Cooking at home has never been more appealing—everyone knows cooking at home is healthier, less expensive, and infinitely more satisfying than eating out or takeout. But have you tried selecting a recipe online lately? Or felt guilty throwing away a rotting bunch of parsley after using only a couple sprigs?
Within the past year, several companies have decided to tackle the growing segment of the population that wants to cook at home, but needs a little help selecting a recipe and delivering pre-portion-sized groceries. I sampled four and scored them on price, taste, ease, eco-friendliness, nutrition, and vegan-/gluten-free/vegetarian-friendliness.
The lowest ranking of the four tested was…
Cost per plate:
Classic GrubKits (approximately $19) include one recipe and serve between 3-4 adults; combo GrubKits include at least two recipes and can serve up to 8 adults. Free shipping in the continental US on orders of 3 or more GrubKits. For fewer than 3 kits, a flat $3.95 in the continental US. Keep in mind this does not take into account the cost of fresh ingredients.
None at this time, but planned for fall/winter 2013.
Though kits contain only non-perishable ingredients, preparation is recommended within two weeks of ordering for best results.
The current selection of 8 recipes includes 1 breakfast item, four entrees, two vegetarian entrees, and 1 dessert. Recipes change monthly and a membership option with unique recipes is planned. Recipes come from Barb, a home cook who runs the food blog WishfulChef.com, as well as other popular food bloggers.
Ingredients are natural and organic where possible and labeled on the recipe cards.
What You’ll Need:
About three to four fresh ingredients per recipe, such as eggs, tofu, scallions, bean sprouts, garlic, lime, and chicken; pantry staples such as olive oil; and tools, such as a mixing bowl, small pot, large pot, large non-stick pan, colander, spoon, and knife.
Meals can take 30 to 60 minutes active time; possible passive time (for marinating) from 1 hour to overnight. The menu I tried was relatively straightforward and only took 30 minutes.
Authentic Pad Thai Noods: B. I used the entire packet of chili pepper, and as a result this was spicier than desirable. I also used a quarter the amount of palm sugar the recipe called for since it called for what seemed to be an unnecessary amount of sugar.
Nutritional information is not available. Vegetarian, vegan friendly, and gluten-free recipes available.
Small priority mail box with biodegradable packing peanuts; all the non-perishable ingredients are pre-measured in little eco-friendly, compostable cello bags and reusable jars.
Recipe card includes tips and tricks and wine/beer pairings.
Max and Barb, a husband-and-wife duo based in Brooklyn, NY.
Because you still need to go to the grocery store to pick up perishable items, I found this service to be slightly beside the point. Photos on the recipe card would be helpful. I prepared the entire menu at once to serve family style, thus I feel this would take longer than 30 minutes to cook one portion at a time.
Would I recommend GrubKit to a beginning home cook short on time? Only, if he/she is still planning to order groceries for the fresh ingredients.