Rita & Peter: Food for the Body and Soul

In trying a new recipe, we may find a flavor we don’t care for or we may just find a new favorite – but either way it holds body and soul together. – Rita & Peter

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Most of us aren’t born flipping pancakes or making boeuf bourguignon. We had to start from somewhere. Just like our Kitchen Heroes Rita and Peter, who started from jazzing up packet ramen and Kraft mac and cheese. From there, they graduated and discovered flavors that nourished not only their bodies, but their souls. Read more about their cooking journey in their Hero in the Kitchen story below.

Name: Rita and Peter
City, State: Fredericksburg, VA
We cook for: each other and various friends and family.
Outside of the kitchen we: read, watch movies, and spend time with our pets.
If we had to cook dinner for the President, we would make: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and a glass of chocolate milk – it is important to remember where we came from.
We cook because: it’s healthier than ordering out or processed food.
Favorite Cook Smarts meal so far: Spring Pasta with Asparagus and Peas (Rita’s) and Fried Eggs with Skillet Asian-Style Veggie Hash (Peter’s)

HOW DID YOU LEARN TO COOK?

Rita’s “survival cooking” started in college with rejecting the flavor packet in favor of other sauces on ramen noodles. Peter would add salsa and a can of tuna to Kraft macaroni and cheese. We had nowhere to go but up.

WHAT’S BEEN YOUR BIGGEST COOKING CHALLENGE?

Balancing both of us working full-time and trying to fit in all the prep and shopping.

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

We definitely have a clearer plan for the week, and we get to eat at a decent hour instead of trying to make last-minute decisions on an empty stomach. Plus, vegetables no longer feel like punishment!


“We definitely have a clearer plan for the week. . .Plus, vegetables no longer feel like punishment!”


TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROUDEST KITCHEN MOMENT.

We had extended family coming for dinner on short notice. We quickly assessed what we had at hand and ended up making a breakfast casserole for dinner – and it was a hit!

WHAT ARE YOUR TIPS FOR HEALTH AND SUCCESS IN THE KITCHEN?

Read labels (Rita has food sensitivities and we go back and forth between gluten-free and paleo choices), invest in quality food, and don’t be afraid to get creative! It’s just food and not worth stressing over. In trying a new recipe, we may find a flavor we don’t care for or we may just find a new favorite – but either way it holds body and soul together.


One of the best things we’ve heard since starting Cook Smarts – “vegetables no longer feel like punishment”!

Rita and Peter, we’re so thrilled that you guys are enjoying veggies now. Veggies are definitely our kind of soul food. . .in the same line as a good ol’ PBJ and a glass of chocolate milk! Thanks for the reminder that delicious comfort food can come in all shapes, sizes, flavors, and price points. If it’s tasty and healthy (and preferably homemade), we’re all for it!

To join Rita & Peter and cook meals like their favorite Spring Pasta with Asparagus and Peas and Fried Eggs with Skillet Asian-Style Veggie Hash, check out our meal plan service. You can get started for free!

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