Dinnertime is a constant struggle in our home. While we are lucky enough to always have a refrigerator and pantry full of food, I often rely on fast food or on-demand food delivery services to get us fed. I just can’t seem to get a weekly meal plan in place. I rack my brain trying to come up with varied recipes that will satisfy everyone. I fall on old stand-by meals that are often met with groans and I just don’t know how many more times my family will eat my go-to crock pot ranch chicken.
I thought I had solved the dinnertime dilemma when I signed up for a meal kit delivery service. Each kit included perfectly portioned ingredients and detailed instructions on how to put the meal together. At first, I really liked the ease of it. There were some cons though, which included, excess packaging, recipes not everyone was willing to try and extensive prep time. I found I could work around these small nuisances but when deliveries arrived with near rotting produce and questionable meat and poultry, I called it quits.
As the lazy days of summer grilling gave way to fall, I started to explore the meal kit landscape again. I wanted to see if there were competitors following the same model but with better offerings. I reached out to Martha & Marley Spoon with my dinnertime disasters and they generously sent two meals to try out and review.
Who is Martha & Marley Spoon?
There is no question that Martha Stewart has been a champion for the home cook for decades. I’ve been a huge fan of her brand for many years. I buy her books and subscribe to her magazine, I’ve watched her on television and I use her homewares. In 2016, the Martha Stewart brand partnered with Marley Spoon. But who is Marley Spoon? Marley Spoon was a rapidly growing meal kit delivery service already established in Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands, Austria, Australia and expanding throughout the U.S. Together they are able to use Martha Stewart’s extensive collection of recipes plus deliver quality ingredients to consumers.
What does Martha & Marley Spoon cost?
Martha & Marley Spoon falls in line with the cost of other meal kit delivery services. In fact, Martha & Marley Spoon illustrate on their website that cooking with them costs less than shopping from the grocery store. You can expect to spend $9 – $12 per serving depending on your choice of people to feed and how many meals per week.
How is Martha & Marley Spoon different?
I’m here to tell you that not all meal kit delivery services are the same. Rotting produce and stinky poultry are unacceptable and I’m not alone in my criticisms of that other meal kit brand. Martha and Marley Spoon pride themselves on sourcing quality ingredients. Meal selections are made with seasonal produce in mind, they offer grass-fed beef, artisanal ingredients and work with the finest purveyors to give consumers the best quality ingredients to cook with.
Knowing I would be comparing Martha & Marley Spoon to my previous meal kit experience and had high hopes that everything would be fresh when my delivery arrived. Wouldn’t you know it, Southern California was experiencing the hottest weather we’ve seen all year and I was worried about how cold everything would stay when it arrived.
I was thrilled to find all ingredients were nice and cold when I pulled the box off my front porch. Inside, there were two brown paper bags filled with ingredients for each of the meals. Under the paper bags was a layer of cardboard that lifted up and beneath that were reusable ice packs keeping all my meat and poultry chilled. The only bulky box that needed recycling was the box it arrived it. No boxes within boxes but instead compact paper bags that I tucked nicely into my refrigerator.
We had become accustom to being disappointed by the quality of ingredients in a meal kit. I knew I would be evaluating everything closely but I was so happy to find exceptionally fresh produce in my Martha & Marley Spoon delivery.
Prep, Cooking and Taste
I selected two meals: Italian Sausage Pasta Soup with Pinto Beans and Kale and Broiled Lemon Thyme Chicken with Rice and Roasted Zucchini. Both were quite tasty and I won’t even pretend that I’m a professional food styler. I snapped a few photos along the way while I cooked so you could get a sense of the process and a look at what I received from Martha & Marley Spoon.
The Italian Sausage Pasta Soup was an unfortunate choice given our warm weather when I received my meal kit. However, I cooked this meal early one morning and had it for lunch instead of working in a hot kitchen in the evening. The aroma from the cooked sausage and shallot was mouthwatering. I did struggle with stripping the kale leaves from the stems and wished I had this kitchen tool for the job. Otherwise, prepping and building the soup was easy. I wished it had a deeper broth flavor but all of its components provided a hearty and delicious meal.
The Broiled Lemon Thyme Chicken was a hit with the family. The meal kit arrived with boneless, skinless chicken thighs and unfortunately I do not like to cook or eat chicken thighs. I gave those to my neighbor and picked up a package of boneless, skinless chicken tenders to cook with instead. The recipe called to cook the jasmine rice on the stove and I was hesitant because I usually cook rice in a rice maker but the rice came out perfectly: fluffy and flavorful. Prep consisted of slicing zucchini, lemon, an onion and finely chopping thyme and garlic cloves. The combination of veggies looked beautiful before popping them in the broiler and the dijon sauce was incredibly easy to make to finish the recipe. This dinner is one I will definitely put in rotation of go-to meals going forward.
Martha & Marley Spoon will save dinnertime
All and all, I was very pleased with Martha and Marley Spoon. I think if you are looking to change up your go-to meals or get out of your dinnertime disaster, Martha & Marley Spoon won’t disappoint. The cost of the meal kit delivery is competitive with the others offered but in comparison, I think you will find the ingredients in a Martha & Marley Spoon kit are a notch above. Plus, Martha & Marley Spoon is able to draw from over 18,000 tried and true home cook recipes from classics to creative. I find it hard to imagine anyone would be forced to rely on fast food with Martha & Marley Spoon in their refrigerator.