Have you ever wished that you didn't have to go to the store to get the ingredients for dinner? How would you feel about a service that provides you with not only the ingredients for dinner, but also recipes/instructions delivered right to your door? Pretty cool, right?
(Update 8/1/14: Relished Foods is now known as Home Chef! I've changed the links so that you will be taken to their new website!)
Relished Foods offers a service that for $9.95 per serving, you can order up to 5 meals per week to be delivered to your home. Meals are available in 2, 4, or 6 servings. They source the ingredients locally so that they are always fresh, and you receive the exact amount you need for the recipes/meals you order.
You also receive full-color recipe cards for each meal. They include precise, easy-to-follow instructions - with pictures! For most recipes, you only need to provide salt, pepper, water, oil, and utensils.
For our meals, I chose:
- Pan Seared Salmon with Corn Salsa served over Black Lentils
- Sous Vide Short Ribs with Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Baby Carrots
- Herb Roasted Chicken with Sauteed Spinach and Scallion Quinoa
I think the salmon was our favorite, so I'll start with that:
This salmon was some of the best salmon we've ever tasted. Gus is a pro at pan-searing salmon, so I let him take care of that. Absolutely delicious. We really enjoyed the black lentils, too. Seasoned with just a touch of salt and pepper, and they were perfect. I liked the corn salsa, too, but since Gus doesn't like that sort of thing, he left it all for me (yay!).
The short ribs were good, too. They came precooked, so all I had to do was plop them in a little boiling water for a few minutes to heat them up. They were incredibly tender - fall-off-the-bone, melt-in-your-mouth tender. Our only "complaint" was that they weren't very seasoned. When I make beef like that, I cook it in beef broth with a package of Lipton onion soup, so the meat is bursting with flavor. These short ribs were good - but plain. The roasted carrots were another favorite - although I recommend slicing them into halves or fourths unless you want to cook them for quite some time or like them crunchy. The garlic mashed potatoes were good, but I made the mistake of dumping the entire container of heavy cream into them, when I should have added it gradually. They ended up being runny, and I had to add instant potatoes to them to get the proper consistency. Also (and this is just a personal thing), the garlic was to be added "raw", and we prefer it to be roasted, so I roasted our garlic before adding it to the potatoes.
The chicken, spinach, and quinoa was our least favorite. When we opened the package of chicken, it had a really strong odor, and I was worried that it was spoiled. However, it must just be something that happens with that type of packaging, because after leaving it sit out for several minutes, the odor seemed to go away. Roasting the chicken in the oven with the rosemary, oregano, and oil made it very flavorful, but I just couldn't eat more than a couple of bites. I just kept thinking about that initial odor. Gus, however, chowed down all of it without any ill effects and wants me to make it again. We both like spinach and quinoa, but we didn't care for this spinach and quinoa. It just didn't have enough flavor, even after adding additional seasoning. I think it would be fine for someone who is used to eating lightly seasoned food.
One thing I noticed with all of the meals is that prep and cooking time took longer than the recipe said. For most things, I had to cook at least twice as long as suggested in order for the food to be done to our taste. Not a big deal, but if you are limited on time and think that it will only take 30 minutes to make dinner, and it ends up taking 45-60 minutes, it could cause some issues.
Also - these meals are basic, healthy meals. If you're used to eating those types of meals, you'll love these "as is". If, like us, you're used to having food more seasoned, you're going to want to add your favorite spices and cooking tricks to make it better suit your palate. Again, not a big issue, but just something to be aware of in advance.
All-in-all, we enjoyed the meals, and are glad that we had the chance to give them a try. I think this type of service would be great for busy families who want healthy meals. I'm thinking especially in the summer when everyone always seems to be running all over the place. If you had a meal or two ready to go in the fridge, you could feed your family healthy food and still be out the door in time for that baseball game. And we all know that fast food isn't always cheap, and it's certainly usually not healthy, so $9.95 per serving for a healthy meal is definitely reasonable.
Once you have an account with Relished Foods, you can reconfigure your order weekly and choose your delivery day. You also have the option to skip a delivery or cancel at any time. And if you're wondering whether or not this service is available in your area, you can find out by starting the sign-up process. During the second step, they check your zip code. At this time, they deliver to 60% of the US.
They also offer a referral program! You can earn $30 credit for each new customer you refer and those customers will each get $30 off their order! Awesome!
So is this a service you would use? Do you know someone who would love this?
Be sure to connect with Relished Foods to keep up with the latest news!
Phone: (312) 725-6223
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