Wednesday, October 12, 2016
As brunch is such a constant concern for Brandy, dinner sometimes falls by the wayside. Being out of the house most every night at her various clubs, societies, and classes means that Brandy is often grabbing dinner on the go, which isn't always the healthiest thing to do. "It's important for me to be having a well balanced meal for dinner," says Brandy, "That way, I don't feel so bad about indulging during brunch!"
Recently, Brandy discovered that the Chicago based meal delivery service, Eat Purely, had not only greatly increased their delivery area, but also expanded their menu with innovative and delicious dishes conceived of by Chef Sean Spradlin, including lunch service in the Loop and dinner delivery all the way out to Evanston. Chef Spradlin uses only the freshest, seasonal ingredients, prepared daily, packed into environmentally responsible containers, and delivered straight to one's door. The ordering was done through the Eat Purely app, which enabled the customer to both order on the fly or meal plan for an entire week.
Impressed with the technology and the sentiment behind Eat Purely, Brandy decided to give it a shot for a whole week to really see how well the service worked.
Monday: Grilled Steak Salad This particular dish required absolutely no preparation, and was ready to go the moment it hit Brandy's doorstep, or as the charming instructions on the front of the box said: "Place knife and fork in your hands and dig in!" Brandy found the slices of steak impossibly tender and the bok choy crunchy and full of a particular herby flavor.
Tuesday: Squash & Truffle Rigatoni: Though sounding like a heartier dish, Brandy actually found this pasta plate quite light. Only requiring a quick trip to the oven, this fall inspired dinner was loaded with butternut squash, oyster mushrooms, turnips, and huge rigatoni noodles. Brandy very much enjoyed the generous portion of Parmesan cheese that helped to bring a nutty flavor to everything and make it extra ooey and gooey.
Wednesday: Beat and Goat Cheese Salad Next, Brandy chose a light dinner before she bustled out the door to her Daughters of the Daughters of the Daughters of the War of the Roses meeting. The sweet and crunchy beets really brought the salad to life, and the smooth, tangy goat cheese was perfectly off set by the sprinkling of candied nuts, which helped to satisfy Brandy's ever demanding sweet tooth.
Thursday: Pineapple Fried Rice One of Brandy's all time favorite take out dinners is Pineapple Fried Rice from her favorite Thai restaurant, so she was incredibly excited to see this one appear on the Eat Purely app. The addition of short rib in this version made it much more filling than it might have been otherwise, and the side of a simple vegetable spring roll and some sweet chili sauce made the meal feel complete. There was even a fortune cookie to wrap things up with!
Friday: Crab Fettuccine: This was perhaps one of the more interesting dishes Brandy tried. The combination of sweet peas, earthy mushrooms, fresh pasta, and roasted asparagus seemed a perfect fit, but the addition of shredded crab meat really took things to another unexpected level. "I don't know that I've ever had a pasta dish quite like this one," Brandy remarked, "Every bite is like a tiny little adventure!"
Saturday: Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Another adventurous dish, made interesting by the use of almond butter along with the citrusy shirmp and crisp greens, but this one didn't quite win Brandy over. "I think I see where this was supposed to go with the almond butter, but I just don't think it quite got there," said Brandy. Even still, she appreciated that this dish incorporated both hot and cold elements to keep things interesting.
Sunday: Arugela and Goat Cheese Salad Brandy finished out her week of healthy meals with a salad that simply screamed "fall." The pickled raw squash along with peaches, peppery arugula, and a touch of sweetness from the candied pumpkin seeds really made this one a mouthful of bold, exciting flavors, which isn't usually what one associates with a salad. "Then again, you can add goat cheese to almost anything and I'm gonna like it," as Brandy pointed out.
Over all, Brandy loved that the dishes on offer were a little out of the norm flavor wise, which she thought would help to challenge and educate the public's palates. She also loved that every container's cover contained not only instructions for preparation, but also a story from the chef himself about how he came up with the dish. "There is nothing like getting an insight into the mind of a chef," she said, "It takes this sort of thing from being a passive experience to being more akin to dining in a restaurant." With most meals ranging between $10 and $13, Brandy thought the prices were fairly reasonable in consideration of the quality of the ingredients and the portion sizes. Brandy also liked that the service offered a variety of beverages as add ons and that every meal came with a hand made chocolate (in flavors like "Candied Pecan" and "Ginger Snap") as a sweet treat to end the meal on.
So convinced was Brandy that Eat Purely is doing good things for the dinner table that she secured a coupon code for her readers. Simply visit the Eat Purely website or use the code BUNNYANDBRANDY in the Eat Purely app to get $20 off your first order, more than enough for a delicious and healthy dinner!
The writers of this blog were given products free of charge in order to facilitate the writing of this post.