I know, I know: the blog world is overflowing with reviews about food delivery services and I am just one more person to add to the noise, but I can’t help myself. First of all, I’m pretty sure I lose most of my “foodie” points for using a service that takes all the shopping, guesswork, and creativity out of cooking, but after just typing that, I realize that foodies are pretty much known for their ability to appreciate other people’s food, so maybe I’m still good.
I tried Hello Fresh a year or so ago and it was a struggle. The recipes took an hour of prep work that involved way too much chopping and too many tools. And lots of kale. I didn’t like any of the recipes and quickly canceled.
Blue Apron advertises on all of my podcasts, so I can now quote their ad right back to you, but for some reason, I decided to try Marley Spoon for my second attempt at the perfect healthy dinner recipe delivery system. Probably because Martha Stewart is involved. No, definitely because Martha Stewart is involved.
Just in case you haven’t heard, food delivery services send you all the recipes and pre-portioned ingredients for delicious dinners you can make at home. They tend to emphasize healthy, organic choices with plenty of lean meats and vegetables. And for some reason, they seem to be incredibly popular. On one hand, it seems silly to pay for food you have to cook yourself when it adds up to almost the same amount as take-out, but on the other hand, it’s nice to know what ingredients you’re eating and to involve your hands when feeding your family. And you still get to avoid the grocery store (which I hate!)
School has been pretty crazy this semester and I’ve been lacking the energy to meal plan, grocery shop, or even cook, so this week seemed like a perfect time to try a promo code and order my first box of Marley Spoon. And it has been awesome.
It arrived on Tuesday (I didn’t get to choose the delivery day, but the food is wrapped in order to stay fresh on your porch all day). Each meal was separated into its own brown paper bag and labeled with refrigeration instructions. We got three meals: Cauliflower “Steak” with Almond-Olive Relish and Beans, Roasted Chicken Provençal with Zucchini, Tomatoes & Potatoes, and Roasted Salmon & Broccoli with Jalapeño-Cilantro Dressing. And they were ALL GOOD!
The recipes took about 10 total minutes of prep time each and about 35 minutes to bake. All recipes had awesome flavor and used pretty normal ingredients, but in smaller portions, so I didn’t need to buy a whole box of raisins or big jar of olives to make a meal for two. The portions were a good size, so I definitely felt like I ate a full meal. I appreciated all the healthy proteins and piles of vegetables included with each recipe. The instructions were easy to follow and everything turned out looking just like it should.
I honestly wasn’t expecting much after my experience with Hello Fresh, but I was blown away! Husband and I both raved every night over each dish and we really enjoyed discovering new flavors and trying combinations we wouldn’t have thought of before. I LOVED having a week off meal guesswork as I have been getting home later and later AND we avoided takeout, which has been showing a steady increase since school has started.
But now to the sad part, it’s expensive. Well, comparatively. It’s cheaper/healthier than take-out, but more expensive than ramen noodles, tuna casserole, PB&J, and other things graduate students are supposed to be eating. The first week was 1/2 off, but it goes up next week to about $10 per person, per meal. Again, not horrible, but it adds up. And that makes me sad because if all weeks are like this week, I kind of want to keep Marley Spoon around forever.
Anyone else tried Marley Spoon?