Those who know me know that cooking is not an activity that I regularly participate in. As a single woman who is constantly on the move, it’s one of the last chores I want to spend time doing. So when I learned about The Ranch Daily (TRD), a high-end, healthy meal delivery service for Southern California, I was more than interested in checking out their product.
TRD’s menu consists of plant-based and nutrient-rich meals inspired by their transformational wellness programs. Everything served is organic, seasonal and locally sourced in order to celebrate nature’s bounty. Unlike services such as HelloFresh, Plated and BlueApron, The Ranch Daily does all the preparing and cooking for you. The meals are delivered from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on your doorstep inside an insulated cooler bag. Before your next delivery, leave the empty cooler bag out the night before to be picked up by their delivery team.
Each week, you begin by picking between two daily options: 3 + 2, which includes all meals plus two snacks and a side salad or 2 + 2, made up of lunch and dinner choices along with two snacks and a side salad. I went for the former and chose an initial three-day meal plan for $270 for the week. Five- ($445) and 20-day ($1,780) options are also available. The week’s menu items are laid out on the website, and all you have to do is choose which days’ meals you want.
On the morning of my first delivery, I woke up and checked my doorstep to find the small bag sitting outside with zip ties keeping it securely closed. The food comes in separate recyclable containers labeled by their corresponding meal time. That day’s menu included zucchini and leek pancakes with chive cashew cream, basil and arugula pesto salad, barbeque pizza, salad and two snacks of Berbere pepitas and dried kiwis with coconut shavings.
Although excited to try the pancakes, they were pretty dry, and adding the recommended chive cashew cream only made them less appetizing. Not the best start. Moving onto the pesto salad, the flavor was great, but the noodles were so drenched in sauce that it was barely enjoyable. It even came with an extra helping of pesto on the side which was unnecessary. By dinnertime, I was hungrier than I anticipated and was imagining a California burrito, but stuck to TRD’s last meal: the barbeque pizza. Made with a gluten-free pizza crust, hearts of palm, red onions and cilantro, the offering was a decent dinner paired with the salad. This was the tastiest item of the day.
The next two days were a little more rewarding but also hit and miss. The second day’s California spring rolls and almond dipping sauce were the highlight of the day; I’d definitely order these again. They came filled with cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers, string beans, bean sprouts and avocado. Like all of TRD's offerings, they are also good for you and are “rich in vitamins A, C and B6 to support your immune, digestive and nervous systems, this nutrient-dense lunch also promotes healthy skin and vision.”
On the third day, all meals were an improvement and included key lime pie coconut parfait for breakfast, black bean & rice burrito bowl and brown rice bowtie pasta with cashew cream sauce broccolini and peas for dinner. Each dish in this group was full of flavor and was satisfying, especially the parfait. This was also the day that made me rethink my previous assertations of the service.
While the goal of The Ranch Daily is to create good-for-you meals using serving organic, plant-based cuisine, I found myself wanting just a little bit more with each selection. However, the service is still worth checking out, especially if you're a vegetarian or vegan. All meals have a good source of essential vitamins and nutrients in them, and when your food choices are limited, it’s a good alternative to yet another salad at the nearby café. I sincerely believe that with a few tweaks, the service could be a great way of learning how to eat healthier when you're always on the run and can't take the time to prepare meals ahead of your week.
Nicolle is an award-winning writer and Travel Editor using her expertise in the industry to write about luxury travel around the world. You can find her daily searching the web for the latest trends, best new hotels and most beautiful destinations to visit and share with her readers. She's been featured on The Huffington Post, Hard Assets, AMD Entertainment and Remy Martin. In 2014, she was vo...(Read More)