Disclosure: I tried a 3 meal menu courtesy of Convenient Kitchen.
Sometimes I find that the hardest thing about cooking isn’t what most people might think.
It’s not the shopping for groceries, it’s not the prep work, it’s not the cooking process. There are times when the hardest part is having to think about what to make.
Some days it’s all too much work. I know I have x y z in the fridge and pantry, but translating that into a meal? SO HARD.
The Convenient Kitchen offers an interesting service – one that cuts out the thinking and the shopping part. Each week they create a menu for 3 or 5 meals, and on Monday afternoons they deliver the recipes and matching ingredients. The meals are designed to be healthy, relatively quick to prepare (within 45 minutes or less) and easy to cook.
I was given the opportunity to trial The Convenient Kitchen and on my way to work one Monday, I left an esky with a couple of ice blocks by the front door. When I came home, my delivery had been dropped off – a large bag containing vegetables, meat, and herbs.
For the week we had:
Corned beef with steamed vegetables and mashed potato
The rating on this meal was easy, with a predicted prep and cooking time of 25 minutes. From my pantry I added an egg, Dijon mustard, brown sugar, vinegar, milk and butter.
Alastair was a bit suss on this at first, telling me that he didn’t like corned beef. After eating it though, he said “That was yum!” 🙂
This was really easy to cook – it basically involved making mashed potato (which I did in the Thermomix), steaming vegetables, making mustard sauce, and heating up the corned beef. A pretty simple meal, but it was nice.
The second night we had nasi goreng. The rating for this recipe was easy, with a predicted prep and cooking time of 15 minutes. From my pantry I added basmati rice, oil, eggs, kecap manis, and soy sauce.
(Here I have to say that I wouldn’t normally use basmati rice for nasi goreng, but that’s what the recipe specified so I just went with it.)
This was okay. In hindsight, I should have ignored the recipe and just made fried rice my usual way. It needed more flavourings (spices, chilli, etc) and there was lime juice added at the end that I wasn’t fond of. And basmati rice makes weird fried rice.
Winter roast vegetables with haloumi
Our last meal was winter roast vegetables with haloumi. The rating was easy/medium, with a predicted prep and cooking time of 40 minutes. From my pantry I added balsamic vinegar and oil.
This meal had the most chopping but the least actual cooking. To be honest, I thought at first that this was a strange meal since it’s basically just roast vegetables with fried haloumi. It’s not something I would normally eat for a meal, probably more of a side dish.
But actually I found that I liked it more than I thought I would. And there were so many vegetables in it that I was completely stuffed afterwards.
Obviously The Convenient Kitchen cuts out a whole lot of thinking and shopping time. If you’re like me, and sometimes having to think of what to make for dinner is the hardest thing, then it’s great.
I also found the ingredients that the vegetables and herbs were fresh and of good quality. In addition, because the ingredients are matched for each recipe, you don’t end up with wasted produce.
Finally I liked that the menu for the week was varied – eg it’s not all meat and three vege.
The biggest drawback is that you don’t get a choice in the menu or ingredients for the week. So if you have specific dietary requirements or are a fussy eater, this is not the thing for you. (In saying that however, the menus are set a week in advance, so you could decide on whether or not to order based on what’s coming up.)
Plus, if you do have to put in some effort. While the cooking is fairly easy, it’s not a heat and eat type service.
I had fun trialing the service for the week and found it really interesting. I can see how it’d be perfect for people who don’t have time to pick up groceries, but still enjoy the cooking process.