Recently I had the pleasure of working with Carley Sheehy, founder and CEO of Global Grub. Global Grub is a California based company that creates ethnic food kits to be prepared at home. Somewhere along Carley’s food journey, she started cooking ethnic foods, but realized how intimidating the process can be. She started Global Grub to bring international cuisine into home kitchens, helping cooks achieve absolutely delicious results with less hassle. In Carley’s words, “I’m on a mission to spread the joy of cooking foods from around the world!”
The company currently offers four kits: Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans (Jamaican), Tagine with Couscous (Moroccan), Red Chili Tamales (Mexican), and Sushi Rolls (Japanese). The kits include high quality, non-perishable ingredients that are pre-measured, detailed cooking instructions, and a shopping list for additional (mostly fresh) ingredients. Carley sent me the kit for Jerk Chicken with Coconut Rice and Beans. I was blown away! I find many retail foods, especially ethnic foods sold for mainstream consumption, are altered to meet a blander palette. That was not the case with this kit. The Jerk Chicken was SPICY HOT, with very complex and robust flavors. You could certainly tone down the hotness of the dish, but I appreciated that the level of heat (if following the suggested directions) is what you’d expect from a traditional jerk.
I cook rice a few times a week, sometimes plain and sometimes fancied up, but never has my rice been so amazing. My family thought it was the best I’ve ever made. No kidding. It had a wonderful creaminess to it, but without being mushy and the added seasoning took the rice up a notch in flavor and complimented the spicy jerk chicken. With the addition of some sautéed greens, I put a balanced, healthy and absolutely delightful meal on the table. And while the foundations of the meal came from a kit, it was most definitely homemade, requiring chopping, blending, marinating, sautéing, and grilling. Although several steps were involved, it wasn’t difficult or particularly time consuming and I appreciated I didn’t have to find recipes, think of complimentary dishes and come up with my own shopping list. Those things were thought out for me and the results were better than what I could expect had I ventured out on my own.
The kits are available online and in select stores around the San Francisco Bay Area. Another thing that appeals to me is Global Grub’s “Meal for a Meal” charity program. For every kit sold, the company donates a meal to the local food bank. That’s a pretty cool idea, to support the local people and economy while eating internationally. I’m looking forward to trying the other kits and supporting a wonderful company.