Cooks in the Kitchen

How many of you Shanghailanders out there cook a few nights a week? I don’t see too many hands. I was listening to a British program recently which featured a presumably famous British cook book author , Delia Smith. After years of writing cook books Ms.Smith stated she is now on a mission to teach people the lost art of cooking. *

Sadly I have to agree with Ms.Smith, as a generation we are not cooking as much as our mothers and grandmothers ( and in my case my grandfather). I frequently ( like every week) tell clients that they will improve their chances at weight loss, improve their blood sugar control, clear up their skin and improve their heart health by just cooking a few meals at home each week. Not mention saving some money as a bonus.

Fortunately we all live in Shanghai where very often if a need exists there is generally someone around who has the genius to fill it. Enter the folks at Saucepan ( These clever folks have stepped in to help you easily “cook” and eat healthy at home ( and also at the office).

Now I like to cook and as you can imagine I take time to do it often. But the idea of a “prepared” restaurant quality, healthy meal delivered to my home is intriguing and I figured it was my professional duty to give it a try.

The Saucepan website is easy to use  and the menu is varied, offering both dishes with meat and vegetarian and vegan choices. For my test run I chose one of each and a salad.

The two entrees and salad were delivered at the promised time and the ingredients were nicely separated in individual bags, which was helpful since someone in the house did not want “stuff” on their fish. It is a boil a bag process. Each entrée comes packed in a pouch, ready to drop into a pan of boiling water. Five minutes later you have dinner on the plate. I was a bit skeptical at first since boil -a-bag does not equal good taste in my memory banks but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised.

Both the vegetarian curry with Basmati rice and the lemon halibut emerged from the boiling water intact and flavorful. As a bonus they looked beautiful on the plate. The Moroccan couscous salad completed both dishes perfectly.

I spoke with the people at Saucepan and as much as they believe we are all capable of boiling water they are getting feedback that people would like an even faster route to healthy meals.  They are modifying their entrees a bit so you will have only to pop the bowls in the microwave for your next satisfying meal at the office or at home.

The Saucepan staff know we are all pressed for time and frequently don’t think about what we are having for the next meal until our stomach growls. Not to worry they have plans to be able to deliver you a fresh entrée, salad, drinks and dessert within 30-45 minutes of ordering.

While I  agree with Ms. Delia Smith that we would all be healthier if we cooked at home, Saucepan may be just the bridge to healthier eating that Shanghai needs. Besides, who can resist the personalized thank you note that comes along with your meal!

Eat Well, Live Well, Have Fun!