Since I’ve started my new workout regime, along came with it a new eating plan. To be able to really control what I eat (and fit in 5 meals a day) I’ve started cooking pretty much 95% of my food. I came across Cook Smarts, a meal planning service that sends you 4 recipes a week for you to cook. At first, I was a bit skeptical since I’m a picky eater, plus I’m looking for very specific recipes (healthy but not “diet”), and what’s the chance that this girl, Jess, gets my food taste? Turns out, she completely gets it.
I started out with the free plan which gives you 3 weeks worth of menus. I wanted to try it out to see if I would really use it, and if so, how easy were these meals? (I’m a cooking novice), how tasty were they?, and would I easily have these ingredients on hand? Here’s what I found out.
Things I Love About Cook Smarts
- The food is incredible. I’ve made 2 meals so far and they may be the best things I’ve ever cooked (apple fennel turkey burger & Moroccan chicken & carrots - see below)
- The meals are quick and relatively easy, but sophisticated at the same time. Most are made in about 30 minutes.
- For each recipe Jess gives you 4 alternatives: Original, Gluten-Free, Paleo and Vegetarian. Perfect because I will cook chicken meals in Original or Paleo, and Fish/Beef recipes as Vegetarian
- Most of the meals are under 500 calories and are healthy without being “diet food”. There’s no unnecessary butter or cream — just using fresh, whole foods.
- The weekly plan is strategic — using half of your cauliflower on Monday, and half on Thursday — so you don’t end up with a bunch of uneaten groceries.
- Jess has these great video tutorials on how to basics in the kitchen, linked from your recipe. Like, chopping onions & tenderizing chicken.
- If there are meals that week that don’t suit your fancy, you have access to the archive of hundreds of amazing recipes.
How To Sign Up
You can get 3 weeks of free meal plans by creating a free account. To continue on, and get access to all archives, it’s $6-8 a month, depending if you sign up annually, quarterly, or monthly. Also, if you sign up through this blog using this link, you’ll get $5 off your first month!
More About The Meals
So far I’ve made the Apple Fennel Turkey Burgers with a Strawberry/Mixed Green Salad with a homemade vinaigrette (from the free plan), which was so incredible. The fennel and apple did amazing things together, and I learned a new healthy salad dressing to make! The next meal was Moroccan Chicken & Carrots, which was savory sweet delicious. I’m new to cooking meat in general so learning a new technique (sear and simmer) was fantastic. Also, the mixing of spices (that I already had in my cabinet!) was a wonderful experience. Up next, I’m planning to make the Maple-Dijon Panko Crusted Chicken with Lemony Broccolini and Brown Rice!
photos via Cook Smarts