We’ve all been there. We jump into the new year with plans to live better and to be more organized but somehow we find ourselves a few months later straying from our resolutions.
That’s where spring cleaning comes in. With Spring around the corner (we hope) we often look for ways to re-energize and refresh ourselves. A big overall home cleaning seems to have become this season’s ritual. And yes, Marie Kondo has entered into our lives. We’ve been revisiting what continues to spark joy while getting life running more efficiently. But her methodology also has us wondering – could we apply her ideas also in the kitchen? Simplifying meal time sounds appealing. The amount of time we spend searching for recipes, shopping, prepping and cooking can be consuming and costly. Hey, ever have a recipe that calls for a specific ingredient (coriander, we’re looking at you) but you have to buy the whole bunch just to use a yield a quarter cup for a recipe? Not only costly but a waste if you can’t figure out what else to do with the ingredient the rest of the week.
Spring cleaning the dinner routine is an easy and convenient way of meal planning with the help of a meal kit. We’ve all heard of the plans.
Meal kits are an emerging food trend because they organize your dinner routine for you by providing all the fresh, pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards for you. Everything we need for the weeks’ worth of meals is sent right to the door, so we don’t need to keep too much else around.
We asked Cassandra Brown, head of recipe development and culinary innovation at Chefs Plate, a meal kit service, about how this might help us get a delicious dinner on the table efficiently and in less time.
Why are meal kits a trend?
CB: Canadians are leading busier lives and are craving anything that makes life less stressful! Meal kits are a great solution because they deliver everything you need to make dinner so you don’t have to worry about meal planning or grocery shopping. At Chefs Plate, we put a particular focus on also ensuring that the recipes can be cooked and enjoyed by anyone from the most novice homecook to the absolute foodie.
We often think of tasty, flavourful dishes as needing to be complex and full of rich ingredients. How is it possible to create a delicious meal with simple recipes?
CB: That’s an old school myth that we aim to debunk every day in the Chefs Plate test kitchen.
You don’t need a lot of ingredients to make a delicious meal! Try unique twists on classic comfort foods. For example, we have a Thai Mac n’ Cheese our community loves.
Our mission at Chefs Plate is to democratize cooking and get more Canadians cooking at home. That’s why we provide our customers with everything they need to feel confident preparing a delicious meal, quickly and easily.
We’re not fans of over planning but how do you find the balance so you’re not spending so much time in budgeting, shopping, and prepping?
CB: Take a look at what kinds of things are taking up your time and then thinking about what you can offload. By offloading tasks like recipe planning, grocery shopping, and budgeting, you’ll save hours in your week. Time saved can help you feel more organized while eating well, and allow you to better focus on things like spending time with friends and family.
Marie Kondo is on everyone’s mind whether we like it or not, so how can we apply her ideas in the kitchen other than decluttering our cooking utensils.
The trick is to work with what you already have. We develop meals that require only the basic kitchen essentials like pots & pans and a good knife because we know you don’t need to fill your cupboards with a million appliances to make a great meal. That’s another way that our service helps bring simplicity into your kitchen and delivers a convenient meal planning solution.
What are some items we should always have in our pantry?
CB: We recently surveyed our customers and found most of us only have the absolute basics in our pantry like salt, pepper, eggs, butter, milk, and oil. That can only get you so far which is why ordering a meal kit with all of the fresh ingredients and spices you need to prepare a meal at home appeals to our customers. This also cuts down on food waste because you aren’t tossing that left-over fresh oregano in the garbage.
What other meal time tips do you have for us busy city dwellers?
CB: A lot of our customers are busy with full-time jobs, side hustles and packed social lives. Still, they don’t want to sacrifice on eating healthy, delicious balanced meals.
Many people find they are overspending on eating out and not eating the healthiest of meals on the go. This is where a meal kit service can make all the difference. By ordering from our delicious weekly menu, you can ensure that you can enjoy a balanced, nutritious and delicious meal at around $8.99 a meal, as well as better manage your food spend.
What’s your favourite meal to prep in under 30 minutes?
CB: I love a crispy chicken breast with a great salad and dressing! Chefs Plate offers an amazing Chicken & Goat Cheese Pesto salad that hits all the marks. Quick, delicious and great value.
Cassandra Brown’s tips to Spring Cleaning Your Dinner Routine:
1. Choose recipes that can be prepared with your existing kitchen tools like basic pots & pans.
2. Recipes made with faster-cooking meats like pork, ground meats, and chicken can be quicker to prepare and still deliver on great flavour.
3. Offload tasks to free up time and help you feel more organized whenever you can. Ridding yourself of recipe planning and grocery shopping with a meal kit service can save hours in your week.
Want to try your hand at spring cleaning your dinner routine? Chefs Plate is offering our readers 50% off the first week of Chefs Plate.