepare according to Paleo modifications – simply substitute tahini for the miso paste in the cilantro garlic sauce and serve the salmon with a refreshing Cucumber Tomato Salad and zucchini spears in place of the rice. Vegetarians will prepare Zucchini Fritters with Cilantro Garlic Sauce served over a basmati rice salad.
At Cook Smarts, we like to put a healthy spin on classic comforting dishes. This French-inspired American classic gets a healthy makeover by baking in the oven instead of frying. The result is savory chicken and ham, topped with gooey cheese and a crunchy crust that is totally restaurant-worthy! If you’ve never butterflied chicken breast before, this recipe includes video instructions that teach you how to do so, making this dinner come together easily. Broccoli dressed with a French vinaigrette adds color and rounds out this meal nicely.
Vegetarians can enjoy all the flavor with this quick recipe for Hummus Melts topped with tomatoes, avocado slices, and melty cheese. To make gluten-free Chicken Cordon Bleu, adjust the ingredients for the crust by using GF flour and GF panko breadcrumbs. A delicious Paleo Chicken Cordon Bleu can be made by skipping the cheese and using almond meal for the crust.
This recipe for fried rice is probably unlike anything you’ve tried before! The fried rice develops its warm flavors from a homemade spice mix consisting of smoked paprika, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, and turmeric. We also use harissa – a roasted chili pepper paste – to add a rich smoky flavor to the rice. With spiced ground turkey, garbanzo beans, peas, carrots, and basmati rice, this is a one-pot dish that will satisfy everyone’s hunger after a long day. Topped with toasted pine nuts, creamy yogurt, cilantro, and fresh lemon, the flavors are perfectly balanced.
Our Paleo members will enjoy all the flavors of this fried rice with cauliflower rice and a few substitutions to the seasoning. To make this dish gluten-free, substitute Tamari for the soy sauce. Vegetarians will use spiced cauliflower in place of the ground turkey in this recipe for Middle Eastern Fried Rice with Chickpeas.
To end the week we have a refreshing Cobb salad inspired by end-of-summer produce – the perfect thing to enjoy as the seasons begin to change. Hard-boiled eggs, deli meat (or even leftover ham from Tuesday’s dinner), juicy tomatoes, sweet corn kernels, and buttery avocados are served over a bed of crisp romaine lettuce. Drizzle with a delicious creamy herb dressing flavored with fresh cilantro, garlic, lemon juice, and yogurt for the perfect finishing touch. This dinner feeds a crowd and is sure to please everyone!
This salad is naturally gluten-free and to make a Paleo Cobb salad, use tahini in place of the yogurt for the dressing and add pepitas in place of corn kernels to the salad. For a vegetarian Cobb salad, bulk it up by toasting bread cubes in a bit of olive oil for homemade croutons to replace the deli meat.
Smart meal planning ideas come with every weekly menu. The smarts listed below are only a portion of the meal prep 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!
Meal Planning Tips
- Fried rice is best made with leftover rice. If you’re making Monday’s meal, you’ll already have Wednesday night’s Middle Eastern Fried Rice ready to go. For a head start, cook the rice over the weekend and Monday will be a breeze as well.
- Salads are a great weeknight meal, but each component of a salad takes a bit of preparation. Hard-boil the eggs, prep the veggies, and make the dressing a few days in advance so that all you need to do is assemble the salad on Thursday night.
- Cilantro is a leafy green herb that adds bright, fresh flavors to dishes, but a whole bundle can easily go to waste if you’re only using a bit for garnish. Which is why this week, you’ll be enjoying it multiple times in a variety of ways!
- Both the Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu and Summer Cobb Salad call for deli ham. Head to the deli counter at your grocery store and ask for just the right amount you need for these recipes, and you won’t have any leftovers that might end up in the bin.
- Put together a charcuterie board this weekend for an easy dinner that can feed a crowd. On a large serving platter or cutting board, put out fresh veggies, cheeses, olives, meats, dried fruits, sliced apples, crackers, and bread. Fill small bowls or ramekins with leftover cilantro garlic sauce and creamy herb dressing, and be sure to include leftover veggies and deli meat from the week. This is a great way to clean out your pantry and fridge to create an elegant and fun dinner! Get creative and have fun!
- Top a toasted English muffin with leftover roasted tomatoes and zucchini from Monday night and a fried egg for a quick and filling open-faced breakfast sandwich.
- Forget boring lunch sandwiches! You can thinly slice leftover Chicken Cordon Bleu from Tuesday night for a delicious, flavorful take on a ham and cheese sandwich.