• itchyeater

My Review of Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

Disclaimer: I am not a medical professional. The information on this site recounts my personal experience only. Talk to your doctor with questions or concerns. I have no affiliations. I use links for reader's convenience.

There are two reasons why I was looking for a food delivery service: 1) grocery shopping is difficult during COVID-19 and 2) I needed some new ideas and inspiration. After much deliberation between Blue Apron and Marley Spoon, I decided to go with Marley Spoon because each recipe was clearly labeled as “gluten-free,” “vegetarian,” “lactose free,” etc. Even with these labels, it gives you the option to see the entire recipe and its ingredients before selecting it for delivery. This allowed me to review recipes that were not labeled as “gluten-free” or “lactose-free” and determine if and what I could substitute to make it suitable to my diet. Huge plus!

The first recipe my boyfriend and I made was Marley Spoon’s Hoisin-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Pineapple Fried Rice.

Switch #1: Hoisin

Right off the bat I knew hoisin contains gluten. Luckily, I have a gluten-free version in my fridge that I have not yet tried; this was finally the PERFECT opportunity to use it since I had no idea what to do with it or what it tasted like.

The result: delicious! The sauce is amazing.

Switch #2: Rice

I was not anticipating switching the rice however on the package is printed “may contain trace allergens.” This scared me so I put it in my boyfriend’s food cabinet for him to eat at a later date and used my go-to, favorite rice. It did cross my mind that if the rice contains cross-contaminates that all of the other food likely does as well….which I did not notice any disclaimers when ordering. Eventually my boyfriend pointed out a disclaimer on the recipe page: “may contain traces of other allergens. Packaged in a facility that packages gluten containing products.”

Allergen Sidenote:

I emailed them regarding what their other “allergens” are and hopefully will hear back soon! I’m personally not worried about minor gluten-cross contamination as my intolerance can handle that, for now. I am worried about nut cross-contamination or even use of latex in the facility. Especially since I woke up the morning after eating the meal with mildly swollen and itchy lips/mouth. Not sure if that is because I forgot to take my allergy medication at night or if it is from the meal…hopefully I will discover more information regarding allergens and my reactions with the next two meals this week.

Switch #3: Pineapple

I cannot eat pineapple due to my OAS though I have not tried to eat cooked pineapple because that scares me way too much. Luckily for me but not for my boyfriend, our meal kit was actually missing the pineapple. So no problems on that front! Although, if I wasn’t allergic I would have been extremely disappointed as pineapple is a key ingredient to this recipe. Literally...it’s in the name.

The Cooking Process

All was going well because the first step was easy: make the rice. Next, we had to measure out and mix the sauce for the pork tenderloin. Warning: major discrepancy on this part! The ingredient list and recipe switched between ounces and tablespoons. Specifically, the ingredient list stated “2 (½ oz) tamari” and the instruction stated “1 tablespoon of tamari.” Sorry but not sorry that I haven’t memorized cooking measurement conversions. My boyfriend and I ended up googling it. Doesn’t seem like it would be a big deal but it was annoying.

The recipe also stated to cook the pork in the oven at 450 degrees for 6-8 minutes until the temperature inside the pork was 145 degrees. I greatly appreciated that they gave me the temperature since I had never cooked pork and would have had to look that one up. Unfortunately 8 minutes was not NEARLY enough time; after 8 minutes the inside temperature of the pork was about 60 degrees. So after about 15 additional minutes we glazed the pork and then broiled it.

The Takeaway

This meal was delicious! It allowed me to try cooking pork tenderloin which I had never done before and will definitely do again. From the allergen perspective I was extremely unhappy and so was my body. My lips became swollen and my mouth was itchy for over a day, even after taking Benadryl.

The Hail Mary

After 2 days I wanted to try another recipe to see if it really was the meal kit that led to an allergic reaction. It could have been anything, including the weather because it has been so so windy which kicks up crazy amounts of pollen. At least that’s what I’ve been trying to tell myself because I want to use this service so badly.

I was extra cautious this time and only used the meat (steak) and the vegetables/fruit that were given (russet potato, lime, spinach). I vigorously washed the produce in Branch Basics, cooked it, then ate it up.  Almost Immediately my reaction was worse than before. I took two Benadryl and went to sleep. Even the next day I was so drowsy from the Benadryl and my allergic reaction persisted. A wasted day.

I emailed Marley Spoon twice in the past week about allergens and refunds and have not heard anything back. I will definitely provide an update as soon as they respond. In the meantime, I will be donating the box that was delivered yesterday to my family. Luckily, none of them have any allergies. I have cancelled my membership and will never be using Marley Spoon again due to my allergies.

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