Hello friends, long time no talk. It’s been over a week since I posted here. I know it’s cliché, but life has been beyond hectic lately. It seems like the older I get, the crazier the holiday season gets. So when I got an email with the subject line “Let us plan your meals this holiday season” I perked up immediately.
I was recently contacted by a new Boston-based meal subscription service called Just Add Cooking to do a review. The concept is simple: choose which meals you’d like to make for the week ahead, and Just Add Cooking will ship you all the pre-measured ingredients you need to make them. All you need to do is just add cooking!
I made my meal selection with a few parameters:
- Something that I wouldn’t normally make at home.
- Something that would appeal to my carnivore fiance.
- Something that sounded delicious.
With those guidelines, I made my selection:
- Oven Baked Fish with Fennel and Dill
- Flank Steak with Cheddar Grits
- Sesame Chicken in a Pan
When my box arrived on Sunday, I was pleasantly surprised at the size of the box. The big complaint I always hear from others who use subscription meals is that the packaging is a waste. The boxes are too large or there is too much unnecessary packaging. The only ingredients in the Just Add Cooking box were the meats and fish, the portioned rice and grits, and the seasonings. All the vegetables were left loose in the box. I really appreciated the lack of packaging. Plus, everything was recyclable.
The first meal I made was the Oven Baked Fish with Fennel and Dill. The recipe page was really easy to follow. It included a list of all the ingredients, a calorie count, a photo of the finished dish, and a cooking timeline to help you keep on track. I really appreciated the timeline. I hate it when a meal takes longer to cook than expected because you don’t know the recipe well enough to be efficient with your time. The Just Add Cooking timeline tells you when you should be following each step in relation to one another. I even made one meal faster than the timeline called for.
Later in the week I made the Sesame Chicken in a Pan. I had to sub cooking it in a pan for cooking it in a pan and then a baking dish because I didn’t have an oven-safe pan. Note to self: make sure to add that to the wedding registry.
Friday night I made the Flank Steak and Cheddar Grits. I can’t believe I’ve never tried making grits before! They’re so easy and were absolutely delicious.
- I really appreciated that all the ingredients were measured and ready for each ingredient. It was so easy to just pour the whole package of grits into the pan. No thinking about measuring, no time wasted.
- The food was fresh. The snap peas were crisp and the carrots were bright. Even after 5 days in the fridge, the ingredients for flank steak meal were fresh and ready to go.
- The recipes were very easy to follow and were uncomplicated. A couple of times the instructions were not 100% clear. For example, I had never used fennel before and the recipe didn’t explain how to break it down, so I had to Youtube how to slice fennel. No harm, no foul, but I can see that being a bit of a problem if there’s an ingredient you’ve never used before.
- Overall, Bernie and I thought that the recipes all needed a little more seasoning than they called for. I found myself adding a lot more salt and pepper than recommended. I know that it’s a challenge because these meals have to appeal to lots of different palates, but I was craving a bit more flavor, especially in the fish dish. The fish flavor got lost with the fennel.
- My meals were created to feed two people and I thought there was plenty of food for both me and Bernie, who tends to like 1 1/2 servings whenever I cooked.
- I think Just Add Cooking is ideal for anyone who has limited time during the week to meal plan or wants to try new recipes but doesn’t want to have to buy a lot of one ingredient in order to try it.
- Ordering and cancelling your box online is easy and the website is beautiful. I appreciate a well-designed website with easy user experience.
Big thanks to Just Add Cooking for the opportunity to try out your great service. If you’re curious about meal subscriptions and live in the Boston-area, I encourage you to take a look at Just Add Cooking. If you’re interested in learning more, check out their website!
**Disclaimer: I received a 3-meal trial courtesy of Just Add Cooking in exchange for an honest review. I received no other compensation. All thoughts and opinions are my own.**