Cooking boxes – order or pack yourself?

Honey teriyaki burger with spicy mayo, Filipino pepper chicken or cauliflower slices with spinach sauce – what sounds like the new menu of the gourmet restaurant in the pedestrian zone are recipe examples from large cook box providers. The principle behind the box is simple: customers choose online how many dishes they would like to receive per week and determine a recipe category.

In addition to vegetarian dishes or meals with fish and meat, there is often a family-friendly offer or calorie-conscious food. Together with suitable recipes, the providers send the fresh ingredients directly to your home in refrigerated packaging.

More and more Germans cook with cooking boxes

The market is booming. The provider “Marley Spoon”, one of the larger ones in Germany, doubled its turnover in 2020. However, the price for the “luxury” in the package is proud: The boxes for two people with three meals cost from 40 euros and up. That is 4 to 7 euros per dish and person. But how does it compare with the costs for the individual products?

The cooking box in the cost check

The dish of herb schnitzel with baked potatoes is part of the recipe catalog of a cooking box supplier. Box costs: around 6 euros per person. If you buy potatoes, pork schnitzel, side salad and more in the supermarket, on the other hand, it costs around 3.50 euros per person and thus only pays a little more than half the price for a cooked box dish.

But: Half a lemon or 17 milliliters of mayo, as stated in the recipe, are not available in such small quantities. The calculated 3.50 euros refer to the exact quantities given in the recipe. The entire purchase for the dish becomes a little more expensive and there are leftovers that have to be processed.

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Cooking boxes save time and money

What makes cooking boxes unbeatable: They deliver a full-service package and save time. During the week, when the lunch break is far too short again, not only do you have to go shopping and search for recipes, but also prepare and portion the food while cooking.

The principle of the cooking box is absolutely suitable for everyday use and hobby cooks can also use it for themselves: If you take one to two hours off on the weekend, you can easily put together cooking boxes yourself for the week. This saves time on working days – but also money compared to the cooked box ordered.

Recipe idea: This is how you can easily make cooking boxes yourself

This is what you need for a cooking box for two people:

500 g mixed vegetables, for example carrots, peppers, zucchini or broccoli, 160 g basmati rice, 400 ml coconut milk (1 can), 1 onion, 1 clove of garlic, 2-3 cm fresh ginger, 1 lime, 30 g cashews, roasted and salted , 1.5 tsp curry, 1 tsp turmeric, 2 tsp paprika powder, 0.5-1 tsp chilli flakes

You also need oil for frying and salt (from stock, do not pack).

Preparation of the recipe:

Wash and clean the vegetables and cut into pieces about 1 centimeter in size. Peel and finely chop the onion, ginger and garlic. Squeeze the lime. Bring the rice to the boil with a little salt and twice the amount of water. Let soak for 15 to 20 minutes over very low heat. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil (e.g. rapeseed or coconut oil) in a pan, fry the vegetables for about 10 minutes, turning regularly.

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Put the vegetables in a bowl. In a clean pan, fry the onions and garlic with 1 tablespoon of oil, after 1-2 minutes add the spice mixture. Stir well and fry for another 2 minutes. Add the vegetables, lime juice, coconut milk and salt to taste. Serve with rice and the roasted cashews.

Pack the cooking box:

Fill loose ingredients such as rice into clean screw-top jars. Also portion the spices, mix and also put in a screw-top jar. Place all ingredients in an empty box. Print out or copy the recipe and add it to it.

Regardless of your everyday cooking routine, the DIY box is a great gift for (stressed) friends and families. Decorated with a bow and the recipe on a beautiful card or a colorful sheet of paper, the colorful ingredient box not only gives joy, but also time.

The article “Cooking boxes – order or pack yourself?” Comes from our partner, the editorial network Germany.


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