Meal Prep Magic

Meal Prep Magic
Time-Saving Tricks for Stress-Free Cooking

By Bobbie Kitto

This is a book that should be read cover to cover. The first part explains how to and why a kitchen should be organized. Catherine explains the reason most people think of the daily making of meals for family as a chore rather than a time to relax and enjoy oneself.

With celebrated cookbook author and Weelicious founder Catherine McCord’s step-by-step process, reader’s kitchens will be organized and there are ample tasty samples starting with 100 of her favorite recipes. McCord believes that success in the kitchen comes down to two things—organization and meal prep—and she’ll show you how to master both in Meal Prep Magic.

The author’s description of looking at the open refrigerator and realizing it most likely is a good representation of their life in general really struck a chord. Mine lately seems to be too full of forgotten food and foods beyond the expiration date (why was I saving that box with the cute lid?). By not having the refrigerator in an orderly state definitely makes even thinking about meal planning a challenge.  As she pointed out, it is really the pits when a recipe is started and the magic ingredient to make it worth the effort to prepare is missing.

The first two chapters take us through the whys to be organized and how this can easily be done. Once those steps are completed, Catherine shows how to organize your refrigerator and pantry. The third step shows how to prep foods for the coming week so that meal time prep is shortened. Then the fourth chapter we begin to cook!!

Before perusing the recipe chapters, you might want to check out this link  . Catherine demonstrates three favorite recipes: Smashed Potatoes with Crispy Capers (pgs. 124-125), Any Crisp (pgs. 146-147), and Green Goddess Dressing (pgs. 130-131).

One recipe I noticed was Leftover Rice Pudding (pgs. 186-187). This will come in handy since when I followed Catherine’s hints on organization when I rearranged my pantry I found I had four different kinds of rice just waiting to be used. The rice was a big surprise, but the nine bottles of barbecue sauces was an even bigger one in my newly organized refrigerator.

Leftover Rice Pudding


Catherine McCord comes with some noteworthy credentials. She not only started her company Weelicious more than 15 years ago where she became the baby food lady, then the family food blogger, and the school lunch chick. She attended culinary school after graduation she worked in restaurants both in New York and California. Lately, I saw her on Guys Grocery Games on the Food Network.

The magic comes when you follow Catherine McCord’s rules for getting your kitchen under control for some stress free cooking. So grab a friend (she suggests that in the purging section of the book to help you stay on point to declutter) and prepare to see the magic in being organized. Five Stars all the way! Try the recipe below to get a “taste’ for this book.

Smashed Potatoes with Crispy Capers
Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4 

These smashed potatoes hold a very special place in my heart. They possess all of the best qualities a good potato recipe should have—a crisp french fry–like exterior with a creamy mashed potato–like interior. Throw in a few crisp, salty capers and you have the ultimate crowd-pleasing side dish. 

Nonstick olive-oil cooking spray

1½ pounds (680 g) baby potatoes, scrubbed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons capers, patted dry

2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat- or curly-leaf parsley

Juice of ½ lemon 

Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C) and spray a large rimmed sheet pan with olive oil cooking spray. 

Add the potatoes to a medium pot and cover with cold water by 1 inch (2.5 cm). Generously season the water with kosher salt, then bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, cook the potatoes for 10 minutes, or until they are fork tender. Remove from the heat and drain. Place the potatoes on the prepared sheet pan, and using the bottom of a heavy glass or jar, smash the potatoes flat. Spray the tops with more olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. (Alternatively, the baby potatoes can be air fried at 400°F [205°C] for 18 minutes or until tender inside and golden outside. 

Add the capers to the air fryer and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the capers are crispy.) If baking in the oven, scatter the capers over the potatoes and bake on the sheet pan for 10 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and bake for 15 more minutes. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and parsley, then return to the oven for 2 more minutes, or until the cheese is melted and starts to crisp. 

Transfer the potato and caper mixture to a serving tray, drizzle the lemon juice on top, and serve immediately. 

* Make sure you really dry your capers when you take them out of the brine, which will ensure they get nice and crisp in the oven! 


The potatoes can be cooled and refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To reheat, place in air fryer at 400°F (205°C) for 5 minutes or in a preheated 350°F (175°C) oven for 10 minutes. 


Smashed potatoes can be added to Quesadillas (page 227), Any Veggie Frittata (page 60), or vegetarian sandwiches.

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Article edited by Linda Kissam

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Bobbie Kitto

Note: Roberta (Bobbie) Kitto is a freelance writer based out of Laughlin, NV. Her interests include travel, culinary pursuits and gardening. No fee was paid for this article, but she did receive a free copy of the book to review. Her opinions are her own.

To make the best of each recipe, use quality ingredients! Bobbie  highly recommends products from Melissa’s Produce, available at many markets.

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Stress-Free Cooking, A Weelicious Cookbook Hardcover – April 4, 2023

by Catherine McCord (Author), 
Colin Price

  • Kindle / $11.99
  • Hardcover / $20.98
  • Spira-bound /$34.55
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