Congrats to Cara! The winner of the $100 gift card from Cook Smarts! You should have an email in your inbox right now girl!
DISCLAIMER: This is a sponsored post and giveaway brought to you by Cook Smarts.
Hey there…brain-dead mom of three little ones here to tell ya all about something that has helped me be a little less “EVERYONE STOP CRYING!” and a little more “Who’s the Mommy?! I’M THE MOMMA!”.
Let’s start at the beginning. Remember when I told you guys that I really wanted to be a little more organized? I actually said that one of the list items was to ‘create and stick to a weekly meal plan’. And then I confessed that I really needed to have more designated systems….”like a better meal planning system”. Quote and end quote.
I started by writing down the good meals that we frequently make…all four of them. And then I went onto Pinterest and tried to find more meals that fit our lifestyle. I needed something that I could make quickly (dinner prep time is when the boys all take their PFT’s – personal fussy time – so quick is an understatement), meals that would be healthy, and meals that I could potentially modify to be Paleo. We don’t eat as healthy as we could but every once in a while, I like to introduce meals that are clean so that the boys see that its not the end of the world. Pinterest was a complete fail though because I felt completely overwhelmed.
So then I started googling. One of the first sites I pulled up was recommended by LifeHackers and it was called Cook Smarts.
It didn’t seem that complicated…I just signed up to test it out and got three weeks of free meal plans. Personally I like that they only provide four days of plans because we always end up eating sandwiches or leftovers one night (or a quickie frozen meal) and going out one night and then usually we have dinner at friends or family one night each week. Four days fit our family pretty perfectly. And the fact that they are all pretty simple and balanced is just dairy-free-icing on my gluten-free-cake.
The site offers all sorts of services for the meal planning part – shopping lists, recipe cards, videos and tips on how to prep food, etc. but I liked the fact that I could click on a recipe and then tweak it however I wanted. So let’s say that my mom (who is gluten-free) is coming over…I can make the recipe different just by clicking on the little headers at the top. If I really like the recipe I can ‘favorite’ it or I can print it as a PDF and make a cookbook of my own. Some of the other cool resources are –
- How to Cook Vegetables and Seasonality
- How to Cook on a Budget
- How to Prep Fruits and Veggies
- Pantry Essentials
We tried out a few of the recipes and it was actually delicious too. You just never know about recipes but this one the entire family liked (and I even snuck in a bunch of those tomatoes to the boys tummies! Go Lycopene!
Jeremy said “I don’t think we have ever had fajita’s before!”.
Really Jer? Really? We eat them with chicken all the time. I guess what he was thinking was “I don’t think we have ever had GOOD fajita’s before!”
And may I just brag on myself that I actually did an amazing job on the meat. That’s the first time I ever cooked steak inside (usually we grill steaks) and they were danglicious…that’s a word 🙂
Side note – this is what a blogger’s four year old ends up doing at dinner time. He told me “mom, I gotta send the picture in an email, ok? It’s for my work.” Next thing you know, he’s gonna be telling me about some celebrity named Tiny Fea is following his social media accounts.
The best thing about these meals is that you don’t have to stress about doing all the planning….with a subscription, you get a customized grocery list so you know exactly what you need to buy for dinners. It takes the stress out of those last minute what-do-I-make dinners.
I’m such a fan of them, and apparently they are a fan of YOU! They even decided to give something to you guys too to make this whole meal planning adventure a little easier…
- PRIZE: (1) $100 gift card to Whole Foods and Tote bag
- NUMBER OF WINNERS : (1) One
- MORE INFORMATION :
- Each meal comes with a gluten-free, vegetarian, and paleo option.
- Nutrition information is available for every meal
- Short how-to and prep videos help build your cooking foundation and confidence, and teach new and basic skills
- TO ENTER : Go sign up for the free meal plans (like I did), and then come back here and leave a comment with “I wanna have CookSmarts” and tell me the meal you want to make most from the archives.
- PRIZE SHIPS : US
- NITTY GRITTY : This giveaway closes on Friday, June 6th at 8pm EDT. Only one contest entry per email address. The winner will be chosen using Random.org and will be announced in an update to this post the following Tuesday morning. We will email the winner directly, so please make sure you use your regular everyday email address.
p.s. Wanna sign up for the membership? Discount time! Here’s the code for 30% off your first meal plan : BPCOOKS. EXPIRES 6/4/2014.