Peppermint: Bye-bye, Dinner Rut!

We love food, and we’re always striving to make healthier food choices and eat a wider variety of food.

-Peppermint
#KitchenHero

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Peppermint: Hero in the Kitchen via @CookSmarts
Even experienced cooks, like Kitchen Hero Peppermint, know that eating the same things day after day can get boring, no matter how tried-and-true the recipes are. It doesn’t matter if you have an encyclopedia’s worth of go-to recipes – cooking daily eventually means that you’ve found yourself in a dinner rut. Luckily, Peppermint decided to take charge and break out of the same meals, and start adding a variety of foods she and her family have never tried before. Now her 13-year-old son enjoys foods like kale, salmon, and lamb, thanks to this Kitchen Hero mom! Read her Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Peppermint Granberg Jones
Age: 37
City, State: Eau Claire, Wisconsin
I cook for: my husband and my teenage son.
Outside of the kitchen I: am a freelance graphic designer, a runner, a TV addict and a memory keeper.
My favorite cuisine is: Is cheeseburger a cuisine? Because…cheeseburger.
I cook because: we love food, and we’re always striving to make healthier food choices and eat a wider variety of food.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Rotisserie Chicken Chopped Salad (I crave this almost every week.)

How did you learn to cook?
A lot of trial and error with recipes. I was totally lackluster in the kitchen for several years relying on a lot of shortcuts and packaged foods. Then about 12 years ago I decided to start introducing 1 to 2 new, “from scratch” recipes into our weekly meal plans, and over time, I evolved as a home cook.

What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
Diversifying our diet. Over the years I managed to build an arsenal of recipes, but it started to feel as though we were eating the same types of things over and over, relying on the recipes I knew by heart and could throw together easily.

How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
We eat such a wide variety of food now, we regularly try new things, and we eat out way less. The planning is where the entire thing fell apart for me, but with Cook Smarts, I have a solid plan for healthy, well-balanced meals even on the busiest weeks.

“With Cook Smarts, I have a solid plan for healthy, well-balanced meals even on the busiest weeks.”

Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
Every time my thirteen-year-old tries and LOVES a new food. Thanks to Cook Smarts he has now tried (and requested!) foods like salmon, kale, mussels, lamb, quinoa and eggplant. He’s still not a fan of shrimp, brussels sprouts or mushrooms, though!

What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?
Never stop trying new things. There are foods that I didn’t think I liked, but only because of how they were prepared. It’s so easy to write off a new recipe by saying, “I don’t like lamb” or “I don’t eat tofu”, but I’ve grown to love ingredients I once hated just by preparing them in a new way.


Very true, Peppermint! Not only is eating and cooking about discovering new flavors, it’s also about experiencing with different cooking methods. That’s how we learn and grow in the kitchen. And looking at the list of foods that your son is requesting, we can see that your cooking journey is a success already!

Peppermint's favorite @CookSmarts meal: Rotisserie Chicken Chopped Salad

To join Peppermint and cook meals like her favorite Rotisserie Chicken Chopped Salad, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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