Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Fagan Eats Paleo Product Review: Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service

Ginger-Turkey Meatballs in Coconut Milk Broth Courtesy of Sun Basket.

I love, love, love trying new things.  And new Paleo-friendly food delivery services are no exception.  This past week, I tried out Sun Basket...

Sun Basket

Sun Basket is a meal kit delivery service based out of the Bay Area.  Chef Justine Kelly, formerly of the well-known San Francisco restaurant, Slanted Door, works with local farmers to provide excellent ingredients for her recipes.  The produce is organic and non-GMO, and the sourcing of the ingredients is responsible--so, think grass-fed meats, sustainably sourced fish, and pastured eggs. But how is it in practice, you ask?

I received my Sun Basket (pictured at the top) on a Tuesday because that's just when it arrives.  There is no option for any alternative delivery date.  You confirm some time the week before for delivery the following Tuesday.  The packaging is quite nice, with ample insulation and cold-packs. In fact, you can even recycle it by using the printable labels on their website.

Inside the Sun Basket.

I got to choose three different meals.  Each meal is about $21-$22.  And each meal had two servings. Of course, I selected all Paleo-friendly options: salmon puttanesca with sauteed chard; beef stir fry with broccolini and snap peas; and ginger-turkey meatballs in coconut milk broth. The ingredients for each recipe came in separately labelled bags.  

Everything is labelled.  And I mean everything. 

Ingredients for salmon puttanesca.
The first night I made the salmon puttanesca because I wanted the fish to be as fresh as possible.  First off, the quality of the ingredients is beyond reproach.  Stunning.  See those garlic cloves in the above photo?  Some of the most perfect-looking garlic cloves I've ever come across.  They must do some serious quality control at Sun Basket.  

Sun Basket provides recipe cards for each meal with very simple and easy instructions.  They say that each recipe takes about 10 minutes of prep and about 25 minutes cooking time.  Roughly. Some do vary.  I must say, though, that I believe the cooking/prep times to be inaccurate. Each recipe, by the time prep and cooking was all said and done, took at least an hour.  And that's time I'm not used to spending in the kitchen on weeknights because I usually do all my meal prep over the weekend.  My stomach was growling.  

Salmon Puttanesca
Salmon puttanesca
The salmon was very flavorful.  I had no problems with it.  Simple to make.  It just didn't wow me. Good, but not knock-your-socks-off amazing.  

Beef Stir fry ingredients
Ingredient for beef stir fry.
The next night I decided to make the beef stir fry, because I was really craving beef.  At this point, I was struggling with how to fit cooking these meals (yea, on day two, haha) into my evenings because it did take quite a bit of time.  But i'm no food-waster, so I made the time.  

Beef Stir Fry
Beef Stir Fry
The beef stir fry was good, but not great.  The sauce was a little watery, and I think it's a little too easy to overcook the beef.  But nevertheless, it was solid.  Plus, I don't cook much Asian-inspired cuisine, so it got me out of my comfort zone, which I always appreciate.  

Ingredients for Ginger-Turkey Meatballs with Coconut Broth.
The last night I made the ginger-turkey meatballs with the coconut milk broth.  And I must say that this recipe was my absolute favorite.  

Ginger turkey meatballs with coconut milk broth.
It makes tons of sense that this was the best, since the chef has quite a bit of experience working with these ingredients at Slanted Door.  The dish was packed with flavor and left me licking my bowl--and marshaling every last ounce of willpower not to eat the portion I set aside for my boyfriend. 

The only downside to this recipe is that the meatballs were crazy wet.  The recipe suggested freezing them for ten minutes so they'd be easier to form. I froze them for 20 minutes, and they were still way too wet and hard to work with. Fortunately, the flavor was so amazing that I soon forgot about my meatball-forming woes.  

My boyfriend certainly loved this service, mostly because he was a beneficiary of this little experiment every night he came home from work. All in all, I think Sun Basket is really a positive meal kit experience, and I would definitely recommend giving it a try.  --J

P.S. As always, my little disclaimer is that I was not paid to write this review, and I did not receive any free products.  

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