It’s a Two-Fer week… by mistake.
The quest for the perfect meal kit for our busy family continued this week. It was just kid and I at home this week; and when I say “at home” I mean kid slept here but didn’t see much more of him. So I had planned three easy meals from Sun Basket for the two of us, ones that I could hand to him in the car and he eats while I drive him around the school on a rainy night to his next activity. All seemed will with my choices… and then Hello Fresh happened.
I had signed up for Hello Fresh last week, and thinking it was like all the others I’d choose when my first box came to me… nope. I happened to sign up right on their cut-off time for this week’s box and that was automatically sent to me without me getting to make any choices. So through the weekend I thought I had 2 boxes (5 meals) coming to me on Monday and Tuesday and planned accordingly. Great. No real grocery shopping needed, no additional planning. Wrong again. The HF box due Tuesday afternoon arrived at 8pm Wednesday night with a bang on my door and a guy not from any of the known carriers standing there with a wet box in his hands. The HF box was late, a gel pack was leaking and the food wasn’t too cold. (the meats you could tell had been frozen and were now completely defrosted). So HF didn’t start off with a great score before I even tested the meals. (I will say, they did credit me for this unwanted box, eventually)
So back to the cooking review. First up, the planned contender Sun Basket
I ordered 3 meals for 2 people. The two I’ve tested so far were okay. The portions and amount of provided ingredients were spot on, but the taste and texture was lacking. The meatloaf was dry, and the cooking instructions vague (do I cook the potatoes and THEN put in meatloaf, do I cook both together, potatoes for 20 add meatloaf for another 20? It was not spelled out.) Tried the minestrone the next night, with meatballs that had no bonding agent (extra gooey with just basil and eggs). The soup was good, not great. Tonight I’m trying the gyros… which is a family favorite so I’m sure they will be delightful no matter what. Sun Basket does get points for their fully organic ingredients, reusable packaging of items, and their fully recyclable box and packing material. Looking ahead, the menus all have 1 maybe 2 items our picky family would enjoy, not nearly as many choices as some other companies… but their price is very competitive. I’d say over all a 4 out of 5
Now let’s get Fresh- Hello Fresh, that is. Since I didn’t choose this week’s foods, I made a few changes on my own. First I gave my mom one of the bags because I knew I wouldn’t have time to cook it before our next test box arrived. She took home cherry glazed pork shops with couscous and reported back that is was easy to fix and yummy. Our other meal was pineapple (yuck!) and poblano (hot!) tacos. I left off the peppers and only added the pineapple to the kid’s salsa. They were delicious! I little messy to make with extra bowls needed for salsa and crema. We got a bag for 4 servings, but I only cooked up half the meat and have some left overs for lunch today (which, if we had been eating at home and not on the go last night the kid would have devoured in his 3rd and 4th tacos). Recipe was easy, and I’ll be doing it again, if on my own. Our second container of cilantro has some wilting and 2 of the tomatoes had squishy bits. With HF’s rocky start I’m giving them 3.5 out of 5. I’ll give them another try with a full review when I select the menu items and serving sizes and am not rushing to fit in an unplanned meal delivery.
If you too want to give them a try click here.
Up next- Plated. The most expensive of the ones I’m trying, but also the oldest of the bunch.