Oprah & Chef Cora’s 7-Day Menu Challenge: Day 3

We made it through day one and flew through day two of our quest to attempt the 21 meal plan of Chef Cat Cora as seen on Oprah…so what does today hold?

For breakfast we made:

Garlic Mashed Potato Pancakes

Garlic Mashed Potato Pancakes

Let me start by saying this tasted good, BUT I just don’t get it.

We started by making mashed potatoes from scratch…from scratch at 6:30 am.   And after adding a full stick of butter to the mashed potatoes we then FRIED them.   Is this why we couldn’t have yolks yesterday – we were saving up for this?

The recipe called for 2 cups of milk, but we found that it was extremely soupy after only one cup so we omitted the second cup.   Most of the “pancakes” turned out more like scrambled eggs.   We took the above picture of the best formed one.

The Verdict?

2/5 thought the pancakes tasted OK.

The post cooking reality check:

I will not be making this recipe again unless I have a ton of left-over mashed potatoes that I need to magically transform into something slightly different.   This recipe took WAY TOO much time if you are starting from scratch for a family breakfast.   My three boys wake early and hungry. They were not impressed with waiting for this or the way it tasted.

The portion size of this recipe was adequate if it was served WITH something.   I ate what would have been considered two portions of this and needed something else as well.   I usually eat some sort of protein for breakfast and this just felt like I was eating a 1/2 of meal.     I think this would make a better side dish for a lunch or dinner.

Let’s see if we have better luck with lunch!

For lunch we made:

Chickpea and Roasted Pepper Soup with Blanched Greens

The blanched greens recipe had been paired with the Cinnamon Chicken and Orzo we ate last night, but we were a little overwhelmed with the amount of cooking required to make all three items.   We thought it would be good with the soup for lunch.

Chickpea and Roasted Pepper soup with blanched greens

I made one modification to the soup.   Instead of just pureeing just the peppers, I pureed the whole soup.

The Verdict?

4/5 liked the soup plus my husband who is not participating in this 21 meal trial ate a full portion as well declaring it yummy.

The post cooking reality report:

I will make both these recipes again.   The greens were very good and similar to a spinach and mushroom recipe I make for special occasions (minus the mushrooms).   The soup was filling and tasted good. I will caution that the younger children were not wild about this, but they don’t regularly eat soup.   Next time I might pull out some of the beans for them before pureeing.

The portion size was good.


We ate the left over Leftover Frozen Yogurt Banana Pops
– yum!

Let’s make Dinner:

Open Faced “Tostada” Salads

Open faced Tostada Salads

The only thing we modified with this recipe was we doubled the lettuce.

The Verdict?

5/5 loved ’em!

The post cooking reality report:

I will make this again.   It was quick (if you already had the rice cooked like I did) and easy and tasted good.   Everyone ate it.

The portion size was good if the tortillas are large.

We made it through the day! The lunch and dinner recipes were easy enough that we didn’t feel like we were in the kitchen all day.   Using left over rice and the left over banana pops for a snack made it go smoothly (after the breakfast thing…).

See you tomorrow…

Day 1

Day 2


  1. OK, now I’m getting really curious…
    I see your boys as having some of the same preferences & particulararities as Reese, and they like all these things? I’m fascinated….I may just have to try…

  2. I am completely fascinated with this process, and have read every day so far. Some of the recipes look good to me, but my biggest problem is that while my children will eat many foods, one of them (who is only 5) doesn’t like his foods “mixed up” — so I can’t imagine him liking some of these layered or stuffed foods. But I will be very curious about your final verdict on whether this is worth doing.

  3. i am having so much fun reading this!!! this dinner does look good and i am still laughing about leaving out the yolks so that you could have a stick of butter!

  4. I just can’t get over mashed potatoes for breakfast, and that’s it. Yuk. I do like me some home fries, but to get up, make mashed potatoes, then make them into pancakes? Too much work. And garlic mashed for breakfast. Um. Yuk! But you are brave for trying it!

  5. I continue to be amazed at the foods your boys are willing to try. Good job!

  6. Does Cat Cora have children? And about this “recipe”: Rizogalo — I think there are OTC prescriptions available for it. 🙂

    You really doing the whole 3 weeks?????? (I’d be at Pizza Hut by now.)

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