Cooking can be a fun way to destress and be productive, especially now during the COVID-19 quarantine when we’re glued to our homes without anything much to do.
Many have actually tried their hand at cooking and baking while in quarantine, as there has been a boom in the online food business in recent months, with the ube cheese pandesal and baked sushi hypes. Some have also found that cooking helped with their mental health during this time of isolation because of the pandemic. (Read: A Millennial’s Tip on How to Start an Online Business Amid Pandemic)
Cooking is relatively easy to learn if you’re doing it just in small batches for yourself or for family, especially now that there are thousands of recipes available online. But the harder, more hassle, part in cooking is the purchasing of ingredients given that lines are still long in groceries and wet markets. (Read: 3 Secrets To Ensure Food Safety Amid COVID-19 Pandemic)
Luckily, we discovered Simple Roots, a local business that helps you with sourcing ingredients and getting it delivered to your home!
Locally Sourced Ingredients
Simple Roots provides customers with meal kits consisting of all the fresh ingredients they need for the certain recipe they want to cook. “Our meal kits come with locally sourced ingredients that are measured and prepared, easy step by step Filipino recipes that are modern and healthy, and an insulated box that guarantees the freshness,” says co-founder Colene Tan. She adds that everything is delivered fresh straight to your doorstep. (Read: 5 Suppliers Who Source Fruits and Vegetables From Local Farmers)
“We try to source our ingredients as local as possible which had led us to various farms and cooperatives from as far as Cordillera to Batangas,” Colene says of their ingredients. And as for their recipes, everything is free of preservatives, artificial flavorings, and MSG, which ensures that what you are eating is of good quality, healthy, and safe.
Sharing the Filipino Heritage
But how did Simple Roots start? Colene says it started out with her and her friend Mark Tan talking about how they wanted to create better Filipino dishes for their families and friends. “With all the hassle of going out and facing Manila traffic, waiting in long grocery lines, buying unnecessarily large amounts of ingredients you may never use again, Mark thought that there has to be a better way to learn how to cook better and change lives,” Colene says.
Mark, who is a frustrated home cook and web developer, wanted to find better ways to cook for loved ones at home. While Colene, who is a professionally trained chef from Enderun Colleges, is always on the lookout for heritage Filipino recipes and underrated local ingredients. With these in mind, they decided to establish Simple Roots. (Read: Meet the millennial who owns numerous food ventures around the Metro)
“Wanting to share that knowledge and keep the culture alive, I thought of updating these recipes and making them readily available from farm to fridge,” she said, referring to her advocacy of promoting local heritage cuisine. (Read: Meet the millennial who co-authored The Maya Kitchen’s ‘Guilt-free Desserts’)
“It is a global standard to learn the French way of cooking but I became curious as to what our country had to offer. As I learned more, I also wanted to share more and give people that chance to experience this culinary adventure in the comfort of their own kitchen,” Colene added.
And by sourcing ingredients locally from various farms from north to south, the two founders hit two birds with one stone: promoting local heritage (including helping out local businesses) and ensuring a healthier and easier way of cooking.
Simple Roots Recipes
“We just launched our first menu and we offer a balanced variety of soups, salads, meryenda, and main courses that you can eat any time of the day,” Colene says. Some of the meals that can be purchased from Simple Roots are binakol, sinigang, and adobo. (Read: Which is the more Filipino dish, adobo or sinigang?) Not only that, but some of their recipes are also vegan-friendly, gluten-free, or sugar-free!
All recipes that are available for order on the Simple Roots website use ingredients that truly shout Filipino, like mangoes, kamias, and alugbati. You can also choose the serving size for your chosen recipe, whether it’s for 2-3 persons or 4-5 persons.
“We plan on adding more recipes soon as well as having the option of add on’s and vegan alternatives,” Colene adds regarding their menu. Customers can even customize their meal kits depending on what they want to try for the next few days! (Read: 10 grocery must-haves to help you plan a week’s worth of meals)
“This is great for people who want to start eating healthy and plan their meals ahead but don’t want the hassle of going out and thinking of what recipes to cook,” Colene says.
“We have also been getting a lot of purchases from new couples and young families who are either too busy or don’t know how to cook just yet but want to experience the joys of cooking for your loved ones,” she adds.
How to Order
Anyone who is interested to try Simple Roots can scan the menu and order through their website. Currently, credit cards, online bank payments and transfers, GCash, and Paypal are the only accepted payment methods. You can also order for another person such as a friend or relative by simply typing their address instead of yours.