One of the top food trends of 2016 expands on fast food delivery. Remember when your choices were simple—just pizza or Chinese? Now consumers are demanding nutritious, fresh meals and they don’t mind paying more, according to Forbes. Five years ago I first noticed meal kits. A kitchen business would portion out all the fresh ingredients needed for a recipe, with an easy recipe provided; you would then pick up the meal kit and cook it yourself at home so it was semi-homemade (you could easily take full credit and no one would know!). I loved this concept as it helped nervous novice cooks learn how to use real ingredients, not just a package dumped into boiling water. This evolved into home-delivered meal kits like the popular Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, which even my dietitian foodie friends use.
The Foodery in Boston spins it differently by delivering a completely cooked, healthful meal to your door, at prices that are comparable to a moderately priced restaurant dinner. They offer a different menu every week with each meal containing a lean protein, starch and vegetable. Prices vary from $25-28 for a 2-portion meal, and $36-40 for a 4-portion meal. The ingredients include locally grown organic produce and animal proteins raised without antibiotics or hormones, again sourced as locally as possible. Each meal is calorie-controlled to contain 575-725 per serving, with a full ingredients and allergens list provided.
Cofounder Mike Speights shares why he is so passionate about The Foodery: “The simple answer is that what we’re doing is important work. Our food system is broken and for the most part, it’s a challenge to find truly nourishing, convenient food. Thankfully, things are changing for the better, and we’re excited to be on the forefront of this food movement with our nourishing family meals. Our customers are extremely vocal about the foods we craft, the positive impact we’re making on their lives and constantly sharing ways we can make The Foodery even better.”
I was offered a tasting of their menu to give my honest opinion. To order, you will peruse their menu choices online and place your order by Thursday 10 am for a meal delivery on Sunday 6-9pm. Right now delivery is limited to the Greater Boston area. There were six menu options and they all looked colorful and fresh, though I was disappointed there was not at least one vegetarian/vegan option. Many of the side and main dishes do include whole grains, beans and vegetables. I chose Honey Marinated Chicken, Pomegranate Carrots, Bulgur Wheat and Minted Peas, and a second meal of Ancho Beef Chili with Lime Brown Rice and Black Bean Veggies. They texted a confirmation the day of the delivery.
The food arrived chilled in aluminum containers with portions that were pretty generous. After tasting the entrees, I had mixed feelings. Though there were hints of seasoning, both meals were kind of bland and tasted low in sodium. On one hand, I do appreciate and prefer a low sodium meal so that I can add just enough salt or spices to my taste preference, rather than deal with a too-salty meal which is unfixable. I shared some of these meals with my parents who both have high blood pressure, so they appreciated the lesser seasoning. On the other hand, the lack of flavor didn’t make a great first impression.
The ancho beef chili meal tasted better overall. The beef was mildly spiced and mixed with kidney beans, tomatoes and Poblano peppers. The sides were lime brown rice and a black bean veggie blend. It also came with a small container of optional Monterey Jack cheese. There were about a dozen herbs and spices listed though I could only recognize hints of them. The ingredients were very fresh.
The honey chicken breast was moist but the sauce was thin and bland. The carrots were undercooked (still slightly crunchy), and the bulgur was really dry. I loved the peas and the optional side container of sesame seeds to mix in, which added nice crunch and richness.
The next day I experimented by making a vegan creation, mixing together all of the grains and vegetables from both meals and adding my own mashed spiced lentils…and a little salt! Not bad at all 🙂
I applaud The Foodery for their great ingredients and nutritionally balanced, calorie-controlled, low sodium choices (especially in light of the recent hoopla over FDA’s new sodium reduction goals). Prices are very reasonable for the quality of food and delivery. Nutritionally it’s a big step up from the usual pizza delivery. From the photos above you can see that the food looks like delicious home cooking.
Two improvements that would make me stand up and cheer is just a little more flavor and richness, which I know is very challenging if you’re trying to meet calorie and sodium limits…and at least one vegan option, something like a yummy beans and quinoa dish with a side of roasted vegetables sprinkled with sesame seeds? Pretty please?
I recommend trying The Foodery and letting me know your experience, or if there was a dish you particularly loved! The Foodery is offering a special 20% discount for first time users. Enter the code RDrrEatWell2016 at checkout.