Sun Basket Meal Service Review

I purchased this box myself, but I am a member of the Sunbasket affiliate program and this post does contain affiliate links.

It's been a while since I tried out a food subscription box, but some of my favorite posts are my older posts about them, so I decided to try out Sun Basket, which offers organic, sustainable, healthy meals from the West Coast.

I have a "bad blogger" confession- Earlier this year, they sent me a box to review, and I forgot to ever write the post because I was in the middle of house hunting and then moving. So I decided after we got settled, I would purchase a box myself and do a review of it. I did really enjoy the first box, but I can't find the photos or info about it any more, so today's review is from the box I purchased.

What's in the box?
Yummy recipes and food!
If you are not familiar with how these services work, basically you go to their website, sign up and choose from a variety of meals available for the upcoming week. They send you recipes and the ingredients for the recipes. Typically you just need to have some oil, salt and pepper on hand and they provide the rest. I don't want to overload this post with FAQ's, but they do have a nice explainer under "Learn" on their site. There's also an offer as of right now (October 2016) to get $30 off your Sun Basket order with this link.

IMPORTANT: If you sign up, you are also signing up for a subscription, so you have to make sure you visit the site weekly and either choose your meals or skip, or eventually cancel if you decide it's not for you. I tested out skipping as well as cancelling and both were very easy and possible through the website.

OK, so now for the good stuff. The food! I got three different meals of two portions each in my box this week. We're cooking for two around here, but you can also choose meals for four if that makes more sense. Some single people like to use meal services like these to make extra portions for lunches as well. In my box this week, I got a fish dish, a chicken dish, and a vegetarian dish. I will write another post later this week or next about the fish and chicken, but tonight I made the vegetarian dish.

Sun Basket packages all the ingredients for each recipe inside its own bag. This is really nice because I have tried other meal services where you kind of had to dig around in the box and figure out what went with what. The only items not in the bags are the proteins, but those are pretty easy to figure out. So here's what was packaged up for the vegetarian pasta dish:

Meal Ingredients
The name of the recipe, Pappardelle with Cremini Mushrooms, Ricotta, and Rosemary*, is on the bag, and then once you open it and unceremoniously dump it out on the counter, you see all the ingredients needed. The recipe was included on a separate card in the box. I didn't want to show a photo of it since it is probably copyrighted, but they did a really nice job of laying out the instructions step-by-step and letting you know how much time things would take.

*Is anyone but me ready to hearken back to the days when recipes had fancy names, like Chicken A La King or Beef Wellington, rather than being a list of ingredients? I digress.

Anyway, I did use the card as a guide for the order I did things in, since I have learned over and over again with these meal prep boxes that doing your prep work first is a great idea. Not that I 100% listened, but if you were an absolute beginner cook, I think you would still be able to follow along and do this recipe.

So you do all the steps, follow the picture, and get your stuff cooking on the stove.
Dinner is Almost Ready!
Cleanup takes about 90 seconds because you literally just have to toss away all the little packaging, put your cutting board and knife in the sink, and wipe down the countertop. Some people don't like meal prep boxes because of all the little packaging, but this is a super convenient service so I don't get too shook up over it. If you are a very organized person who shops weekly for gourmet ingredients and wonderful recipes, more power to you! You are winning at life!  Me, I can barely get myself to the pet store in time to keep my cats fed, so having a convenient service like this where the stuff arrives on my doorstep portioned out already and still being able to make a wonderful organic meal for the price of fast food- I will take it.   

Sun Basket actually does provide a way for you to send back the used ice packs and boxes for reuse. I'm not sure if I will do that because I live in a place that does recycling, so I don't know if it is really very environmental to mail my trash to California. I think it might actually be more helpful to save the ice packs for future use of my own and reuse the boxes myself or give them to someone who might be moving. 

OK, Dinner is done! 
Yum
Doesn't it look great? Basically, it's a vegetarian pasta with toasted walnuts (that I burned slightly but they still tasted OK), ricotta and lemon as a garnish. This is where I love meal services! We eat pasta multiple times per week, but we don't think of these creative nice touches. If I had made this on my own, it probably would have just had mushrooms, onions, spinach, and maybe some garlic powder. It would have had way more pasta and way less toppings, which isn't really as good for you. 

Also, it's really fun to have these special meals, eat at the table with my husband, talk about the meals and be inspired by what to cook next. Hubby likes it too- We both really like food and it's really easy to get stuck in a rut of cooking the same stuff or eating takeout. The cost of $11.49 per meal is probably more than you pay for every meal if you are super frugal and always cook at home, but it's a good deal for a unique, healthy, fresh meal. 

I will definitely use Sun Basket again. Because of its organic and sustainable commitment, as well as little touches like the ingredients all being packaged together and the cards being written out and well designed and easy to follow, it's squeaking out a little ahead of the other ones I have tried. I can't see myself ever using a service like this weekly, but it's easy to skip, so I am going to stay subscribed and do it maybe one week a month.

I'm going to follow up later this week or next with the fish and chicken recipes, so let me know in the comments if you have any questions!

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