When was the last time you took your kids out to dinner? How’d that work out for ya? If your family is anything like mine, meals out are few and far between. That leaves (at the very least) 25 meals a month to shop for, prepare and cook for your family. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems like no matter how much I spice it up with new cookbooks, new recipes, and the like, I still tend get bored with the logistics of making a healthy family meal.
Enter Sweet Roots NYC. Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Marisa Claire Smith has come up with a way to take all the guesswork and heavy lifting out of making solid family dinners.
Sweet Roots is an innovative service that delivers ingredients that are carefully sourced, washed, chopped, filleted and measured, ready for you to cook. Before you get started, owner and Head Chef Marisa gets to know each of the clients’ needs. “The consultation process begins with a 30-minute phone call. It’s when I get to know the nuances. I ask them to then fill out some online questionnaires to build their preference profile. They check off ingredients they love, indicate things they hate, and do an inventory of their kitchen equipment so that we can tailor recipes to the tools they have.” (Sweet Roots will also meet the needs of clients who are vegetarian, vegan or require a gluten-free menu, just to name a few popular requests.) After the client’s initial consultation, says Marisa, “We follow up with a menu proposal to make sure that we’re all on the same page. We make any necessary changes and then we schedule the first delivery.” The process takes about three days.
For busy parents a Sweet Roots plan has the potential to make life a little less stressful and a lot more healthy. “Each week clients get a box with all of the ingredients they need to put dinner on the table. Clients only need to supply the olive oil, salt and pepper. All of our menus are designed to be ready in 30 minutes or less and we have a ton in our arsenal that can be put together in 15 minutes,” says Marisa of Sweet Roots’ efficiency. And as far as the healthy part, all Sweet Roots ingredients are organic. Meats are grass-fed/pastured and hormone-free and their fish is selected based on Monterey Bay guidelines, which ensure that the seafood is low in mercury and sustainable. “It’s all of the things many busy parents value and wish they could keep track of.”
Carla, another member of the Sweet Roots team, tells us, “We work with a number of families in Brooklyn, mostly parents with infants. We even have one family where the toddler is our primary client—we’re turning him into quite the adventurous eater. We have him eating polenta, fancy ravioli and salmon with a tamari-ginger marinade this week.” (Well, that sure beats the pants off the Arthur-shaped mac and cheese with frozen peas I served last night.)
Anyway, Sweet Roots offers several plans ranging from three to seven days a week, all custom-tailored to the client’s needs. A menu for a three-day plan may consist of dinners like Pan-fried Trout over Polenta Fennel, Orange and Green Bean Salad or Pita Sandwiches with Lamb, Fresh Beets, Carrots, Lettuce, and Cucumber-Radish Tzaziki Heirloom Tomato Tabbouleh. The cost for three-day dinner delivery is $69 per person, which is steep or reasonable depending on your perspective. If restaurant takeout is your default for last-minute meals, or you just need a jolt of inspiration in the kitchen, then the service makes sense. Children can be added on for $10 a meal, or you have the option to make any adult meal a larger portion for an extra $5. The best part? Tasty organic dinners with no shopping and zero prep time.
For more information on pricing or to set up a consultation go to www.sweetroootsnyc.com or call 646.963.2613