I enjoy cooking. It's just the shopping and gathering of the ingredients that get me down. As a busy working mom, I just don't have the time to curate daily menus, shop, and gather all the necessary ingredients. Luckily, there's a new-to-Chicago meal delivery service that takes the busy work out of cooking and promises fresh new recipes with ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions that arrive right at your doorstep: Relished.
Here's how it works: you receive one box per week containing all the ingredients you'll need to prepare three meals of two, four or six servings. The recipes are created by the executive chef of Relished who is a Chicago native and former executive chef of Weber Grill, McCormick & Schmick's and most recently, Park Grill. All of the ingredients are locally sourced and fresh, not frozen.
My first box arrived on a Wednesday. I'd forgotten that I had placed the order but had also forgotten to plan for dinner, so it was a very happy surprise to come home from work and school to. The box contained enough ingredients to feed my family home-cooked meals not only for that evening, but for three evenings. For me at least, it was a joy to prepare meals with the ingredients all ready to go.
The recipes in our first weekly box were: Herb Salmon Salad, Rigatoni Bolognese and Maple Bacon Pork Tenderloin with Acorn Squash and Rapini. They were all super easy to prepare, with step-by-step, visual instructions. The ingredient quality was exceptional. I especially enjoyed the fresh rigatoni sourced from Pasta Fresca, one of our Italian-American family's favorite housemade pasta shops in the near western suburbs.
Everyone in our family enjoyed each and every meal (including my four-year-old, who tends to be picky). The highlight meal was the Rigatoni Bolognese. My son's friend dined with us that evening and we all still enjoyed generous portions. The meals were all seasonally appropriate and the Rigatoni Bolognese seemed to have been timed perfectly, as it was a warm, home-cooked meal on one of the first chilly nights of Autumn.
This is a great service to try if you enjoy cooking at home but you just don't have time to plan and shop for meals. I like to know that I have the ingredients at home to cook healthy, seasonal dinners for my family and this service did all the busy work for me. It also mixed up our family menus, avoiding repeated meals or last minute runs for takeout.
For more information or to order a box of your own, visit relishedfoods.com .
Disclosure: I received a trial box of Relished meals. I was not asked to write about Relished. All opinions are my own.
Amy Bizzarri is a writer, Chicago public school teacher and mom to two kids - a preschooler and a middle schooler - living in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago.
See more of Amy's stories here.