Weekly Meal Plan Menu | Week of 10/6/14

Cook Smarts’ Weekly Meal Plan Service | Menu for 10/6/14 via @cooksmarts

Our Weekly Meal Plan Service Dinner Menu for October 6, 2014 Monday: Sausage Hoagies with Sweet Potato Fries Tuesday: Spinach Calzones with Homemade Marinara and House Salad Wednesday: Slow-Cooker Chili with House Salad Thursday: Leftover Chili Nachos with House Salad We do more than create meal plans. We create memories around the dinner table. Subscribe to our weekly meal plan service … [Read more...]

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili

Sweet Potato and Beef Chili recipe by @cooksmarts #paleo #glutenfree

When the weather is cold and I need a kick of warmth, I turn to comforting soups. Last month, the temperature dropped down to below freezing in Mountain View! As someone who's lived in California now for almost 15 years, I have lost all my East coast edge, and I was craving some warm chili, which I wanted to eat while donning a fur hat and enclosed in one of these wearable sleeping bags (I got … [Read more...]

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili with a Baked Potato

Slow Cooker Turkey Chili Recipe by Cook Smarts @cooksmarts

So what's better than slow cooker chili? Slow cooker chili on top of a baked potato! Our first slow cooker recipe of the season comes just in time for Halloween. If you'll be getting your kids (and yourself!) costumed up for trick or treating, this dish will make sure that they're sent off warm and well-fed. Another added bonus? Because this is a slow cooker meal, it's already made ahead of … [Read more...]

Asian Bolognese with Broccoli

Asian Bolognese with Broccoli Stir-Fry recipe by Cook Smarts

This was one of my favorite dishes growing up. I loved it so much that I made it when I competed on Season 2 of The Next Food Network Star. Unfortunately, I was also kicked off the show for this same dish, which I just couldn't finish on time. I hadn't prepared a cooked "swap-out" for the ground meat, and well raw ground meat was just not going to cook in my 3 minutedemo. I was that contestant who … [Read more...]

Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage

Gnocchi with Kale and Sausage Recipe

The Italian who decided to combine potatoes and flour to form pillowy gnocchi is an absolute genius in my book. Carb haters can balk, but I can't help but indulge every so often in this rustic Italian creation. There was a time in my life when I would have been happy to create gnocchi from scratch: cooking and mashing potatoes, slowly incorporating flour and eggs until I got the right … [Read more...]

Greek-Inspired Meat Sauce

Greek Inspired Meat Sauce

What turns ground meat + tomato sauce into a taco filling? Some Latin-spices, like cumin, coriander, and / or ancho chili powder. What turns ground meat + tomato sauce into an Italian pasta sauce? Some Italian-spices, like oregano, basil, or fennel seeds. What turns ground meat + tomato sauce into a Greek-inspired pasta sauce? Some Greek spices, like allspice and cinnamon. While today's … [Read more...]

Turkey-Day Inspired Fennel and Apple Turkey Burgers

Fennel and apple turkey burgers by Cook Smarts

Who says Thanksgiving can only happen once a year? Certainly not me! When I find myself craving the flavors of Thanksgiving, I make this turkey-day inspired fennel and apple turkey burger recipe. It provides the sensation of the holiday without all the work, pressure, and hours of tending to a huge bird. From all of our experience at the Thanksgiving table, we’ve learned that turkey marries … [Read more...]

Mexican Meatballs with Fire-Roasted Tomato & Coconut Sauce

Mexican Meatballs Recipe by Cook Smarts

I’m super excited to share this recently-created Mexican Meatballs recipe and use it as an example of how easy it can be to create your own recipes. Even if you’re not an experienced cook, you probably are an experienced eater and that’s the only qualification you need to develop recipes. Just start paying attention to what you like, why you like it, and how different flavors and ingredients … [Read more...]

Mediterranean Chicken or Turkey Meatballs

Mediterranean Turkey Meatball Wraps

I had cooked these healthy Mediterranean chicken / turkey meatballs last week for this week's meal plan. After snapping all the photos I needed, I tucked them away in a large Tupperware container. One of the best parts of food blogging is eating all the leftover goodies, and I was certainly looking forward to munching on these later. Sadly I never got the chance. I had friends visiting last … [Read more...]

Kid-Friendly Turkey Meatballs with Kidney Beans and Kale

Kale, Turkey, and Bean Meatballs | How do I get my kids to eat more greens and beans? | Cook Smarts by Jess Dang

Dear Cook Smarts, I have a young child who's going through his picky-eater phase. He greets all greens and beans with a great big, "ICK!" I'd love to find some recipes that'll get him to come around. Is that possible? Oh dear. While we recognize that parents need to take the lead in helping kids make healthy choices, the will of a child is a force to be reckoned with, and your decisions do … [Read more...]