Earlier this month I was contacted by Austin-based Beetnik Foods to try a sampling of their foods. While I’m not one to turn down a free meal, it’s not often that I’m impressed enough to share products on my website (if you haven’t noticed yet, I’m a little obsessive about what makes it on my front page). I was happy to see that their food philosophy lines up with mine – start with great ingredients, then make great food – and the food was delicious and easy to make. So I thought I would take a second and share my experience.
Beetnik creates and packages meals using pastured/grass-fed meats, sustainably caught seafood, veggies, and gluten-free pastas and sides, and delivers them across the US. Everything is prepared in their home kitchen, which is 100% gluten-free, under the supervision of an on-staff Nutritionist. The meals came to me frozen in individual packages, with instructions on how to cook each item on the package. A couple items didn’t have instructions (their sauces), but it was pretty easy to figure out what to do with them (i.e. heat them up!).
The items were made with minimal ingredients, and were very fresh. The pastas are gluten-free but not Paleo friendly in that they contain rice flour, and some items (like their ravioli and alfredo sauce) contain dairy. Some menu items clash a bit with my views on nutrition (egg white omelets? why no yolks?) but overall I can get behind most of their products.
Cooking the meal you see in the first picture took about 30 minutes, not counting the fact that I thawed out the beef tenderloins ahead of time. To prepare the pastas, I boiled them in water for a few minutes, strained and tossed them with olive oil. For the (pre-cooked) chicken and sauces, I dropped them in boiling water until they were heated through. The veggies I steamed in the microwave. I then tossed the pastas, sauces, and meats together in a skillet before plating each one. I was a little creative in that I mixed in spinach with my alfredo sauce, but other than that I kept everything as-is. The tenderloins I threw on the grill for a few minutes and seasoned with salt and pepper.
It was much easier to prepare and faster than a typical meal, but it definitely wasn’t a TV-dinner-style experience. But still, I could see Beetnik products being a healthy, fairly-priced alternative to grabbing take out on those nights when you don’t have the time or energy to make a big meal. Some items were a real treat – the tenderloins were out of this world, and the pasta was nice and firm.
Lastly, they are currently offering a nation-wide online Living Social deal for a week’s worth of gluten-free meals for $75 (usually $169), so if you’re interested in trying them out, now’s a good time. Based on some reviews I found online from earlier this year, Beetnik recently had a Groupon deal that was so popular they had issues fulfilling all orders on time – so I would order sooner than later if you’re worried about getting your product very quickly.
Their website also offers strictly Paleo-friendly sampling menus if you’re inclined. If you do try them out, be sure to come back here and let me know how your experience was.