Review: One Potato

No, I’m not reviewing how a single potato tastes, and it is only coincidental that I’m writing about potatoes on St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday about a little green dude who likes gold that originated in a country that had a potato famine.  Wait, that’s not what the holiday is about? Phew, good thing I’m not Irish or else that would be really embarrassing (for those of you who ARE interested, it’s actually a holiday commemorating the death of the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, and celebrating Irish heritage, not just being publicly drunk and wearing green…the more you know…) I wrote this post back in August of 2014 and in it I explained that we seem to have a problem deciding on what we want for dinner. It turns out…we still have this same problem.

If we were independently wealthy, didn’t care about our health and didn’t have kids, this could probably be solved easily by going out to eat at local restaurants every night of the week…but even that would get tiring. Sometimes it’s nice to just make and eat a home cooked meal, and it’s nearly always the better bang for your buck.

Gawd, where is she going with this??? She said she was reviewing a “potato” – and I am! One Potato is the natural extension of Catherine McCord’s Weelicious brand of healthy family meal ideas. I used Weelicious back when the little (now middle-sized) monkey was a wee lass and I needed some ideas for pleasing her palate…and mine.  I was thinking about that again (since what normally pleases her palate now are the main food groups of the 6-year old set — pizza, pasta and pancakes) when I saw an Instagram post from her Room Mom talking about using One Potato. From what she posted, it looked to be a meal delivery service that might solve my problems of providing a healthy, time-saving tasty meal for all the members of my family (save Charlie.) I’m always looking for solutions, so I thought I’d give it a try. Did it solve my problem?

Yes, it did. Mostly.

Here’s the scoop – once a week on Wednesdays, One Potato promises to deliver the following:

  1. Enough organic produce and protein for 3 meals for as many adults/kids as you specify
  2. Recipes the whole family can enjoy and help prepare and eat together
  3. Meals that are partially prepped so you can make it from stove to table in 30 minutes or less
  4. A commitment to the local community through their partnership with L.A. Kitchen

Where did One Potato score high points? Flavor, prep time and variety. With a pretty awesome coupon (50% off!) we tried six dishes  (opting for the Omnivore box, there is also a Vegetarian one) over the course of 3 weeks (you can conveniently skip any weeks you don’t want a delivery):

Spring Vegetable Pasta with Bruschetta

Persian Chicken Kebabs with Quinoa and Avocado, Tomato, and Cucumber Salad

Beef & Broccoli Stir Fry with Brown Rice

Steak Fajitas with Spanish Rice & Avocado Salsa

Gnocchi with Basil Pesto and Zucchini Coins

Chicken Nuggets with Coconut Mashed Sweet Potatoes and Asparagus

Nearly all took the allotted 30 minutes with just a few going a bit over – for families short on time, this is RAD.  All of the directions say read them all the way through first and that was extremely helpful. Having everything all portioned out was another time saver and it was exciting having the box come and knowing we were going to be having something healthy for dinner that was organic and sounded good to at least 2 out of 3 parties.  In the end, the middle-sized monkey was willing to try everything, for which I was very grateful. Predictably, her favorites were the gnocchi and the chicken nuggets, and not so predictably, the quinoa! I loved everything except for the Spanish Rice – more on that below.

Where did they fall short? Clarity and economy of ingredients.

Some of the directions were confusing even with reading them through first. For instance on the Spring Veggie pasta – it tells us to rinse the pasta under cool water and return it to the pot. At the bottom of the same page, under “Cooking Tips” it says don’t rinse the pasta with cold water after draining because sauce sticks better to the unrinsed noodles. Well, which is it?

There seemed to be an overage of carbohydrate side dish with every meal that had them. There was tons of extra quinoa, Spanish rice and brown rice left over with those particular meals. In addition, in following the prep directions, the Spanish rice came out with quite a bite – tasting pretty much uncooked. Given how much the service costs ($11.99 per adult meal, $2.99 per kid meal) I’d rather them kill the overage and knock a few bucks off.  Or, skip the glossy one sheets, have the directions online to save costs and knock a few bucks off that way.

Also, for one of my meals (the Persian kebabs which I was ridiculously excited for), the avocado and red onion that came with it turned into a science experiment before I could make it.  I was able to save the rest of the meal and it was truly tasty, but I was disappointed that in less than 5 days time, certain perishables…well… perished.  Obviously I made the meals as quickly as I could (we received the box Wednesday and all meals were made by Sunday.)

Would I use them again? Yes, but likely not often at this point due to the pricing as it stands ($80/3 meals for 2 adults and 1 child – this is about 60% of my grocery bill for the week)… It’s cheaper than going out for sure, but there is still clean up and time involved in cooking. When the kids are older, I’ll likely revisit One Potato…hopefully by then we won’t still be asking each other that same old question about what to have for our last meal of the day…but knowing us, we will 🙂

…and a Happy St. Paddy’s Day to all who celebrate!

St_Patrick's_Day

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