Cooking Simplified, a mission-driven social enterprise based in the Bay Area, tackles barriers to healthy eating through affordable meal kits — boxes of ingredients with recipes to make full meals. With delicious vegetarian meals like shakshuka, black bean and sweet potato chili, and chana masala, this startup is already changing the game.
They focus on batch meals, convenience, and affordability through transparent and tiered pricing to make healthy eating quick and easy.
Instead of choosing several different meals per kit like the Blue Apron model, you pick one vegetarian dish to make in bulk (6 servings). This saves a lot of time since you can easily reheat a portion of the dish in a minute, instead of taking another 30-50 minutes to cook.
Plus, the leftovers are delicious. I typically hate eating leftover food, but I actually looked forward to eating the rest of my shakshuka and even enjoyed it more the next day.
All the produce is cut and prepped for you which means all you need to do is heat the stove and start cooking. It really doesn't get more convenient than that. Having everything cut to the right size and provided in the right amount makes cooking really easy.
Affordable Tiered Pricing
Although each meal kit costs $23 to $27 to produce, Cooking Simplified offers them at $24 or less. Add in their flexible tiered pricing system, and Cooking Simplified's meal kits are way more affordable than other options.
The tiers are $12.50, $22.50, and $32.50 per kit. You get to pick how much you pay for each meal based on your current financial situation. If you're short on money one week, you can opt for a lower tier. If you just got paid, you can pay the full $32.50. Regardless, these kits are a deal.
My favorite part about Cooking Simplified is that all the ingredients are prepped for you. I tried a different meal kit service last semester and disliked it because I wasted so much time prepping ingredients and making unnecessary sauces. I also love that Cooking Simplified has meals from a variety of cuisines rather than just typical American food.
Overall, Cooking Simplified is fast and easy, yet delicious and nutritious — a hard-to-find combo. Sign up for their October pilot here. You won't regret it.