Claudia: Learning to Try New Flavors

I cook because I want to improve our eating habits. For years we have relied on “boxes” (frozen dinners) because of our busy schedules.

-Claudia
#KitchenHero

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Claudia: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
We must say that we have the most amazing community of Kitchen Heroes, and it’s one of the best parts of Cook Smarts! Not only have all of our Kitchen Heroes been super helpful in helping us grow and improve Cook Smarts, they’re always spreading the love, and we couldn’t ask for a better bunch.

Our latest Kitchen Hero, Claudia, was introduced to us by her daughter Jennifer, who is also a Kitchen Hero! (Read Jennifer’s cooking story here.) Light mother, like daughter – cooking and being a hero in the kitchen runs in the genes! After all, being a Kitchen Hero is all about making the choice to cook and eat healthier and improve eating habits. For Claudia, her biggest challenge is trying new flavors, but with all of the yummy meals she has been creating, she is on her way to discovering many new favorites. Read her Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Claudia Flint
Age: 61
City, State: Orange, California
I cook for: my husband and me.
Outside of the kitchen I: am a semi-retired school principal (currently a supervisor for student teachers through the University of California, Irvine).
The one kitchen tool I must always have is: a good knife!
I cook because: I want to improve our eating habits. For years we have relied on “boxes” (frozen dinners) because of our busy schedules.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Balsamic Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches

How did you learn to cook?
As a kid, my mother taught me to bake and make French toast! She was a good cook, but I grew up in the 50’s and 60’s and it was usually meat, potatoes and a vegetable for dinner each night. When I got married, I asked my mother for lots of advice, and also got recipes from friends. However, I was not very adventurous and stuck to basics mostly.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
I realized a few years ago that I don’t like bitter tasting or spicy foods. That makes it tough to find recipes that I like. The biggest challenge is trying new flavors.

How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
Since I basically stopped cooking when my daughters left home for college, this is a total change! It requires planning and prep, but now I have more time to do it and find that I like it. (My husband gets to do the clean-up, which usually involves lots of pans, utensils, etc., and he grumbles about this, but he does like the food!)

“[Cooking] requires planning and prep, but now I have more time to do it and find that I like it.”

What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?
I think it’s important to try new things and to continue to learn new techniques. This has not been easy for me, and I want to thank my daughter Jennifer for introducing Cook Smarts to me and constantly encouraging me to keep trying!


It’s definitely important to try new things – you never know what you might end up liking! We’re glad you are willing to explore new flavors, though, Claudia. Keep it up! Plus, it must be great being able to share your cooking journey with your encouraging daughter!

Claudia's favorite @CookSmarts meal: Grilled Balsamic Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches

To join Claudia and cook meals like her favorite Grilled Balsamic Pork Chops with Grilled Peaches, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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