Thai chicken curry, a duo of pheasant, vegetarian moussaka, and grandma’s comfy beef soup. These are just some of the dinner options from MarleenKookt, the Amsterdam company that cooks delicious dinners so you don’t have to.
Who Cooks When Nobody Wants To?
Busy parents know the drill. The hectic workday ends, and you arrive home with the kids, tired and hungry. Nobody wants to cook. Or maybe you want the holidays to be less about cooking and more about spending time with loved ones.
"We have kept busy parents in mind, and we have noticed there is more to coming home than cooking when everyone is hungry. It's more than just a meal."
As busy parents themselves, Marleen Jansen and her partner Joris Keizer were familiar with these situations, until eight years ago when they went on a sabbatical to Majorca. Renting a house with a large garden, they found themselves with that rarest of things: a sudden and welcome abundance of free time. Marleen remembered that before she became so busy, she liked to cook, and she began tinkering between the garden, which provided beautiful, fresh ingredients, and the kitchen, which offered a place to prepare them. "We used local ingredients and cooked with the seasons; it was a wonderful time. Then we went back to Amsterdam and decided to pursue cooking for busy families. When friends suggested Marleen cook for them, MarleenKookt was born." said Joris.
Busy families have been quick to incorporate MarleenKookt into their every day and holiday routines. "The international community has been very receptive to our cooking solutions, and we've noticed more interest from international families than Dutch. International families feel that they are better parents spending time with their kids instead of cooking, while Dutch families value cooking for their kids," Joris explained.
"Kids have the same number of taste buds as adults, but over a smaller surface, so they taste flavors more intensely than grown-ups. We hide vegetables so kids will eat them."
Drawing from up to 700 alternating recipes and working with the seasons keep things fresh in Marleen's kitchen and on your table. Both traditional Dutch and international cuisine are featured, with flavors from Mexico, Asia, Latin America, the Caribbean, and New Orleans. "Today we have charcuterie Alsatian, a rich peasant dish with sauerkraut. It's amazing as a treat once in a while, and it's very French," Joris said. Holiday specials, vegetarian options, and kid-friendly meals are also available. "Kids have the same number of taste buds as adults, but over a smaller surface, so they taste flavors more intensely than grown-ups. We hide vegetables so kids will eat them," said Joris.
"We used local ingredients and cooked with the seasons; it was a wonderful time."
Sustainable and Healthy
MarleenKookt delivers meals on sustainable cargo bikes in attractive reusable porcelain dishes. The dishes transfer effortlessly from bike to oven, oven to table, and finally table to sink for clean collection with your next delivery. The food is fresh and healthy, with a careful balance between volume, product integrity, and lack of waste. "We forecast our meals so there is hardly any food wasted, and we provide one meal a day for employees on days they work, so there is no food wasted," Joris said. Up to 1,000 meals a day are served to households from Amsterdam to Haarlem.
Ordering Fresh-cooked Peace of Mind
MarleenKookt has an easy to use website, which is easily accessible to English speakers via Google translate. The site accepts orders from several days in advance up to 11:00 am on the very day you want to come home to a fresh meal. The main courses start at €11, and you receive a discount as your order increases. Choose a half-hour delivery block between the hours of 4 and 8 pm, and pay securely online with Ideal or direct debit. "From the time we started, we have kept busy parents in mind, and we have noticed there is more to coming home than cooking when everyone is hungry. It's more than just a meal. It's providing peace of mind at a very hectic time of day so you can enjoy coming home," said Joris.
"We forecast our meals so there is hardly any food wasted."
Help for the Holidays
The holidays are almost upon us, and as your house fills with hungry guests, MarleenKookt can help. If you prefer to spend valuable holiday time visiting with friends and family instead of cooking, you can pre-order from simple pre-cooked dinners to Thanksgiving and Christmas show stoppers. "We've been doing Thanksgiving for several years, and we balance it between daily and festive meals because Thanksgiving is just another workday in the Netherlands. This year we have Turkey Wellington and pumpkin cake," said Joris. Christmas is even more special. "Every Christmas Eve we deliver a four-course meal, meat or vegetarian. It is different from what we do for the rest of the year. It takes out holiday stress by making hosting easier, so you don't have to worry about cooking four courses," Joris said.
The Thanksgiving Menu
Order online from November 17 at MarleenKookt or call Marleen Kookt on 020 700 6602. The Thanksgiving menu is also on the website as the soup, classic main course, and dessert for November 28.
The Christmas Menu
A luxurious and traditional four-course menu for €35 with meat and fish. Vegetarian option €35, children's menu €17,50. The Christmas menu can be ordered from November 28.