Sun Basket Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 2019
Sun Basket delivers fresh, seasonal ingredients to your door each week to create three unique, delicious, and easy meals.
This review is of Sun Basket’s recipe offerings for two people, from the March 25 menu.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Sun Basket
The Subscription Box: Sun Basket
The Cost: $11.99 per meal = $71.94/week for 2 people, or $143.88 for 4 people, plus a $6.99 delivery fee.
COUPON: Get $35 off plus 4 free gifts! No coupon needed - just use this link.
The Products: High quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients for delicious meals!
Ships to: most zip codes in the U.S., excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of ND and NM.
Good to know: There are 9 options you can choose from for your Sun Basket plan: Gluten Free, Paleo, Lean & Clean, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Pescetarian, Diabetes-Friendly, and Quick & Easy.
Sun Basket March 2019 Review
There’s an info book at the top of the box to greet you, which contains some quick advice for unpacking the box and prioritizing dishes, account management info, plus a handy guide for recycling the packaging and materials. Sun Basket encourages recycling, so all of its contents (food packaging, shipping materials, insulation and freezer packs, etc.) are recyclable.
The menu booklet included all of the recipes for every dish offered during this particular week, some interesting cultural tidbits about Persian new year to bolster the theme of the dishes, and an infographic of cooking basics (which I referenced quite a few times!).
As you saw above, the meals were packaged in a trio of labeled paper bags, which were separated from the meats and an ice pack by a cardboard divider. Everything arrived well-chilled and very organized.
Let’s get this culinary adventure started!
Calories: 700 per serving
Time to table, according to Sun Basket: 35-50 minutes
Actual time to table: 1 hour
I’ll preface this recipe by saying, it would not have taken me an entire hour to get this meal together, had I not sliced my finger while trying to open the mirepoix container. That tacked on some extra minutes, as did spilling water all over my kitchen. But hey, these things happen.
To begin, I removed the root end of the leek, sliced it into ¼” half-moon shapes, then transferred the slices into a bowl of cold water. This was to remove any additional dirt from the leeks. I gave them an occasional stir to encourage whatever dirt was left to sink to the bottom of the bowl.
As the leeks were soaking, I patted the ground chicken dry with a paper towel and coarsely chopped both shallots. The recipe said to only chop 1/4 cup’s worth, but extra shallots never hurt anybody, right?
In a separate bowl, I whisked the egg until lightly beaten, then combined it with the gundhi spice blend, chickpea flour, and shallots. To this, I added the chicken and worked everything together until entirely incorporated. The ground chicken was like a thick paste and stuck to the bowl and my hands, but not really to itself.
With wet hands, I did my best to roll the ground chicken mixture into balls, but it was a terrible mess and the dumplings did not want to neatly roll together. I also skimmed the leeks from the top of the water bowl and patted them dry.
In a medium-sized pot, I sauteed the leeks and mirepoix over medium-high heat for about 4 minutes. Some salt and pepper were added to the vegetables as well.
I then poured in the chicken broth and 2.5 cups of water before bringing everything to a boil, then down to a bubbling simmer.
At this stage, I tossed the chicken dumplings into the pot to cook until firm and nearly cooked through. After 7 minutes or so, I stirred in the fresh fusilli to cook for another 5 minutes. Off to the side, I removed the mint leaves from their stems and gave them a coarse chop.
It’s a pretty good looking dish with those mint leaves on top! The portions were incredibly generous, and the meal itself was indeed filling between the dense chicken dumplings and the fresh fusilli. My boyfriend said the flavor was on the “beige” side, and I agreed. More gundhi seasoning for the chicken dumplings (and maybe some for the broth) would have been an improvement. It wasn’t my favorite dish of the month due to the blandness, but I did enjoy how hearty and obviously healthy it was.
Calories: 670 per serving
Time to table, according to Sun Basket: 30-45 minutes
Actual time to table: 53 minutes
I’ve never cooked with lamb before, and this recipe made it seem far less daunting than going into the experience completely unprepared.
Rather than cook the rice on my stove and risk messing it up, I made it in my rice cooker! After combining the rice and the tomato-turmeric sauce base with two cups of water plus two tablespoons of water, I gave everything a good mix, closed the lid, and let it do its thing off to the side.
Because my electric stove is moody and difficult to control, I let a large skillet take its time heating up while doing the prep work for this recipe. I chopped half the spinach, setting aside the other half for the sauce, coarsely chopped half the cilantro, reserving the other half for garnish, and patted the ground lamb dry with paper towels.
In a large mixing bowl, I whisked together the egg, meatball spice blend, almond meal, chopped spinach, and half the cilantro.
Then went in the lamb. I seasoned the mixture generously with salt and pepper, then formed it into 1-inch meatballs using wet hands and a little bit of patience. The spinach didn’t want to stick to the lamb, so there was a lot of strategic pressing to get everything to stay together.
Here are my meatballs, all set to brown. I started out with an uneven number (13 total) but one meatball fell apart in the pan, so divvying everything up was easy in the end.
By the time the meatballs were rolled, my large skillet with a tablespoon of olive oil was hot and ready to go. I cooked all of the meatballs for 3 minutes on one side, then 3 more minutes on the other side. They were then transferred to a plate, not entirely cooked through, but browned enough to hold their shape.
Using the same skillet without cleaning it, I added the mirepoix, then seasoned it with salt and pepper. This cooked for about 4 minutes until it started to soften.
The rice cooked up in no time at all, with zero room for error in my rice cooker! Just how I like it. Here it is, looking beautiful after a quick fluff.
Once the mirepoix had begun to soften, I added the meatballs back in, followed by the chicken broth. After bringing everything to a boil, I reduced the heat to a simmer, and let everything cook through for 7 minutes. The sauce had started to thicken at around 5 minutes, but I wanted to be sure the meatballs were totally done, so everything got an additional 2 minutes to heat and hang out. At the end, I stirred in the other half of the spinach and removed the skillet from the heat.
To serve, I transferred the rice into two bowls, topped it with the sauce, veggies, and meatballs, and finished it all off with the cilantro garnish. This dish was so flavorful and came together pretty easily. The portions were perfect—just enough to keep my boyfriend and I satisfied for an entire evening, which is no easy feat. It wasn’t too heavy, and we both felt great afterward. Color me impressed!
Calories: 580 per serving
Time to table, according to Sun Basket: 25-40 minutes
Actual time to table: 40 minutes
I’m not a huge fan of tofu, but this dish looked too delicious to pass up. Also, I haven’t seen mee goreng offered anywhere since I visited Indonesia back in 2013. Who am I to deny nostalgia?
I began boiling a covered pot of water and heating a large skillet before getting into any of the ingredient prep. Letting my terrible stove work ahead of the recipe saves me quite a bit of time. With those two items heating, I crumbled the tofu into small pieces. It had a wonderful aroma from the light caramel broth in which it was braised. I could really smell the Asian five-spice powder. Really took me back to a different time in my life!
The recipe called for chopping up 3/4 cup of the onion provided, but I went ahead and chopped the whole thing because I didn’t feel like having any ingredients leftover. Plus, onions are good for you—why not use all of it, you know? I also trimmed the root ends from the scallions, then chopped them on a diagonal, separating the white and green parts.
I cooked the braised tofu crumbles in 1 tablespoon of olive oil over what was supposed to be medium-high heat but wound up just being medium heat for 5 minutes. It didn’t get as crisped and browned as I would have liked, but to keep the operation moving, I transferred the tofu to a paper-towel-lined plate and forged ahead.
As the braised tofu was cooking, I tossed the ramen noodles into the pot of boiling water to cook for 3 and a half minutes. Once finished, I drained the noodles into a colander, rinsed them with cold water, and returned them to their pot away from the heat.
In the same skillet used for the tofu, I dropped in the onion and scallions with a little bit of olive oil, plus some salt and pepper. They cooked for about 5 minutes before I added the sugar snap peas. The veggie trio hung out in the pan together, continuing to cook for another 3-4 minutes.
In the meantime, I sliced the lime into quarters, cut the serrano chile in half, removed the stem, ribs, and seeds, and cut it into thin strips.
After the sugar snap peas achieved crisp tenderness, I added in the cabbage and ramen noodles with half of the serrano chile slices. This all cooked together until the cabbage began to wilt and the ramen heated through.
Because I wasn’t entirely satisfied with how the tofu cooked the first time, I grabbed a smaller skillet, warmed it up to high heat, then continued to let the tofu cook while the vegetables sauteed. This didn’t add any additional cook time but did allow me to better crisp the tofu to my liking.
At the end, I stirred in the mee goreng blend (a sauce comprised of tamari, maple syrup, sambal oelek, ketchup, rice vinegar, and sesame oil) and the tofu from the other pan. Everything was seasoned with salt and pepper one last time.
What a beautiful meal! I really loved the spicy, sweet, and savory qualities of the mee goreng blend. The tofu had a lot of flavor from its braising broth, and was a nice, soft contrast to the crunchiness of the snap peas. The serrano chile was no joke—usually with meal subscription kits, dishes tend to skew on the less spicy side to appeal to a wider range of palates, with room to customize. I like to use up all the ingredients provided, but made an exception with the chile, because the few slices I did toss into the skillet and on top of my bowl were very hot. The lime wedges were a nice, bright touch, and the portions were once again spot-on. Another winner!
Verdict: My experience with Sun Basket was really great! It was a marked improvement since the last time I tried it, when my two major complaints were the small portions and bland flavors. This time around, the flavors were interesting and complex (with the exception of the chicken soup), and every meal was perfectly filling. I also loved how all aspects of Sun Basket’s packaging are recyclable/compostable. The ingredients were unique and the instructions were super easy to follow. It was great to have the meals on-hand after a busy day. Overall, I won’t substitute a weekly grocery trip for Sun Basket, but I do recommend it for chaotic weeks when reaching for a healthy meal is needed above all else.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Sun Basket menus change weekly and you must choose from them ahead of time, you won’t be able to order these dishes unless they are offered again in the future.
Value Breakdown: At $71.94 for this box, you’re paying $11.99 per meal.
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