11 May, 2012
Food Neighbor Recipe Delivery ServiceComments : 2 Posted in : Food, Product Reviews on by : The Gourmez
About a month ago, I was contacted by Clay Williamson to try out his new business called Food Neighbor. It’s a grocery delivery service. More precisely, it’s a recipe ingredient delivery service. Clay offers a selection of recipes midweek, then orders can be placed for the next week. Then he purchases the ingredients from Whole Foods and local farmers’ markets, portions them out, and delivers them to your house on the following Monday or Thursday — your choice. All you need to do is chop up the veggies and meat and cook the dish you ordered.
Clay asked if I wanted to try out Food Neighbor for the blog, and I said, “Free food? Sure!” I’m easy like that. He arrived a few days later with two huge bags of food. Each individual ingredient was packaged separately, from the herbs to the tablespoons of milk and soy sauce.
Now that is quite the bounty of food! I appreciate the bright color of the bags and the care that Clay takes in clearly labeling what everything is. However, the sheer amount of packaging seems like overkill to this recycler — perhaps group those veggies together in one bag and all the little plastic ramekins in another rather than giving each its own?
Included with the ingredients were recipe cards for two nights’ worth of meals.
Now, those recipes say they are portioned for two, but they each made at least twice that amount, and I don’t think I skimp on portion sizes. I even refused to use about a third of the zucchini and new potatoes because I knew it would be just too much food, and so I was able to use them in other meals later that week. Thus, you do not need to worry about not having enough food, and you may end up with extra to inspire another dish later in the week. Can’t complain about that!
I decided to make the turkey lettuce wraps first. The recipe was easy to follow, and other than accidentally using too much soy sauce, it turned out great.
That’s one serving size. A few nights later, I made the pork tenderloin with the squash medley and classic mashed potatoes. I roasted it rather than use the grill as the recipe called for, but the pork was very succulent either way. The mashed potatoes were a simple dish, and they tasted fantastic. I’d recommend cooking the squash for a shorter amount of time than specified, but that’s because I like my veggies to retain some crispness. Unfortunately, I accidentally deleted my picture of the end result — bad blogger! Rest assured, the portion sizes were still very generous.
So what do I think about Food Neighbor? The convenience of having all the ingredients just show up on my doorstep is appealing, and it’s a great idea for those nights when I don’t have the brain power to even try and figure out what I want to cook. Clay’s recipe choices change every week; they are culled from various recipe sites online and include a range of options like pork kebobs with pineapple rice, chicken taco salad, and strip steak and tequila-grilled shrimp — I do love variety in my life. However, I think the price would be an obstacle for me. This week, the brown-sugar-glazed salmon for four would cost about $70 and that strip steak for two would be $46. Those prices, of course, include the luxury of not having to go shopping or figuring out my own recipes and portions and just having the ingredients arrive on my doorstep. But if I’m spending that kind of money on a meal, I don’t want to cook it myself — I want the laziness that comes with restaurant dining and prices.
I must conclude that I don’t see myself becoming a regular Food Neighbor customer. But if all that convenience and those quality ingredients sound good to you, then give it a try. How? Head to the Food Neighbor website and create an account. You’ll get the weekly e-mail of recipe options, then you can order online and get your first delivery the next week. It’s not a subscription service, so you are under no obligation to buy a meal every week. Just do it when you want to or perhaps when you know a busy week is ahead. Clay is currently delivering to any Triangle address.
Thanks again, Clay, for offering me the chance to check out Food Neighbor and providing my husband and I with two great meals.