|Meal Kits Fit for a Chef|
|Features - Chefs and Restaurants|
|Written by Michelle Lahey|
There's no better feeling than hearing your friends' and family's delight when they bite into something you made from scratch. But sometimes, we just don't have the time to make a completely homemade meal - and now, thanks to Ana Sortun's Chef Sets, you don't always have to.
After two years in the making, Sortun - chef and owner of Oleana - and a team of nutrition experts in Upper Newton Falls have released a line of Chef Set meal kits. Each meal kit contains three packets: a fast-cooking whole grain, an aromatic seasoning packet, and a garnish. All the home cook has to provide is three recommended ingredients (such as onions, a protein, etc.), and in under 20 minutes you have a balanced meal for two, with each generous portion coming out to about 500 calories.
One example of the Chef Set meal kits is the Quinoa with Crusted Pistachio & Za'atar Spice. The home cook provides the salmon, which is served over the quinoa, and onions and frozen peas are added to the dish for extra nutrients and flavor. The dish is completed once the za'atar garnish packet is crumbled over each bowl.
In addition to the ease of preparation each meal kit provides, they're also very versatile. The Chef Sets' website even has vegetarian alternatives for each of their four kits. For instance, the Couscous with Moroccan Spices & Almonds can easily use chickpeas in place of the chicken, and the Bulgur Pilaf with Turkish Spices & Pistachio can replace the beef with cooked lentils.
So, how do these simple, versatile meal kits taste? Several words come to mind: exotic, fresh and satisfying, to both the palate and the stomach. This home cook went with the vegetarian variations, and let's just say there were many happy diners around the table with each sampling. It's obvious that a lot of careful thought and planning went into each meal kit, and it was nice to enjoy a mostly pre-assembled meal that was healthy and locally-prepared.