A few months ago I began living with my delightful boyfriend, took over almost all cooking duties for us, and I found myself struggling with planning meals multiple times a week. When I lived by myself I could make one big dish, like enchiladas and rice, and it would last me at least two nights of dinner and sometimes another three lunches during the week. Filling in with pasta or cereal dinners wasn’t a problem, with a take-out or frozen pizza night as a treat. I have found that a tray of enchiladas does not last that long when you are sharing it with an adult man. Most of the cooking subscription boxes make portions too small for leftovers, and I’m pretty good at cooking without recipes anyway, so they didn’t work too well for us. What did end up working really well is Hungry Harvest.
I’ve been getting Hungry Harvest boxes twice a month for the last few months and it’s great. They currently deliver in the DC metro area, Philly, South Jersey, and South Florida, and they put together boxes of fruits and veggies from excess or produce rejected for superficial reasons from grocery stores. Having the vegetables and fruits picked for me seems to help trigger meal ideas I wouldn’t get if I was just shopping waiting for my own inspiration to strike. We get a Mini Harvest every two weeks and while it’s not the only fruit and veggies I buy in that time period, it’s the majority of the produce we get each month. The box is $15 plus a $1.99 delivery fee that’s waved if you order more than $19.99 worth of produce. You get a “never” list of things that will always be replaced, but you also get the option to customize a box each week by changing the number of items you receive, or even eliminating items and picking other ones. It’s a $1.50 fee to customize the box, and if you add without eliminating anything you will also pay a specific price per piece. This week I didn’t customize the box, and here’s what we got:
That’s a bunch of kale, three guavas, a tomato, a pound of fingerling potatoes, a sweet onion, two cameo apples, two orange peppers and a bunch of organic lettuce. We got an explanation for why all the food was given to Hungry Harvest, most of this delivery was surplus but the onions and potatoes were rejected for “funny shapes and sizes.” We’ve only had it for a day, but the kale already made it’s way into this crispy kale bake that I made with some butternut squash we had on hand.
I’ve made a lot of other great meals from previous harvests, a few weeks ago we had steak night with sauteed bok choy with garlic and baked sweet potatoes from our box:
And the rejection reasons can lead to some unexpectedly delightful produce, like the time we got giant apples and tiny acorn squash which both ended up being about the same size:
Hungry Harvest, in addition to being a super convenient way to get produce, is also dedicated to a mission of preventing food waste and making fruits and vegetables available to food insecure populations. Every delivery I get helps subsidize food donated to food pantries and food banks. The produce I get isn’t always picture perfect, and sometimes you end up with awkward amounts like the lone tomato in this week’s box. The number of times I’ve had issues with food going bad or being bruised with the Hungry Harvest deliveries is not significantly different than the same thing happening with produce I buy myself at the grocery store. They also offer other add-ons, like butter, cheese, and eggs, in addition to special produce. You can see a little bit of a pumpkin in the steak dinner photo, we got that as an add-on for $2 and it’s been decorating our table for a month now.
If you’re in the DC metro area, Philly, South Jersey, or South Florida and want to give Hungry Harvest a try you can get $5 off your first order with this referral link. Or you can just use my name, GENEVIEVEBURGESS, when you order.