If I could invite anyone to a dinner party at my house, the first invites would go out to Post Malone, Ken Jennings, and Martha Stewart. Not to brag, but I feel like everyone would have a great time.
While my dream soirée may not be a go anytime soon, I did recently get one step closer to channeling Martha vibes by trying her meal subscription kit with Marley Spoon. Like so many folks during the pandemic, I went through a serious meal kit phase, which I loved not only for variety and convenience but because cooking (either solo or with a roommate or partner) was actually fun. However, when I learned that the Martha Stewart had her very own brand in the mix, I knew I had to try a box. She is goals to me, and I have to say, if I were to trust anyone to create A+ recipes, it's one Ms. Stewart. Ahead, read along as I embark on a culinary journey for the ages.
If you've tried meal kits before, you probably know how the process goes: After setting up an account, you can choose from a variety of recipes (Marley Spoon has options for carnivores, vegetarians, and everyone in between) and serving sizes based on how many folks you're cooking for. Since I live with my boyfriend, I opted for Marley Spoon's most popular option, a two-person box consisting of three meals. This came out to $10.99 per portion, with a total weekly cost of $75.93. That may sound like a lot, but if you eat out (or order in) three times a week, you're probably spending way more than $11 bucks per order anyway. Each box includes everything you'll need for each recipe (proteins, veggies, grains, etc.) with the exception of certain pantry staples like salt, pepper, oil, and eggs. The box was lined with the recycled insulated padding (pictured above), with two large reusable ice packs at the bottom of the box. Even though it was nearly 90 degrees out, everything was cool as a cucumber inside and the leafy produce looked fresh — no wilted or half-rotten situations here.
Day One: Tacos So Good I Forgot To Take A Photo
The first meal I made from my Marley Spoon box was also the fastest one. According to the recipe, it should take about 20 minutes, though it took me closer to a half hour, but I also like to take my time when cooking. When I say that Martha's Chicken Chili Tacos is the single best dish that I've ever made in 30 minutes, I'm not joking. My boyfriend was truly in shock to come home from a hospital shift to a veritable taco feast, and we positively annihilated the spread so fast that I forgot to snap a pic before. Not only was it relatively quick to assemble — I simply sliced and dressed the cabbage, cooked the ground chicken, lightly toasted the soft tortillas (a gamechanger, BTW), and voilà. A delicious meal best paired with a pack of Truly margaritas.
Day Two: Veggie Stew That Made My Apartment Smell Like A Restaurant
The second Marley Spoon dish I made was a Moroccan Vegetable Tagine. This took about a half hour as well, but the flavor party that ensued honestly tasted like it could've been simmering all day. The bulk of my time was spent chopping up veggies, but once the prep work was done, I basically tossed everything into my Perfect Pot and let it do its thing. In addition to the stew, the recipe called for a couscous pilaf with apricots, which was simply delicious and so easy to make. (The recipe also came with a Martha-approved spice blend that was utterly incredible and brought the entire thing to life, IMHO.) The entire meal was hearty and delicious but didn't leave me in a food coma. Leftovers kept great in the fridge, and the recipe will be relatively easy to recreate with ingredients from my local grocery store. As with the tacos, this recipe was a perfect example of what sets Marley Spoon apart from other meal kits: It brings the signature Martha Stewart home cooking philosophy of big flavors with the minimal effort of a meal kit right to your kitchen.
Day Three: Chinese Noodles That Were Better Than Takeout
The last dish in my Marley Spoon box, Shanghai Noodles with Sirloin Steak Strips, was my least favorite of the bunch, but only because the first two absolutely knocked my socks off. I loved how easy this dish was to prepare, but it was almost a little too simple for me. (I actually modified it to add a little spice and included some leftover red cabbage from the taco recipe.) The best way I can describe these noodles is "really good Asian street food," which isn't necessarily a bad thing; it just wasn't as exciting for me as the others, but again, I did choose it myself. I also am notoriously bad at cooking steak, which ended up taking this dish a few notches down due to user error. (The recipe card was also missing from my box, but it was totally NBD since the recipe was also available online!)
To me, Martha Stewart is the ultimate lifestyle influencer. Whether it's creating CBD products or being an absolute G on the 'gram, there is nothing she can't do. Marley Spoon is no exception, and a natural extension of the Martha brand; the ingredients were healthy, fresh, and delicious, and the recipes were by far the quickest of any from-scratch meal kit I've tried. (BTW, each recipe, regardless of how long it takes to prepare, is distilled into six steps — with photos.) I also appreciated the kit's minimal packaging; whereas some meal services I've tried package every produce item in an individual plastic bag (!), Marley Spoon encases your fruits and veggies in a brown paper bag.
Many of us may be kinda-sorta living in a post-pandemic world — i.e. not fearing eating indoors at a restaurant — and I for one am happy to see physical menus make a comeback (no shade, QR codes). However, for nights when I want to stay in and get wild in the kitchen? Let's just say I'll be hitting up my girl Martha for a recipe to impress...
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