Nüssli118° day tote unboxing and review

First of all, what?  Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re asking yourself right now.

Nüssli118° is a raw foods store in North Cambridge, Massachusetts.  They sell a variety of snacks, smoothies, and juices.  It’s not fancy shmancy (or is the correct description “celebrity hip”?) like Sakara Life.  Their website isn’t filled with slick sounding product descriptions like Splendid Spoon (which I might try some day because they do make their soups sound very tasty!).

Now, I’m not vegan or a raw foodist (I’m not even vegetarian) in any way, but I do get curious about the raw food culture.   I guess it’s because I do like diversity in my meals, and healthy is always appreciated.

I’ve had a some Nüssli118° products in the past.   There was some sort of ginger round, chocolate pecan squares, and their chocolate cashew smoothie.  All of which were delicious.  So, I’ve been really curious about the Nüssli118° day tote for a few months now.

From their website:

The Nüssli118° Kitchen Share Day Tote is a day’s worth of delicious meals, drinks, and snacks delivered to your home or office once a week.  The products are ready-to-eat right out of the mason jar or to be gently warmed, served, and savored.  Either way, they will nourish, satisfy, and energize you throughout your day.  Each Kitchen Share Day Tote includes 2 drinks, 3 meals, 1 savory, and 2 sweets.  We look at what’s in season, combine fresh, great tasting, high quality ingredients, and create delicious nutrient-dense meals.  They are all organic, plant-based, and ready-to-eat, just enjoy!

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Note, you can save money on the delivery fee by picking up the tote yourself.  The tote I picked up was this:

Week of April 10, 2017  Kitchen Share Day Tote:

Pineapple Turmeric Fresca
Vanilla Chai Smoothie
Chia Pudding Topped with Kiwi, Orange, and Apple
Butternut Squash Soup
Taco Salad
Garlic & Herb Crackers
Super Dark Chocolate Rounds
Lemon Ginger Square

Unboxing

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If you go through my photos, you’ll notice that I didn’t get the taco salad.  That’s because I’m allergic to raw celery and raw carrots.  So, the store provided their mango kale salad as a substitute.

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Overall, I liked this salad.  I just wished that there had been a bit more of it.  Besides kale and mango, there was jicama, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup and red pepper flakes.  And since I was still hungry, I went ahead and had the soup.  (Afterward, I remembered that each jar in my tote was technically a meal. Oh well.)

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You can have the soup hot or cold.  It was a really nice warm spring day in Boston, so I went for it cold.  I liked this meal too.  The cranberries and parsley helped to jazz up the otherwise plain tasting squash soup.  I might have forgotten that cashews were in the soup and topped it with a tablespoon of hemp seed from my pantry.

Regarding the snacks, this is where Nüssli118° really shines.

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No surprise, the super dark chocolate rounds were my favorite from the tote.  The rosemary crackers were a close second.  The lemon ginger squares were my least favorite only because it’s a little too sweet for my personal preference.  But the texture is great.  It’s got crunch from the nuts but it’s not hard on the teeth.  The brightness of the lemon flavor shines through, but I’m not sure I could taste ginger much.  At the end of the day though, I’m always pro-chocolate.  The rounds are quite dense, but the chocolate flavor satisfies quite nicely.

Finally, I had the chia pudding for breakfast the morning after I picked up the tote.  I was unsure if I was going to like it.  Generally, I stay away from chia seeds because they get stuck in my teeth too easily.  Maybe because I had let the chia pudding sit for so long, I didn’t really have an issue.  It would have been boring if it hadn’t been for the fruit topping – apples, kiwi, and oranges – even though the pudding says it was spiced with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, clove, and nutmeg.  I could tell that the pudding wasn’t just chia, cashews, and water.  However, the spices were really muted.

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As for the drinks?  The cashew vanilla smoothie was good.  Not the best I’ve ever had, but certainly not the worst.  It’s just a basic cashew smoothie.  The tote list says vanilla chai, but the bottle I had was just vanilla.  The ingredients were water, cashews, dates, coconut oil, vanilla, and Himalayan salt.  The pineapple turmeric was probably my least favorite thing in the whole tote, and that’s just personal preference.  I found the turmeric flavor to overpower every other flavor.  The ingredient list is pineapple, water, mango, orange, lemon, maple syrup, turmeric, and cayenne.  I could barely taste the pineapple.  I really couldn’t taste any mango or orange.

So, would I do this again?  Quite possibly.  It’s not cheap.  It’s $65 and then there’s a $10 deposit for the tote and the mason jars.  If you return the tote and mason jars, you can get a $10 credit toward your next purchase.  I like that the packaging is reusable, and am not against the deposit.  Overall, the quality of everything is great.  (And it had better be!  Everything is organic, and some ingredients have been sprouted.)  The experience has definitely given me ideas on things to make at home.  It also makes me want to work on snack recipes.  But chances are pretty high that I’ll probably be lazy and swing by Nüssli118° when I’m hankering for healthy crisps and sweets.  (^_^)

Links:
http://nussli118.com/

Disclaimer – This post was not sponsored in any way.  A family member purchased the tote for me as a gift.  I just wanted to share my excitement.

The Start of 2013, in pictures

I went to the Red House again for New Year’s Eve.  The menu was almost the same, but a few things were different.

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I had the latkes, the paradelle (again), the stuffed scallops, and the bread pudding.  The latkes were delicious even without the sauce, so I’ll have to say that I liked it better than NYE 2011’s preparation.  The paradelle was still delicious, but perhaps spicier than last time.  The stuffed scallops were very good.  It looked like a small portion compared to the other entree options, but I had suspicions that it would be a smaller plate of food and strategically ordered it so that I would have more room in my belly for the bread pudding.  (haha, and it was the right move in my opinion.)  The scallops were served on shells with some asparagus spears.  There was a lot more seafood in the stuffing than I expected, but the dish wasn’t overly fishy or anything.  The bread pudding was quite yummy and filling, but I don’t remember having chocolate chips in it last time.

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Creating Warming Uncooked Meals with Laurel McConville

I did another CCAE class recently. This time, it was “This is Raw? Creating Warming Uncooked Meals” with Laurel McConville.  I think I’ve mentioned this before – I’m a happy omnivore with a fascination with raw foods recipes.  I think it started when I had dental surgery a few years ago.  There were a lot of smoothies, apple sauce, and pureed bean soups while I was forced on soft foods.  And I got bored quickly.  Eventually, I started to find some interesting blended soups that were in the raw foods category, and eventually I came across “Everyday Raw” by Matthew Kenney.  Have you ever read a Matthew Kenney recipe?  They’re attention grabbing, I tell you.

Anyway, fast forward -> I’ve only started to really experiment with raw foods this year.  I haven’t made much, but the little I have have been very delicious.  So, when I heard that CCAE had added a raw foods class to their calender, I made sure to save myself a seat.

Our instructor was Laurel McConville, a very nice young woman who’s been a long time vegan and on/off raw for the last few years.  (It’s hard to be a raw foodie in New England when winter comes around – too cold and good fresh veggies are harder to come by.)  Almost everyone in the class was vegetarian or vegan.  I think my sister and I were the only exceptions.  (however… I often joke that my sister is a part-time vegetarian, to which she usually rolls her eyes at me.)  And, almost everyone had some experience with raw foods.

Class started with Laurel making us some butternut and green apple soup.  My sister and I were really impressed.  It was really well balanced, not too sweet, and not too spiced.  And then, Laurel made us some zucchini and chive canapes.  I absolutely love any cashew based creams/cheeses, so I took a huge liking to the canapes.  I couldn’t stop myself from snarfing them down.  Luckily, Laurel made a huge batch and many of the students held off to taste the other dishes.

The rest of class was spent working in small groups, each group was tasked with making a different recipe that Laurel provided.  By the end of the night, we had:

-brussel sprouts and pumpkin seed slaw
-wild rice and chickpea salad
-kale and shallot pizzettes
-fig and lemon tarts

I enjoyed the brussel sprout slaw and the pizzettes the most (even though one person didn’t like the pizzettes at all), and thought that the tart was alright.  I think I wanted the tart to be sweeter or something.  Maybe more lemony?  That could have been the fault of my group though – we made it and I don’t know if anyone remembered to add lemon zest.

The wild rice and chickpea salad was my least favorite but not because of its flavor.  Flavor-wise, it was fine, albeit nothing stellar.  For me, it was the texture.  I don’t like to do a lot of chewing.  It hurts.  [No, seriously.  Almost two years ago, I spent eight days in Paris.  All the baguettes I ate nearly ruined my jaw for the entire week afterward.  Even the last couple of days in Paris found me buying ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread from the supermarkets whenever possible, out of desperation.]

Overall reaction – I enjoyed the class and it was a great way to taste several different dishes in the raw food style in one night.  I definitely want to make the canapes, the soup, and the pizzette again.  Oh, and I want to make the cashew parmesan cheese that was prepped with the pizzette.  It was delicious and garlicky.  I am willing to bet that the cashew parmesan cheese will be the first thing I re-make.  It’s pretty easy and only requires a food processor.  (A lot of raw foods recipes will require a high-speed blender.  I don’t have one but my sister does.  You know that I’ll be bugging her in the very near future.)

As usual, I don’t repost the recipes I get in a CCAE class.  If you can and you’re local, support CCAE and sign up for a class.  Laurel will be teaching the class again soon in the near future (Jan or Feb?  I don’t remember.)  She’ll also be teaching a raw food cheese class with wine.  I would take the cheese class, except I don’t drink.  Don’t be sad about the lack of recipes though, Laurel posted the canapes recipe on her own blog.  See below.  (^_^)

Reference Links

http://www.onesmallpatch.com/ (Laurel’s blog)

http://www.onesmallpatch.com/2012/11/recipeness.html (recipe to the zucchini chive canapés we made in class)

http://www.ccae.org/