Easy Pan is here to comfort you when your mom's cooking can't, as Mariam Nowar discovered.
Having your mother grow up with an ultra-famous black-and-white movie superstar is not always a great thing. After getting used to living with her Aunt Shadia, my mom later discovered that real life, average Joe marriage is not as fancy as life with an entourage. After enduring years of her burnt cereal (don't ask) and under-cooked rice, I began to make my own attempts at cooking. Turns out, cooking skills are hereditary. And I suck too. On the days I don't suck, I spend hours in the kitchen accompanied by all of our silverware in the sink, and a pile of flour glaring at me.
My days of unhealthy food experiments and koshari midnights were threatened by my discovery of Easy Pan, a cooking service that takes the difficulty out of cooking. You get to choose a recipe on their website, and they deliver fresh, pre-measured ingredients along with a step-by-step recipe card to your doorstep.
Curious, I explored their world of creation just to see if I could work them into my daily routine and the four founders were kind enough to share some information. Shahir Arslan, Hassan Arslan, Khaled Atallah, and Doha Tantawy all shared one common thing with my mother: Being AUC graduates. Coincidence? I think not. I decided to reach out to them to put all my fears to rest. I was assured that all of their recipes are originally developed by their executive chef, Yomna, who has had previous experience working as a chef in one of the top hotels in Egypt. They have a diverse dozen of meals I could choose from that could serve up to eight people for a range of 25 LE to 60 LE/serving. Not only that, but they cater to various cravings; there are meat-based meals for the carnivores out there; vegetarian options for the opposite; salads for those pesky fitness fiends; desserts for those with a sweet tooth, and the list goes on. They also switch up their menus monthly so you'don't have to endlessly repeat the same meal.
What struck gold with me is that their recipes are not just the boring healthy kind, but are crafted to be well-balanced and nutritious, using premium ingredients, while maintaining a mouth watering quality. Packed with the right amount of essential nutrients, healthy to them is a well-balanced diet. They are also going to save me time logging calories into my food diary since they're introducing their own calorie counter in the near future. I contemplated writing a love letter to my future thigh gap right there and then.
Being piscatorial (a person who only prefers to eat fish for some reason), I opted for their Pistachio Salmon with Spicy Sweet Potatoes dish, which immediately had my mouth watering at the mere sight of its title. Excitement couldn't contain me and I found myself placing a quick order before going off to college... at 6 AM. Luckily, their before-noon policy allowed me to receive the package on the same day. I hurried home with a little less on my mind for expecting more than Top Ramen for dinner. The golden box awaited me next to my mom's stare of betrayal.
My hard-to-satisfy fish-loving taste buds were tingling at the freshness of the salmon. Not only did I save time not going grocery shopping, Easy Pan had spared Egyptian fishermen from having to frantically go through my picky choices. Putting together the meal reminded me of my Lego days, which aren’t that far back because you're never too old for Lego, and it went together like peas in a pod. Their step-by-step guide ensured that even I - with my sub-par culinary skills - was literally not able to go wrong with the recipe. I finished up the last touches on plating my salmon, and for the surprisingly first time, the food actually matched the picture. The sweetness of the pistachios with the potatoes complemented the fish brilliantly. It only took 20 minutes to cook it up, and almost four minutes to finish it all. I found my mother secretly looking for hiding places in the kitchen in case Chef Gordon Ramsey had somehow fit in the washing machine. After the meal, lo and behold, the sink was empty, and that pile of flour was nowhere to be seen.
I'm heading over to Shadia's this Friday for a family gathering. I reckon I'll be Easy Panning my way there and snatching up a cousin husband.
All photos are original imagery courtesy of Easy Pan.