I very much enjoy cooking — when life is calm, uneventful, and I actually have time to grocery shop. That's not always my reality, which means dinnertime can be a big headache and an unappetizing slice of untoasted bread with butter and jam.
If I'm not feeling too exhausted to cook, I'm stressed about figuring out a well-balanced meal that will fuel my workouts and won't leave me feeling irritable, sluggish, bloated, or with a stomach ache.
So when an offer to road-test Hungryroot, a personalized grocery service, popped into my inbox on a week when I only had coconut milk left in my fridge, I took full advantage and signed up.
Similar to other meal delivery programs out there, you can curate your grocery deliveries to your dietary needs. For example, you can request that your groceries for the week are vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, pescatarian, tree-nut-free, peanut-free, and egg-free.
I marked off nut-free (my fiancé has an allergy) and dairy-free (a new year's resolution).
You can opt for a small delivery ($69), which includes groceries to make three or more two-serving meals plus snacks, a medium delivery ($99), including groceries to make four or more two-serving meals plus snacks, or a large delivery ($129), including groceries to make five or more two-serving meals plus snacks.
These groceries come along with 10-minute recipes to make meal prepping even easier and suggestions for ingredient add-ons to make the meal more personalized to your taste preferences.
When I received my medium delivery, I was shocked at just how much food was in the box, and from interesting brands that I'd yet to discover during my grocery store runs.
On top of being easy to prepare, the recipes were a little different than what I usually make — stir-fry with lemongrass tofu nuggets and cauliflower linguine with spinach garlic chicken sausage, to name a few. For dessert, I traded my scoop of Nutella for oatmeal spice cookie dough.
During a lunch break when working from home, I was able to make an entire meal and enjoy it within 30 minutes and without stressing or losing productivity.
I was relieved to avoid the stressful, crowded aisles of the grocery store after work, where I would shop while frantically Google searching "quick healthy meals" on my phone.
It also gave me more time after work to call up my parents and talk on the phone, watch TV and chill, and train my spunky (slightly misbehaved) dog.
The best part? Financially, $99 is about what I spend on groceries for the week, so Hungryroot wouldn't be a huge splurge.
I don't know if I can commit to a regular weekly delivery, but when life picks up again and my anxiety skyrockets, it's nice to know dinner will offer some relief instead of contributing to the impending headache.