Friday, September 19, 2014

Good Food Comes A-Knockin': Door-to-Door Organics

You don't have to cook fancy or complicated masterpieces - just good food from fresh ingredients.
-- Julia Child

I grew up in rural Pennsylvania, never once wondering where the peas, strawberries, corn, and tomatoes I was eating came from. If they weren't from our garden they were probably from a nearby family member, neighbor, or roadside stand. Or if they were from the grocery store, I don't think my parents ever worried about pesticides and such -- back then no one was really concerned about what was in/on their food. "Local" and "Organic" weren't buzz words yet.

When I started getting serious about cooking about 5 years ago, I realized that the "organic" produce I was buying from the nearby food store just wasn't cutting it. Also, I like my dollars to go to the actual farmers (and not a huge corporation) whenever possible, which isn't always easy here in the NYC metro area. So, I started looking for a local organic produce option in my area. I tried a neighborhood CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) for a few years, and the produce was great, but the hours for picking up my box of goodies didn't mesh well with my getting home after 7 p.m. We also had to pick up our boxes from someone's home, and in the winter parking became tricky, as did navigating the poorly lit garage. There was one night I was sure that the police were going to be called, as I bumbled around in the dark for my box with a flashlight in one hand and a carton of local eggs in the other. Ugh!

Then, last December my gorgeous, healthy-eating neighbor Kat Loves Kale, mentioned that she had organic produce delivered right to her door by Door-to-Door Organics, and I've been using them ever since. (Thanks, Kat!)
Note: Door-to-Door comped part of my order for this week's box, which was very nice of them since I was planning on posting about them anyway. They also provided me with a discount code for any of you who want to give them a try. So, if you are lucky enough to live in an area where they deliver, you'll find a code for $10 off your first order at the end of this post. (Yay!)

The whole ordering process is very easy and stress-free. I get my box every other Thursday. Around Noon on the Friday before my delivery week, I can go to my account and see what's in my upcoming week's box. I have until 8 a.m. on the Wednesday before my delivery to change my order (you can make up to 5 swaps to your box if there's something you don't want/like/need). Then, on that Thursday, I come home to a well-packed box (or two) of beautiful organic produce and any grocery items I may have added to my order. Everything in the produce box is organic, and as local as they can get (depending on the time of year).

You can choose from a mixed box made up of organic fruits and vegetables, an all-fruit box, or an all-vegetable option. The boxes range from $25-$54 per box, depending on the size you select. In the summer, from June-Sept, there's an option to sign up for their coveted all-local organic box: "The Local Farm Box," which is a couple dollars more per box than your regular subscription, but oh-so-worth it! Such great stuff inside!

Here's what was in this week's Small Local Farm Box:
  • Zucchini Squash
  • White Button Mushrooms
  • Tomatillos
  • Romaine Lettuce
  • Red Tomatoes
  • Red Chard
  • Poblano Peppers
  • Kale
  • Green Cabbage
  • Delicata Squash
  • Cucumbers
  • Baby Eggplants

Why I'm a Returning Customer: 
  • Great Packaging: The 100% recycled boxes are well-packed with reusable or recyclable interior packaging. I ordered eggs and cheese a few weeks ago, and ended up getting home later than I expected (all deliveries are usually completed by 6 p.m.). It was an especially hot day, so I had prepared myself for dealing with a melted mess, but when I opened the box it was so well-insulated with ice packs, the eggs and cheese were still perfectly chilled. Also, if you don't have a recycling bin, there's an option to recycle your packaging directly with Door-to-Door Organics. (They'll pick up your used box when they deliver the next one.) They also have great customer service. If an item gets smooshed or doesn't arrive up to par, let them know. They will happily rectify it.
  • One Stop Shopping:  Door-to-Door Organics also offers all-natural grocery items in addition to their produce boxes. Everything from antibiotic-free meats and wild-caught fish, hormone-free dairy, dairy and meat alternatives, fresh-baked breads, deli products, beverages, and canned/pantry items. It's great for those, "I forgot to get almond milk when I was at the store!" or "I need some beautiful spreads and breads for my dinner party this weekend but don't have time to go food shopping!" moments. And, if you want to add more fruits/veggies beyond what you are already getting in your box, you can buy them individually via the "Shop" option as well. There's also a handy "Restock" category that let's you easily re-order items you've purchased in the past.
  • A Happy Box: There are always smiley faces on my packing slip, and sometimes you get a flyer/note from the local farmers. (How special is that?) Most of this week's box came from the Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative. 
  • Quality Ingredients: Organic food waiting at my door = great cooking awaits me in the kitchen! Look at these beauties: Poblanos, baby eggplants, tomatillos, zucchini, oh my!

And, as for what I'm going to do with the items from this week's box? I'm planning on making myself a lovely cocktail with the Dry Rhubarb Soda I ordered from the market section and gin from our bar, to sip while I dream up some delicious dishes to make with all of those gorgeous fruits and veggies. In the meantime, here are some of the year's favorite dishes using ingredients from my Door-to-Door boxes:

Summer Corn Salad with Smoked Ricotta Dressing





Sautéed Fennel, Apple and Kale Salad

Okay, okay. You've been wonderfully patient, so you can now be rewarded with a code for $10 off your first order with www.doortodoororganics.com!

Here's the code...are you ready?
GOURMESS

Note: This code is good only at www.doortodoororganics.com and expires 9/19/15. The offer is limited to new, first-time orders only, one per customer. And, it's good towards a box of any size. You'll have the opportunity to add it on your order page ("Apply Coupon") before checkout.

Right now, Door-to-Door Organics delivers organic produce/groceries for free to various locations in New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Michigan (there's a $1 delivery fee for Grand Rapids), Chicago, Missouri, and Kansas. They also deliver to Staten Island, NY.

If you can and do take advantage of this offer, please let me know how it works out.


Hooray for organic eating!
xoxo


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