January 15, 2014

I’m working backwards this week since I had so many leftovers for lunch!!


I did a week of Cook Smarts meals. I felt super organized and confident about our menu all week long. After a year + of winging it, I’m ready to get organized. Our family needs it! (Plan to see a lot more of Cook Smarts dinners. This particular post isn’t sponsored and I bought my own year plan I liked it so much.) The week I chose started with a Maple Dijon salmon and a fruity salad.


The salmon was incredible and I loved the panko crust. I also love the quick salad dressing recipes. I tend to be lazy and just drizzle with olive oil, but I’m glad to put in a little effort and make something really delicious for these dinner salad recipes.


The next night we had Mediterranean meatballs. Since I’ve been on a meatball kick, I loved these. They were served with warm pitas and a chopped salad with a homemade yogurt dressing that I loved. Mazen loved the meatballs too!


Night 3 we had chicken fajitas with peppers and Mexican tomato rice. Yum! We had extra peppers so I had a side of those, and lots of avocado and Greek yogurt, of course.


We took a break from Cook Smarts for a night to have a New Year’s Day feast with Karen. She brought over cooked cranberry beans and we prepared traditional collard greens cooked in bacon and homemade cornbread muffins. A little wine on the side!


Our final dinner of the Cook Smarts week was a Mexican Fried Rice. The meal plans often use one ingredient in two ways, so the tomato rice from the night before was morphed into this yummy vegetarian dish along with black beans, broccoli, corn and lots of yoga-mole on top (avocado + yogurt mixed).



As you probably guessed, I had a lot of leftovers for lunch! It’s so much easier to heat + eat when I have two lunches to get out fast.

Here are leftover meatballs with pita and greens


Followed by leftover beans in a tortilla with avocado, yogurt and peppers


Next up: leftover friend rice with cornbread muffin and yogurt. I have no idea if I’m eating bigger portions and more calories at lunch with leftovers than with my usual salads and things, but my guess is a strong “it’s likely.”


Other lunches included a plate of eggs cooked with leftover veggies, sliced pear and toast with almond butter


And lastly, a mug of chili topped with cheese + yogurt



I kicked the week off with some good old scrambled eggs with clementine and a Honey roll with jam


Next up was a frozen waffle (this brand) topped with butter and some syrup, banana with almond butter and a fried egg.


Day 3 I had a New Year’s cornbread muffin with a side of fried egg and lots of clementine.


Cornbread for breakfast was a hit for eaters big and small!


Hellllllo hot oatmeal! Whipped banana oat bran with jam, Autumn Spice Granola and some melted almond butter


And finally…


A reheated version of oat bran with plain yogurt mixed throughout. This is my new favorite way to reheat oatmeal. I get it luke warm and soft again and then cool it back down with yogurt mixed in. It’s kind of like a blend between hot oats and overnight oats.


Have a good one!

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{ 43 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ali @ Peaches and Football January 15, 2014 at 9:01 am

I’ve always been in awe of the variety of foods you have each week and they always look so delicious! Are those peaches or nectarines in the first pictures? I’m jealous – we have a 2 week window to purchase peaches here and you have to get them from the guy on the truck selling them from Georgia. The store-bought ones are so tragic they make me cry!

What’s Maze’s favorite food to eat right now? Anything he’s loving more than anything else?


2 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 10:40 am

Applaare clementines! But boy would I love a juicy peach right now. Made it has been into broccoli surprisingly and apples


3 Annie January 16, 2014 at 3:00 pm

Might want to spell check that comment 😉 Great post!


4 KathEats January 16, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Good grief! I must have selected the wrong line of voice text. :)


5 Katie January 15, 2014 at 9:08 am

I just got a CookSmarts annual membership for only $50, a promotional deal they are running. I’ll probably start next week with this weeks meals, since they look so good. But I want to eat down the pantry a bit first.


6 Katie @ Peace Love and Oats January 15, 2014 at 9:26 am

Ooo Mediterranean meatballs sound delicious! I’ve been meaning to make meatballs, I love serving them with marinara and spaghetti squash


7 Jackie January 15, 2014 at 9:42 am

Yum your eats always look fantastic!!!!


8 Jess January 15, 2014 at 9:50 am

All of those dinners look delicious! I’ve never been a fan of meal planning programs because I prefer to be a bit more…creative? But all of those look so good that I’m really tempted to give Cook Smarts a try.


9 Suzanne January 15, 2014 at 10:09 am

We followed the same meal plan last week, minus the fried rice. Love Cook Smarts, and the meatballs and dressing were divine!


10 Maureen January 15, 2014 at 10:14 am

Great looking meals! I am a huge fan of leftovers. So easy to just heat it up and eat the next day. I especially love meals that taste BETTER the next day at lunch!


11 Alex @ Kenzie Life January 15, 2014 at 10:28 am

The meatballs and pita looked really good! When I was a kid, my Romanian grandma used to watch my sister and I after school and so we had all kinds of traditional Romanian food as snacks. Pretty much the only kind of red meat I liked were her meatballs. Now though, I’m really craving good vegetarian ones that aren’t full of processed/fake ingredients. Have a great day, Kath!


12 Ali January 15, 2014 at 10:31 am

All that Mexican food looks great!


13 Ashley @ Saving Money in your Twenties January 15, 2014 at 10:36 am

We almost ALWAYS have leftovers for lunch. It’s so much easier than coming up with something else to make (and more delicious than just making PB&J every day!). I love looking forward to something awesome for lunch!


14 Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog January 15, 2014 at 11:20 am

Leftovers for lunch are the best! It’s always such a treat to not have to think to hard about a meal and to cook once and eat multiple times. The Cook Smarts meals look delicious. I did a 3 month membership and liked a lot of their recipes.


15 Lee January 15, 2014 at 11:37 am

I just looked at the Cook Smarts site (which seems really cool) and I think I went to high school with the creator of it!


16 Jess January 15, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Lee, did you go to Walter Johnson High School in Bethesda, Maryland? That’s my alma mater!


17 Lee January 16, 2014 at 2:39 pm

Yes! I thought you looked familiar! When did you graduate? I graduated in 96.


18 Elizabeth January 15, 2014 at 12:28 pm

All of your dishes look amazing as usual! I have been hearing so much about Cook Smarts that I might just have to check it out and try it! I think the program speaks volumes after seeing your dinners!


19 Jessica January 15, 2014 at 2:02 pm

I’ve just checked out the website and this seems like a great service. Quick question: can you “switch” out one meal for another if you don’t like something and then have that new meal placed on your grocery list? I can’t figure out how to do that with their sample meals.


20 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 2:06 pm

You can check “do not make this” but you can’t switch them out yet. YET because I am pretty sure Jess is working on this as an improvement


21 Jess January 15, 2014 at 9:02 pm

Jess form Cook Smarts here! We definitely know that folks would love this feature and it’s on our list of future improvements. Right now we understand that folks are going back to some favorites and making separate lists. Clearly this isn’t ideal and we want people to just make 1 list for the week – we’ll get there, we promise! Thanks everyone for their patience with our small little business, :).


22 Fancy January 15, 2014 at 3:18 pm

Hey Kath! I’m curious…you said “melted almond butter”…how do you do this? Sounds delicious! Xoxo!


23 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 7:26 pm

Just put some almond butter over hot oats and watch it drip into a melted pool. This doesn’t happen in the grittiest freshly ground kinds, but I’m really into the 365 Crunchy from Whole Foods and it melts!


24 Fancy January 16, 2014 at 10:17 am

Thanks Kath!!! :)


25 [email protected] January 15, 2014 at 3:30 pm

Cook Smarts really sounds awesome! I always find with leftovers for lunch you find less need to snack because you feel like you’ve had a more substantial meal! I’m all for them!


26 Tina January 15, 2014 at 3:43 pm

Beeing a one person household (so much nice then calling myself single) I usually cook a recipe for two or four and use the rest as leftovers.

PS: I just opened my new jar of nutbutter – I can’t believe I never came across them before I started reading your blog, europe is slowly getting into the “More then peanut butter ” bit


27 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

: )


28 Lisa C. January 15, 2014 at 3:46 pm

Question about oat bran: how do you cook it? Just like regular oats? And are there health benefits to eating just the bran versus oats?



29 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 7:25 pm

I cook it just like oats with more water/milk (per the package instructions). I like it for a change of texture most of all (and because Mazen didn’t like the big oat texture)


30 Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs January 15, 2014 at 4:10 pm

Some great looking meals! Cook Smarts seems like a neat idea!


31 Jen January 15, 2014 at 4:18 pm

This is a total random question but what sippy cups do you use? And do you love them? We have had some major challenges finding ones that don’t leek and have a big enough straw for a smoothie. Thanks!


32 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 7:24 pm

We’re really into the OXO Tot cup now. I like how easy it is to get the straw in and out to clean, and it’s pretty good on the leaks.


33 Stacy K. January 15, 2014 at 5:13 pm

I received a different meal planning subscription for Christmas, and I have swapped out a few things, or not used a recipe since it’s something my family wouldn’t eat, but then I feel like I’m wasting the service. Do you feel guilty if you don’t use the whole weeks plan?

Do you have a binder you are printing and keeping your favorite dishes in to re-visit once the subscription is done?


34 KathEats January 15, 2014 at 7:23 pm

Not at all! I’ll probably skip a few weeks here and there (I skipped a lot during the holidays). I think the cost is worth it if you only use it 1/3 of the time. I’m not keeping any of the recipes but might print out my very favorites to keep forever


35 Jess @ Cook Smarts January 15, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Stacy K., we have a super easy print option so that you can save your favorites in your recipe binder. You can also save them as PDFs too!


36 Livi January 15, 2014 at 9:23 pm

cook smarts sounds awesome!


37 Aubrey January 15, 2014 at 10:35 pm

Yum, that chili looks delish! :) Oh and something about that cornbread… it’s got me craving a piece right now! haha


38 Jacqui January 16, 2014 at 12:11 am

I almost always have leftovers for lunch, but yours are definitely more creative than my “throw it all together” recipes! I love how you always have such an interesting variety of foods on your plate or in your bowl, but yet the portions are small. I tend to go for volume, but I would like to change that habit. Thanks for the inspiration – again!


39 Christina @ Fueled Athlete January 16, 2014 at 11:41 am

I made the salmon last week too! So GOOD!!


40 Joyce @ MustardSeeds+Hope January 16, 2014 at 2:24 pm

Great meals. Love the cornbread!


41 Caitlin January 16, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Cornbread at any meal is a huge hit with me! The meatballs look so awesome, chock full of goodies. That panko crusted salmon seems to die for. Any crusted seafood has my heart! Or shall I say my belly?


42 simple green moms January 17, 2014 at 3:14 pm

we love making cornbread for breakfast too! With fresh jam and scrambled eggs =)


43 Ttrockwood January 20, 2014 at 1:20 am

Leftovers for lunch are awesome!! I usually just add the leftovers to a big salad- not only so it feels like a different meal but to also keep it lighter and get my veggies in. I’ve had some odd yet delicious combos! Chickpea sweet potato curry on salad was a delicious combo recently :)


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