This is a sponsored post, but all opinions are my own.
I have been cooking dinner from scratch for three weeks now, thanks to the Cooking Planit menu planning and Colavita #EatFreshChallenge. While I normally cook dinner, I don’t usually cook meals from scratch with only fresh ingredients – so this has been a very big departure from my normal dinner time routine! Over the last few weeks, I’ve made a homemade pasta with bacon and a three cheese sauce, roasted chicken drumsticks, a creamy chicken pasta, tacos…
If you haven’t been following along with me, then you’re probably wondering what this Cooking Planit is that I am talking about, and why oh why would I commit to making dinner from scratch every night for three weeks? As you probably know from previous posts, I am not a fan of cooking. I love to bake, but cooking takes so long, there is so much kitchen organization and clean up involved and how many new recipes can I really come up with? Well, the Cooking Planit folks challenged me to use their menu planning app/website to show just how much simpler it makes family meal planning and cooking healthy, delicious meals from scratch. No frozen foods, no canned vegetables…no take out.
While I still really don’t like cooking, I have to admit that the Cooking Planit app certainly made cooking a lot easier – and pretty exciting too, like the night that Angeline and I made the bacon mac and cheese (this was actually the tomato and bacon three cheese pasta, but we call it bacon mac and cheese for short). Not only did the Cooking Planit app give me a great idea for a simple, easy meal, but the Cook Mode walked us through each part of the recipe, so that Angeline could even make it by following those step-by-step instructions. It really takes the guess work out of cooking dinner!
The Cook Mode literally walks you through each step of the cooking process for each recipe. You can save it for later by adding it to your Cookbook or begin immediately by engaging the Cook Now feature.
As awesome as that Cook Mode is, my favorite features of the Cooking Planit app and website are the Meal Creator, Schedule and Grocery list!
Seriously, this is really cool! When you are browsing through recipes or using the Meal Creator to create your own combination of dishes, you can add it to your schedule so that you have your meal plan right there at your fingertips – there’s no writing down your meal plan! You can also add all of the necessary ingredients to your Grocery list with the simple click of a button, which makes grocery shopping a breeze!
Finding Recipes and Using the Meal Creator
In addition to searching through the popular recipes for entire meals, you can also use the Meal Creator to put together custom meals, made up of side dishes and main courses. Chef Emily has many fabulous combinations so you don’t have to think about it, but it’s nice to be able to pick and choose and set up personalized meals! I think this is especially helpful for households with picky eaters or for people who have food allergies.
Get the Cooking Planit App!
There is a free version of the Cooking Planit app with limited content and functionality. In honor of the #EatFreshChallenge, Cooking Planit has reduced the price of the iPhone app to $1.99 (regularly $2.99), the iPad app to $2.99 (regularly $4.99) and the Android universal app to $1.99 (regularly $2.99) for the duration of the Colavita Challenge. Take advantage of this promotion while it lasts! You can download the iOS App here and the Android app here. I have been using the app for the most part, but it’s nice to be able to access everything on the laptop too.
Save 20% on Colavita Products!
It’s no secret that I love olive oil, and the wonderful basket of Colavita products sent to me as part of this menu planning campaign was full of olive oil and other tasty vinegar and glazes! The Colavita Extra Virgin Olive Oil was definitely favorite part of the basket, because it’s something I use almost daily in my cooking!
If you’d like to try these cool Colavita products too, you can receive a 20% discount on your Colavita purchase by using the promo code EatFresh20 at checkout – you’ll also get free shipping on all orders over $99! You can check out their products here.
I would love if you guys would join me in this Eat Fresh Challenge by signing up for a Cooking Planit account! It is such a great way to get creative in the kitchen, but there are other benefits – like never having to worry about what you’re going to make for dinner because of your meal planning, not wasting any foods because you didn’t get around to using them, saving money while grocery shopping because you’re only buying ingredients for recipes that are planned out – and hello, the health benefits of cooking with only fresh ingredients!
While it has taken me a while to get used to spending more time in the kitchen because I am cooking from scratch every night, I have really enjoyed the recipes we’ve made – that creamy chicken pasta was my absolute favorite! You know all of those fancy kitchen gadgets and accessories that we buy with the best of intentions and then they sit in the cabinets, unused? Well, let’s just say my collection of cutting boards have earned their keep these last few weeks! I’ve never chopped so many vegetables in my life! And who would have through that fresh rosemary and thyme taste so much better than their dried counterparts?
If you’re a little intimidated by the thought of using fresh herbs in your cooking, you can check out this instructional YouTube video that shows you how to chop herbs!
You can also check out what my fellow #EatFreshChallenge participants are up to – we’re all in the challenge together!