It’s no surprise we are fans of meal planning services. And that’s because one of the biggest challenges of eating real food is being prepared and planning ahead – so why not have someone else do the planning work for you?
Having a set meal plan for the week along with a coordinating (printable) shopping list can make eating real food a possibility for everyone, regardless of how busy you are. So we are excited to introduce our sponsor Cook Smarts, which at the core, is a meal planning service, but also one who provides valuable cooking information that can educate you and empower you in the kitchen along the way.
Their service provides what you would expect – a weekly meal plan and shopping list. But what’s really unique about Cook Smarts is that they truly want to teach you how to cook as well. Their website is loaded with cooking tutorials (including videos), which for many of us can be really helpful! Like this Produce Prep Cooking Guide (pictured to the right). Who knew that microwaving a butternut squash 3 to 5 minutes would soften the skin – or that you could do this a ahead of time?!
Cook Smarts Offerings
- A weekly menu with instructions for cooking 4 simple and balanced dinners that will serve 4 people
- Customized grocery lists (average food cost per week is less than $75)
- Options for Monthly, Quarterly or Annual membership
- Gluten-free, Vegetarian or Paleo options
- Members also get access to archives (great for those who want more than 4 meals a week, or those looking for other yummy recipes)
- Answers to FAQs and a great visual of what else you can expect from Cook Smarts can be found here
Though everyone can sign up for 3 free sample plans with a “taste test” account, here’s one from the archives to give you a good visual of what one week may look like:
To get a closer look at one of the recipes, take a peek at the printable one I am sharing with you below.
Cook Smarts is offering a limited number of our readers a 30% off coupon code for quarterly and annual plans.
Please note that this offer is ONLY good for the first 300 subscribers that sign up today!
Regular subscription pricing is as follows:
- Monthly: $8/month
- Quarterly: $21/quarter ($7/month)
- Annual: $72/year ($6/month – less than $.35 a meal!)
Sign up and use coupon code “100DAYS0314” to get 30% off of quarterly and annual plans (code will expire after 300 uses).
Do you use a meal plan service? If you do, how does it help you?
Slow-Cooker Chicken Cacciatore with Quinoa
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1 onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 green bell pepper diced
- 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
- 4 oz tomato paste 1/2 cup
- 1 can diced tomatoes drained
- 1/2 cup white wine or red wine (optional)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 2 1/2 pounds chicken drumsticks (or other bone-in chicken, or 1 1/2 lbs. non-bone in chicken)
- 2/3 cup quinoa uncooked (or 2 cups cooked)
- 1/4 bunch parsley fresh, chopped
- 1 lemon cut into wedges
- Make sauce - Mix together Italian seasonings, salt, red pepper flakes, garlic, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, wine and chicken stock. (Can be done up to 3 days ahead.)
- Chicken - Remove skin from chicken. Try using scissors if you have trouble getting the skin off. (Can be done up to 1 day ahead)
- Start slow cooking (~8 hours before) - Nestle chicken into bottom of slow cooker. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and tenderize with a fork. Layer in onions and peppers and then pour on the sauce. Slow cook on low for 8 to 9 hours, until chicken easily comes off the bone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days before and then stored in the fridge in air-tight containers)
- Quinoa - Combine quinoa with 2x the amount of water in a saucepan. Add in a generous dash of salt. Bring to a boil covered. Lower heat, keep covered, and cook until liquid is absorbed, 8 to 10 minutes. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Chop parsley and slice lemons. Enjoy your warm cacciatore sprinkled with parsley over quinoa. Serve with lemon wedges to add some brightness!