Eli: Sharing the Love of Cooking

  • By Jackie Sun
  • January 28, 2015

I cook because it allows me to take a break…and spend some time with my wife, who is equally busy.


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Eli: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
As a medical student who spends a lot of time studying or in the hospital, Eli can’t help but bring his love for learning into the kitchen. By discovering ingredients and experimenting with them, he is able to become a better cook and impress friends and family. This Kitchen Hero used to be thought of as someone who couldn’t cook, but now he’s cooking up delicious dishes that are restaurant-quality, and he’s the go-to guy for great recipes! Eli’s joy of cooking is so contagious, it’s hard not to get into the groove of cooking when reading his Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Eli
Age: 25
City, State: Washington, DC
I cook for: myself, my lovely wife, friends and family (who are especially surprised that I can cook all of the sudden).
Outside of the kitchen I: am a medical student at George Washington University. I am a huge Saint Louis Cardinals, Blues, and Rams fan, and I love to ski.
My favorite cuisine is: Mediterranean
I cook because: it allows me to take a break from spending all day in the library or hospital, and spend some time with my wife, who is equally busy.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Mahi Mahi Tacos

How did you learn to cook?
I actually really learned to cook from Cook Smarts, I guess about 2 years ago. I mean, it didn’t take me ~23 years to learn how to turn on the oven or stove…but prior to Cook Smarts, I had a list of recipes (one type of fettuccini, two types of chicken, and a single vegetable dish), and I never deviated from those recipes. Using Cook Smarts actually gave me the ability to appreciate individual ingredients, and to experiment and tweak them to create new dishes.

The weekly recipes in Cook Smarts are broken down in a way that makes everything seem so simple and yet turns out feeling really sophisticated and delicious. That effective simplicity, though, gives me the confidence to be a bit of a scientist in the kitchen and try out new things.

How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
My wife and I are often so busy that we almost never had time to plan out meals ahead of time, which led us to cooking up whatever was available in our kitchen and took the least amount of time. That ended up turning into way too much pasta. We always promised ourselves we would plan ahead next time but it never happened.

Now that we use Cook Smarts, though, we really are able to plan out an entire week of lunches and dinners that end up seeming to take no time at all. It really has given us a lot of our free time back, and delicious meals to enjoy during that time.

“Using Cook Smarts actually gave me the ability to appreciate individual ingredients, and to experiment and tweak them to create new dishes.”

Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
The first Cook Smarts meal I ever made was the Sesame-Teriyaki Salmon with sesame-soy cucumber salad and rice. When my wife tried it, her eyes lit up. She was convinced I got it catered until I showed her exactly how to make it. It is now one of our staples if we ever want something easy and delicious in a pinch.

Other thoughts:
One of the greatest parts of using Cook Smarts is now, instead of asking people in my family for recipes, I am sending everyone in my family recipes and they love it. My little brother, a junior in college, especially loves it. He probably cooks more Cook Smarts recipes than my wife or I combined.

We both keep Kosher, so we really enjoy coming up with kosher replacements to things like shrimp, pork, or different types of cheeses. (Of course, it helps that Cook Smarts has vegetarian options for each recipe.) We are always comparing ingredients and seeing who can make the best kosher version of a dish.

I told him he will have to get his own subscription once he graduates, but for now he loves when I send him new recipes to try.

Your passion for cooking is really infectious, Eli! We cook almost everyday and still feel motivated to cook even more after reading your cooking story. It’s so awesome that you share your cooking and Cook Smarts with the people in your life. Thank you! And we must say that your wife is one lucky lady to be able to experience all your delicious meals first-hand. [P.S. We can’t wait until your brother joins us. He’ll be a Cook Smarts veteran by then , and we also love having Kitchen Hero families!]

Eli's favorite @CookSmarts meal: Mahi Mahi Tacos with Corn and Tomato Salsa

To join Eli and cook meals like his favorite Mahi Mahi Tacos with Corn and Tomato Salsa, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!


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