We've been in Nevada for one year full-time now officially, and although I think we've adapted well for the most part, there are some things that we still miss about Southern California. In addition to some of our favorite restaurants and hang outs, grocery shopping in Nevada is just not the same. We knew that we had it better than a lot of other places when it came to the variety and freshness of produce when we lived there, we really didn't expect it to be so apparent here. I admit that it is not horrible everywhere, but I don't really want to have to drive 30 miles to go to a store for fresh produce or pay over the top prices at Whole Foods for every meal.
I also found that we were being rather wasteful with our food and often not making the healthiest or smartest choices. Tired tonight? Why not have mac and cheese from Albertson's deli? Yeah, not good.
Even when we were in Pasadena, we had used Blue Apron and Diet to go at various times, but both left us with complaints. Blue Apron is, as A would describe it, pretty extra. Both the ingredients, instructions and prep time got to be overwhelming. It also didn't have as much flexibility as we would have liked. They may have changed that now, but at the time we were using the service in 2014, you either took what was being offered or you didn't. Some weeks found us bypassing all the meals because one or the other of us had issues with ingredients or the recipes seemed counter-intuitive to the time we were trying to save.
We tried Diet to go just before we moved last year when life was crazy with frequent trips back and forth between states and most of our time spent working or packing. The fact that the meals were precooked and simply needed to be warmed up seemed like a big benefit as well as being controlled portions. The only problem was the food was just passable and they seemed to have a dependency on using red bell peppers in almost every meal which are a vegetable D simply will not eat. He was living off of the same three dinner entrees every week which just got so boring for him. Also, after a few days, the meals just didn't taste fresh.
After subscribing to both Martha Stewart Living and Everyday Food for several years, I trusted that any meal service she was lending her name to would have quality fresh food; it was just a matter of how elaborate and time consuming the recipes would be.
Happily we have found all the menus easy to prepare, quick and the recipe creators seem to understand the concept of not wanting to dirty every pan in the house while you are cooking dinner. The dishes are usually a straight-forward mix of protein, healthy carb although there are always low-carb options every week if you have wheat issues or are on a low carb diet, and plenty of vegetables.
We feel like we are eating a really balanced diet and since there are only three of us utilizing the meal plan that is meant for two adults and two children, we always have enough left overs to feed two of us for lunch the next day.
The thing I really enjoy about Marley Spoon though is the flexibility. Every week there are 10 menu options from which we choose four meals. Options include vegetarian and a mix of beef, poultry, fish and pork protein options. We always seem to choose at least one vegetarian meal as well as the fish, but I have never felt like I didn't have options that would work for us. Plus Marley Spoon has an app, so I can always pull the next week's meals up on my phone or iPad to make changes up until a few days before the delivery. It's easy to skip a week like we did last week while we were on vacation. You have the ability to look at the entire recipe prior to choosing a meal to see if it will be too time consuming or complicated, but I've never had an meal that took longer than 30 minutes to prepare. Everything arrives in a box that looks way too small to hold four meals compared to the number of bags I'm usually carrying in from a grocery store trip plus they are well cooled and insulated when being delivered here in the Nevada heat.Once you open the box, each meal is individually bagged so you don't have to sort through everything looking for items for each meal. Blue Apron used to put all the ingredients for all four meals jumbled into the box together, and we would have to do an inventory to make sure everything had arrived and then we would put them into bags ourselves to keep them straight.
Also the customer service has been amazing. Two weeks ago, they had an issue getting our box out in time and not only did I receive an email from them, they called to make sure I would have enough time to pick up something for dinner. Last week, one of our recipes called for ciabatta rolls which were missing from the box. I went onto the website and chatted with a customer service rep who apologized and offered me a discount off of my next box to make up for the inconvenience.
If you don't believe that anything could be this good, I have a chance for you to try it yourself. I have three boxes up for grabs. All you have to do is leave a comment here with either an email address or your Instagram name and either follow my Instagram or subscribe to the blog. I will choose the recipients of the boxes randomly next Monday, July 17.