Hungry Harvest Review

We’ve writtena lotaboutHungryHarvest, but it occurred to us that we’ve never written a straight up Hungry Harvest review. Since we started participating in the Hungry Harvest Ambassadors program, we’ve been seeing so much more of what the service has to offer, and we wanted to share some of that with you.

Selections from this week's Hungry Harvest

First Things First: The Food

A food delivery service like Hungry Harvest lives and dies on the quality of the food. You might feel like you’re walking a tightrope with a service that proudly advertises that they make use of food that would otherwise go to waste. On this front we can confidently say that we’ve seen absolutely no reason for skepticism about the quality of the food that Hungry Harvest delivers. On their website, they tell you exactly how and why they got each piece of produce they sent you, whether it’s because farmers simply grew too much, or whether some items were a little too small or misshapen for the store. We’ve never had a case where we were sent food that was inedible.

We have been sent food that went bad a little bit quicker than we expected, but here’s the thing: this happens with food we get at the grocery store too. I can’t tell you how many times we’ve brought home a bag of oranges only to find, a day later, that one of them is entirely covered in mold. Does that happen with Hungry Harvest from time to time? Sure. But that’s just the nature of fresh produce. The food we get delivered is at least as high quality as anything we would otherwise get from the grocery store.

Next: The Delivery

Delivery is always prompt on Saturday morning, right around 8:00. We get a text message to let us know that the delivery is almost there, and the delivery person is always friendly and helpful and brings the boxes right up to the door. We’ve never been anything less than thrilled with the delivery portion of the service.

Customer Service

We’ve had a couple of times when mistakes were made. Maybe we ordered two portobello caps and only got one, things like that. Every time, when we’ve contacted Hungry Harvest to address it, they’ve been responsive and helpful. They’ve given us refunds where appropriate, and taken steps to address the issues to ensure they’re less likely to happen next time.

One feature they’ve added recently is customization of our box, and we couldn’t be happier with it. For a small fee, we can change amounts of produce that we get. We try to leave things just about as they started, but sometimes we don’t have enough planned to use 8 mangos, so letting us customize the box gives us more power to ensure we’re fighting food waste at home just as Hungry Harvest is fighting food waste in its whole operation.

The Price

We’ve found that the price of what we get in our Hungry Harvest deliveries is about comparable to what we’d pay for the same stuff at the grocery store, and it saves us a trip. Beyond that, Hungry Harvest donates produce to people in need, so our grocery dollars are also going to an organization that’s helping directly fight hunger.

Vivian and Freddy playing with our Hungry Harvest delivery

Hungry Harvest Review: Conclusion

Hungry Harvest is absolutely worth your time and money. It saves us a trip to the store to get our produce, the kids love playing with the new fruits and vegetables, and it helps to fight food waste and hunger. Delivery is prompt, the food is fresh and delicious, the price is right, and the customer service can’t be beat.

If Hungry Harvest operates in your area and you’re interested in signing up, you can go to this website. If you use the code HERO5, you’ll get $5 off of your first delivery. #hungryharvesthero

Mini Vegan Frittata Cups

I tend to prefer savory breakfasts, but with our diet it’s a little hard to make savory stuff in the mornings. As a consequence we tend to just stick to oatmeal. We’re huge fans of chickpea flour omelets on the weekends however, and I knew there had to be a quick and easy way to make that happen for the the week. There had to be a way to use chickpea flour and make something like a vegan frittata portable. (Side note: this is not the only amazing thing you can do with chickpea flour)

Enter the Vegan Frittata Cup

I know what you’re thinking, and no, vegan frittata is not an oxymoron. Chickpea flour batter is not exactly the same as eggs, but it does a nice job of binding the veggies together, and it’s really tasty in its own right! These cups heat up well for a quick and easy work breakfast. The best part is that these vegan frittata cups are pretty light, so eat as many as you want with no consequences.

Vegan frittata cups

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
2 medium tomatoes
2 small zucchinis
1 cup chickpea flour
1/2 cup soaked cashews
2 cup water
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp everything spice (we used some from Trader Joe’s, you could also just pop in equal parts garlic powder, onion powder, poppy seeds and salt)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400° F. Sautee the tomatoes and zucchini until soft and the tomatoes have begun to break down a bit. Fill one and a half muffin tins to about a third of each cup (I used silicone cups to make this a bit neater; I would not recommend paper cups as we tried those as well and they kind of fell apart). Blend the rest of the ingredients until smooth and then pour over the vegetables, spreading evenly among the filled cups. Bake for 15 minutes or until the tops are dry.

 

Fall Kale Salad

It’s finally started to cool down a bit here and we’re super excited to be receiving some beautiful fall fruits and vegetables in our Hungry Harvest box. The kids have been going nuts over all of the grapes, and we’ve been going wild about all of the kale, sweet potatoes, and squash. Last Saturday night for dinner we made a giant fall salad that was filling, delicious, and felt like fall in a bowl. The dressing recipe makes a lot, so save it to use on grain bowls or to top veggie burgers later in the week like we did!

Our kids aren’t generally too into salad, but we gave them some of the roasted vegetable cubes and apples along with sandwiches so they were getting some of our food. Watson takes tiny, tiny bites in order to qualify to get a treat later, if we’re feeling generous. Sometimes Vivian just eats all of the sweet potatoes she can find. Freddy is our wild card. He often eats whatever we put in front of his face, but sometimes he turns up his nose at everything. I still can’t quite get a read on that guy.

Watson and a big fall salad

Ingredients:

Dressing:

1 cup pecans
Juice and zest of two oranges
1/4 cup tamari
2 cloves garlic
Juice of one lemon
1 Tbsp gochujang

Salad:

1 bunch kale, shredded
2 sweet potatoes, cut into small cubes
1 cup chickpeas, roasted with garlic powder and salt
2 carrots, cut into small cubes
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 apples, cut into cubes or matchsticks
1/2 cup kumquats, sliced and seeds removed
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds

Directions:

Toss the sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and carrots in the oil and roast at 450 for about 30 minutes, or until the cubes are brown in places.

Meanwhile, blend together dressing ingredients until smooth.

Toss kale, roasted vegetables, fruits and about 1/4 c of the dressing, or however much makes you happy. Top with pumpkin seeds and devour.

Fall Beer Review

I love beer. I love fall. It follows, then, that I adore fall beer. If you put a pumpkin in some beer, chances are I’m going to love it. If you even just put a pumpkin on the label, I am there for it. I haven’t been drinking too much beer since we’ve been trying to lose some weight, but I swung by the liquor store to grab some fall beer this week to let you know what I think of them.

New Belgium Voodoo Ranger Atomic Pumpkin

This is a fall beer so strange, so audacious, that I can’t help but give it a higher rating than I might based on taste alone. It’s a pumpkin ale with cinnamon and habañero peppers, so it’s got that sweet fall beer flavor mixed with some considerable heat. The combination is off kilter and experimental, but also pleasant and homey. We’re living in a golden age, when brewers can feel comfortable enough taking niche tastes to a mass market. 3.75 stars.

Vivi is puzzled over this spicy fall beer

Bell’s Octoberfest Beer

This is your standard Octoberfest, but a really good one. The spice is mellow and restrained, but enough to give you that warm fall beer flavor. Super smooth, super tasty. 4.25 stars.

Freddy is downright affronted by this fall beer

Alltech Kentucky Pumpkin Barrel Ale

This one is surprisingly light for a 10% ABV beer aged in bourbon barrels! Not the perfect late-on-a-work-night, post-workout beer, but you play the hand you’re dealt. It’s light on its feet, but full bodied, and leaves you pleasantly cotton-headed. 4 stars.

I finished this fall beer while writing a review of it

Victory Festbier

A nice mellow amber lager. This would be a really nice staple fall beer for one of those outdoor parties where everyone’s wearing a jacket and Halloween decorations are out. A little sweet, some mild spice, and just a really pleasant beer. 3.75 stars.

Watson was happy to present me with this fall beer

Flying Dog The Fear Imperial Pumpkin Ale

 

This one didn’t really work for me. It’s beer, so it’s automatically got 3 stars or so, but I wish it leaned a little heavier on the Pumpkin, lighter on the imperial. This is a heavy beer in exactly the way the Alltech beer above wasn’t. It’s 9.0% ABV, and you feel every percentage point. You definitely do taste the pumpkin, but it gets a bit overwhelmed by everything else going on. 3.25 stars.

 

 

Vegan Gluten-Free Pear Gingerbread Pancakes

We first made these gingerbread pancakes during the summer and we absolutely loved them. But we decided it’d be better to roll out the recipe sometime in the fall, since they had more of an autumnal flavor profile. And remember, we love the fall, and fall recipes. Thankfully this past week we got pears in our Hungry Harvest* box, so it was a great time to revisit them!

*Affiliate link. If you click and order and use code HERO5, you get $5 off!

Gingerbread Pancakes: A Seasonal Treat

It’s hard to overestimate just how much of a treat these gingerbread pancakes feel like. They feel like eating fresh-baked cookies for breakfast. It feels like putting on a warm sweater and jumping into a pile of leaves. They feel like going on a hayride at the local orchard. They feel like pure, distilled fall. They’re just spicy and homey and wonderful.

These pancakes also reheat really well. We took them to work for breakfast one day this week, and they’re almost as delicious as they were fresh off the griddle. The bits of diced pear have a nice slight crunch to them. The gingerbread aroma drifts, tantalizing, from the top of the plate. A lot of pancakes don’t reheat well, but these ones are a star in that department.

In short, there’s no reason for you to not be making these gingerbread pancakes right now. They’re easy, they’re vegan, they’re gluten-free, they’re delicious, they’re evocative of fall, and they reheat well. Go. Make them. Live your bliss.

Vegan Gluten-Free Pear Gingerbread Pancakes

Ingredients:

1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/4 cup almond meal
1/4 cup brown rice flour
1 Tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp oil
3/4 cup almond milk
1 Tbsp flaxseed meal mixed with 3 Tbsp water for 5 minutes
1 pear, diced
2 Tbsp molasses
2 Tbsp candied ginger, finely chopped

Directions:

Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl until combined in a thick batter. Heat a griddle on medium high heat. Once hot, drop dollops of batter about 1/3 cup each onto the griddle. Cook approximately 5 minutes per side, or until done on each side. Serve with maple syrup or whatever you prefer on your pancakes.

Back to School with Hungry Harvest

Our kids aren’t old enough for full time school yet. Watson is starting preschool, so we’re feeling back to school season for the first time since childhood. He’s learning a lot at school (for today’s show and tell he had to bring something that begins with the letter C). We want them to learn about good eating habits just as they learn letters and numbers and more at school.

We’ve been really glad to start every weekend with a Hungry Harvest* delivery to go through with the kids. They’ve had such fun unloading the boxes with us and helping us put fruits and vegetables away, and they get the chance to learn what everything is and how we use it! The weekends are usually all about cooking and other food prep for the week, and we try to involve the kids as much as possible in that. The fact that Hungry Harvest gives us a good variety every week means the kids are always learning about new foods instead of just seeing the same old ones.

*This is an affiliate link. If you click it and use the code HERO5 you’ll get $5 off your first Harvest!

We’re also trying to get better at feeding them what we eat. We feel it complements their school learning to learn about new healthy foods. Vegetables help them grow, and they taste better than kids think! Watson frequently gets out of his chair to show us how he grew a little bit taller every time he eats a bite of broccoli.

We watched an episode of Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood where the focus was on trying new foods. Watson and Vivian have taken it to heart enough to try little bites most of the time. Freddy, on the other hand, eats anything we put near him.

With their excitement about food and learning, each of our kids has been a #hungryharvesthero. Back to school season is a good time for us to remember that we’re always teaching our kids. Hungry Harvest gives us a really good means to teach them how to eat delicious, healthy food.

Baked Sweet Potato with Shiitake Bacon

We got ourselves a surfeit of sweet potatoes this week. We decided to dice and roast some for adding to grain bowls, but we were still left with a few big ones. Jocelyn had the brilliant idea for a baked sweet potato recipe, covered with toppings that feel decadent but are actually really healthy.

Baked Sweet Potato: A Sweeter Take on a Classic

Turns out a baked sweet potato is just like a baked potato! People probably already knew this, but I’m slow. Don’t judge me. Anyway, we all know that what makes a baked potato isn’t the potato itself, but the toppings. We were determined to find a combination of toppings that felt rich and delicious, but was also decently healthy. We settled on some “cheese” sauce, avocados, crispy fried onions, and some shiitake bacon.

Now I, like all right thinking people, was skeptical of this whole shiitake bacon idea. Before we started eating vegetarian, I was a fan of bacon. The internet’s extreme enthusiasm for bacon in everything ever blunted my appreciation, but I still had fond memories of it. I was skeptical that making something out of mushrooms and calling it bacon would be anything but a cruel joke.

Guys? This shiitake bacon is no joke.

For real, it’s meaty and salty and smoky and just really wonderful. Much more than I could ever have imagined. So run, don’t walk, to your nearest sweet potato monger and demand several of his or her finest sweet potatoes. You’ve got a meal to make.

Baked Sweet Potato

Ingredients:

Two big sweet potatoes
One batch nacho cheese sauce
4 oz shiitake mushrooms, sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tsp smoked paprika
Avocado, cubed or mashed
As many crispy fried onions as you can handle

Directions:

Bake sweet potatoes (about an hour at 350° F, or you can microwave if you’re in hurry).

While the potatoes are baking, marinate mushrooms in soy sauce, olive oil, and paprika for about half an hour. Sautée until crisp (about ten minutes). This is the shiitake bacon.

Cover the sweet potatoes with all the toppings and shove in your face.

Pasta and Vegetable Casserole

I love casseroles and I can’t get enough of ’em. I used to think I didn’t like them when I was a kid, but man, I was wrong. They’re a beautiful melange of flavors, all mixed together and adding to each other and creating a whole new experience. Ever since we started getting big boxes of delicious vegetables from Hungry Harvest*, we’ve had to find creativeways to use lots of veggies. It turns out a delicious vegetable casserole is a great place to pack a ton of healthy vegetables into a meal.

*The link above is a referral. If you click on it and order a Hungry Harvest box, you and we both get $5 off!

Vegetable Casserole: Homey and Healthy

The great thing about casseroles is that you can get a ton of flavor from just a few simple ingredients. For the filling here, we mixed our vegetables and pasta with some vegetable stock, salt, and garlic, and that was it! Reducing the stock concentrated all that wonderful flavor, and then we topped the whole thing with a sunflower seed crumble that browned nicely in the oven. The ingredients are simple and healthy, but it tastes like one of the hearty casseroles my grandparents made when I was a kid.

We used some multicolored fall pasta that our son picked out for this casserole, and I think it made it look really beautiful! It’s a shame that it didn’t make him want to try any, but we expected that.

Pasta and Vegetable Casserole

Ingredients:

2 cups pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
5 cups vegetables (we used sweet potato, carrots, zucchini, and cherry tomatoes)
4 cloves garlic
1/4 cup flour
2 cups vegetable stock
1 15-oz can cannellini beans
1 cup sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp coconut oil
Salt and garlic powder to taste (or go nuts and use Trader Joe’s Everything but the Bagel spice mix*)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350° F. Cook pasta. Meanwhile, sautée vegetables and garlic until cooked through. Sprinkle flour on top, stir in stock and cook until thick. Add in beans and pasta and pop into an oven safe casserole dish. Mix sunflower seeds, coconut oil, and seasoning in food processor until a crumble forms, and sprinkle on top of the casserole. Bake until golden and bubbling, about 25 minutes.

*The link above is from Amazon Associates. If you click on it and buy something, Amazon will kick back a percentage of your purchase to us!

Fried Onions, How I Love Thee

Neither Jocelyn nor I are crazy about onions. I’ve mellowed on my opinion about them over the years, but they’re still not my favorite. I love cooking with them, but that’s usually only been the case as long as they’re hidden deeply enough in a dish to be mostly imperceptible. A little while ago, we made a recipe that called for crispy fried onions, and that all changed.

Fried Onions: A Garnish Whose Time Has Come

These are the simplest things to make, and they’re basically the most delicious food that has ever been devised by man. We’re lucky if they last long enough to make it to the main dish they’re being made for, since they’re so easy to absentmindedly snack on. I honestly can’t stop going on about how good these are.

See? I’m still going on. They’re salty and crispy and a little bit sweet, and on their own they’re delicious, but they also help add a depth of flavor to all sorts of dishes. I’ve honestly got to stop or I’m going to run downstairs and devour the whole big container we made to last us all week*.

*In the interest of integrity and transparency I feel it is incumbent on me to tell you that I did go downstairs right after writing this and eat a handful of these things. I have neither pride nor shame.

We use these things on top of tons of dinners. We’re going to have a lot of veggie and grain bowls this week, and these will make a perfect accompaniment. Last night we had a baked sweet potato (about which more later), and these were just a stunner of a topping. Seriously, go find some onions, cut them up, and make these. You won’t regret it at all.

An onion, unfried Fried onions

Ingredients:

3 onions
1/3 cup brown rice flour
Generous amount of salt
Oil for frying

Directions:

Slice the onions as thin as you can make them without slicing any part of your fingers off. Toss with flour and half your salt. Heat the oil until shimmering. Fry onions until golden or darker, whatever your preference. As they cool toss with more salt. Try not to eat all of them, with the expectation that you’ll probably deliciously fail.

Friday Links

Here’s what we’re reading this weekend!

Creamy Cauliflower Pasta with Garlic and Roasted Tomatoes from The First Mess looks amazing and I want it in my face right now.

Tempeh Tacos from My New Roots. I know we go on about tacos all the time, but for real, start living your best taco life.

Ever been confused by the difference between “sell by” and “use by”? Join the crowd (this particular crowd is called “everyone”). A new plan aims to curb food waste by harmonizing those labels.

So as we all know, fall has officially fallen, and we couldn’t be happier! The temperatures, the food, the holidays, it’s all great. I was all set to write about some of my favorite fall beers, but then I realized it’s shorter to just say “anything with pumpkin in it.” There’s approximately a billion pumpkin ales every year, and I love all of them. So raise a glass for us this weekend if you’re so inclined, and celebrate the equinox!