Cook Smarts

September 24, 2013

Last week I had lots and lots of fun in the kitchen! My inspiration was a meal planning service from Cook Smarts. Jess, the site’s founder and chef extraordinaire, asked me if I’d like a complimentary meal plan subscription to share my experience with you all.

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Upon first glance I knew that Cook Smarts and I would be a great match. This is not a meal plan of plain chicken breasts and steamed broccoli. The recipes are fresh, healthy, customizable and most importantly, they had me really excited to get cooking. {Just wait until your meal plan arrives by email the week before – it’s like getting excited about a gift you’re going to receive!}

Each week Jess creates four easy dinners that are put together into a plan for the week. You can choose between the original, vegetarian, paleo and gluten-free customizations for every meal. A grocery shopping list details all the ingredients you will need. The recipes are designed to be easy to follow and aim to be under 30 minutes of active cooking time. There are tons of tips included to make your life easier too – from steps to do on a prep day to how-to videos on things such as knife skills to how to use leftovers. I was beyond impressed with everything that comes with a single meal plan. You can sample 3 meal plans for free here, and if you love them you can sign up for a subscription for as little as $8 a month or $72 a year.

I went with the meal plan for the week of September 16 because it looked good right off the bat. I stuck with all original variations and liked that one meal was vegetarian by default.

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Before I go into how my week of meals panned out, let me tell you a little about how dinners are usually created in our kitchen. On Sundays I write down dinner ideas for the week based on cravings and what we might have in our fridge and freezer. Think “Salmon with green beans.” Nothing elaborate, and flavors and seasonings are decided that night. In the summer, I have often gone to the farmer’s market the day before and picked up a variety of in-season vegetables, and I usually pick up some more at the Wednesday market. In the winter I tend to do one big trip to Whole Foods each week after meal planning. We rely on frozen meats and seafood for most of the protein in our dinners, and supplement with bread and pantry staples. I like that I am able to be very flexible and change my mind on a whim {Read more about my grocery shopping style here.} Overall, this loose meal plan has worked for us for years.

But while it works, the dinners in our house could use lots of improvement. With a little one underfoot, dinnertime is often stressful when I am scrambling to do all of my prep at the last minute. And because I only halfway plan meals, we tend to repeat a lot of the same ones. We definitely needed a meal plan reboot!

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Thus, my goal for the week was to cook smarter by knowing exactly what we’d be having, getting prep done during naptimes and adding a bunch of new recipes to our rotation. Turns out it was one of the most delicious weeks we’ve had in ages!

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One of the things I hate about planning meals from recipes is combing through and making a big grocery list (I imagine this activity is a favorite for some of you!) Shuffling through cookbooks or sifting through recipes clipped online to add a pinch of this and a teaspoon of that to a long list of groceries gives me a headache. Thus, I tend to just make up meals on the spot.

So one of my favorite parts of this experience was the auto-generated grocery list. I printed it out and went through and crossed out everything we already had on hand plus added a few things to get for breakfasts and lunches.

Part I of shopping happened at the market on Saturday and Part II was a trip to Whole Foods on Sunday morning.

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I didn’t end up doing any formal prep on Sunday because our day was packed with activities, but I did follow the steps for prep in the recipes and saved myself some time on later nights. On Monday I made all of the week’s quinoa in my trusty rice cooker, and on Tuesday I only dirtied the food processor once when I made both the burgers and the olive tapenade for the next two nights. If you had a super busy week, you really could do almost all of the prep on Sunday!

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I loved how the recipes were divided into “prep” and “make” so I knew what was OK for me to work on during Mazen’s nap and what was best done at dinnertime.

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I pulled the recipes up on my phone while I cooked

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So how was the food? Wonderful!!! You know how when someone else prepares a meal for you the food tastes so much better than your own? Our week of Cook Smarts meals was like someone else was doing all the cooking. It lifted us up and out of our dinner rut.

MondayPS

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The prep on this guy was very easy thanks to my rice cooker and easy peel shrimp. The sauce was simple to pull together as well. I subbed out the onion for an eggplant from our garden, cause, well you know me.

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Matt and I both loved this meal (I’m going to say that a lot : ) ) The hidden ingredient was the lemon squeezed on top to finish. I don’t think I would have remembered that touch, but since my grocery list told me to buy a lemon I had one, and it really completed the whole dish. I had the leftovers on top of a salad for lunch the next day. {All of the meals serve 4 so we had quite a bit of leftovers, although we often ate 2/3 of the meal for dinner!}

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Tuesday

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Tuesday night’s quinoa and black bean burgers were a big hit with family members big and small.

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The prep was really easy, and while the burgers were cooking I made the olive tapenade for the next two nights. I made little balls for Mazen out of the final burger – he loved them. Also, Jess makes sweet potato fries totally different than we do, but hers turned out just as good in half the time, so I might have a new technique for life! She steams them covered in foil in a really hot 500* oven and then roasts for another 15 minutes verses our 45-60 minute 400* bake. {Check out this How To Roast Veggies video for more!}

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We decided to go bunless so we could eat lots of sweet potato fries! And we added a simple green salad for a few more veggies.

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The burgers held together so well, and I was surprised at how such a small amount of barbecue sauce added so much flavor to them. And the hot sauce aioli was a nice touch as well! Matt used the extra as a dip for his fries.

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Wednesday

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Wednesday night’s dinner was super quick and easy, especially since I made the olive tapenade the night before! The dish was a throw-in-a-pot kind of meal, and we loved the simplicity. I also appreciated that I used ingredients I don’t normally use with the addition of artichokes and albacore tuna.

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The orzo tuna salad was delicious! The tapenade really took it to the next level. Olives, artichokes, lemon and thyme brought so much flavor, and the canned tuna was an easy source of protein. I will make this again! We had leftover greens from the night before, so we tucked a few on the side.

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Mazen liked it too! I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

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Thursday

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Our final night we had chicken breasts with more of the kalamata olive tapenade smothered on top and melty Fontina cheese underneath.

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I just loved how simple this was yet it was bursting with flavor. The chicken was cooked in a pan and then oven finished so the cheese melted beautifully. Fontina rocks!

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I sort of dropped the ball on the side dish. It was supposed to be parmesan asparagus, but I couldn’t find any more local asparagus. Since it is easy to be flexible with the plan, Matt ended up bringing home some salad greens from the market instead, so we had yet another salad! Easy enough because it required no cooking. We also added a slice of Great Harvest Jalapeno Corn Bread – yum!

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If I had to choose a favorite meal for the week it would be the quinoa burgers. They were so easy to mix and bake, and I can see us making them over and over again with different flavor combinations. I really loved all four meals, and I found them all to be very easy to prepare. They all had creative ingredient combinations built into simple techniques.

Jess just launched this service in May, and it’s already a really awesome tool. She is continuously improving the experience based on feedback from her community.

I had a few suggestions for feedback that popped into my head, and Jess says she’s already working on them! Here are three things she’s hoping to add:

-A mobile app to make pulling up the recipes in the kitchen super easy (and perhaps a mobile shopping list with check boxes?)

-The option to add a previous meal to the current week’s meal plan

-The option to adjust serving sizes

I definitely plan on doing more of her meal plans. I think a good balance for me would be to do one every few weeks. I don’t want to lose my kitchen spontaneity every single week, but I really liked being told exactly what to do and trying new flavors and techniques. In fact, a pay-per-plan option might be just my cup of tea! But really, $72 for a whole year’s worth of plans seems like a steal.

My biggest takeaway from this week (aside from a happy belly each night!) was how I need to work on stringing my recipes together and morphing ingredients from one meal to the next. Instead of dirtying every dish every night, I need to double up on the cutting board and food processor to make other nights easier. I already sort of do this by planning both easy and time intensive nights into our meals based on our social calendar, but I also need to do it more with just one ingredient – like the olive tapenade – that will go a long way in flavor.

Jess’s goal is to help home cooks “live happier, simpler and smarter in the kitchen.” I’m glad to say that Cook Smarts helped me achieve all three!

So what can you do if you want to cook smarter?

You can sign up here and get new menus every week when you choose one of the subscription options. Best of all there’s a coupon for being a KERF reader – you get $5 off the quarterly or yearly plans with code KERF&CS. If you need more details, you can find them all here.

This service is great for those who are stuck in a dinner rut (like me!), want to pick up new cooking skills and techniques or don’t have time go browse recipe sites or cookbooks. Even if this isn’t you, very soon there will be an option to gift a meal plan subscription to someone who could use some help in the kitchen.

The post is brought to you by Cook Smarts.

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{ 66 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs September 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

Love this! What a great idea!

I think most of us can attest to needing a little inspiration boost in the kitchen every now & again, and this seems like a great way to do that!

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2 Jackie September 24, 2013 at 9:01 am

These meals look fantastic!

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3 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm

Thanks Jackie! Kath did such a good job with the meals – I give her all the credit, :).

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4 K September 24, 2013 at 9:04 am

I’ve never tried a meal planning service before….but given the number of times the baby gets something weird to eat and we just eat popcorn, I really should! This one sounds like it’s worth looking into!

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5 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

K – Jess from CS here! Popcorn is a totally acceptable, :). When I was giving cooking lessons last year, most couples said cereal was their most common dinner pre-baby.

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6 Katie September 24, 2013 at 9:10 am

While this isn’t practical for me right now (currently living with parents) I will definitely remember this for when I’m living on my own!

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7 Barca Mama September 24, 2013 at 9:22 am

Thanks Kath! I just signed up for the trial and am excited to give this a go. Since we are not living in NA, I think it is going to get me out and about sourcing new places to buy groceries:)

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8 Kimberly September 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

This sounds like a great program and all of the food looks delicious! I would definitely be interested in something like this if it utilized a lot of the same ingredients for all of the meals. I live alone and it’s hard to cook for one (even though I like leftovers for lunches!) because I end up buying all of these ingredients to make a meal and only use a small portion.

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9 Jennifer September 24, 2013 at 9:27 am

This looks awesome! For some reason when I clicked on the “get started” button on her website, it didn’t do anything. I tried a few times. I’ll try again later because I think I would like the meal plans.

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10 Jess September 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

Jennifer, Jess here! I’m so sorry about that – I just went and checked and all buttons look to be working fine. Just in case there is a strange glitch, you can also sign up by going to this link: https://mealplans.cooksmarts.com/account/subscribe

Enjoy!

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11 Candice September 24, 2013 at 3:38 pm

Same thing happened to me :(

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12 Jennifer September 24, 2013 at 5:18 pm

Thanks Jess, that link did work. I think it might have been the browser I was using at work.

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13 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:50 pm

Yes, we are sadly not so IE8 friendly – working on it though!

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14 Lauren @ The Highlands Life September 24, 2013 at 9:47 am

This really is genius! I love the visual she gives you for each meal. That’s what gets me every time when picking out our meals for the week. I need to see that it visually looks awesome. I totally need to sign up for this service! It would help out a lot with a one year old demanding me more and more.

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15 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Hi Lauren – Jess from CS here! So glad you like the visuals. We’re working on a re-design which should only make it even more visually appealing! :)

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16 Robyn September 24, 2013 at 10:13 am

What an awesome idea!! The food looks delicious, and the price is awesome! I may have to give this a try :)

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17 Paige September 24, 2013 at 10:35 am

All of these meals look fantastic! I think this will be an awesome tool when I graduate this December and move back home. I plan to do a majority of the cooking to relieve some of the stress that my mom has and to get healthier meals into my family’s bellies! Since I want to become a better cook, this will also help sharpen my skills and give me ideas for my own meals!

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18 Tiff @ Love, Sweat, & Beers September 24, 2013 at 10:39 am

And to think, I get excited about just a delicious dinner, but an entire delicious week sounds pretty great! :)

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19 Cait's Plate September 24, 2013 at 11:13 am

It is so true that when someone else makes the meal it always tastes better – why is that??

I love this idea and I love to see more and more programs like this come out (that are not so much ‘weight-loss’ based but more ‘balanced, healthy-eating’ based). Looks like she has a pretty good product on her hands!

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20 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:53 pm

Hi Cait – Jess from CS here! Yes, I’m all about counting good ingredients vs. counting calories. Thanks for your kind words.

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21 Kristin September 24, 2013 at 11:29 am

If you really liked the black bean & quinoa burgers I would highly recommend making a large batch of burgers and freezing them for later. About every 2-3 months I cook up about 2lbs of dry black beans in my slow cooker and a pot of quinoa, and make around 18 burgers (more of less, depending on how big they end up ;). My husband and I work long days, and we don’t get home until around 7pm on week nights, so prep time for meals needs to be kept to a minimum. These black bean burgers are great for a quick and healthy meal with little to no prep time. Plus, we save money on our electric bill by not heating up our oven every time we have black bean burgers!

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22 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:54 pm

Hi Kristin – Jess from CS here! Awesome idea and I have the same burgers frozen in our freezer. Slow cooking beans is also a great idea. I use about a 3:1 water to beans ratio, a bay leaf, and set the slow cooker to 2 hours on high. What’s your trick? I love getting more ideas!

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23 Kristin September 26, 2013 at 11:41 am

Hi Jess!
I’m pretty sure I use about the same ratio of water to beans and I cook the beans on low until they are really well done. I know that we don’t usually want our bean to crack and open, but when I plan on mashing them, I actually like for them to be slightly over-cooked (I hope that I’m loosing too many nutrients by doing so!). If I know I’m using all of the beans for burgers, I cook the beans with a white onion and fresh garlic. Then, when I smash the beans to make the burgers, I include the onion and garlic and it gives the burger a really great flavor (if you like onion and garlic, that is :-) ) I like my black bean burgers to have a little kick, so I usually throw in a bunch of crushed red pepper/chilli powder/cumin (whatever seems right at the moment), and sea salt along with quinoa. I’ve also found that mustard and Worcestershire sauce can add great flavor, too. As a side note: I’ve made black bean burgers with oatmeal, brown rice, and quinoa– and the quinoa-black bean burgers are by far and away the best of them all!

Sometimes, I split up the black beans, and make a smaller batch of black bean burgers and then use the remaining black beans for mashed sweet potato and black bean burritos (another freezer-friendly food). Soooo yummy!

You seem to have a really great business going here!! Best of luck to you!!

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24 Jess October 3, 2013 at 4:19 pm

Thanks Kristin! I’m excited to use your tips next time I’m slow cooking beans.

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25 Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac September 24, 2013 at 11:32 am

What an awesome business plan!!!! I also feel like I’ve been in a food rut recently —read I’m tired of chicken!! — might have to check this out!! I like to look online for different recipes, but I get caught in such a time suck that I can’t afford to do it every week!

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26 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:55 pm

Hi Ashley – Yes, the most common challenge we hear from our subscribers were they were stuck in a rut and just wanted new ideas. I love coming up with the ideas and leaving the cooking to awesome home cooks, :)

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27 Leslee @ Her Happy Balance September 24, 2013 at 11:39 am

Wow this meal plan looks fantastic. I also think it’s a great idea that one meal was automatically a vegetarian option as well. The shopping list they provide you with would definitely be helpful but perhaps a bit daunting if you’re on a budget and don’t have many of the spices/herbs/condiments hanging around. Great Review.

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28 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:57 pm

Thx Leslee – Jess from CS here. I definitely believe it’s important to include one veg meal a week and for folks that really miss the meat, they can still choose the paleo option for the veg meal. And yes, building a pantry can be daunting! I really try to use the same pantry items over and over again so we’re not asking our community to buy one-off items. So far it seems to be working!

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29 Kelly K September 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

Cool! I already make a meal plan and grocery list each week and, yes, I love the process! But I think gift subscriptions are a great idea. Seems like they would be ideal for recent college graduates or newlyweds.

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30 Tonya September 24, 2013 at 11:45 am

Yep! Awesome how she incorporates one element of a dish across multiple nights. Smart tip! Why re-invent the wheel every night?

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31 Kelly September 24, 2013 at 12:07 pm

I saw you posting Instagram pics of this and was so excited for this post. I’m going to give it a look. Since these are actually outlined recipes, did it give you nutritional information, or at least calorie information? I love the concept of learning new techniques. I find that I do the same “type” of thing because I’m comfortable and know how it comes out but If I learned something else, I may like that even better, like your fries. Thanks for posting, Kath!!

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32 Jess September 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

Hi Kelly! Jess from CS here! At the moment, we don’t offer calorie count or nutritional info. Our philosophy for now is counting good ingredients vs. calories. I try really hard every week to expose folks to a variety of veggies and good proteins. So far it seems to be working. Thx for your interest!

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33 Emily September 24, 2013 at 12:09 pm

This is really cool! I was just lamenting the other day that weekly meal prep/planning never works for me. I end up getting too excited and fancy wtih it and end up with a lot of recipes that just burn me out towards the end of the week. But I have trouble thinking to plan ahead, too (like I didn’t realize you could store the cut-up sweet potato fries 3 days ahead of time? Duh!). My concern is we are on a budget with groceries and I would want to balance sticking with our budget with making sure I don’t skimp on a key ingredient that I am unfamilar with (like olive tapenade). I’d hate for a meal to be rather blah because I didn’t know how far a squeeze of fresh lemon could go, for example. But I would love to learn more about this service and how it can help my meal planning skills.

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34 Jesse September 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm

our dinners really need a kick in the pants so i appreciate this post! i’m excited to try my hand at those black bean-quinoa burgers in particular, i think the spicy aioli will win my husband over:)

p.s. this soup is a tasty, speedy and veggie meal: http://semiweeklyeats.blogspot.com/2013/09/sunday.html

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35 Parita @ myinnershakti September 24, 2013 at 12:24 pm

Great review, Kath! I’m definitely going to check out the site and recommend it to some friends. I love how this removes the guess work from the planning, shopping, cooking process and leaves the fun stuff to the subscriber!

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36 Fancy September 24, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Hey Kath!!! What a great website…I just joined :) Thanks for sharing! One big question…how do you print individual recipes??? I would love to print some to have a paper copy but can’t figure out how to do this and have the “prep” included along with the recipe for each individual dish. Also, how can you print just one recipe and not all of the steps together for the whole meal at once? Hmmm….

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37 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:00 pm

Based on your feedback, we just added the ability to print an individual recipe. If you just hit print on your browser it’ll format the recipe so that all the steps show up. Give it a try!

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38 Stacy K. September 24, 2013 at 12:35 pm

This looks perfect for a busy mom on the go! For Christmas I usually request a subscription to one of the popular cooking magazines, but they have piled up over the years, and I don’t have time to organize them. I do love to shift through them from time to time and find inspiration.

I think I’ll add this to my Christmas list!

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39 Livi September 24, 2013 at 12:52 pm

those burgers-yum! I’m a fan of meal planning- especially as I’m trying to be conscious of my food budget. Planning in advance helps me so much!

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40 Casey September 24, 2013 at 1:13 pm

I’ve been using emeals and I really like it alot. Does this plan estimate how much the groceries will cost?

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41 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:02 pm

Hi Casey, Jess from CS here. We don’t, but on average groceries if you make all the meals should be between $60 to $75 depending on how many add’l pantry items you had to purchase. We have 3 plans to try so feel free to and compare!

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42 Anna @ Fitness à la Anna September 24, 2013 at 2:28 pm

I have been considering signing up for a meal plan – I love how she has a sample option. I will definitely check that out and see if I want to extend for a month! I am definitely guilty of making super simple and not-so-exciting meals, any extra advice would be warmly welcomed by my stomach ;)

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43 Michelle September 24, 2013 at 2:52 pm

I love the look of the meals and the idea of letting you know what you can prep ahead of time. I used to enjoy meal planning but it has become somewhat of a hassle with my busy schedule. Having someone else do it 4 nights out of the week will help a lot. I just signed up to try it for a month. Looking forward to it!

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44 cathy September 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm

All of the meals sounded awesome. Usually with things like this I only like 1! I’ll have to check it out!

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45 Lindsey @ The Hungry Hydrologist September 24, 2013 at 3:02 pm

I’ve been using the Fresh20 and I love it. They even have a new option for cooking for one (I was making 4 servings for myself and the 5-day meal plan was taking me about 2 weeks to get through with all the leftovers!) I love being able to buy food and know I’ll use it all in the week. And I agree that it really expands your kitchen repertoire and techniques!

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46 Emily @ Life on Food September 24, 2013 at 4:03 pm

I have done a few meal delivery programs where they send you the ingredients and the recipes but I like this one that is recipe you can change up a bit if you want since you are doing the buying. Love the idea of the prep vs. make stages. As much I my style is more like yours I can see this being really helpful as things get hectic.

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47 Allison September 24, 2013 at 5:07 pm

I really love this idea!! I think I might try it out!

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48 Katie September 24, 2013 at 6:46 pm

I saw you posting pics of this on Instagram last week and immediately went to the website to check it out. I signed up last Wednesday, received my meal plan Friday, and made my first dinner last night (fish tacos with garlic broccoli!). I loved this. I am always looking for something new to try in the kitchen and I am trying to get my husband to eat healthier. This was perfect! But, like another commenter above, I would love to be able to print out the recipes and put in my collection. I hope she adds this feature soon!

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49 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:04 pm

Hi Katie – Jess here! So glad you signed up and yes, you can print individual recipes now. We don’t have a print button but just hit print on your browser and it’ll format the recipes for printing. Just introduced yesterday and we’re only going to continue to improve the layout and formatting. Thx for your feedback. (Let me know how it goes with the hubby eating healthier!)

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50 Jonelle September 24, 2013 at 6:49 pm

How customizable is it? Can you tell it no for some foods due to food allergies? Sounds like a great thing and I would love to be able to use it!

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51 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:06 pm

Hi Jonelle – Jess from CS here! Unfortunately, we don’t have that option yet. You have the 4 diet options – original, gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian. Perhaps you can try a site like Foodily to find recipes to exclude “x” and then transfer into Paprika or Pepperplate to make a meal plan? If you let me know what your allergies are, I can also recommend a specific plan over another.

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52 Uschi September 24, 2013 at 7:42 pm

I would definitely be interested if Cook Smarts included nutritional information, that would be the thing to make me buy.

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53 Jen and Emily @ Layers Of Happiness September 24, 2013 at 7:51 pm

I cannot tell you how much I loove simple weeknight meals and these look like they are exactly that. We will definitely be giving this a try because I feel like with all the chaos in house house around dinner-time now that school has started, being told what to make for dinner might be easier.
This is our favorite weeknight meal: http://layersofhappiness.com/spinach-and-tomato-baked-chicken/

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54 Chelsea @ Designs on Dinner September 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm

Perfect for a cooking rut! I’d feel so accomplished if I turned out four meals like that in a week.

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55 Gina @ Health, Love, and Chocolate September 25, 2013 at 3:50 am

I briefly connected with Jess through my internship this summer and loved how sweet and down to earth she is, and her passion for real food is so apparent. I think Cook Smarts is such a great tool for so many different kinds of people, and all the meals from your week look wonderful!

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56 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Aww Gina, thanks so much for the kind words! I am excited about spreading the Cook Smarts love. It’s been so, so much fun.

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57 Whitney Vineyard @ home•free September 25, 2013 at 6:01 am

I can’t wait to try this out, your review has totally talked me into it. Maybe even I could get into meal planning… miracles can happen! Ha!

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58 Katherine September 25, 2013 at 7:33 am
59 Runnergal September 25, 2013 at 8:55 am

Wouldn’t sign up for this without getting nutritional info like most recipe websites.

Nice business model though and very slick website.

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60 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:13 pm

Hi Runnergal! Jess from CS here. We probably won’t be adding nutritional info for awhile but I’d love to learn about what pieces are you most interested in? Calorie count, fiber, sugar, carbs? I’d love to know!

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61 Allison @ Happy, Healthy, and Full of Heart September 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

Love this! That chicken with the tapenade looks AMAZING!

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62 jen September 25, 2013 at 12:48 pm

love thi s post a s I’m always looking for tips to help me get more efficient in the kitchen and still turn out good meals. the biggest game changer for me so far has been learning to make a big pot of grains and freeze them in smaller servings. Rice, barley and quinoa all freeze well then come out for an easy side or to be added to burritos or whatever. Would love any more tips you have to share.

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63 Jess September 25, 2013 at 3:12 pm

Jen, I freeze a lot of things by servings. I rarely need to use a whole package of cheese, so I typically just divide it up into 2 or 3 portions and pull 1 out when I need it. I do the same for a big pot of beans too – slow cook a few cups dried, which gives me a ton of cooked beans. Thanks for sharing your tips!

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64 Shel@PeachyPalate September 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

Really good idea! Love the quinoa and blackbean burger! Are you going to subscribe?

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65 KathEats September 25, 2013 at 4:54 pm

Yes. I wont it every week but I definitely want to do it more often

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66 Desiree October 1, 2013 at 11:03 am

Yum! Some of those meals sound great – tuna orzo salad! chicken with olive tapanade! I’m going to bookmark this!

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