If “cooking” a meal from Blue Apron is too much work for you, or you’re challenged for good take out or delivery, RealEats might be just what you need.
It’s a weekly meal delivery service, with a rotating menu of about 18 entrée choices. They’re all single portions, which is great if you’ve got a family that has mixed food preferences. You can feed them all something they’ll enjoy at the same time and only have one pot to deal with.
If you can boil water, you can cook everything RealEats has.
All the food is based on a sous-vide technique, or for those of us old enough to remember—boil-in bags.
You plop the vacuum sealed bags in a pot of boiling water for up to 6 minutes. Open the packets, plate them, et voilà, dinner.
All the ingredients are responsibly sourced and non-GMO.
They offered me my choice of 4 meals to try. Since everything on that week’s menu looked pretty good, I left it up to them to pick.
I got a cute box on my doorstep a couple of days later, with a bunch of plastic pouches nestled in an insulated pouch surrounded by ice packs. They’re very conscious about their packaging, keeping it to a minimum and everything is either recycled or recyclable.
RealEats sent us Beef Bourguignon, Honey Soy Salmon, Harissa Chicken Bowl and Farrotto. Each meal consisted of about 3 separate pouches (about a dozen pouches total) all labeled with what they were and how long they needed to cook (if at all).
I was surprised that someone hadn’t thought to color-code all the labels (think Garanimals) so you could put the ingredients for each dish together without having to read the label. And you have to have refrigerator space (which if you don’t cook, you probably would have) for all the packets.
Beef Bourguignon was tasty, flavorful but with no real taste of wine. The beef was nicely cooked and went well with the roasted Cipollini onions. The only disappointing note was the mashed cauliflower and white beans. It was a great accompaniment for soaking up the sauce from the beef and onions, but there was a flavor in there that neither of us were crazy about.
Next up was the Honey Soy Salmon. The ginger carrots that accompanied the fish and brown rice were nicely undercooked, with a little crunch to them and a lot of flavor. The salmon was cooked all the way through, which left it a little dry. I’ve gotten used to salmon being served slightly undercooked so that might just be my personal preference. The brown rice with it was flavorful, but also a bit dry.
We were both surprised by the Farrotto. It was one of the new vegetarian options made with farro cooked in the style of risotto with spring vegetables and topped with a mixture of Parmesan cheese with some red pepper flakes tossed in. It was by far our favorite dish, and one we would definitely order again!
The last dish was the Harissa Chicken Bowl. It was one I was hoping they would send because it sounded great—grilled chicken with harissa is always good by me. The chicken was perfectly cooked—hard with chicken breasts, but there was no spice or hint of harissa. The roasted sweet potatoes were sadly undercooked—okay for carrots but not potatoes, except for one morsel that was nice and tender. The brown rice was dry, but greens were good.
I’m thrilled to know about RealEats because it’s a great option for when you know you’ve got a tough week coming up and don’t/won’t feel like cooking. It’s also good for families where everyone eats something different, people who for whatever reason can’t cook, anyone looking for portion control, it’s a fun way to add variety and unfamiliar ingredients to your repertoire and maybe the most important? You’ll have an immediate answer to “what’s for dinner?”