Unboxing Hunter Gatherer Dinners & Polyface Farms
Meal kits are fantastic. They save you the time and hassle of figuring out what to cook for dinner, getting the ingredients all together, and are ready much quicker—and you still can call it a homemade meal. But with so many different meal kits and dinner services like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated, how do you pick one? I agree, it’s overwhelming, but to help you out, I have the low down of the delicious collaboration dinner kit of Hunter Gatherer Dinners and Polyface Farms. Hunter Gatherer Dinners, a local food company in Virginia, provides easy to make dinners complete with an easy to follow recipe and perfect tailormade blend of spices. They have partnered up with Polyface Farms, another local Virginia food provider, for a complete meal kit package—everything you need in one box: meat, broth, side accompaniments, and the recipe to bring it all together; and they sent me three different recipes to try out and I’m excited to share with you all how they came out.
Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice
Indian food and flavors are some of my favorite out there in the culinary world. I have an affinity for bold pronounced spices that may be on the hotter side. The Curry Chicken with Jasmine Rice recipe perfectly captured that flavor profile so commonly associated with Indian food but was very mild on the heat level for those who shy away from spicier foods. I also want to make a personal caveat—I’m not a fan of rice. For some reason I can never get the texture right and it just tastes bland to me. Thankfully, the jasmine rice side dish accompanying this meal kit recipe might sway me otherwise. Thanks to the simple recipe, the jasmine rice came out fluffy with very subtle yet noticeable floral notes. A few comments on this recipe: Hunter Gatherer Dinners suggested that I season my food with a bit of extra salt to the meat and I definitely appreciated that advice. Though I suggest seasoning the rice with a teaspoon or so of salt as well. When cooking, use a big skillet. I overestimated my capabilities and used my smaller skillet and made a mess everywhere. Whoops. With that said—delicious recipe that was my second favorite of what I cooked.
This brings me to my favorite thing that I cooked—Bonanza Chili. I’m sure you’re scratching your head asking, “why would anyone want chili in the summer?” I’ll have you know chili is a year-round food and I will cook it and eat it any time of the year, so I was very glad when I saw a chili recipe included in my meal kits. Usually chili recipes take forever and a half to make because it needs to develop the flavors and whatnot, but this chili was ready in 30 minutes—perfect because I had to run home quickly to make it before heading back out to go to class. This earthy spice blend with a tex-mex southwestern zing combined with browned beef and hearty black beans made me feel warm and cozy inside (even if it was 90 degrees outside). Unlike my chili recipe, this chili is a bit soupier than stewy but topped with a healthy dollop of sour cream and some shredded cheese, this chili was the perfect quick dinner comfort food that I needed.
Rio Grande Chicken Tacos with Black Beans
Of the three, my least favorite was the chicken taco recipes. This is not to say that I didn’t like the taco recipe, because I very much did—just that the other two recipes I cooked were significantly better and personally I’m not a huge fan of tacos. They’re messy, hard to eat, and just filled with stuff that usually falls out of the taco shell. Like the other two meals, the tacos were ready in 30 minutes (actually these were done a bit quicker). I used chicken for my tacos, but you can get this recipe with either pork or beef as well. Or if you prefer to use a protein of your choice you’re more than welcome to—the recipe is very well adjusted for various proteins. If using fish, you most likely will have to cook the meat for a shorter amount of time. One critique I have about this recipe and it’s to my own fault is that I wish the beans were more well-seasoned. Although the spice blend added to the chicken was very deep with an added brightness of Mexican spices, which I really enjoyed.
Overall, I am very glad I had the opportunity to try this fantastic collaboration. A couple of pros and cons:
Ease – These recipes are so easy to follow. The meal is captured in three steps or less and is very straightforward to make.
Time – These recipes are quick. These meal kits are perfect for people who are in a time crunch. Thirty minutes—that’s all you need.
Cost – Pricewise, these meal kits are pretty affordable. The full package is just about $30 and includes shipping and makes about 4-5 servings and you’re getting quality locally sourced products to help local businesses.
Flavor – Clearly the most important pro is that these meals are delicious. Tasty and robust flavor profiles to spice up your dinner routine.
Location – The meal kit package is a bit tricky to pick up. Since Polyface Farm does not ship to homes yet, you can schedule your pick up based on their shipping locations. For Washington, D.C., you can pick up your package on the fourth Saturday up in Northwest. It’s a bit tricky to get to if you don’t have a car but other than being out of the way, pick up is a breeze
Ingredients – While Polyface and Hunter Gatherer Dinners provide the bulk of the ingredients, you might need to buy a few extra ingredients. For some of the recipes like the chili or the tacos you need to have handy at home tomato paste or tortillas.
To purchase these meal kits and try them for yourself, head to Polyface Farm’s website for these tastefully made concoctions. Hunter Gatherer Dinners and Polyface Farms—The Ginger Foodie approved.
*This is a sponsored blog post, but all opinions are my own*