Showing posts with label delivery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label delivery. Show all posts


AWESOME DEAL: Free Dinner Delivered!

It's a tale as old as time: Start the day with Google-worthy ambitions of preparing a 5-step, 3-course meal for dinner. Decide around lunchtime that eating the Lean Cuisine in your freezer would enable you to better spend your evening binge watching House of Cards. Go home from work and realize you ate that Lean Cuisine last week and since you've already changed into your sweats and sheepskin slippers, going to the grocery store is out of the question. So you spend way too much money on delivery, only to regret whatever you chow down on 45 minutes later because it wasn't healthy/tasty/homemade/hot/etc.

Enter Munchery. Munchery is a dinner-delivery service that's been serving chef-created meals for busy food lovers in San Francisco since 2011. Since it's NYC launch earlier this month, Munchery has collaborated with chefs like Eddie Montalvo of Blue Smoke and Rachel Hazen formerly of Pure Food and Wine to create daily menus of wholesome, affordable food.

Today's menu items include: Honey-Tea Braised Chicken Thighs with pineapple mango salad, brown rice, fresh cilantro ($10.50), Grilled Hanger Steak with creamy potato gratin, broccoli rabe, tomato confit ($13.95), and Vegan Tempeh Couscous Primavera with fava and asparagus ($10.50). They even sell desserts, drinks (including AINY favorite Harmless Harvest coconut water!), and kid-friendly items too.

The way it works is similar to any other food delivery service, but you must select your food and order by the daily deadline of 1pm. You then select the time frame that works for you--in hourly slots from 4 to 9pm--and voila! Dinner! All items are delivered cooked, chilled and packaged in microwave and oven-safe packaging for easy reheating. If you are expecting a particularly busy week, you can order meals up to 7 days in advance and never worry about what is going to satiate you when you do finally get home and around to your binge watching.

Munchery gives back as well. For every order placed, they donate a meal to a local food bank. Additionally, all packaging is made from recyclable and/or compostable materials.

Here's where it gets good...Munchery wants to buy you dinner! Sign up through this link and order up to $20 worth of food for free!

Note: Munchery does not currently deliver to certain outerborough locations (like Astoria, sad face). However, the simple solution is to have the delivery come to your office in Manhattan and just take your food home!


Make Snack Time Awesome

It's 3pm. You're turkey sandwich has already been digested but you're still hours away from your steak dinner at Benjamin's. Your stomach is growling. You have two options: spoil your dinner with a sugary purchase from the vending machine, or reach into your desk drawer for a healthy, filling snack.

Naturebox was created to bridge the gap between lunch and dinner (or breakfast and lunch for that matter!) while still keeping your diet wholesome and delicious. I was recently invited to try a monthly subscription box full of fall flavor and here is what I got:

How my box looked when it first arrived

I was pleased with the packaging, as the cardboard box ensured that my fragile snacks wouldn't be crushed or crumbled in the shipping process. I also appreciated the slip of paper explaining all about my different snacks.

As a fall-flavor nut, I was super appreciative of the thought that went into my box. First up were the apple pie oat clusters. Think of these as a cross between your favorite crunchy granola and a sweet, crisp apple. I definitely appreciated the cranberries also!

Apple pie oat clusters
Next up were the praline pumpkin seeds. I could eat these by the handful so I had to be careful to portion them out instead of continually shoving my hand in the bag. I mostly ate these on their own, but they would be great in salads! A nice mix of sweet and savory.

Praline pumpkin seeds
The pumpkin spice nom noms were, well...nommy! This snack is a limited edition (through December only) based on Naturebox's well-liked blueberry, peanut butter and dark cocoa varieties. Think of it as a healthier cookie.

Pumpkin spice nom noms

The harvest rice sticks (also limited edition--through November) were the first of my snacks to disappear. They had the perfect amount of salt and a great crunch (think Fritos). I also loved the bits of puffed wild rice that collected at the bottom of the bag.

Harvest rice sticks

What the rice sticks were salty, the cranberry pepita crisps were sweet. I'll liken these to a fall-flavored Stacy's pita chip, except the pepitas gave the crisp more texture, which I loved. These would be good on their own or dipped in hummus or even a sweet dip.

Cranberry pepita crisps

Naturebox starts at $19.95 a month for 5 full-size snacks (including shipping), and discounts are available if you commit to several months up front. It's a great deal if you like to snack healthy, and I love the convenience of having something tasty and wholesome at my desk when I get a craving. If you'd like to see if Naturebox is right for you, click here for a free trial or $10 off your first box!

Naturebox provided me with this box free of charge but all opinions listed here are my own.


AWESOME ALERT: Blue Apron is the Answer to Your Kitchen Prayers

Contrary to New York City tradition, my oven is not used for storage, and I love to cook. I love everything about cooking in fact--the way my knife sounds when slicing an onion, the spoonfuls of sauce I taste before deciding it is just right, licking the batter spoon before putting cookies in the oven, and the way my kitchen smells when I've been simmering apple sauce in my slow cooker all day long. One thing I don't like though is schlepping home heavy bags of carefully selected groceries home only to find my perfect tomato smushed at the bottom of the bag or finally getting upstairs to realize I forgot the ground turkey and have to go back out.

Enter Blue Apron. As a base description I would say this online recipe/ingredient delivery service is a cross between Birchbox, the Food Network, and Fresh Direct. Basically, the company sends out weekly emails describing their recipes for the next week (typically 3 meals a week for either a meat or vegetarian menu) and you can opt in to receive all the ingredients you need (minus only basics like salt, pepper and olive oil and basic pots and pans) hand delivered to your door. Busy that week or don't like the menu items? No problem, just opt out with no consequences. It's not a diet service so don't think of it like that, but the recipes are generally for healthy and wholesome meals (500-700 calories each).

Convenience, fresh ingredients, new recipes? I was sold and decided to give it a try (well, my coworker giving me a free week was also an added incentive!). I've been traveling a lot lately so finding a week I was going to dedicate to cooking in at least three times was not as easy as I thought it would be. My shipment looked a little like this, after I'd arranged it all pretty of course:

On first glance, I was really pleased with the quality of the food. The produce seemed as it was just plucked from the farm, the meat was all high-quality Pat LaFreida, and all of the condiment type ingredients were measured exactly to how much I needed so there would be minimal prep required on my part.

For my first meal, I went with the beef and millet stuffed bell peppers. Laying out all the ingredients was kind of fun and made me feel like I was the host of a cooking show.

The recipe cards were easy to follow and included pictures of each step along the way so you would know if you were doing something wrong before you got to the final product. For someone who never cooks, this would probably be the most advanced recipe of the week because there were several steps, but I'm confident that anyone who could slice and dice some veggies and follow instructions could complete this just fine. The finished product was scrumptious and made so much food! Each meal is supposed to be for 2 people but I easily made 3.5 meals out of it after adding another bell pepper I picked up from the grocery store.

The next meal was Italian inspired but with a twist: Spaghettini with shrimp, lemon and mint. I have never thought to use mint in a savory dish, but I loved it especially with the addition of spicy red pepper flakes. This dish also turned into 2 rather large portions and I loved that they give you enough ingredients in order to garnish your plates as well.

The last menu item was Mexican-style chopped salad with chicken and corn--a fairly basic salad, but something I've never really made like this before. The queso fresco was a nice touch as were the 2 different types of lettuce and the lime mayo dressing. Also, who knew you could slice corn fresh off the cob without cooking it? I certainly didn't.

All in all, Blue Apron was a hit in my kitchen and I will most likely try it again. This service would be perfect for someone who likes to cook but doesn't know how or doesn't have the time to shop for ingredients. It would also probably be better for a couple, because I had A LOT of food to eat that week and felt bad going out at all because I didn't want anything in my fridge to go bad. At $9.99 per person, per meal, it's cheaper than going out but potentially a bit more money than just going grocery shopping yourself. But really, who's going to measure your ketchup for you or make sure that you're cooking something new every week otherwise?

Blue Apron is available all over the country, but they are based in Brooklyn so support a local NYC company and place your order today :)

I was not paid by Blue Apron for this post. The opinions expressed here are completely my own.


Screw the Cold! Order Delivery and Get Free Stuff!

I have to admit, I don't order food for delivery that often. My philosophy is if I'm going to spend money on food from a restaurant, I'd rather make a night of it and enjoy the ambiance. However, on frigid days like today (and on lazy, especially rainy days) I make an exception.

So what did I want for lunch, I thought to myself at about 10:45 this morning when my stomach began to rumble. I could be like everyone else and use Seamless, but instead I opted to go with, and I'll tell you why. The basic concept is the same--login, pick a cuisine, add your items to your cart, list any special instructions, hand over your credit card info and the rights to your soul, and soon food will be delivered right to you without you ever having to interact with a human being (with the exception of the delivery person of course). However, is a smaller operation compared with Seamless and hence offers more perks to try and lure new customers.

For example, instead of choosing a cuisine first, I entered my office address and opted to sort the available delivery choices by discount. Low and behold there were 6 different restaurants that offered a 25% off deal for your first order. Score! I decided to order from Marrakesh because I was in the mood for hummus and I could get a shish kebab combo platter for $12.95 (includes a garden salad or rice, 2 pieces of pita, and 2 vegetarian sides including hummus, grape leaves, falafel, etc.).

Nothing surprising so far, BUT not only did I get my food and my 25% off discount, but I also received 316 loyalty points and one stamp on my loyalty card. Basically, the points can be redeemed for anything from a $5 charity donation (10,000 points) to a $50 iTunes card (125,000 points) to an 11 inch Macbook Air (1,380,000 - you have to order A LOT of delivery for this guy but I guess it's incentive to take the office's lunch orders!). In addition, you get one "punch" for every order and a $5 credit for each 10 orders no matter how much you spend.

There are other ways of earning points as well. You get 1,000 just for signing up, plus 1,000 more for each friend you invite to So what are you waiting for? Start making your delivery dinner plans for the rest of this awful freaking cold week!