Innovative vegan entrees take time and energy to prepare. When that time is the weekday and your energy for shopping and innovation is low, it’s nice to have a dinner alternative—besides takeout. Relished Foods understands the end-of-day brain drain and creates creative and healthy meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare and are exceptionally delicious. When the company contacted me to as if I wanted to try two vegan entrees, I quickly said “yes” (and thank you!). As a teacher on her feet all day, I would rather have a canned tuna dinner rather than stand in line at the supermarket after work.
Vegan Entrees and More
Besides vegan entrees, Relished Foods has meals for vegetarians, pescetarians, and omnivores. The menu changes each week, and includes entrees, soups, and sides such as “Sweet and Smoky Barbecue Tofu Tacos,” “Honey Glazed Cedar Plank Salmon,” and “Organic Balsamic Chicken Salad.” The meal ingredients arrive expertly packaged, well insulated, and surrounded by frozen ice packs. A visual recipe with serving suggestions is also included.
I loved reaching into the fridge after work and just grabbing a neatly packed bag of ingredients for the vegan entrees. The mise-en-place at my fingertips was convenient, because gathering ingredients together after a long day can be a bit taxing–not to mention realizing that there is a missing ingredient. Like I said, I would rather eat a can of tuna than go food shopping after work.
Of course the ingredients are super fresh, as I expected that they would be. All ingredients were individually packaged and labeled. I experienced less stress getting dinner on the table (each entree was prepared after a workday), and I enjoyed setting such attractive meals on the table for the family. There are also drink pairing suggestions included with the recipes.
Suggestions for Cooks
- Read the recipe thoroughly before cooking. One of my faults as a cook following another’s recipe is that I will just plunge into cooking with assumptions and only half read the recipe. For these vegan entrees, I assumed that the ingredients were pre-rinsed. It says to rinse ingredients in the recipe, but I almost skipped that step by assuming that the ingredients were pre-rinsed.
- Remove ingredients from the bag that need to ripen. The “Mexican Sweet Potato Hash” entree included an avocado. Normally, I would not refrigerate an avocado. I would let it continue to ripen on the kitchen window sill. I left all the Relished Foods’ ingredients in the bag, and the avocado was as hard as an apple when I was ready to use it.
- Relax and have fun. It’s a comfort to know that dinner is, literally, in the bag.
Suggestions for Relished Foods
- Let us know if there will be leftover ingredients. For example, the onion I received for the “Mexican Sweet Potato Hash” was very large. I didn’t use it all, but I wasn’t sure if I should have used it all. If an ingredient, like the avocado, should ripen outside of the bag, make that suggestion in the recipe (I decided not to use the avocado crema, because the result was not not creamy.) Even without the crema, the hash was incredibly delicious.
- Keep creating tasty and visually appealing dishes–including vegan entrees.