Monday, July 21, 2014

Fresh Canteen - Cooking Made Easy

I'm always out for dinner - well 95% of the time anyway. I used to stay in and cook a lot a few years back (hence the baking and cooking tabs up top) but those days are long gone. I still love to cook and bake but I find myself lacking energy and / or the time to go grocery shopping then prepare an entire meal afterwards. I must be getting old or something...or I'm just plain lazy. Probably the latter.

Whichever the case may be Fresh Canteen (Twitter: @FreshCanteen, Facebook: Fresh Canteen) throws all my excuses out the window. Fresh Canteen is a brilliant food delivery service that delivers fresh ingredients and recipes right to your doorstep. You can cook an entire meal without having to step foot in a grocery store. How's that for convenience? It's perfect for individuals who enjoy cooking and preparing home-cooked meals but lack the time to go get groceries. Fresh Canteen's recipes typically take 35 mins or less and don't need any fancy equipment to prepare. Bonus!

All you have to do is visit Fresh Canteen's Recipe page, check out the week's recipes (they have new recipes posted each week) and choose a dish that you want to make. Each dish includes important information such as the description of the dish, its difficulty level, total time to make the dish, clear step-by-step instructions with photos, the list of ingredients you'll find in your package and the ones you won't but will need (these are pantry items such as butter, oil, and kitchen basics like pots and pans).

Once you've decided simply choose the number of recipes and servings you’d like and Fresh Canteen will deliver you the ingredients. They use a refrigerated box with insulated packaging and gel packs so there’s no need to be home for the delivery. You can also leave special instructions on how you’d like the box delivered (i.e. leave at the concierge if you live in an apartment).

In the box you'll find the recipe card with step-by-step photo instructions on how to prepare your meal and all the ingredients you'll need in exact amountsThe ingredients will stay fresh long enough for you to enjoy in the week you receive them. 

Fresh Canteen sources locally whenever possible and works with reputable suppliers in the city. Their goal is to ensure that their customers are eating only the freshest and best seasonal ingredients possible. 

Four burners + broiler all going at the same time. Talk about efficiency!

Egyptian Kosheri Chicken (Difficulty: Fair, Total Time: 35 mins)

Kosheri is an Egyptian dish of basmati rice, noodles and lentils mixed together and topped with a tomato-vinegar sauce. It is one of the most popular street foods in Egypt with many vendors specializing in the dish. 

For this particular Fresh Canteen recipe, Kosheri was paired with chicken which was made flavourful by a dijon mustard, cider vinegar and date molasses glaze. All in all a very flavourful dish. I never thought the combination of rice, noodles and lentils would turn out so light and fluffy; it was a real delight to eat (there was quite a lot of Kosheri leftover so we had it the next day too.) The tomato-based sauce was delicious and appetizing - I ended up pouring the extra sauce all over the chicken as well.

I think it took me around 35 to 40 minutes to make this meal..and that's with all four burners on at the same time (it became a bit hectic to be honest). I think if I was going at a more leisurely pace it would've taken me a bit longer, maybe about 45 minutes.

I really liked my Fresh Canteen cooking experience and the dish I made. The delivery part was easy (i.e. I didn't have to stay home and sign for the package) and all the ingredients were fresh and nicely proportioned. The insulated package was also very clean and tidy. I highly recommend Fresh Canteen to 9 to 5'ers who are too tired to go get groceries after work but still want to prepare an easy, delicious meal at home using fresh ingredients.

*This meal was complimentary. The opinions and views expressed on this post are my own*