Sun Basket: Healthy Cooking Made Easy

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I was recently contacted by Sun Basket to try out their meal delivery service and am excited to share my experience with all of you. Please know, the thoughts expressed in this post are my own and even though I received a complimentary Sun Basket box to test out, I was not compensated in any way to write this review.

What is Sun Basket?

Sun Basket is a new healthy meal kit service that delivers organic ingredients and delicious, easy-to-make recipes for cooking at home. Sun Basket makes it easy to cook healthy, with Paleo, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus healthy breakfasts. Get 3 recipes per week for 2, 4 or 6 people, delivered to your door in recyclable packaging that can be shipped back – free- for reuse. Recipes are created by Executive Chef Justine Kelly, formerly head chef at James Beard award-winning restaurant The Slanted Door in San Francisco.

My kitty, Frankie, was curious about the Sun Basket box.
My kitty, Frankie, was curious about the Sun Basket box.

 

Sun Basket food:

  • Organic non-GMO produce from the best West Coast farms
  • Sustainably sourced, hormone-free meats and seafood
  • Easy, healthy 30-minute recipes designed for minimal cleanup
  • Recipes developed by an award-winning San Francisco chef
  • All recipes are approved by our in-house nutritionist

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Sun Basket meal plans:

  • Healthy meal plans including: Paleo-friendly, Gluten-free and Vegetarian options, plus breakfast
  • 3 recipes per week, with meal plans for 2, 4 or 6 people
  • Choose any meals you like each week. You can even double or triple up on a recipe. Currently shipping to CA, OR, WA, CO, UT, AZ, NV and ID

Sun Basket packaging:

  • Carefully packaged to stay fresh in the box for 8 hours after delivery
  • 100% recyclable packaging
  • Free delivery and free return shipping so we can recycle and reuse the materials

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My Sun Basket Meal Review:

Naturally, I opted for the paleo meal options, which included kale, butternut squash and Italian sausage soup, braised chicken arrabbiata with celery root mash, and steak with purple sweet potato and roasted red pepper sauce. This is the first time I’ve ever experienced a meal delivery service and I must say, it was awesome. Everything was delivered in one organized box and it was all fresh! Ingredients were already measured out for recipes and in individual bags (meat was separate though), so it was easy to keep track of everything.

Kale, butternut squash and Italian sausage soup

All the recipes were delicious, especially the soup and chicken arrabbiata. We were actually surprised how incredible they tasted — even better than we imagined. I’ve actually made the soup again on my own since then. The sweet potato and steak meal was alright, but we both had a lot of grizzle on our sirloin steaks, especially Jesse. I think it would have been better with a different cut of beef. The roasted sweet potatoes and mushrooms were great though.

I can totally see myself using this service again. I enjoy cooking and creating on my own, but this is so handy and a nice break from having to think about what I’m making for dinner. It’s also great for getting new and easy recipe ideas. For those of you with extra busy schedules, lack of direction or motivation in the kitchen, not knowing what to eat, poor cooking skills, etc., I highly recommend trying this out. Sun Basket makes it so easy. And, it’s good! The meals actually look like the pictures too!

Interested in trying Sun Basket for yourself? Visit HERE to learn more and sign up now to receive $30 off your first box!

For more information, please visit https://sunbasket.com/home or Facebook, InstagramPinterest or Twitter.

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Simple Supper Friday: Lemon Dill Salmon with Buttered ‘Zoodles’

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I’ll be honest…I feel kinda silly posting this recipe. It almost seems too simple. But then, I thought about it more and realized that it’s the point behind my Simple Supper Friday meals — simple and uncomplicated. Not only that, but as basic as this recipe and ingredient combination is, it’s really delicious and makes for a nice summer meal. I think that’s reason enough to share.

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As for my weekend, I work a couple hours out at Clackamas Physical Conditioning with Jason tomorrow morning and then will come back to town and run the usual errands with Jesse later in the day — mainly just grocery shopping. The rest of Saturday is open to whatever I want — yeah! I work at Recreate Sunday morning and then later, Jesse and I are going to a friend’s house out in Scapposse to have dinner and drinks, and also pick some veggies from their garden. I also have to go pick up my jar of Fatworks pastured pork lard on Sunday! I now have their duck fat, beef tallow and lard. I love that this stuff is made locally, and I can just order it and pick it up from the guy’s house. It can be shipped though and is not limited to Portland residents, so keep that in mind if you’re interested!

Any fun plans for the weekend?

For the salmon:

  • 2 fresh wild Coho salmon fillets (or 1 large fillet, cut in half)
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp dried dill, plus more if desired
  • 1-2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 thinly sliced lemon rounds
  • Extra lemon wedges for serving, optional
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a 9×9 pan with foil or parchment paper.
  2. Place fish fillets skin side down in the pan. Brush on the melted butter and sprinkle with sea salt and pepper. Then, sprinkle the dried dill atop of the fillets.
  3. Pour fresh lemon juice over each fillet and then place one of the rounds atop of each, in the center.
  4. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until fish is cooked through.
  5. Serve atop of buttered ‘zoodles’ (directions below) and squeeze on extra lemon juice, if desired.

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For the buttered ‘zoodles’:

  • 2 medium zucchini (I used one green and one yellow)
  • Generous amount of sea salt
  • 1-2 Tbsp grass-fed butter
  1. Peel zucchini with a julienne peeler or use a spiralizer if you have one. Sprinkle the zoodles generously with sea salt and then place in a fine mesh strainer to “sweat.” Allow the water to drain from the zoodles for 15-20 minutes.
  2. After 15-20 minutes, squeeze out any excess water from the zoodles with your hands. Then, place in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 45-60 seconds. Once warm, add the butter and toss. Of course, you can briefly heat the noodles in a skillet on the stove and toss with butter.

Yields: 2 servings

Fourth of July Recap

English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July
English: Fireworks on the Fourth of July (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hello friends! Please pardon my lack of posts this week. My computer is out of commission right now, but I’m hoping to have it back by Monday. I had a recipe to share for today, but all the pictures for it are saved on my computer, so it’ll have to wait. Meanwhile, Jesse let me borrow his laptop, so I thought I’d share a little bit about our holiday yesterday.

First off, I don’t know it’s because of the magnesium I took before bed, the white noise from the fan or my decision to sleep in, but I had the best night’s sleep on the eve of the fourth. I woke up yesterday morning refreshed and well rested, and even slept until 8 am! I decided to take a bit of a recovery day, so opted out of going to early morning yoga or doing the holiday workout at Recreate. Instead though, I went for a lovely walk upon waking. It felt SO good and the temperature was perfect. I even broke up my walk with some duck unders (the u-shaped bike racks are great for this, permitting you have the hip mobility), push-ups and play at a nearby park playground. Thankfully, because of the holiday and it being earlier in the morning, there was no kids at the playground, which is a rarity! Afterward, I ran a couple errands and then made a stellar breakfast (you know…bacon, farm-fresh eggs from Jason Seib’s chickens, sauerkraut, veggies, local berries).

Moving forward into the day, Jesse and I went out for a biking adventure. We rode up and down hills, through neighborhoods and then found a nice outdoor patio, where we enjoyed some libations. We enjoyed each other’s company and conversation for a while and then rode home to eat dinner. Thankfully, I had prepped most everything earlier in the day, so things came together quickly.

For dinner, we had grilled vidalia onions, beef and mushroom kabobs and a creamy zucchini salad. For the kabobs, I marinated sirloin cubes in coconut oil, thyme, garlic, oregano and sea salt. Then, I assembled them on skewers with crimini mushrooms. I used Strictly Paleo…ish’s recipe for the salad, but used fresh basil instead of parsley and roughly 3/4 – one cup of mayo instead of 2 cups. I also made my homemade mayo from half coconut oil and half extra virgin olive oil, which turned out fantastic! It was my first time using coconut oil in mayo, and it worked great. Normally, I use avocado oil or macadamia nut oil, but had neither on hand and refuse to use straight up extra virgin olive oil for mayo. I did that once and it tasted awful — burned my throat! Anyway, the mayo tastes very buttery and is out of this world. I will definitely make it this way again.

Mmm...kabobs and grilled, buttery sweet onions.
Mmm…kabobs and grilled, buttery sweet onions.
Creamy zucchini salad with coconut oil mayo and basil. So delicious, crunchy and refreshing!
Creamy zucchini salad with coconut oil mayo and basil. Delicious, crunchy and refreshing!

For dessert, we had fresh blueberries and peaches with coconut milk whipped cream and some chopped TCHO 99% dark chocolate (just pure chocolate…nothing else!).

We didn’t watch any fireworks, but could here them going off from every direction in the neighborhood, and could smell them too. The kitties didn’t like it too much and Mila, our Siamese feline, hid under the bed most of the night!

Dessert: berries, coconut milk whipped cream, 99% dark chocolate.
Dessert: berries, peaches, coconut milk whipped cream, 99% dark chocolate.

What did you do for the Fourth of July? Did you eat anything especially delicious?

Simple Supper Friday: Meaty Ragu Sauce

 

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I finally have a Simple Supper Friday meal for you all! It’s been a couple Fridays since I last posted one, so it’s about time I jump back on the wagon. This is a nice, hearty and meaty Ragu sauce, which comes together in a timely manner, allowing you to have dinner on the table in no time. We ate ours atop of zucchini noodles, since zucchini is in season right now, but it would be wonderful over spaghetti squash in the fall and winter as well. The sauce is even delicious on its own — like a thick stew.

On another note, Jesse and I leave for our little San Francisco trip this Sunday! I’m more than excited and ready to leave Portland for a few days. It’s my first time to San Francisco and California for that matter (with the exception of the San Fran airport). I’ve been wanting to go since I was a little girl and am thrilled that it’s finally happening. I’ll definitely be recapping about it and will probably even share some photos while I’m there. Also, as I mentioned in Wednesday’s post, I’ll be sharing photos and details from my recent wedding sometime soon too, so stay tuned!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed beef tallow or other fat of choice
  • 1 lb grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 fresh spicy Italian chicken sausages, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup sliced crimini mushrooms
  • 1 18 oz jar tomato puree (I used Middle Earth Organics)
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Dash of cayenne
  • 1/3 cup fresh oregano

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute a couple minutes. Then, add the ground beef and sliced sausage. Break up ground beef with a spatula. Continue to cook for a few minutes. Then, add the mushrooms. Season to taste with sea salt and pepper.
  2. Once mushrooms have softened and beef is cooked through, add the tomato puree, tomato paste, basil, smoked paprika, cinnamon and cayenne. Add sea salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and bring to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Once done, stir in fresh oregano.
  5. Serve atop of zucchini noodles.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Tomatillo Pulled Pork

Tomatillo Pulled Pork

Well, as of Saturday, I am officially Mrs. Fairbanks! Everything about my wedding weekend was perfect and the weather was phenomenal. I’m sad that it’s already over, but am glad we have still have the reception to look forward to this September in Michigan. It’ll be a bigger party with all the family and more friends. Then, the celebration will continue with our honeymoon next April. It’s kind of nice to spread things out like this, otherwise I think I’d be even more sad about everything being over. All in all, I am very blessed. Anyway, I’ll be sharing some photos soon, but meanwhile, I have a recipe for you all to enjoy. It’s my first pressure cooker recipe too!

Please know, this recipe can be made in a slow cooker as well. Just place the cooked onion mixture and seared meat inside the slow cooker, and add the lime juice and green sauce. Cook on low for 8-10 hours or until meat shreds apart with a fork. Then, add the oregano and serve.

Also, if you cannot find the green sauce, a tomatillo salsa will work in its place. The sauce is from a Bend, Oregon company, so folks outside of the Pacific NW may or may not be able to find it in stores. I bought mine from Whole Foods.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed tallow, plus more if needed
  • 2 lb pork shoulder roast, string removed if necessary
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 poblano pepper, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 16 oz jar Barcelona Sauces #7 Green Sauce
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 3 Tbsp fresh oregano, chopped

Directions:

  1. Melt tallow in the pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and poblano pepper. Saute a few minutes, until onion is translucent and pepper has softened. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. In the pressure cooker again, add a bit more tallow. Season the pork shoulder with sea salt and pepper and add to the pressure cooker. Sear a few minutes on each side. Then, add the onion mixture back to the pressure cooker, along with the green sauce and lime juice.
  3. Secure the lid to the pressure cooker and bring to pressure, according to your pressure cooker directions.
  4. Cook at low pressure for 60-70 minutes or until pork shreds apart with a fork. Once done, add the fresh oregano and a bit more lime juice if desired.

*Note: I cooked the pork shoulder for longer than directed in the pressure cooker, to ensure it would be tender enough to shred.

Yields: 4-5 servings

Coconut-Crusted Ginger Chicken

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It’s officially the week of my wedding! Wow, it’s so hard to believe it’s finally here. I’m so excited for the end of the week, so I can be done with this term, see my family, marry Jesse and celebrate. Even though I’ve been pretty stressed out (mainly because of school), it’ll all be worth it. I’m so blessed in this life.

Anyway, that’s all she wrote, folks. I’m keeping it short and sweet today. Enjoy the recipe, but more importantly, enjoy life.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb bone-in skin-on chicken breasts (I used one large breast, but 2 small works too)
  • 1 Tbsp grass-fed butter, melted
  • 1/4 – 1/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
  • 1/2 tsp ground ginger
  • Sea salt to taste
  • Pinch of cayenne

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl, mix together the coconut, ginger, sea salt and cayenne. Pour mixture onto a dinner plate and spread around, so plate is covered.
  2. Meanwhile, pour the melted butter on the chicken and quickly use a brush to make sure it’s well coated. Then, while it’s still wet, quickly dredge in coconut mixture. You can pat the mixture on as well, to make sure it’s covered. Alternatively, instead of the butter, an egg wash will work as well. A single beaten egg will probably suffice.
  3. Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes or until cooked through. Check about halfway through to make sure coconut is not too brown. If need be, tent some foil over the top after it’s reached your preferred level of brownness.
  4. Serve with veggie of choice.

Yields: 2 servings

Tomato and Spice Pulled Pork with Roasted Green Beans

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Holy cow, it’s Thursday and I’m just now doing my first post for the week! This is so unlike me, but drastic times call for drastic measures. Actually, I’m just trying to keep my stress to a minimum and manage my priorities accordingly. Sometimes, as you know, that means putting my blog on hold.

Anyway, I’m finally within the one week window of being done with this term. Next week is it, and exactly one week from today, I’ll be about to embark on one last thing: my exercise science final exam. I think it’s safe to say that the worst is the last. Then, that night, family arrives and two days later, I’ll be Mrs. Fairbanks. What a whirlwind, right? I’m just hoping that time slows down a little bit once I finish this term. I really, really want to enjoy my wedding weekend and family being here to the fullest.

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Meanwhile, this was a lovely meal to come home to the other day. All I had to do when I got home was roast the green beans. Easy. Overall, the recipe is not much of a hassle, but you do need to plan in advance for the slow cooker.

For the Tomato and Spice Pulled Pork:

  • 1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 slices quality beef or pork bacon, chopped
  • 1.5 lb pork shoulder
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth, preferably homemade
  • 1/2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1-1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 medjool date, pitted and chopped

Directions:

  1. Heat large skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped bacon; stir. After a minute, add the onion and garlic and continue to saute with the bacon. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  2. Once bacon is cooked through and onions are soft, stir in tomato paste. Remove mixture from heat and stir in the broth, apple cider vinegar and chopped date. Then, add to the bottom of your slow cooker.
  3. Meanwhile, season the pork shoulder with sea salt and pepper. Place the same pan back over medium heat and add the pork shoulder. If there’s not enough bacon grease leftover, add a little fat of choice for searing the meat. Sear the roast 3 minutes per side. Then, remove from heat and place in the slow cooker.
  4. Mix cinnamon, cumin, chili powder and sea salt to taste together, and pour into the slow cooker. Give everything a good stir and then place the lid on top. Let cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8. Once the meat is done, shred with two forks. Add a bit more broth to the meat if necessary before serving.
  5. Serve with roasted green beans (recipe below) or vegetable of choice. Garnish with avocado and cilantro, if desired.

Yields: 3-4 servings

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For the roasted green beans:

  • 1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed
  • 1/2 Tbsp grass-fed ghee or butter, melted
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Meanwhile, place the green beans on a baking sheet and pour melted ghee on top. Season with sea salt, pepper and chili powder, and toss. Roast beans in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

Yields: 2 servings