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2 min

Flip, toss and fly

Fresh Canteen brings cooking skills to your doorstep

Being husband material once required at least a little skill in the kitchen. Now, thanks to Fresh Canteen, all you need is a credit card and an internet connection. Seriously. You don’t even need to go to the grocery store. Or really know how to cook.

“The company, founded in 2013, delivers easy, ready-to-make meal kits right to your doorstep — whether at home or at the office,” a press release reads. “Crafty and convenient, Fresh Canteen is perfect for everyone from single young professionals to busy-as-can-be families.”

The concept seems appealing enough. No need to pace the aisles of the grocery store, huddled over your iPhone trying to figure out what you should make and where the heck to find everything, tempted by the pre-made, frozen, salty and fatty stuff. Instead, log on once a week, pick out as many meals as you like, and wait until the following Tuesday for all the ingredients, complete with cooking instructions, to be delivered to your door. Kind of like that really good sex-buddy you once had — simple and convenient.

If you’re like me, you’re feeling a little skeptical about this whole arrangement. Which is why I gave it a go, telling the folks at Fresh Canteen to send me one of their favourites. Sure enough, on Tuesday afternoon, a (cute) delivery guy walks up the stairs to my work and drops off a small box, just the right size to fit in the office fridge, containing the ingredients for salmon with curried lentils.

In my kitchen, I eagerly rip open the box and begin unpacking the individually packaged, portioned and labelled containers: yogurt, curry powder, cilantro, coconut flakes, a bag of lentils and two salmon fillets. Instantly, the anxiety of trying a new recipe sets in, which quickly abates upon looking at the instructions. A clearly written, step-by-step guide illustrates each step toward the eventual dinner, promising it in around half an hour.

I’ll spare the details of my ineptitude in the kitchen and just say that the prep and my inexperience with lentils leads to a slightly later meal than promised, though this can be attributed mostly to user error, as opposed to false advertising. The important part is that by the end of the night, the results are pretty darn good. The salmon, though once frozen, is fresh and flavourful, well paired with the curried lentils and touches of cucumber and yogurt. The coconut finish isn’t life-changing, but it is something different. And the lentils turn out to be a nice surprise, something that I will prepare again thanks to this experience.

For $25, you receive two portions of a dinner similar to this, though the exact offerings change every week. They’re portion-controlled, which may be a major perk for those in pursuit of Pride bods, and they’re tasty and simple for rookie cooks. Given their commitment to quality and locally sourced foods, it really is worth a try, even if it doesn’t become a weekly ritual. At the very least, you’ll get to meet their delivery boy!