I love to meal plan. In fact, Sunday mornings are dedicated to just that. Here’s how it works: wake up, make breakfast, sit down with my laptop, a few cookbooks and a notepad, ask Vishnu if there’s anything particular he wants to eat, plan out meals for the week, make a grocery list, shop, and repeat every Sunday. I LOVE IT!
With that being said, you can imagine how excited I was to get an email from Jess Dang, the founder of Cook Smarts, a weekly online meal planning service. Jess was kind enough to gift me with a 3 month subscription so that I could try it out for myself. One more healthy meal planning resource at my disposal? Yes please!
Last week was my first week using Cook Smarts, and I absolutely love it. I even told Vishnu last night that I plan to continue subscribing after my current plan expires. Essentially, after you sign up, you have access to a “database” of recipes that are all healthy and simple to make (most require 30 minutes or less). Jess releases a new weekly meal plan every Thursday, so you can opt to follow it to the tee OR do what I do and pick and choose meals from different plans and create your own unique mix.
What I love about Cook Smarts:
- The #1 most amazing feature is that you are able to select different dietary preferences (paleo, vegetarian, and/or gluten free) to match your needs. And when you do, the ingredient list and recipe change as well. LOVE!
- As I stated above, the meals are healthy and chock full of fresh ingredients.
- You have the option to “favorite” or “heart” different recipes, so that they are easily accessible when you sit down to meal plan.
- Each recipe comes with a prep tab so you know exactly what needs to be done ahead of time.
- If you decide to follow a given weekly plan (which includes four meals) and make only those meals, you have the option to create a customized grocery list, which you can then print out and take with you to the store.
- For those who are just beginning their culinary journey, Jess provides lots of tips and video tutorials to help along the way.
- Cook Smarts is affordable, with plans starting at just $6 a month.
As I mentioned earlier, I made two Cook Smarts meals last week, and they both turned out great. And as an added bonus, both dishes were pretty much one pot wonders, so not only was the cooking process easy, but cleaning up was also a breeze!
First up was the Tofu and Green Curry Noodles dish. The only thing I did differently was add a little bit of fresh ginger, chili and garlic. Seriously, this was fantastic. I loved the flavor combo and the simple ingredient list. I will definitely be making this again soon!
I guess I was in a very Asian inspired mood last week because I also used Cook Smarts to make Green Curry Lentils. I am a huge lentil fan, so this was right up my alley. This dish was hearty, healthy, and really unique (avocado cubes were used to finish off this dish). And again, all I did differently was add some fresh ginger, chili and garlic. It was perfection! And I’m really sad because I just had my last bowl for lunch yesterday. So basically, this one is also a keeper!
Trust me when I say that this is something you definitely want to try. It has made the whole “what should I make” dilemma non-existent for us because now we have tons of meal ideas all in one place.
So aside from purchasing your own meal plan subscription or signing up to receive access to 3 free plans, there is one more potential way to experience Cook Smarts…
It’s giveaway time!! Jess graciously agreed to gift one of my readers with his or her very own 3 month subscription to Cook Smarts (thanks, Jess!!).
To enter (feel free to pick one or all, but please leave a separate comment for each entry):
(Open to everyone regardless of location!)
The giveaway will close on Sunday at 9:00 pm, and the winner will be announced in Monday’s post! GOOD LUCK!