Kiera: There’s No Wrong Way to Be a Cook

It’s fun and rewarding to be able to create delicious home cooked food that can be enjoyed by me and my family. It’s a skill that I value and am thankful for. – Kiera

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Kitchen Hero Kiera’s got it right – there is no wrong way to be a cook! Everyone learns in their own way and at their own pace. For Kiera, being a cook is about trying new things, practicing to get better, and most of all, enjoying the cooking process. She figures out what works best for her and does her best to overcome her cooking challenges. Most importantly, she keeps it fun! Read Kiera’s Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Kiera Herbert
Age: 31
City, State: Collegeville, PA
I cook for: me and my husband.
Outside of the kitchen I: am an engineer who loves to play board games and video games, knit and garden.
My all-time favorite snack is: cheese and crackers (especially Triscuits!)
I cook because: it’s fun and rewarding to be able to create delicious home cooked food that can be enjoyed by me and my family. It’s a skill that I value and am thankful for.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Far and away the Warm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad. Delicious and guilt-free!

HOW DID YOU LEARN TO COOK?

Growing up, my mom would cook dinner every night, and I wanted to be able to do that for myself and my family. When I got a stove of my own, I worked my way up from making pre-packaged food to experimenting with recipes I found online or from my mom. I learned by doing: both trying new things and practicing routine things over and over and over again (and watching a few YouTube tutorials). I’m still learning.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST COOKING CHALLENGE?

I am always so worried that I’ll undercook meat that I almost always overcook it. I’m working on it. Tips accepted!

{Cook Smarts: Like you said, Kiera, the best way to learn is to keep practicing! When starting out, check the meat often to understand the temperature and how it feels throughout the cooking process. The more you cook meat, the more you’ll learn. Also, by learning the proper meat cooking temperatures, you’ll be more confident to not under- or overcook meat. Our Meat Temperature Guide is a great resource to print out and consult whenever you’re cooking!}


“I’ve been able to cook with a wider variety of ingredients than I could have possibly imagined.”


HOW HAS YOUR COOKING ROUTINE CHANGED SINCE STARTING COOK SMARTS’ MEAL PLANS?

My meal planning used to be staring at my computer monitor for several hours, wading through dozens of recipes on the internet that were too long or complicated, or had too many ingredients or calories, before just making tacos for the millionth time.

Cook Smarts has condensed my prep into about 15 stress-free minutes, and the abundance of 400-600 calorie meals enabled me to lose 25 lbs over the last year. I’ve also been able to cook with a wider variety of ingredients than I could have possibly imagined.

Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.

I was proud when I made my first batch of pretzel rolls and then excited when I discovered all the awesome bread I could bake without a bread maker.

What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?

Personally, I love the challenge of trying new ingredients, the organization of mise en place, and the efficiency of multitasking. I am very focused when I’m cooking. But everyone is different. My advice would be to learn what works for you, have fun, and just go for it!

You can do it. There’s no wrong way to be a cook.


Congrats, Kiera, on losing 25 lbs (and some stress!) over the last year! We’re glad to hear that our meal plans not only have a hand in allowing you to feel physically and emotionally better, but also enable you to try new things and help you improve in the kitchen. Thanks for being such a great inspiration!

To join Kiera and cook meals like her favorite Warm Farro and Roasted Root Vegetable Salad, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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