Meet Rachel from Rachel Cooks!

What are Rachel’s from Rachel Cooks three favorite words?

  1. Easy
  2. Healthy
  3. Delicious

We like those words, too – and discovered plenty of tasty morsels that meet those descriptions on her blog!

Rachel brings expertise to cooking healthy foods. Did you know she is a doctor of physical therapy? Rachel is also a wife and mom to two of the cutest toddlers around, so dishes that come together quickly are essential. As for delicious – Cinnamon Toast Crunch Popcorn says it all. Plus, meals like this Creamy Southwestern Orzo Salad look perfect for a weeknight dinner!

Rachel’s recipes are served up with a generous helping of humorous stories and practical tips for the home and kitchen. We were delighted to catch up with Rachel and get the dish on what inspires her, her favorite tricks of the trade and more!

What inspired you to become a blogger?

I started my blog after my oldest daughter was born. I’ve always loved to cook, but when I left my full-time job as a doctor of physical therapy, I decided to start my blog. It was partly just to have “something for me” in the midst of diapers, spit-ups and baby toys, but it was also to share recipes with my friends and family. I had no idea it would grow to be what it is today. I’m so thankful that I get to share my recipes and stories with people all over the world.

Favorite food to eat:

Anyone who follows me on Instagram knows my favorite food to eat is popcorn. I could eat it every night, but I try to hold myself back and only indulge a couple of times a week. I like it air-popped with lots of butter and salt.

Favorite food to make:

What a hard question! Really, truly, it’s any food that brings a smile to someone’s face. I love creating someone’s favorite food and watching their face light up as they enjoy it.

Favorite trick of the trade when it comes to baking:

Ghirardelli brownie mix. It’s the best ever. Everyone always asks me for “my recipe.” In all seriousness, I don’t shy away from shortcuts when they are just as good as something made from scratch. Other than my silly (but also OH SO SERIOUS) answer, I believe in good quality vanilla extract. I always put in more than what a recipe calls for.

Favorite food substitute when baking:

I love using Greek yogurt when baking in place of oil. I’ll also make anything I can with whole wheat flour.

One piece of advice you would give to novice cooks:

Have FUN! Cooking should not be stressful. I talk to so many people who are legitimately scared of cooking. The best way to learn is to make mistakes. So get in the kitchen, grab a recipe that looks great, and get cooking. And always have a plan B (we love Lebanese carry-out!). Even the best cooks make mistakes so don’t be too hard on yourself.

Favorite kitchen gadget:

Aside from my air-popper, I’m loving my spiralizer latey. We try to eat as healthy as we can, so I love making noodles out of vegetables. The possibilities are endless.

What’s your biggest food splurge?

Good vanilla extract, good olive oil and fresh mozzarella.

Biggest food flop:

My dad’s favorite dessert is lemon meringue pie so one year for his birthday, my mom and I decided to make him one. Well, it was a total flop. It didn’t set up at all so it was lemon meringue soup. This year we made him Lemon Meringue Cookies – that was much more successful.

The quote you live by:

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” -Philippians 4:4-6

Favorite recipe you’ve posted:

That’s like picking a favorite child! I make this 20 minute turkey and bean soup ALL THE TIME – it’s definitely a go-to. Another favorite is my Shish Tawook – I took a carry-out fave and recreated it at home. A new one that I love is my sun-dried tomato, kale and feta stuffed chicken. It looks super impressive (great for company) but it’s easy enough to make on a weeknight.