I mentioned before that I was exploring the meal subscription services. I tried to sign up with Every Plate earlier and wrote about the experience. Last month I came across ads for Cook Unity and decided to give it a try. Here is my experience after 3 weeks of meals.
I was able to explore the menu before committing any funds. ✅ My first requirement was met.
I was able to identify my need for dairy-free easily. ✅ Another requirement was met. Cook Unity even automatically saved this dietary need for future use.
I scrolled through mobile screens, yes, multiple screens of tasty looking, dairy free meals. ✅ Another requirement was met – many choices. Other menus have had limited dairy free options and then half would be too spicy, sparse, or contain foods that I don’t like. I don’t consider myself a picky eater. I am also pretty willing to try new dishes. Trying new dishes without having to invest in specialty ingredients or tools was one reason that had me looking at meal subscriptions.
Affordable? Well, the weekly cost for 4 meals was less than 4 local restaurant deliveries of comparable meals. My weekly total cost was $58.75, $13.49 per meal + taxes and fees.
The meals are from NY, by NY identified chefs. The meals are varied and up to date. I saw more ways to serve salmon than I knew possible. I also had parsnip puree instead of mashed potatoes. Some meals are meant to eat cold and others heat quickly – 4 minutes or under in the microwave OR 20 minutes or less in an oven. I did a mix of these heating options with success. Sauces/extra sauces, if included, are provided in little lidded condiment containers. Small sides are also sometimes packaged in these tiny containers. I saw dipping sauces, special mayonnaise, hummus, and pickled cucumbers in these containers that I removed before heating.
My meals included chicken and apple salad, Korean BBQ ribs, 3 different hot and cold salmon dishes, chicken shawarma, chicken in a creamy basil tomato sauce, cider braised chicken, quinoa and chickpea salad, shrimp fajitas, and lamb kabobs. My favorite was the chicken and apple salad which I ordered twice. The chicken and thin sliced apple were in a creamy, seasoned dressing topped with almonds separated from the fresh greens and shredded carrots. The lamb kabobs were lamb meatballs, not the skewered chunks I was thinking. The second week I missed the meal selection/skip a week window and cook unity sent me 4 meals within my defined dietary restrictions and food preferences.
The meals have no preservatives. This is great on a healthy level. However, this also means the meals have quicker expiration dates. My weekly delivery was on Wednesday to Virginia. This had me selecting meals Thursday/Friday. My meal box was packed and shipped on Sunday from Long Island. My meals expired usually between Friday and Sunday. I missed the date on the shrimp fajitas and was very disappointed.
- Able to explore meal options before entering payment information.
- Very large variety of weekly meals.
- Able to identify dairy free and protein preferences.
- Per meal cost less is than a similar restaurant delivered meal.
- Hot meals are quick to heat.
- Meals are a hearty size.
- Short shelf life.
- Sauce/condament containers were hard to open if you have dexterity issues.
- Some items were not as described. Ingredients were swapped or just not what I envisioned.
I found the meals did not last as long as I needed for quick meals to be spread over a week. The little condiment containers were also sometimes hard for my dexterity to open. One thin sauce I just tossed to avoid spilling it. I cancelled my subscription.