Three weeks in our food box subscription from Marley Spoon. So far, so good: here are some pics and review.

We have tried some food box subscriptions the past couple of years (De Krat and Hello Fresh and some other foodie boxes), as it is rather convenient to get your shopping and recipes for a couple of days done at the same time. Consequently, you don’t have to get your inspiration going and shop well ahead in the weekend or do that last-minute at the supermarket every day after work.

We were initially excited but ended up canceling them after about half a year. Things that – at the time – were not appealing for us were:

  • not being able to choose what recipes and/or ingredients you would get
  • lack of flexibility on the protein side (all meat/fish box or veggies only)
  • lack of flexibility on delivery times (goodbye Saturday morning as the delivery could be somewhere between 9.00 and 13.00)
  • getting way too many ingredients (a bottle a soy sauce for 2 tablespoons in the recipe or a whole cabbage for only 150g needed in the recipes), so I ended up throwing ingredients that had gone off
  • monotony overtime in the recipes (hello, third bottle of soy sauce in two month’s time for another slight variation on the same fried rice dish…)

Perhaps they have changed for the better over time, but as the kids’ palates are developing more and more, we thought it was the time to give a new one on the Dutch market a try: Marley Spoon.

They started here in the Netherlands early 2015, but are also active in the UK, Germany, the US, and Australia. Their premise is clear: you can order a food box each week and about a week and a half before delivery you will get 7 recipes that are based on your own taste profile that you can indicate on their website. You order per 2 portions (up to 12) and will get high-quality ingredients – organic where possible – that will keep for at least 4 days and only the quantities you actually need for the recipes.

Spelt spaghetti with Red pepper meatballs
Spelt spaghetti with Red pepper meatballs

At about EUR 5-7 per portion, not the cheapest food box around, but also not excessive for what you get (such as pork and beef sourced from Lindenhoff, poultry and wild game from Pieter van Meel and fish from Jan van As). We have the idea that we are upping our vegetable intake as well as many times there are side salads too.

Grilled chicken with corn mashed potatoes and green beans
Grilled chicken with corn mashed potatoes and green beans

So far we’re quite pleased. The 7 recipes have left us plenty of options choosing 3 dinners for all 4 of us and we always have options to choose separate portions for the kids and ourselves. The box is delivered on Tuesday evening, so we use it Wednesday through Friday and have our hands free during the weekend to do some more adventurous stuff.

Chicken Soup with vegetables and pasta
Chicken Soup with vegetables and pasta

As you can see, a nice mix of cuisines and some interesting recipes. No pictures available, but the Kale and goats cheese-filled quesadillas with guacamole, as well as the Horseradish/sweet mustard covered schnitzels with sour potato and bacon salad, were delicious. In general, the dishes are packed with flavor and loads of herbs are involved.

Ricotta and Spinach filled Conchiglioni shells with tomato sauce
Ricotta and Spinach filled Conchiglioni shells with Tomato Sauce

All the 6-step recipes are with pictures and easy to follow and generally accurate. Personally, I think they could use more direction – as you will see in the next post – as they are sometimes written in a certain sequence of preparations rather than giving precise cooking times of each of the steps.

The overall cooking time usually is about 45 minutes but that is mainly because you have to prep everything yourself. You do need to take this into account if you decide to make 2 different recipes at the same time…

One thing that we are still working out is the size of the portions that we order as it sometimes seems that 2 portions are more than enough for all of us (especially if side salads are part of the recipe) and sometimes the 4 portions are only just enough. Will keep you posted…

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