Marley Spoon: Beef & Parsnip GHOULash and Jamaican Jerk-Spiced Chicken + $30 Off

For throwback Thursday, I’m going way back to Halloween 2016 and one of my stockpiled  Marley Spoon reviews. If you’d like to try out this weekly meal subscription service for yourself, use the coupon code COOKSMART for $30 off.

My meal plan is for a weekly delivery of 2 meals (2 portions each), which costs $48.
ghoulash
Beef and Parsnip GHOULash with Caraway Spaetzle
Download the recipe here.
They labeled it “spooktacular!”, so how could I resist?

Our Fresh Ingredients:
ghoulash-ingredients
spaetzle-dough
We start with making our spaetzle dough.  Now there was just one itty bitty problem.  I hate caraway seeds.  Hate them so, so much.  They are the reason I don’t care for sausage and everything bagels.  I’m leaving them out.  If you like them, just pretend my spaetzle is filled with little death pods, er seeds.

prepped-ghoulash
Next we get to chopping.  At this point I was supposed to dissolve a beef broth packet with water, but alas there is no beef broth packet included.  Luckily I have chicken broth in my pantry so I use that instead.

cooking-beef ghoulash-wih-liquids
Next we cook the onion and ground beef until brown, and then stir in tomato paste and paprika.
We add in the parsnips, beef broth, salt, and pepper, then cover and cook until the parsnips are tender.  We remove the lids and then cook until thickened.

Now the tough part.  We’re supposed to spread the spaetzli dough on to a cutting board over a pot and then scrape it into boiling water.  This dough is sticky and I can’t express how stressful this was for me.
In the end my spaetzle was really sad looking.  It gets tossed with some oil, and then divided between two plates.
sad-spaetzle
We top our spaetzle with goulash, sour cream and chives:
beef-and-parsnip-ghoulash
Taste: Like
This dish had a lovely flavor, and despite the ugliness of my spaetzle, it tasted excellent.  The recipe is just a bit fussy for a weeknight with multiple bowls and pots, plus getting the spaetzle right was tricky (at least for me).  I was also missing the beef broth packet, so that detracted from the recipe.  I’m not sure if this was “spooktacular” enough but it was hearty and the parsnips paired very well with the beef and paprika.
Portion Size: Generous
Good for Entertaining?: No.  It’s a bit too homely a recipe and the spaetzle is just way too stressful to get right.

jerk-chicken-recipe
Jamaican Jerk-Spiced Chicken with Coconut Rice and Cucumber Salad
Download the recipe here.
I can never say no to Jerk Spices and Coconut.

More fresh ingredients:
jerk-chicken-ingredients
We do some slicing and zesting, then marinate our chicken in lime zest, oil and salt.
prepped-ingredients-jerk-chicken marinated-chicken
The chicken gets cooked while we make rice with scallion whites, coconut milk and water.
cooking-chicken
Thinly sliced cucumbers turn into a salad with the remaining lime zest ½ the scallion greens and a bit of salt and lime juice.
cucumbers
We toast some coconut and then plate our ingredients.
toasted-coconut
Our finished dish:
jamaican-jerk-spiced-chicken
Taste: Hit!
The chicken had a nice flavor and I loved the coconut rice.  The cucumbers were refreshing and this dish didn’t require extensive prep or a lot of clean-up.  It was well balanced and worked nicely for a weeknight.
Portion Size: Excellent
Good for Entertaining?: With some tweaking.  I’d turn the bone-in chicken thighs, into boneless jerk spiced kabobs and do everything family style. For drinks I’d serve pitchers of pina coladas and mint iced tea.  I’d add on another main dish of Thai Mango Salad with Shrimp.  Appetizers would feature an Asian inspired dip, like this Thai Peanut Hummus served alongside tortilla and veggie chips, and some beef curry puffs.  Dessert would include a tropical fruit salad and a light, fluffy Coconut Cake.

OVERALL
Verdict:
Hit!
I thought both dishes tasted great and had interesting elements.  The only real downsides were the missing broth packet and the challenging spaetzle.  Without those two issues, this box would have been a “love”.  I’ve been on a break from Marley Spoon for the last two months because I’m in the process of moving and renovation, but I’ve still got one review left to finish up.

Once I’ve got my new kitchen up and running, I’ll be trying out some new Marley Spoon boxes as well as some other food subs.

What other food subscriptions should I try?
I’d love to hear your suggestions!

THE BACKSTORY
Marley 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.

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 trying to help real people, while making up stories about imaginary ones. 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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