Planning meals is an important task because there is no substitute for healthy eating. I have a really hard time doing this some days.
Everybody obviously likes the occasional dine-out because let’s all agree, there just aren’t sufficient hours in the day.
But it gets expensive. And nowadays, people are becoming increasingly mindful of their spending.
So, what do I do?
I resort to meal kits from meal delivery services like Home Chef, Sun Basket, and Every Plate. To be honest, their services are not life-changing either when it comes to meal-prepping. There are multiple various shortcomings that come along with their services, and they include the following:
- Preparation steps are not very clear
- Food comes frozen and is highly processed
- The number of calories is inaccurately reported
- The amount is not sufficient as claimed
- The packaging is clunky with huge ice boxes taking up tons of space
CookUnity supposedly doesn’t have these issues, so I decided to give it a try.
Unlike other meal delivery services, you don’t simply get the ingredients, only to have to prep and cook your food at home. Instead, they ship fresh, quality, and healthy batch meals prepared by real, private, and certified chefs directly to your doorstep.
As far as I can tell, the food is not processed or frozen. On the packaging were some directions for both oven or microwave heating. You simply heat the food up and you are good to go.
When CookUnity first launched, everybody thought that it was ready to join the train of pre-existing meal delivery services.
What is CookUnity?
If I had to come up with a way to describe CookUnity, I’d say it’s akin to an Uber for private chefs. Unfortunately, the chef doesn’t arrive at your house, only the meals they prepare. But you knew that right?
All of the meal packaging is minimal and compostable. The meals will last around 7 days, provide you store them properly.
So, you can order a week’s worth of food in a single go. CookUnity is quite the game-changer for the heat-and-eat style of meal delivery services. And get this, it’s not just some random chefs preparing the food, There are some Michelin-rated chefs involved in making the meals.
They pack your meals in an insulated box cooled down to only refrigerator-level temperatures.
Moreover, on the packaging, you also have the chef’s information, macronutrients list, and a tiny barcode for any additional information. It comes in an insulated box cooled down to refrigerator-level temperatures when it arrives at your door.
Compared to other meal delivery services, CookUnity’s meals tend to be of higher quality and never feel like a normal take-out from Chili’s or Applebee’s. When ordering meals, you’ve got complete control and the meals can be customized to your dietary preferences.
I ended up ordering some of the gluten-free stuff for two people from their app. I personally looked forward to their $11 Lamb Moussaka, and well, I have to say after trying it that it’s pretty darn good. I wish there was a bit more food, but objectively, it’s the right amount for a healthy diet. I tend to overeat by a bit usually, so in this case, I’d say that’s actually a plus for me.
How is CookUnity’s mobile ordering app?
As far as the app, it’s very intuitive and user-friendly, and isn’t simply a copy of the website. The app helps you customize your orders in terms of the number of meals, your preferred dietary type, etc.
They have 4, 6, 8, or 12 meals per week options to choose from. You can buy add-ons at an additional price. Very few services let you tack add-ons to your meal, so this is quite the feature.
In addition to main courses, you are also able to order some snack, breakfast, and appetizer options along with drinks. It’s quite a variety of options to choose from and makes eating meals super convenient.
Does CookUnity display nutritional information for every meal?
You can view the complete nutritional information of every meal on the app. An awesome feature that it provides is that it allows you to talk to the chef in charge of each meal directly to resolve any questions or concerns around food preparation.
The food allergens are also mentioned on the packaging.
How do I contact CookUnity customer support?
If you’re looking to connect with CookUnity customer support, the easiest way is to contact them via the app.
The customer support team consists of various departments, including a CookUnity health and nutrition team. If you’ve got any dietary questions, they’ll be more than happy to assist you.
What are some examples of the CookUnity menu items?
CookUnity offers a wide variety of meals and dietary categories including keto, paleo, low-calorie, low-carb, vegetarian, and high-protein options.
Here are some of the items I’ve tried on their menu:
Salmon Tandoori with Veggies and Sauce:
The packaging suggested reheating only the salmon and enjoying the veggies and sauce cold. The Salmon was lightly laced with spices to give it a bit of oomph. The fish and the spicy flavors smoothly complemented each other. The cucumber sauce (or raita) was very faint in its cucumber flavor, but the salad more than made up for that. The salad was composed of red and yellow bell peppers, avocado, and arugula. The entire combination made it a fantastic keto meal overall.
Lamb Moussaka with Eggplant
The Greek-style lamb moussaka came with eggplant and a cauliflower bechamel sauce. The eggplant is soft and mushy and its layers alternated between meat and sauce. The umami-ground lamb topped with onions and a creamy, tomato sauce was to die for. This one was definitely my favorite one.
BBQ Chicken with Grilled Chipotle
The chicken thighs in the dish came with a scrumptiously bold spicy chipotle barbecue sauce. The meal came decorated with farm-fresh corn, beans and tomato salsa. The black beans are cooked just the right amount. Also, the tomatoes in the salsa were surprisingly sweet and taste was spot-on with the added cilantro.
Seared Steak with Brussel Sprouts and Horseradish Cream Sauce
The seared steak came surprisingly tender considering it didn’t just come off the grill. It appeared to have been cooked in a lot of tasty juices. Also, the brussel sprouts came crisped as well. How? I don’t know. The horseradish cream sauce was definitely a delicious addition to the meal. I loved every bit of this meal.
Does CookUnity use healthy ingredients in their meals?
Apart from tasting great, the meals are actually quite healthy. There aren’t any preservatives according to the ingredient list, everything is prepped minimally from its natural form.
According to their own claims, CookUnity adheres to sourcing and providing fresh, non-GMO, organic, and cruelty-free ingredients. They work with local farms including Lancaster Farm Fresh Co-Op and Satur Farms, among others.
I like fresh, but I really love the fact that they prioritize working with local farms and cruelty-free ingredients. Usually, this comes at quite a hefty price that’s usually passed on to the end consumer. Is this the case with CookUnity?
What is the cost of a CookUnity meal?
Well, let’s see. CookUnity meals cost anywhere between $10.39 – $12.69 on average per meal. That’s before taxes of course. It isn’t the most affordable meal around, that’s for sure. But if we’re talking a tier price range lower, we’re getting into fast food territory.
I’d say the price range is really good for what it is. This includes free delivery straight to your door. So you’re saving on time, gas, car depreciation, and mental energy. In my humble opinion, you can’t put a price on the latter. Personally, it’s overall a better deal for me to pay that and have my food delivered.
But to be fair, some meals do take quite a while to heat up. Probably an average of 15 minutes or so. That is time, but at least you’re at home and not in the car driving and wasting gas and hating the world. On top of that, yes you are probably using a bit more electricity or gas utilities, but probably much less than the cost of gas you’d be using getting takeout.
That is unless you’re going grocery shopping for a whole week’s worth. Then that may be more cost-efficient. But remember, there are plenty of people who barely have time for grocery shopping let alone cooking. So really, we’re comparing meal delivery vs. takeout for those busy workers working overtime or holding two jobs to support the family.
CookUnity vs. Freshly and other competitors
There are plenty of other meal delivery services including Home Chef, Blue Apron, Plated, Freshly, Snap Kitchen, Factor Meals, and Hungryroot, among others.
Why do I still prefer CookUnity?
Well, a lot of these competitors aren’t really meal delivery services, but rather, ingredient delivery services. They cater to those who’d rather not have to worry about grocery shopping or perhaps want some guidance in cooking meals. It’s a bit less convenient, but some people want to cook the meals themselves. Me personally, I’m not one to prefer cooking myself.
Competitor meal costs range from $9 to $13 per meal, so they’re quite similar to CookUnity.
The other competitors also have their own unique selling points. For example:
- Factor Meals targets fitness buffs
- Freshly focuses on meals that are extremely tasty
- Snap Kitchen has a great balance of diet and taste
CookUnity’s unique selling point is that you’ve got super talented and even Michelin-rated chefs with creative freedom prepping these meals for you.
Not only that, but they’re offering a huge plethora of dietary and customization options to go along with these talented chefs, not to mention add-ons if you wish. That’s quite a rare feature.
Does Jean-Georges actually prepare CookUnity meals?
Jean-Georges? Don’t kid yourself, if he did, prices would likely skyrocket 10x.
He’s probably very involved in the creative process of his particular meal but not likely actually cooking the meal that came at your doorstep.
Is CookUnity eco-friendly?
Yes, they are! For their containers, they’ve gone through the trouble of making them compostable instead of using wasteful plastic.
I think that’s pretty awesome.
What I dislike about CookUnity
My main gripe is that some of their meals can definitely get on the expensive side. Although it’s your choice to get them or not, there were some delicious-sounding meals that I wanted to try that were closer to the $14 mark.
Also, although they have been expanding rapidly, there are still certain areas not being served. You can check to see their latest coverage areas using their delivery map.
Does CookUnity offer gift cards?
Yes, they definitely do! You can easily purchase an e-gift card that is delivered directly to the recipient’s email address. These gift cards do not expire and are valued anywhere from $5 to $500.
Note that they would have to enroll in an active subscription in order to be able to use the funds. However, CookUnity can be canceled at any time and does not require a long-term subscription.
These gift cards make awesome last-minute gifts, as they can be sent almost instantaneously.
The concept of vetting certain private chefs to deliver top-quality meals to your door is quite a phenomenal concept. The company is always on the lookout to add qualified chefs to keep their menu interesting.
Overall, I’d say if you find value in that idea, it’s definitely worth the price and convenience. No matter your dietary preferences, you’ll find something that’ll cater to you.
- CookUnity meals cost anywhere between $10.39 – $12.69 on average
- The meals will last around 7 days, provide you store them properly
- Compared to other meal delivery services like Freshly, CookUnity’s meals tend to be of higher quality
- Meal packaging is minimal and compostable
- The CookUnity app is very intuitive and user-friendly
- Delivery is free, saving you time, gas, car depreciation, and mental energy
Right now, CookUnity is offering 50% off your first week of meals, so why not give it a go? If you’re interested, you can sign up here!
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