The thing I love about cooking isn't really cooking. It's listening to podcasts without feeling lazy. And eating.
That is, I don't glamourize the chopping and the slicing and the searing. It's fine. I like the results of a home cooked meal but I don't envision myself barefoot in the kitchen claiming my inner pioneer. I just want a couple of hours listening to awesome things on the internet while not sitting.
Today, I was listening to the OnPoint episode in which Tom Ashbrook interviews Cheryl Strayed. It's really great. Strayed is frank and kind and, as Ashbrook says, "radically empathetic." I think that's something I might aspire to someday. Anyway, the chopping and the flipping back and forth between the recipe and what was actually happening in my kitchen and the podcasting made for a really nice evening in solitude.
After many months of utilitarian cooking at the Meyer-White household. Dole salad kits and roasted chicken breasts alternated with extremely delicious frozen ravioli from Belleville, ON pasta company, Tavola. I figured if I was at least assembling the food at home, it was better than eating out. Our friends Jen and Liam were over last night and we needed something to dress the sausages we grilled. We literally didn't have an onion. It was embarrassing. Needless to say, I needed to get my shit together in the cooking department. I love reading food blogs more than I like having to source, shop, unpack, repack, wash and prepare all the food that goes into those blogs. And I know I am a decent cook when I choose to be. During the years wherein I rarely ate, I would make elaborate, multi-course meals for my family (because that's part of that disease) and they raved.
It was my podcast library that got my back into the cooking groove. About a month ago, I heard about PrepDish.com through The Lively Show podcast. PrepDish sends customers weekly documents consisting of a meal list, a grocery list, a list of 'prep day' marching orders and 'day of' assembly orders.
At the end of the episode 74, the host, Jess Lively, interviewed PrepDish founder Allison and gave listeners a coupon for the service. Unfortunately, it expired yesterday so my timing isn't great. Sorry! It's $14.99 USD per month or $99 USD per year.
Today was the first time that I took the opportunity to actually use the service to figure out if I spent smart money. The scene was chaotic and messy. It was my first time making polenta. I have no idea what I was waiting for. It only took 15 minutes to scrub baked in polenta off my stovetop.
So PrepDish made a huge mess but I actually feel pretty set up for the week. I know that I am going to eat a ton of veggies and fruit every day because the meals are all either paleo or gluten-free. I adhere to neither of those styles of eating so I will have bread whenever I want it. Same deal with wine.
Tomorrow, all I need to do is BBQ shrimp in some sauce, warm up the polenta, steam some green beans and then serve out some more of that watermelon-arugula salad heaven.
The costs are higher for the food, no doubt. That's a system problem. Removing processed and packaged foods from one's meals isn't cheap and it absolutely should be. You can cut down the costs by omitting things on the recipe as you shop, as I did plenty of times today. You can make cheaper substitutions. You can choose to make only a few of the recommended meals. You can replace the meats with beans on some days. There are choices that still make PrepDish tenable.
I would be keen to know if there are other similar services out there, especially ones that are as health-focused but use cheaper items?