I have been looking for a meal delivery plan that I can fuck with.
And I have finally at last found that in Hungry Root. But before we get into my new food obsession, I need to talk about my prior experiences with meal delivery services, because they’ve been interesting and one actually sucked.
My Hello Fresh Review
I’m not here to talk shit about other companies. At least not obviously. This place is “Fresh” and it ain’t Fresh Direct. ::hint hint::
My boyfriend was suckered into signing up for this service while working on a production in Chelsea. This company had a promotional truck in front of the Bed, Bath and Beyond on 17th Street. The brand ambassador must have been really convincing because Robin actually stopped, chatted with him for a while, got a double discount on our first 2 orders, which was extra nice of the BA. Also, brownie points to Rob for hearing me out on how frustrating grocery shopping in the winter in NYC can be.
We used Whattup, Fresh ::hint hint:: for 3 weeks and I’d be lying if I said the whole experience was bad. It wasn’t.
What I loved: The delivery sat in front of my door for at least 9 hours and nothing was spoiled. That’s dope. Each meal comes in a neat little box minus the protein; that’s separate. This made unpacking the meals and organizing my fridge super easy. When I selected my meals on the app, I was definitely excited about all the meal choices and found the little booklet of recipes adorable. There were also coupons to other services for wine delivery and sometimes clothing shops like Zara. I love me some member perks. All in all, from unboxing, to trying the food, this wasn’t a “bad” experience.
What I disliked: The protein sizes were way too small. Or maybe Rob and I eat way too much. Either way, I ended up bulking up almost every meal by adding a side of beans, rice, or an egg. Not a huge deal, but shame the meals don’t feel substantial on their own. I think this frustrated Rob the most. A positive: with creative finessing, I could sometimes squeak 3-4 servings out of one meal.
We did ultimately canceled this service. While I found the recipes fun to make (most are under 30 minutes) and I think I even learned a few things, Robin wasn’t too excited about the meals themselves.
My Blue Apron Review
Our second foray into meal delivery services was with Blue Apron. I’m not going to even hide the name here because I was so irritated with my first order. I’ve skipped all my upcoming weeks for the time being. I like to give all services a few weeks trial but my first box was such a letdown….
The box was noticeably smaller than Hello Fresh. If they’re trying to limit packaging waste, I do respect that. But after using Hello Fresh, opening the Blue Apron box just didn’t have the pizazz. A jumble of small looking produce, these tiny brown bags which I learned later held the sauces and special seasonings, and laughably small portions of protein. This made the other service’s meals look like feasts.
For example. I was super excited about receiving the Shrimp with Korean Rice Cakes meal, which features one of our favourite foods, tteok! Tteok, ordered at any recipe in NYC, is a HUGE meal. It’s a quintessential one pot, big portion, rockstar dish that is also remarkably affordable and should be a staple for anyone looking to elevate their meals while sticking to a slim budget. How could anybody mess this up?
Let’s start by this: Provide an offensively small bag of tteok. Blue Apron provided a measly 6 oz of tteok, which was maybe 22 pieces of rice cake, for a “2 person meal.” When I showed it to Robin he burst out laughing and told me to give up on the meal delivery services.
And I was so underwhelmed by the other 2 Blue Apron meals, I didn’t even bother making them. I wasn’t jazzed about either when I selected them on the app. But I didn’t have a choice. Even though there are 5 meal options, not all combinations of meals are selectable. So picking the rice cakes only left me with 2 other foods to choose from.
Due to the laughably small portion sizes, I ended repurposing the ingredients for other dishes I knew would be better.
My Hello Fresh Review
I was ready to give up on all these services…until I found Hungry Root.
I was skeptical of this one the most because it sounded too good to be true: vegan, gluten free, 7-minute meals all priced under about $7 a serving, and there’s breakfast, sides, desserts, and mains. And the sauces! Gotta love the sauces.
I saw a Hungry Root ad on New Year’s Eve offering 50% off bundles to new subscribers. I thought the meals sounded delicious, I liked the price point (even without the discount), and unlike other meal kits which make a very specific dish, I feel like Hungry Root provides really awesome, healthy, “bases” for most meals. In this scenario, I don’t mind preparing proteins of my choice (or you could add on chicken and tofu, which Hungry Root does offer) and I also find experimenting with their root bases and funky sauces fun. Also, it takes 7 minutes plus whatever time you need for your own additions. 15-minute meals or shorter are totally achievable with Hungry Root. And the portions! I really have no complaint. The food is so nourishing, with or without protein additions, I truly don’t feel the need for more food. The meals are also simple to stretch with the help of rice or a hearty green like kale.
What I Disliked: Way too much packaging. Why? 🤔🤔🤔Seriously – does every container need to be wrapped in its own paper packaging? Unnecessary. A simple sticker on the top of each container would be much better. Plus – some of the meals have nutrition and prep information that you might not want to toss away, especially if you won’t be eating a whole meal or making a whole dessert in one sitting.
At the end of the day, I need a meal delivery plan to help and support me through my day. That has to be done by either making my life simpler, easier, tastier, or healthier. Hungry Root does all 4 masterfully. So until I can afford Sakara Life, I’m going to enjoy the next few weeks of plant-based based meal planning with Hungry Root.