New Citizen Chef Cooking Kits

You can have this fresh, vibrant meal on the table in 15 minutes flat.

How many of us race home after work, wishing we had an extra pair of hands to help get dinner on the table fast?

Yup, that would be all of us.

Citizen Chef aims to come to the rescue.

The new San Francisco company just introduced a variety of cooking kits that are designed to get a healthful, tasty meal ready in only 15 minutes.

The refrigerated kits include already chopped veggies, a tub of sauce, and quick-cooking grains. You just add your own choice of protein — chicken, fish, shrimp, beef, pork or tofu. You can even use the kit as is, without adding any protein at all.

Choose from: Thai Sesame Stir-Fry (carrots, cabbage, and sugar snap peas in a coconut milk-base sauce with brown rice), Tuscan Limone Garlic Saute (broccoli, carrots and onions with couscous), and Hawaiian BBQ Stir Fry (carrots, purple cabbage and sugar snap peas with brown rice and a sauce made of roasted tomatoes, ginger and pineapples).

Each $10 kit serves 2 to 4, depending upon what else you add to it and how much of it. They’re available at Whole Foods and Mollie Stone’s Markets in the Bay Area.

The kits are the brainchild of Salinas native, Drew Taylor, and Adam DeVito, a trained chef.

One of three Citizen Chef kits now available.

Recently, I had a chance to test drive the Hawaiian kit. The illustrated instructions were quite easy to follow. I boiled some water in a pot, as directed, and added the bag of brown rice along with a pinch of salt. After it came to a boil, I covered the pot and let it stand for 7 minutes, while I continued with the other steps. Into a skillet went some oil and some firm tofu (my choice of protein), which I had cut into batons. After getting a nice crust on them, I reduced the heat, added the bag of prepped veggies to the pan and covered it with the lid for a couple minutes. Then, I stirred in the handy tub of sauce until everything was heated evenly.

I mounded a scoop of rice onto a plate and topped it with the stir-fry.

The rice was fluffy and hearty tasting. The vegetables tasted very fresh and were cooked perfectly al dente. And the sauce was a nice balance of sweet and savory with a real pineapple presence.

All that — in hardly any time at all.

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  • Stir-fries are so easy to make from scratch, I wonder how successful this will be. I can see how this would be good for the non-cook, but not even sure whether non-cooks would even bother firing up a wok. I might use these as a last-minute dinner when I can’t decide what to make and am lazy to mix up a sauce, but I’m kind of wary of boiling rice when I have my trusty rice cooker.

  • that stir fry package is so convenience! I think it’s a good thing to have ready in the house just in case we need something quick! Thanks for introducing it to me. 🙂

  • Great idea in theory, but I agree Ben. I’d rather get the dish together from scratch, or just order out. LOL.

  • These kits actually sound really awesome! I love that they are full of real ingredients!

  • I hardly get these types of pre-made kits but this one looks quite nicely made, different to the regular supermarket ones. It’s so vibrant and healthy looking!

  • Great idea for people who basically aren’t cooks. Or for people who are, but don’t have the time to cut the veggies (the prep work is the most time consuming in stir fry). Interesting product – thanks for letting us know about it.

  • $10 kit. Hmm, definitely not for my family dinner as it could get too expensive (?), but if I have to leave my husband and kids at home, this isn’t a bad idea at all! Looks delicious too. 🙂

  • Hi there! I tested the kit too. I thought it was really tasty, but the price point gets high because it doesn’t include the meat. It’s perfect for nights when you’re really in a pinch for time, or if Dad is in charge of dinner. At least that’s what I’m thinking for our house.

    The good news? It tasted great!!

  • Nami and Kris,

    Thanks for the kind words and for taking a look at Citizen Chef!

    Although our meal kits are priced at $9.99, they do serve 2-3 (and sometimes even 4!) ample portions, making our meals more cost effective than take-out or fast food options. Like you mentioned, it’s great to have on hand when you’re busy, but still want to cook a healthy meal at home for your family.

    We don’t want cost to keep you from trying our meals, so here’s the link to our $3.00 off coupon!

    Bon Appetit!

  • Peter Fotherfingham

    Tried to sign up you newsletter. three squarews appeared saing required but didn’t csay what info you wanted. sign me upv

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