3.06.2015

Cooking with Fresh Produce: The right at-home delivery service offers more than just produce

It's Friday, and I'm about to sit down and customize my at-home produce delivery with Papa Spud's for next week.

In case you have missed any post in this series, all you need to know that I started ordering at-home produce delivery at the end of last year, and it has been a life changer for me. 

These are the first posts in the series: 

Cooking with Fresh Produce: The right at-home delivery service offers more than just produce; Papa Spud's Home Delivery


Going with an at-home produce order service was certainly a new type of experience for me. Let's just say it perhaps took me out of my cooking shell a little bit. First off, I'm not a true foodie.I don't even try to be.Yes, I interview some of the best chefs in the world and dine in top resorts for my travel writing, but I'm just an ordinary person who likes food. I have friends who are true foodies, and when I'm with them sometimes, I feel as if they are corresponding in a foreign language around me. 

When I dine in a restaurant, I never wonder how I could replicate the dish at home. I really only care about these four things: 

1. Was the food good?
2. How much did the meal cost me?
3. Am I eating good, whole foods? 
4. Is the dish worth the calories? 

That's basically it   It's pretty simple. I go about getting my at-home produce the exact same way. I look at what is affordable for that week. I make a meal plan, and order my items based on my weekly meal plans. I basically plan those meals after I see what is available at Papa Spud's. After I complete my order then I go to a regular grocery and pick up anything else I may need. 

Roasted cabbage with cashews: Cooking with Fresh Produce
My favorite lunch. Roasted cabbage with cashews. Toss in olive oil, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Roast for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. 

To recap, I order a regular size box weekly from Papa Spud's. At $23.69 weekly, that includes 20 food credits. That price can get you a good amount of produce, but it's not enough to get you a lot of produce plus some of the extras that Papa Spud's offers its customers weekly. 

Papa Spud's offers dairy, eggs, cheese, organic meats, seafood, chocolate, specialty items, pastries, breads, grains, and pastas. The variety that Papa Spud's offers it customers is fantastic.It also changes based on demand and suppliers. For example, I knew I was entertaining one week when I first joined in December so I ordered the Honey Fig and Goat Cheese from Hillsborough Cheese  Company to use an an appetizer. It ate 5.50 of my credits for 4 ounces that week. It was fantastic and it was worth the splurge that week. I would gladly do it again for a special occasion. 
With my 20 credit limit, I stick to the produce basics, but I do order organic chicken thighs and legs quite often in my order. It's great-tasting naked chicken from Joyce Farms, which is headquartered in Winston-Salem, N.C. 

I order the legs and thighs because they are affordable for my credits. My kids love drumsticks, and one pound of chicken legs equal 3.00 in credits. I am able to get meat and lots of produce with a 3.00 meat credit price. That's a win in my book. 

Since working with Papa Spud's this month to help share my experiences, I've been given a few extra credits to experiment with on my orders. But, I'm not going crazy with them. The past few weeks, I've been averaging about 34 to 37 credits weekly, which is a good 15 credits over my typical allotment that I signed up for in the beginning. It's higher because I've been getting more meat and pasta with an occasional sweet treat. 

Gluten-Free banana nut mini muffin in N.C.
The mini loaf from JP's Pastry. 
Last week, I decided to get a mini gluten-free banana nut bread from JP's Pastry, an online gluten-free wholesale bakery in the Raleigh area. I can eat gluten, but the bread sounded tasty so I thought I would try it for a breakfast for the kids. I had the extra credits so I decided to use 4.00 extra credits to get the one mini loaf as it was named.  When it came on Tuesday, I giggled because it was certainly mini or smaller than I had expected. 

I think I was expecting a small loaf that would feed a few people. The mini-loaf equaled in size to an oversized, large muffin. No one else ate that loaf, but me because they never had the chance to see the loaf. I devoured that mini loaf like I had never eaten sweet, wonderful bread before. It was probably one of the best breads I have ever tasted. It was simply delicious. Would I purchase the mini muffin loaf again in my box? Maybe,  for a special treat, but the price of the one muffin doesn't warrant the splurge from what I need to get out of my produce box weekly. 

My overall goal has been trying to reduce my regular grocery store items so I need to stick with items that I can use for meal planning. 

Cooking with Fresh Produce: The right at-home delivery service offers more than just produce


You can, however, buy additional credits with ease each week if you needed to do so. However, for this particular item, I'm more likely to take a coffee break in one of the coffee shops where the breads are sold locally. I would like to enjoy that expense along with a nice conversation with a friend. Muffins at that price range are still more about the overall, dining experience for me and I'm not ready for that type of personal expense at home. I really don't need the extra calories either, and one muffin would not feed the kids either. I would have had to get 2 muffins for 8.00 credits and that is just not a good budget move. 

When this series is over, I am seriously thinking of moving to the Family Size Box of 40 credits at a cost $45.09, which includes delivery and taxes. I think it would be the best bet for my family especially now that I've gotten used to how the system works. You don't have to use all your credits in one week either.  They do carry over credits weekly, which means you can go out of town, and hold your order. 

Papa Spud's partners with many local suppliers, and eventually I would like to replace some staple items like honey for Wake County's own The Pleasant Bee honey.  I order Melina's Fresh Pasta quite regularly now. It sells out very quickly, but I was able to snag some of her ravioli last week that I've not tried yet. 

Korean Beef Rice Bowl: Using Papa Spud's Produce Delivery


This week, I'm sharing one of the recipes I cooked from Leigh is Cooking with Farm Fresh Produce Boards. I prepared this Korean Beef Rice Bowl using sweet potatoes, carrots, zucchini,spinach, onion, and grass-fed beef which was about 8.00 credits for one pound. This recipe was a Pinterest winner. I loved it. My kids complained. They said the sauce was too sweet and I had to make them cheese toast. 

If you want to sign up for Papa Spud's at-home produce delivery, please use my referral link.  I will be concluding my weekly series next week, and we'll be talking about the recipe kits that Papa Spud's offers. 

Disclosure: Papa Spud's is sponsoring this special cooking series on the blog. I am a Papa Spud's customer, and will continue to be a paying customer after this special series is over. I have been very pleased with all of my orders. 




Fit Triangle Mom

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