With the explosion of specialist food stores, online food shopping and ready to eat meals have we become lazy cooks or are changing family dynamics, irregular working hours, the demands of our non-stop noisy world and reality television challenging the way we shop, cook and eat. As part of a project, The Foodie Inc has been taking at look at new convenience foods.
I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?
The front door slams shut. Thud, bags drop. A voice bellows, “I’m hungry, what’s for dinner?” To many this scenario will be all too familiar. Growing up in the seventies and eighties our household tasks, menus and meal times were unambiguous. We dared not ask Mum what was for dinner. We ate whatever she made.
Seventies’ TV dinners unlike Charlie’s Angels, Hawaii Five O and Mork and Mindy, were unforgettable for the wrong reasons. Soulless stodgy frozen meat and three vegetables were zapped (in the microwave) and consumed straight from ugly partitioned plastic trays.
Fast forward to today and wholesome food to go; from fresh gourmet soups and frozen curries to home-style dinners are available for less than the cost of Friday night take-aways.
A Virtual Unknown
Two years ago Jess Daniell was a virtual unknown. Jess’ Underground Kitchen mushroomed from a friend’s idea that Jess regularly cooks dinner for their paying friends. Now her cooking nourishes more than 200 hungry, time-poor, young professionals three nights every week. Driven by social media, one dish is offered daily Monday to Wednesday; the rest of the week you are on your own.
Belly-warming dishes like chill chicken and bean nachos or fragrant Thai massaman beef curry, meals are collected on the way home from CBD locations. No planning or shopping. No chopping or preparation. Definitely no cooking involved. Revitalising a food phenomenon, ready-made meals offer a solution that makes even the most inept cook shine. But now no one hides the packaging, people are proud to tell one another, Jess cooked tonight.
Juggling work, home, sport, after school activities and social commitments – life is jam packed. Tasty, healthy food makes us feel good inside and out. Talking to friends and colleagues you might be surprised who is grateful for that extra pair of hands mid-week.
My beauty therapist, a Mum of two primary schoolers is an ardent fan of My Food Bag’s Gourmet offering. Several days each week she works into the evening; her dinner awaits her arrival home. More than enough leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch, her children trialling new foods and flavours, and more importantly spending precious time cooking with Dad – all because everything, including the recipes are delivered in that bag.
Easy to follow recipes, enticing flavours and seasonal local produce cram Classic, Family or Gourmet Food Bags. Social media engagement and feedback is strongly encouraged. After two years of delighting more than 15,000 Kiwi families, My Food Bag recently launched in Sydney and Melbourne.
Spoilt for Choice
If choice is at the heart of your dining experiences, Farro Food Kits might be more your style. No subscription, no commitment. Select your courses, order one or more meals for as many people as you want and have it delivered the night before you want to cook and eat it. Ray McVinnie, food writer and Masterchef judge is behind the fast, no fuss, flavour-packed recipes designed so any home cook can throw them together.