Marley Spoon: Thanksgiving Dinner & Quinoa Salad Plus $30 Coupon Code

So today’s episode of Mondays with Marley Spoon, is a bit of a throwback. With all the holiday fuss and flurry of boxes I still have a few recipes from last year.  When Marley Spoon offered a Thanksgiving meal back in November, I couldn’t resist trying it out.   (If you’d like to try this meal subscription service for yourself, use the coupon code COOKSMART for $30 off.)

My meal plan is for a weekly delivery of 2 meals.

Thanksgiving Dinner with Turkey, Stuffing Squash & Mashed Potatoes
Thanksgiving Dinner

I chose this because I thought a mini Thanksgiving dinner sounded like a lot of fun.
Along with this meal, Marley sent some really cute little paper napkin rings you could punch out. (I passed those along to my niece).

So we have a lot of ingredients this time…and a lot of steps.
Thanksgiving Ingredients
The big hurdle is the Acorn Squash. The recipe asks us to chop it in half, roast it, then create a stuffing, then stuff it, then cook it again. You need like a hatchet to bust into one of these things. I did manage to chop it without losing a digit, but I didn’t quite get it even which is problematic for roasting.
Squash Roasted Squash Stuffing
The rest of the recipe was pretty straight forward and included roasted turkey tenderloin, mashed potatoes and gravy.
Thanksgiving Plate
Taste: Like
I’ve never made turkey tenderloin before, and I found it to be tasty and easy to cook, so it’s definitely something I will look for again. Unfortunately, the most labor intensive item, the acorn squash, wasn’t quite so great. The stuffing was really bland and I think I would have preferred them roasted with a bit of maple syrup and butter instead. The mashed potatoes tasted fine, but there’s a reason people make a giant vat of them, because it takes almost as long to make a big pot as it does a little one. And how about sending us two big potatoes instead of a bunch of little ones? They are no bueno to peel.  I also found the gravy didn’t make quite as much as I wanted.  I ended up using some extra chicken stock I had in the fridge in order to stretch it out a bit more.
Portion Size: Generous, except for the gravy.
Good for Entertaining?: Yes, with some changes.
I loved the idea of making turkey tenderloin for guests and mashed potatoes are always a win. Instead of the stuffed acorn squash, I’d probably opt for a different acorn squash type dish – maybe a stuffing with acorn squash chopped inside it. I’d add on a mushroom gravy with lots of sautéed mushrooms. I’d serve white wine to drink and a pumpkin tiramisu for dessert.

Quinoa and Beet Salad with Apples, Arugula, and Hazelnuts
Quinoa Salad
I chose this because I hadn’t tried Quinoa and apparently it’s like some type of magic food (after Kale and Coconut oil).
Our ingredients:
Quinoa Ingredients
This was another fussy recipe with lots of steps. You toast hazelnuts, you roast beets, you cook quinoa, you shave cheese. There’s a lot of stuff going on.
Nuts Beets
In the end though you end up with a pretty salad.
Quinoa Salad Finished
Taste: Okay
I made this to take to my sister’s for Thanksgiving dinner. My contributions included a ridiculous amount of cornbread (thanks to Sylvia’s 1980s soul food cookbook) and a chocolate fudge cake with a chocolate turkey on top (as requested by my very particular niece). I figured  a salad would be nice to cut through all the carbs and sugar. I really liked the flavors in this – particularly the beets paired with the apples, but I did not care for the texture of the quinoa. Something about it just doesn’t work for me. I also don’t really like couscous and I feel like from a texture standpoint these are similar.
Portion Size: Very Generous!  Way more than two portions.
Good for Entertaining?: Not for me.

OVERALL
Verdict:
Like, but wish there was less fuss
I love that Marley Spoon adjusts recipes to match the holidays and features seasonal ingredients. I thought most of the flavors were really nice, but I wish these recipes were a lot less fussy. I feel like I could have made a huge Thanksgiving Dinner in the time it took me to make two plates (with no leftovers).  And isn’t half the fun of cooking a crazy Thanksgiving dinner in eating leftovers for a few days?

Marley Spoon has some fun game and Valentine’s day themed recipes coming up so be sure to check back to see how those turn out.

Have you ever tried a fresh meal subscription service? If so, what did you think?

THE BACKSTORY

Marley’s Spoon creates delicious, easy to follow recipes.
They deliver fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and you select your recipes from their changing weekly menu.

They are dedicated to sourcing organic and sustainable whenever possible. Building relationships with environmentally aware farms and producers ensures that the highest quality ingredients arrive at your door each week.

Using trusted delivery partners, your Marley Spoon boxes come insulated and chilled, staying cool for 30 hours! After delivery, all the ingredients are guaranteed to stay fresh for up to 4 days – allowing you to decide when to cook.

Marley’s Spoon donates any leftover ingredients to City Harvest. City Harvest exists to end hunger in communities throughout New York City through food rescue and distribution, education, and other practical, innovative solutions.

Each week you’ll automatically receive great dishes, but as a flexible subscription, you can skip a week or pause your subscription anytime. You can also change delivery frequency, recipes, and the number of portions you’d like to receive.

Marley’ Spoon delivers to the mid Atlantic and New England regions: most of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Delaware, Maryland, West Virginia, and Washington D.C.

Monthly Cost:
Varies by number of servings and number of meals.
Check here for the configuration of your choice
COUPON CODE: COOKSMART

Once upon a time, long, long ago, Lisa attended Syracuse University where she studied singing in a giant castle surrounded by ice and snow. After she earned her music degree, she headed to the island of Manhattan, down to the West Village, to a place called the New School. There, she earned another degree in the great art of writing stories for children. She currently works on that same island, in the dungeon of an old building, making up stories while she sorts through endless stacks of papers, just dreaming of working somewhere with windows. She is currently working on several novels and hopes to write her way to that aforementioned windowed place. Her first book, “The Ice Maiden’s Tale,” a fairy tale adventure was released on May 30, 2017 and is up for sale on Amazon. In the meantime, she keeps herself occupied by obsessing over subscription boxes and home renovations.

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