Tag Archives: subscription meal services

Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket

Our last Sun Basket delivery went a little wonky. Andy and I had already decided to end our trial month a week early since we hadn’t been loving the food, but then we were notified that our selections for week 3 hadn’t saved and were going to receive three randomly selected meals instead. Problem 1 – two of the three meals were things that I couldn’t eat. Problem 2 – the company does not have weekend staff so even though I contacted them as soon as I found out, they couldn’t cancel the order since it actually shipped before customer service had even read my email. They did apologize for the mix up and gave us another three meals for free to compensate. So setting that delivery aside I give you the final week of Sun Basket.

sb1Our order made it right on time and everything was pretty much picture perfect. sb2 sb3 The food was the best set of recipes we’d received yet. The Salmon with roasted new potatoes and green beans was incredible. I am not a huge fish person, but damn. Andy was so please with the results that he has tucked the recipe card away in the kitchen binder so he can make it again.sb4 The Yemeni grilled shrimp with fattoush salad was not quite as good. I wasn’t a huge fan of the spice blend on the shrimp, but a am now a HUGE fan of fattoush salad. I would probably eat it once a week if I could.sb5Sadly, we did not get to make recipe #3. Hurricane Hermine hit Tallahassee, and we were without power just long enough to make all the dairy and seafood in our fridge unsafe to consume.

Verdict: I’m glad we tried Sun Basket, and if I’d hadn’t tried any other meal delivery services before I would have been really pleased. However, despite being pretty consistent with delivery schedules and having packing material that can be recycled, the food just wasn’t as good as what we had from Blue Apron. If pressed to recommend one or the other, it would be Blue Apron all the way.


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket Week 2

Well, I am a little disheartened to admit that week two of the Sun Basket subscription did not go nearly as smoothly as week one. First, our delivery day is supposed to be Wednesday, and when I checked the tracking info on Wednesday to find out where my package was, the delivery date was listed as Thursday and still classified as being “on time”. I wasn’t overly worried, things happen, but when we finally received the box, it was merely cool, and the bag of greens had partially liquefied from the heat. Even better, the spoiled bag had attracted those teeny fruit flies, and they have gleefully taken up residence in my kitchen despite my best efforts.

S4
S5
S6
Aside from the arugula, everything else seemed to be more or less undamaged.
S7
Shrimp scampi with romaine salad
The scampi turned out to be much better than I anticipated; lots of garlic, lemon and some fresh herbs. Really, really good. I even liked the salad, which was a super simplified Cesar. We tucked the recipe card away to be used again.
S3
Roasted salmon with red chermoula and seared endive
This was the best meal we’ve had from Sun Basket yet. I had never tried chermoula sauce before and was a bit doubtful to be honest, but I LOVE it, like whoa, big time, didn’t-want-to-share-with-Andy love it. We had a little left over after cooking, and I demanded that we make un-box related food the following night so we could use the rest of it.
S2
Quinoa fritters with arugula-strawberry salad
These should have been the simplest to prepare, but while tasty, the fritters were time consuming and problematic. The end result was delicious, but ultimately we both agreed the they weren’t worth the effort. Andy did hide the rest of the tahini sauce in the fridge and is plotting to procure falafel in the near future so he can justify consuming the remaining 3/4 of the container.
S1

Not quite as wonderful as week one, although the food was better. The bloom has gone of the rose a bit, and instead of feeling like “yay, two more weeks!”, we’ve settled into more of a “fine, I guess we’ll finish this out”. Who knows, maybe things will shift back the other way.


Thinking Inside the Box: Sun Basket

Andy and I really enjoyed our Blue Apron subscription last month, so much so that I decided to continue the meal delivery subscription theme a while longer. After doing some research on various options, one name kept popping up, Sun Basket. The service has received many wonderful reviews, and after the ups and downs of Blue Apron, I thought it would be nice to go with something that was supposed to be “sure” bet.

SB4
SB5
The first thing that really impressed me was that my delivery was not only on time, it was waiting on me when I got home at 2:30!
SB6
SB7
The box and its contents were in great shape, nothing dented or damaged, and all of the different items were still safely ensconced in their packages.
SB8
The other thing I thought was pretty cool was that you can send your insulated packing material back to the company for re-use; they provide postage and everything.
SB9
The other thing I though was pretty cool was that there was less superfluous packaging of ingredients. The waste generated by the meal prep was noticeably less.
SB10
Grilled shrimp and corn with watermelon-feta salad
Our first meal was probably my favorite; the watermelon salad was incredible. My only criticism was that it was titled “Grilled” Shrimp and Corn, but the directions were to pan fry everything.
SB3
Fresh corn and black bean tacos with Cotija cheese
The black bean and corn tacos were pretty good. Andy and I whipped this up together on Saturday afternoon. With a couple of tweaks, I could absolutely see us making this regularly. It was probably the easiest meal I’ve made from either meal service.
SB2
Summer flatbreads with herbed Greek yogurt
I wasn’t too sure about the flatbreads when I initially saw the recipe, but I was pleasantly surprised. Not one of my favorite recipes, but it was good, and I could see myself applying the concept to other meals in the future.
SB1

All and all a pretty positive first experience. I am looking forward to seeing what the next few weeks will bring.


Thinking Inside the Box: Blue Apron Week 4

Sadly, this is my last Blue Apron review. I don’t think I’ve ever had a subscription service that invoked such a range of reactions. As you guys remember in Week 1, I wasn’t even sure that I was going to be able to stick with this service for an entire month since there were so many issues that it seemed like it was a waste of money. Then things started to get better -the food, the services, the delivery-, and now I am going to be genuinely sorry to hit that “cancel subscription” button.

C5
C6
C7
I did roll my eyes a bit when I opened the box and realized that I was going to have to find, wash and repack all of the tiny tomatoes, but nothing was damaged and I’ve had similar things happen in the trunk of my car on the way home from the grocery store so I decided to give it a pass.
C4
The food was absolutely phenomenal this week.
Spicy Ponzu-Glazed Catfish
Asian style catfish with garlic rice and veggies? I’d eat it every week if I could.
C3
Corn & Green Bean Empanadas
I was sure there was no way I’d like these, but man, they were good. We are already planning on making them again.
C2
Fresh Basil Fettuccine
I knew I was going to love the zucchini and fresh basil pasta, and it did not disappoint. It’s one of those dishes that make you wonder why you’d ever settle for dried pasta when you could be eating fresh herb infused noodles instead.

The Verdict: I would absolutely recommend Blue Apron; in fact, Andy and I are considering going back to it after I am done with this round of subscription service reviews. I would warn all first time users that the service is only as good as your local delivery guy and to be aware that there may be a little bit more effort involved than you initially think, but the food is pretty darn good and is something that can be an interactive family experience. I’d give it one and a half thumbs up.


Thinking Inside the Box: Blue Apron Week 3

Before I get into all the posts from my Savannah, I wanted to give you guys a Blue Apron update. We just finished our third week, and things have gotten so much better!

Blue4Our box actually made it on time for the very first time. It was waiting at the door when we got home, perfectly chilled, and relatively unscathed.  Blue5One of the things I’ve really enjoyed about this service is all of the seasonal ingredients that are showcased in the various recipes. This week the focus was on corn, endive, and tinkerbell peppers, and the food was absolutely fantastic.Blue3The skill level required this week was a bit more than in previous weeks, but Andy was a champ and even made his very first jam for the grilled cheese recipe.

Blue2
Shrimp & Squid Ink Spaghetti
I’d really been looking forward to the squid ink pasta; it looked so cool, and we really enjoyed the dish. I think I typically enjoy my pasta with a bit more sauce, but with a few minor tweaks, this is something I can absolutely see us making again.
Blue1
Sweet Corn & Tinkerbell Pepper Pizza
I dropped the ball a bit with this recipe. I didn’t get enough oil on the baking sheet, and our pizza ended up practically glued to the pan. I managed to chisel it out with a very sharp spatula, but it wasn’t the prettiest plate. The kale salad that actually topped the dish was so good. It took the whole dish from, “pretty good” to “we HAVE to make this again”.
Blue7
Grilled Goat Cheese & Plum Jam Sandwiches
This was the best grilled cheese sandwich I have ever had. The goat cheese was smooth and creamy; the shallot plum jam was so perfect I actually ate the left overs out of the pan with my fingers. The tart crunchy salad kept the meal balanced and fresh. So good. I can’t even.

I am really loving this trend of the boxes getting better every week. With such a rocky start, I was wondering whether we’d even want to use the service for a full month, but now I am going to be really sad when the month is up. I can’t wait to see what is coming our way next.