Founded on the premise of making quality, healthy, and sustainable grocery shopping simple, Relay Foods, an online grocery delivery service for the DMV and Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill, NC areas is taking their e-experience to the next level with the launch of Meal Planning. Offering consumers the option of shopping via their extensive curation of categorized recipes, Relay Foods may be the best time saver on the block – taking the guessing game out of ‘what’s for dinner’ and relieving the stress of fitting in a stop at the market. With recipe options ranging from Middle Eastern Winter Vegetable Couscous Bowl to one-pot Savory Lamb Stew with Apricots, Relay’s recipes seem to not only accommodate the every-level chef, but the majority of major dietary restrictions and allergies. Noting my primary diet as ‘Vegan’, I was most drawn to Relay’s In Season: Winter and 30 Minutes or Less recipe categories, selecting and customizing various recipes to meet my dietary preferences, budget, and acknowledge what I already had lingering in my pantry. After selecting a recipe, shoppers are provided with options to purchase for each recipe ingredient, ranging from local to organic or brand name. Although I did find Relay’s prices to be a bit on the higher side, they are seemingly competitive with Whole Foods and other local health food markets. Having everything delivered right to my doorstep wasn’t too shabby either.
Initially scrolling rough Relay Food’s recipe options, I found myself coming back to their Middle Eastern Winter Vegetable Couscous Bowl – the epitome of chilly weather cozy. Made with a combination of warming and healing cinnamon, ginger, and turmeric and perfectly sweet carrots, squash, and golden raisins, I couldn’t help but visualize myself nuzzled under a thick wool blanket, bowl in hand. Aptly described as ‘healthy and inviting’, my slightly modified (lighter) version hits the spot, hard.
Middle Eastern Winter Vegetables [makes 6 servings]
slightly adapted from: Relay Foods, Middle Eastern Winter Vegetable Couscous Bowl
2 carrots (about ¼ pound), cut into ½ inch pieces
2 parsnips (about 1 pound), cut into ½ inch pieces
2 medium onions, diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 bay leaves
¾ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
¼ teaspoon ground turmeric
¼ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon chili flakes
1 pound butternut squash, cubed
1 cup sweet potato (½ pound), cubed
1 lemon, sliced into wedges
½ cup of golden raisins
1 can (15 ounces) chickpeas, with liquids
2 tablespoons harissa
3 cups cooked couscous, warm
½ cup cilantro, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, rack in the middle. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Place carrots, parsnips, and onions on lined baking sheet and toss with olive oil, bay leaves, cinnamon, ginger, turmeric, paprika, and chili flakes. Place in oven and roast for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, toss in butternut squash and sweet potato, top with lemon wedges, and return to oven for an additional 30 minutes.
Again, remove the vegetables from the oven and toss with raisins, chickpeas (with liquids),and harissa. Return to oven for a final 10 minutes. Remove from heat and remove bay leaves once slightly cooled.
Plate the prepared couscous in your favorite serving dish, spreading roasted vegetables on top. Spritz with the juice from the roasted lemons and garnish with cilantro.
Nutritional Information [per serving = 1 ½ cups roasted vegetables + ½ cup couscous]
375 Calories, 75g Carbohydrates, 6.5g Fat, 9.5g Protein, 12g Fiber, 19g Sugar
Recipe ingredients generously provided by Relay Foods, all opinions are my own.