Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Exciting New Dinner Options!

I'm about to confess something I'm not proud of: We've been trying out Sunbasket, one of those businesses that delivers meal ingredients with corresponding recipes every week. First, I'll tell you why I love and then I'll tell you why I hope we stop using it as soon as possible. 

Basically, we are in a big rut when it comes to cooking and eating at the Cotner-Bradford house. I do not have time to scour Pinterest for new recipes. When I do make time for it, it's a frustrating experience. I struggle to find vegetarian recipes that require few ingredients and are fast. 

I have about 30 recipes in our Meal Planning system, but I am so, so tired of them. When I buy the ingredients for them, I have to force myself to make them. 


Enter the convenience-based economy. Sunbasket delivers the recipes and ingredients for three different meals to my house each week. The meals take about 30 minutes, which is fine for our life right now (during pool season, I need much faster meals so I can get out there with the boys as soon as possible). There is still prep work to do (chopping vegetables, stirring things, cooking things, assembling things), but everything is already measured and laid out. And the quality of the recipes is delicious! They include all sorts of innovative spices and flavors. It has taken my culinary skills up one or two notches (that's not hard to do because I'm really not a good cook!). In short, I love how Sunbasket increases the quality of our life! 

But I cannot bear the environmental waste that it produces each week. There's a giant box, lots of insulation, two disposable ice-packs, and plastic bottles and containers for every.single.ingredient. I cannot justify all that waste just for my own convenience. 

In my ideal world, I would find four friends who would want to create our own little Sunbasket club. We would each pick one recipe and pull together five sets of the ingredients (in reusable tupperware). Then we would meet at a central place to exchange the ingredients. I think the likelihood of finding four other people who want this kind of commitment in their life (and it would have to be vegetarian, no less) is very, very low. I need to dedicate some time to figuring out a plan for the new year! 

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Anthropolochic said...

re: food club. It's a great idea. I hope you can implement it. I have a few friends who have done this by splitting CSA orders. It only works for part of the year, though.

We are in a similar boat re: very high demand jobs and sick of entire list of recipes (mainly vegetarian). The best I can do offer is another recipe swap.

Elizabeth said...

I recommend The Vegetarian Mother's Cookbook by Cathe Olson if you need a recipe jumpstart. The recipes are nourishing, cheap, and actually easy/fast.

Denise inJax said...

I used for years before I became an empty nester. It provides recipe suggestions (you can also add your own) and the shopping lists. These lists were what got me motivated and organized. And then my son started on dinner prep because the menu and detailed recipes were there on the bulletin board and easy for him to follow. I also loved their freezer meal options. It doesn't have the convenience of delivering the produce, but having that organized shopping list made my grocery shopping much more efficient! The recipe suggestions helped us out of a lot of ruts and better at eating whole foods rather than quick stuff that came in a box from the freezer section!

Thais said...

That plastic waste sounds heartbreaking. Especially when you have kids- I always imagine how plastic sits for hundreds of years in landfills, longer than my kids will even be around. Maybe you can join the facebook group: Power to the Veg!, it always inspires me. Or I get ideas by looking at vegetarian restaurant menus and finding an easy way to recreate them, also getting veggie cookbooks from the library to just leaf through for inspiration

Sara E. Cotner said...

Thanks for the suggestions, Everyone! I just got the boys' food sensitivity tests back and our life is about to get a whole lot more complicated! I will write more soon...

Shirahime said...

A Fork in the Trail and Another Fork in the Trail offer great hiking recipes that are vegetarian, occasionally vegan, and easily adapted to be gluten-free. They are meant to be dehydrated and taken camping, but eating them without dehydrating is quite delicious. Her Quinoa and Black Bean Stew and Unstuffed Peppers are easy to prepare before and heat up at dinner time.

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