Convenient Kitchen Groceries – one week of cooking supplies
So it seems I have been cooking much more lately. Why is that you might ask, especially when I either eat out or eat mum’s food?
Answer: Convenient Kitchen Groceries sponsored me one week of their concept product to trial.
Initially when I received the email with the offer, I was at an impasse as to whether to accept. Firstly I am terribly lazy preferring to eat than cook. Secondly I am a terribly messy cook, who is unfortunately a little obsessive-compulsive and must clean up after myself. Thirdly I work terrible hours to be in the mood in any case. But to be fair, I was being offered FREE food and seriously I don’t think an ASIAN foodie can resist free food. (sorry about any offence from my generalisation =P) Even if it means a little bit of cooking needs to be involved.
This company provides a food delivery service providing fresh ingredients in required portions and healthy recipes created each week that are simple to prepare, usually within 45 minutes. The foundation to this concept is in its utilisation of expertise from Heike to select quality fresh ingredients partnered with chef and nutritionist Indra to create healthy recipes.
Big bag of goodies, which arrives at your doorstep.
This week’s menu rolled up tight.
Some of the ingredients inside.
Although I was not informed which “size” package I would receive, given there were two fillets of barramundi supplied, surely it must be for 2 people. Though that can be disputed.
Anyways, so on the first night when the ingredients arrived, I looked at the recipe and thought: this is simple enough, I should be able to multitask and cook 2 items together. Turns out given time pressures to serve by ‘dinner time’ (partly in tune with my stomach hunger), it turned out to be a bit of a Masterchef pressure cook off, with things chaotically flying everywhere.
Steamed barramundi – I actually quite enjoyed the flavours from this recipe (aside the small issues with ‘executing’ the dish – slight over-steam of fish and lumpy mash clearly attributed to being lazy), particularly the citrusy tang to complement the simply cooked fish. I did however, use only half of the suggested lemon juice, and added butter to the mash, so by no means do you have to stick strictly to the menu.
P.S. apologies for the weird white balance in all the photos. My house has difficult to shoot lighting, and I am yet to own a light box.
Chicken and mushroom penne – using chicken breast is always going to be a nightmare for amateur cooks, given how easy it is to make it dry and utterly boring, but since part of the concept is to keep things healthy, there are bound to be some compromises. Though the elements – the chicken was pan fried and tossed with balsamic, wilted spinach and sundried tomatoes – were tasty, the pasta cries out for something a little stronger and thicker to absorb into its flesh.
After all the havoc on the previous night, I can’t believe I would decide to again cook two recipes – the things an overworked and irrational brain does to you.
Beef Rendang – quite simply and quickly put together on the stove, with one pan reducing the stock, the other pan frying the beef. It isn’t the most traditional way of cooking rending, but the charring on the beef coupled with the coconut creamy rendang sauce offsets a little of that atrocity. And knowing I had some taro in the fridge (I absolutely love taro), I had to add some to the stock – part of the reason why it tasted so good. Of course there was also snow peas and coriander – the greens on the plate.
Winter pumpkin & bean soup – I would not have thought red chilli in pumpkin soup would add a nice touch of heat to an otherwise hearty concoction with beans, leeks, and a generous sprinkle of basil and parsley. Ok, so maybe I should have chopped the herbs a little finer, but I was running short on time. And maybe process the pumpkin finer, but I like my pumpkin soup a tad chunky. Too bad I didn’t have any Dench baker bread to go with it.
There was one more recipe, but by the third day I had my fair share of cooking for the week (ok, I admit it was only two days out of good 25 years of my life). Plus parents already started complaining we weren’t having enough Chinese food. So the rest of the ingredients were made to good use …
The fine print: For those working on a very tight budget, it may be a tad pricy compared with market prices, but not too far from supermarket (coles / safeway) range. One is also expected to have a basic variety of fundamentals in the kitchen pantry, such as rice, pasta, butter, olive oil etc. Obviously, if you are a fastidious eater, you may not like the variety offered. Though I kind of like the surprise element to the weekly menu.
Overall impression: suitable for a niche of people with little time to spare, but still enjoy the therapeutic process of cooking and eating their own meal. Although there is a focus on it being a healthy option, there are some compromises for the taste factor with things like coconut cream being included. There is a certain nicety of having food delivered to your door, and not having to worry about what to buy, but of course you have to actually make the food yourself.
If anyone would like any of these recipes posted up, then please let me know. =)
[Menu and groceries courtesy of The Convenient Kitchen]