I am always proud when my kitchen produces food that my family and friends enjoy. Nothing makes me happier than sitting around the table with the people I love, sharing a great meal and some laughs.
Name: Rachel Jrade-Rice
City, State: Nashville, TN
I cook for: me and my husband.
I cook because: homemade meals are healthier, less expensive, and often tastier than eating out.
Outside of the kitchen I: am an attorney, and I run a songwriting and music production business with my husband called BullEagle Music. When I am not working, you can find me supporting the stores of local makers and trying the new restaurants that are popping up all over Nashville (aka shopping and eating).
Favorite Cook Smarts meal: Tie between the Thai Tacos and the Shrimp Vermicelli Bowl (These definitely made the “favorites week” meals for a reason.)
How did you learn to cook?
I learned to cook from my mom. She is one of those amazing women who works a demanding full time job, makes all of her family members feel like they have her undivided attention, and always has a home-cooked meal on the table.
When I was in high school, I began to take an interest in cooking and in food, in general. I watched my mom in the kitchen and even assisted on occasion. She is a master at both planning ahead for meals and at improvising with what she has in the kitchen, so that the food never takes too long to reach the table.
What’s been your biggest cooking challenge?
My biggest cooking challenge is planning ahead. Before we started using Cook Smarts, there were some weeks when I would outline a menu and grocery shop accordingly, but on the weeks that I couldn’t find the time to decide what to make each night, dinner time would descend into total chaos. On the unplanned weeks, one of three things would happen: 1) I would grocery shop almost every night; 2) We would eat out almost every night; or 3) It was peanut butter jelly time.
How has your cooking routine changed since starting Cook Smarts’ meal plans?
Cook Smarts has been invaluable when it comes to meal planning. I am an attorney by day, and my husband and I run a songwriting and music production business called BullEagle Music the rest of the time. I LOVE cooking and baking (the kitchen is totally my zen place), but I rarely have time to peruse recipes to decide what to make each night, and then create a grocery list from those recipes.
Cook Smarts is so brilliant because it takes care of the menu planning but allows me to customize our meals by swapping meals and / or ingredients depending on tastes and diet. I also love the feature that shows you what you can prep ahead of time. Cook Smarts has streamlined meal time for me so I can have all the fun of cooking delicious, healthy meals for my family without all the stress.
“Cook Smarts has streamlined meal time for me so I can have all the fun of cooking delicious, healthy meals for my family without all the stress.”
Tell us about your proudest kitchen moment.
I am always proud when my kitchen produces food that my family and friends enjoy. For the last seven years, my husband and I have hosted Thanksgiving at our house. At the end of an exhausting week of planning and an intense day of cooking, nothing makes me happier than sitting around the table with the people I love, sharing a great meal and some laughs.
What are your tips for health and success in the kitchen?
My best tips for health and success in the kitchen are: 1) plan ahead; 2) use fresh, whole ingredients; 3) try to cook as much as possible with ingredients that are in season.
We don’t know how you do it all, Rachel, but we’re happy to help out with some of the planning! That way, you can have a delicious, healthy dinner, and then focus on creating awesome music to share with the world. Great food and amazing music…now that’s what we’re talking about!
To join Rachel and cook meals like her favorite Thai Tacos and Shrimp Vermicelli Bowl, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!