Meals made easy - Culiniste

We get quite a lot of pitches at Kids in the Capital but when this one landed in my inbox I was particularly excited. The opportunity was to try out a service called Culiniste with a family-sized box. They describe themselves as a better way to cook with fresh ingredients and delicious recipes delivered to your door weekly.

How it works

Ingredients came sorted by recipe and really well insulated.

Ingredients came sorted by recipe and really well insulated.

Every week you get the recipes and ingredients delivered to your door for three recipes (you can choose if it's enough for two people or for four.) You then receive a box with all the ingredients in just the right proportions delivered to your door on Tuesday in a very well insulated and refrigerated box. Each recipe comes with step by step instructions to walk you through cooking each meal. I was also particularly impressed with how green the company is, including instructions on how each part of the package is recyclable and how to deal with them.

What did I think?

There are so many things about this service that I loved.

- The ingredients were fresh and high quality

Just the right amount of each ingredient

Just the right amount of each ingredient

- The ingredients came in just the right proportions. So often I want to make a recipe and only need two tablespoons of something I don't have. I end up buying an entire bottle of something, forgetting I have it, and then buying another bottle of it the next time a recipe calls for that ingredient. They send you everything you need (except olive oil) which I loved and found so convenient.

- The food was tasty and for the most part my kids liked it (admittedly, they wouldn't eat the kale). We had balsamic chicken, swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes and steak salad with baguette. The meals for four definitely had enough for our family of five with kids who don't have huge appetites.

- I liked that there was a good variety in the dishes available to choose from. Spicy, mild, vegetarian, and a mix of kinds of meats to choose from.

There are a few reasons that I wouldn't choose to have this service on a regular basis for my family though. It was a bit more work intensive than I expected. For example, the day we had meatballs I didn't expect I would have to make the meatballs from scratch. The shortest time I spent on the meals was about 30 minutes for the steak salad and the balsamic chicken took a full hour in the kitchen with almost constant tasks for me to do.

Who do I think this is good for?

People who love to cook from scratch with fresh ingredients but don't have the time to go out and get the ingredients easily. People who have a hard time coming up with good meal planning ideas or who struggle with not wasting food when they cook (I'm a big culprit in that department by not getting just the right proportions of things.) They definitely had enough kid friendly options to keep my fairly picky kids happy.

I would definitely get it again, just not every week. If you want to try it out, they've shared a discount code for $20 off your first order on their website. Use kidsinthecapital20 at checkout to take advantage and then let me know what you thought!