I’ve tested a lot of meal kits over the past couple of years, but my most recent Pamela’s Kitchen was probably the most innovative experience.

Alexa, Amazon’s voice assistant, guided me through a Global Belly pantry kit via the app Klove Chef.

Writing that – and saying it aloud, for that matter – makes it sound like a complicated process, but really it wasn’t.

The folks behind Klove Chef reached out to me after I demonstrated cooking a Home Chef meal kit, in a hot mess of activity last month. I sweated my way through flipping back and forth on the recipe card, trying to keep up with everything.

Klove Chef, instead, guides users through the recipe, giving pointers along the way. They’ve partnered for beta testing with New York-based Global Belly, which offers both full meal kits and “pantry kits,” which I found a fantastic solution to my biggest meal kit gripe: excessive packaging. Klove Chef also offers non-meal kit recipes, and will help you build your grocery list using Alexa.

Global Belly sent me two pantry kits, one for Butter Chicken and one for Chicken Pad Thai.

Each includes the “pantry” ingredients and a recipe. I was responsible for providing the perishables, like chicken, green onions and limes.

Global Belly’s focus is to provide the “Flavors of the World at your Doorstep.” Recipes include ingredients like fish sauce, tamarind and other spices a user might not find at their neighborhood Walmart.

Even though my grandparents (who are in their 80s) have an Amazon Echo and use Alexa, this was my first time using voice assist besides telling my phone to play my favorite music in the car.

I did a quick test run with Klove Chef the night before going live, and it’s a little weird to learn the process. I feel like it was a bit like cooking while navigating a phone tree.

I made it through the process, though, and enjoyed a delicious meal afterward.

The second time around, which you can see in this rebroadcast of the live video, was a little easier. I had a few hiccups with the Alexa deciding to play some kind of rap music, but I ended up not only with a meal that was a tasty new experience for me, but I even had the wherewithal to make it pretty! That’s never happened before. I’m usually too pressured for time and flustered to actually plate something in a way that looks even close to the recipe picture.

Check out the process in the rebroadcast, and stay tuned for my thoughts on packaging and pantry kits.

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