Like Eddie Money, it feels like many brands are trying to get you to take their food home tonight to cook for your family. Growing up, simplifying family meals were up to Shake N' Bake or Hamburger Helper, but with increased praise for nutritious family meals and with families having less and less time to cook, Zoës Kitchen came up with a service they believe to solve that dilemma.
They call the service "Fresh Take," a cooler filled with tubs of Zoës Kitchen's hummus, seasonal fruit salad, pasta salad, potato salad, chicken salad or marinated slaw paired with recipes from the Zoës Kitchen's website or your own recipe creation to cook a family meal. The restaurant contacted me to see if I wanted to try out the service, so with a lack of dinner plans in place I figured there wouldn't be any harm in giving Fresh Take a shot.
Honestly, our first inclination was to rip open each tub and dig in to the side items individually. Because really, what else do you need with pimento cheese other than a suitable carb vessel for its consumption?
But staying true to my assignment, I found a couple of easy recipes that worked with ingredients that I had hanging around the apartment. Probably the easiest of the recipes, almost insultingly easy, was the breakfast hash. You don't even have to click on the link-- the recipe instructs you to take the potato salad and saute it in a pan. The moist potato salad made it pretty difficult to get a crispy crust to the potatoes, leaving us with warm potato salad rather than a hash. The flavors weren't bad but it wasn't the textural experience I was hoping for. Sara's Irish roots, however, embraced the hash (and anything else ever to do with potatoes).
One of the most versatile items in the Fresh Take cooler was the marinated slaw. Vinegar based and mixed with feta cheese, the slaw is flexible enough for many recipes. We decided to take on fish tacos. Combined with whiting and corn tortillas, the fish tacos came out pretty tasty.
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The dishes were easy to make and turned out pretty good but there are just a limited amount things you can do with the different items that Zoës Kitchen provides. What are you going to do with pasta and chicken salad that will make it taste that much different?
Thats not to say it's a bad meal. All of the items that are available for Fresh Take are indeed fresh and flavorful. But there is a reason they are known as side dishes and not main courses.
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