A Meal Kit Helped Me Learn How to Cook

This is not a sponsored post — I’ve been on this planet for quite a few trips around the sun, and in that time, I never really learned how to cook. I know the basics and I can read a recipe, but the lack of an appreciative audience gave me no desire to cook.

Making food is not my love language. 

As a child, I was a—shall we say—discriminating eater. I married another discriminating eater. Who raised two more discriminating eaters, and a third child who doesn’t understand why we don’t put more spices in everything

It’s not that I never had the opportunity to learn to cook. I took Home Ec. (the class now known as Family Consumer Science) in junior high. I hated it. And I know there are thousands of cooking programs, although I don’t understand the appeal of watching food be prepared and then not getting to eat it.

We make basic meals: spaghetti, hamburgers, chicken breasts, but we got so bored with the same old, same old. 

A Meal Kit Helped Me Learn How to Cook

I looked into meal kits. I apparently trained my Facebook algorithm to show me meal kits. (And bra ads. What’s up with that?) I knew I couldn’t get too crazy; we weren’t going to go from “chicken breast and bag of vegetables” to “duck pate en croute.” I’m also gluten intolerant, so signing up for the bread ‘n’ pasta of the month club would be a bad idea.

We chose to try EveryPlate, mostly because it was the least expensive. We received our first box of ingredients and thought, “Oh man. These are ingredients? We have to make things?” I really had thought it would be more of a “pop in the oven and then cook it” thing.

A pile of recipe cards from EveryPlate
This is the kind of recipes EveryPlate sends.

We were committed, though. We bought that box of food. My husband chopped things, I sauteed things. 

And we discovered—we liked it. Turns out, putting olive oil and salt (or other seasoning) on vegetables and baking them in the oven makes them really tasty. We’re eating a lot more green beans and carrots than we ever did before. 

We’ve started using the ideas we got from the meal kit to make our own concoctions, so we don’t always have to rely on a subscription service for inspiration, although the handy pre-portioned sauces are really nice.

Some of our favorites have been garlic rosemary chicken, and dishes with spiced meat (like beef), some veggies, and rice all in one serving.

We’re still discriminating eaters, but at least we’ve expanded our palates a little bit. If your cooking routine needs a shakeup, you could also try one of the many popular meal kits.

Let me know how it goes!

Sharon Falduto is a Central Iowa native who came to University of Iowa in 1991 and essentially never left the area. She is involved in local community theater, notably as one of the co-founders of Iowa City's Dreamwell Theatre. She has also directed children's plays with the Young Footliters group. Sharon works in with English Language Learners in a support position at Kirkwood Community College.. She lives in Coralville with her husband, Matt, and three daughters Rachel, Samantha, and Piper.


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