I’ve always loved cooking. Whether for myself or for others, there’s just something so much more gratifying about sitting down to something you put the time into making.
But since moving to NYC two years ago, I just haven’t found my rhythm. Grocery shopping in the city is different and somehow seems more of an effort than it was in DC. Time always seems in short supply. And there’s this incredible thing I’ve been introduced to called Seamless (please hold your laughter – it wasn’t popular in DC!) that will deliver any and all takeout to my front door with the click of a button.
Needless to say, finding the time and making the effort to cook during the week has moved lower on the priority list. Which I want to do something about, because I know that cooking at home is better for some many reasons: it’s healthier and easier on my wallet, and I enjoy it as a fun and creative outlet.
After reading my post on Daily Harvest – which by the way, is the honest-to-goodness easiest and quickest smoothie delivery service I’ve ever seen – the lovely people over at Terra’s Kitchen reached out. We know you’re a time-strapped New Yorker balancing the fine line between convenience and cooking healthy food – we might have the answer for you! Give us a try?
And after looking at their website and seeing what they offered, I have to admit, I was truly intrigued. First of all, their food philosophy made my heart pitter patter:
- Eat real food: Our highest quality food sources are derived naturally and directly from la terra (the Earth). The TK Way is a mindful approach to healthy eating. That’s why our recipes are plant-strong, nutrient dense, and we never use artificial or processed ingredients.
- Care for the earth: We care about where we get our food, and we care about how it affects the Earth. That’s why we take every extra step to find sustainable food sources and reduce our impact on the environment.
- Use smart technology: We believe in the power of educating to create lasting change and we are committed to promoting the health of our members through practical tools and valuable resources.
Aside from having an ethos I feel strongly about, I’ve researched many a meal delivery service and, quite frankly, most don’t offer dishes that look that good to me. I don’t eat most meat, and don’t want to spend lots of time prepping and chopping and figuring out what the heck I’m supposed to do with this paste or that sauce.
When cooking for myself during the week, I value minimal ingredients and minimal effort with maximum nutrition. That means building a dish that’s mostly veggies, with maybe a side of lean chicken breast or fish.
All this to say, I agreed to try and review Terra’s Kitchen because it was something I was truly interested in and appealed to what I was looking for: a way to cut down on my take out orders by giving me quick + nutritious dishes made of wholesome, seasonal ingredients, all while keeping things fun in the kitchen.
So how does it work?
Ordering and shipping: Orders are placed via their website. Each meal has two servings, but to be honest, sometimes I found myself polishing off the entire thing solo. In my opinion, this service will work well for those who are either (a) cooking for two and okay with smaller portions or (b) cooking for one and okay with a little bit of leftovers.
The ingredients come in a big refrigerated box, or “vessel.” The cool thing about this is that it’s reusable. You just take the ingredients out, peel off the shipping label (the return label is already underneath), and FedEx comes to pick it up the next day to send back to Terra’s Kitchen for reuse. Easy.
Packaging: Each ingredient container is labeled with a number, which corresponds to the recipe it is used for. I liked this because it made my life easier when hunting in the fridge for exactly the right things to use. I just looked for the right number, added the ingredient to my recipe, and tossed the clear plastic container in the recycling bin.
Timing and prep: The shipment comes with big recipe cards for each meal. Everything from Terra’s Kitchen will take 30 minutes or less – and believe me, I timed all of them, and they were truly that quick! I would have never guessed that I could whip up roasted salmon with mango chutney and blueberry rice in less than 25 minutes.
Easy to read recipes: I loved the big recipe cards because they take you through each portion of the preparation step by step with text and photos – a huge plus for visual learners like myself. They also included fun facts about some of the ingredients + wine pairings for each meal, if you are so inclined to get a little fancy with your gourmet self.
Quality and taste: Each meal I made was really tasty, and the ingredients were all extremely fresh. Even the avocado they sent for the sweet potato tacos was perfectly ripe. I couldn’t believe it – I can’t even find one that good when searching through the bin at the store. Also, I truly appreciated knowing that my food (especially the meats and fish) were coming from local producers who practice environmentally friendly and sustainable agriculture and promote animal welfare on their farms and ranches.
Now, nothing about the recipes were mind blowing, but my cooking rarely is. I’m not looking to be the next top chef on a Tuesday after work. Instead, the meals were what I needed them to be: satisfying, healthy, and full of ingredients I felt good about. I’d have to say my favorite of all was the turkey meatballs with homemade tomato sauce. SO GOOD.
Cost: If you order three meals a week (each intended for 2 people), the estimated cost is about $75. That breaks down to about $12 per person, per meal. If you opt for all vegetarian meals, the price is less. It’s definitely cheaper than going out to eat, and for the quality of the ingredients and time put back into your day, I think it’s very fair. I would definitely use Terra’s Kitchen again when I know I have a busy week but want to keep those late-night sushi or pad thai binges at bay.
So there you have it! I really loved my experience with Terra’s Kitchen and want to send them a big thank you for working with me on this review. I think they’re a great option for those who want to fuel their healthy lifestyle but still value quick + easy home cooking. Yum!