Doorstep Organics Vegbox: Summary

I purchased a $65 Budget Box of organic veggies from Doorstep Organics last week, using a $35 Living Social voucher. Having never used a doorstep food delivery service like this before, I was interested to see what it would be like. My unwritten criteria for judging the box is based primarily on value for money, and quality of the produce. In particular, the question of “is this cheaper and fresher than what I would normally buy from the local fruit shop” was foremost in my mind when I was preparing meals.

I made four main meals and one main side dish out of the box:

We snacked on the fruit in the box for our morning and afternoon teas, plus as a dessert option at night. I also cut up the celery into sticks, and had them as an afternoon snack with peanut butter.

Disappointingly, there was some produce that we needed to throw out before we could consume it – half a head of cos lettuce that went limp and slimy, and some peaches that wrinkled and melted within four to five days of receiving the box. I also mentioned in earlier entries as well, that the bananas were brown within two days, and the avocado wouldn’t have lasted more than two days as well.

This is actually the main reason as to why I might hesitate to buy another vegbox in the future – I like to pick the produce myself to ensure it lasts the week. For example, if I buy bananas, I’ll buy two ripe bananas, two less ripe bananas, and two green bananas. That way, I get consistently ripe bananas to eat throughout the week!

Overall, I also thought that the box wasn’t great value. Don’t get me wrong – for the $35 price I got, it was fine. The quantity of produce we received was on par what I could buy at my local (non-organic) grocer. However, if I was to pay the full $65 price every week for this produce on top of other groceries I buy from week to week (meat, grains, dairy, etc), I’d be paying around $1500 more each year. It’s not sustainable and not an attractive option either, when you consider that the extra $30 a week could buy you a reasonably nice meal out each week. There’s so many great cheap restaurants in Sydney that I haven’t yet tried that an extra meal out each week would really help!

I may try my luck at another vegbox option in the New Year. Someone put me onto Aussie Farmers, and their fruit and veg box for couples looks like it might be a good basic box that you could then supplement with a few produce specials from the supermarket.

Does anyone else have other suggestions for vegbox suppliers?

Vegbox Meals – Silverbeet Side Dish

NB: I bought an organic vegbox from Doorstep Organics this week. This is a post explaining how I used the produce as a side dish.

Side dish 1: Stir-fried silverbeet in honey, sesame and soy

Ingredients: Silverbeet, honey, soy sauce, sesame oil, Sriracha chilli sauce

I actually had no idea how to cook the silverbeet as it’s not a vegetable that I’ve encountered often before. In the end, I decided to treat it like a leafy green Asian vegetable by simply stir-frying it in a simple sauce.

Chop up the silverbeet into short lengths. Start heating a frying pan or wok with a dollop of oil, and then add some honey, soy sauce and sesame oil to the pan. I added more soy than honey as I prefer a more savoury flavour, but if you prefer a sweeter sauce, more honey is fine too. I added the stalks of the silverbeet to the hot pan first, as they are thicker and require more cooking. Two minutes later, I added the leafy bits of the silverbeet, plus a tablespoon of Sriracha chilli sauce, before putting the lid on the pan and letting it slowly simmer on a low heat to cook the veggies. Five minutes later, I removed the lid, gave the veggies a final stir, then turned off the stove.

We ate the silverbeet as a side to some minor meals we had during the week – e.g. with a leftover beef patty and some rice, as well as on top of some instant noodles as a vegetable element.

Produce Quality: The silverbeet was probably the best quality out of everything in the box – it was vibrant, green and leafy, and hadn’t yet had its leaves attacked by bugs. I rate it a 8.5 out of 10.

Vegbox Meal – Simple Roast Veggies with Brown Rice

NB: I bought an organic vegbox from Doorstep Organics this week. This is the fourth post explaining how I used the produce in different meals.

Meal 4: Roast Veggies with Brown Rice and Tuna

This is such a simple, easy, healthy, and fuss-free meal. While it does take a while for the brown rice to cook and the veggies to roast, it’s the type of meal where you can spend five minutes preparing the ingredients, walk away for half an hour, and come back to a ready meal. It’s just enough time to watch an episode of your favourite half-hour sitcom.

Ingredients: Handful of green beans, two carrots, one cup of brown rice, one can of tuna, one large sweet corn cob, olive oil, herbs and spices, salt and pepper.

Peel and cut up the carrots, and take the ends of the green beans. Shuck the corn cob, and cut it in half (two servings!). Place all veggies into a small baking tin, drizzle it lightly with olive oil, dust with some dried herbs, and shake some salt and pepper over them. Put in the oven at about 200 degrees celsius for half an hour.

Wash a cup of brown rice and add it to a rice cooker. Add three and a half cups of water, and let it cook. It should take approximately half an hour.

Once everything’s ready, plate up with a generous serving of beans and carrots, and one half of the corn. Fill a small ramikin with brown rice and then turn it upside down on the plate, so that the rice holds some shape. Indent one half of the rice, and empty a small can of tuna onto the plate. This will be enough for two meals!

Produce Quality: While the beans and the carrots were fairly standard, I was quite disappointed by the corn cob – once cooked, it turned out quite dry, unlike the sweet corn I just buy from my local supermarket which has juicy kernels. Overall rating – 7.5 out of 10.