Saturday, November 30, 2013

Weekend Cooking: Dinner With A Little Help from Sweet Roots

You don't see me much around Weekend Cooking (although I love reading all the posts) . . . because I do very little cooking. Living in the city where there is an abundance of restauarant and take out choices, I rarely seem to eat dinner at home. I also live alone and preparing dinner for one doesn't always seem efficient. I do, however, get tired of the take out routine and worry that it is not the healthiest choice.

Enter Sweet Roots NYC. Sweet Roots, based in Brooklyn, locally sources ingredients and delivers them ready to cook into a delicious meal. All the ingredients are expertly meaured, chopped, diced, etc - it really couldn't be easier. You get just what you need to prepare the designated meal so there are no leftovers or jars of obscure ingredients where you need only a teaspoon to make your dish. Each meal takes no more than 30 minutes to prepare which is perfect when you arrive home from work late and hungry.

The experience starts with a consultation with the owner, Marisa, who asks about your likes/dislikes, dietary restrictions and what equipment you have in your kitchen. I have a gluten sensitivity so we discussed that and each meal delivered has been gluten-free. With this information, Sweet Roots plans menus each week which are sent by email for pre-approval during that week.  At that time, you can request a substituion or swap out an ingredient - I have had to do that a few times when there has been something on there that I just don't eat or its a cuisine that I know I am already having at a dinner out that week. Some of favorite meals have been:

  • Ground Turkey, Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili served with a Baby Romaine Side Salad with Red Onion and Creamy Avocado Basil Dressing 
  • Seared Flank Steak with Housemade Steak Sauce served with Maple Roasted Butternut Squash and Garlicky Sautéed Broccolini
  • Seared Scallops with Apple Relish, Kabocha Squash Puree and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

On Sunday afternoon, your bag is delivered with each meal's ingredients separated into its own ziploc bag and a separate insulated pack with your proteins.  The week's recipes are neatly tucked into the outside pocket of the bag. Each ingredient for a meal is individually measured and packaged into a little jar or bag (depending on the ingedient). You rinse the jars and return them the following week by leaving your reuseable bag which is picked up when the new bag is dropped off. I liked that items are re-used rather than everything being disposable.

All in all, I have been so happy with this service. I find myself looking forward to cooking my meal and even find it a little relaxing - something I never thought I would say! And I know I am nourishing myself with healthy, locally sourced food.

What's your secret for getting healthy meals on the table or cooking for one?

Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads and is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.


  1. Wow -- what a fantastic service. I love to cook and have the time but still would welcome someone else doing the prep work every once in a while. I also love that they work around your food sensitivities and tastes. I'm kind of jealous (in good way)!

  2. A great idea - they've started something similar here called Food in a Bag - but I'm with Beth I prefer generally to do the cooking and the better half does the cleaning up - works for me. Cheers

  3. What an interesting idea. I'm so glad that they use reusable containers I was reading your post and thinking how wasteful it all was- but it wasn't'! The meals sound interesting too, not boring, but not out of reach either.

  4. That sounds like a fantastic service! I wish they had something like that around here.

  5. What an outstanding business idea! I'm impressed that they use local ingredients, reuse the containers, and work with clients dietary needs… another reason to love NYC!

  6. What an interesting service! I could use something like that for a few nights a week. We have a few personal chefs in the area that will deliver meals to reheat but my husband thinks that's no different than leftovers. He'd go for this.

    Joy's Book Blog

  7. Wow, what a great idea!

    Shelleyrae @ Book'd Out

  8. That sounds amazing! I would love something like that around here.

  9. I would love to order something like that for my mother who now is alone. She is a reluctant cook and I do fear she'll fall into the tea and toast routine. She promises me that she won't and that she buys those pre-roasted chickens at the grocery store and eats at my sister's once a week.

  10. Wow, this just blows me away. I love to cook, and even though I am often on my own I still don't mind cooking for myself. But this service sounds absolutely excellent, and if I was a slightly less enthusiastic cook I would relish the availability of such a service.