Daily Harvest Harvest Bakes
Credit: Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest Just Launched Organic Ready-to-Bake Meals—Save Up to $40 on Your First Box with Our Code

Here’s what I thought of each of them.
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Many people resolve to improve their cooking skills when January rolls around, but as schedules fill up and meal prepping drops down the priority list, that New Year's resolution is easily forgotten. To start 2022 with a bang, Daily Harvest just launched new menu offerings to help people cook showstopping food with little to no effort—and I had a chance to try them all. 

Daily Harvest's new Harvest Bakes are ready-to-bake meals full of nutrient-rich vegetables and fibrous ingredients, and they take about as much time to prepare as a frozen dinner you could grab at the grocery store. They'll also help you start the new year on a sustainable note: Generally, plant-based diets are eco-friendly, and this line of organic dishes is grown without pesticides and other potentially harmful chemicals. Plus, these meals are delivered in recyclable packaging, further lowering their environmental impact.

daily harvest prepared food
Credit: Courtesy of Madison Yauger

The menu includes four options for $12 each: Cremini and Smoked Paprika Ropa Vieja, Chickpea and Coconut Curry, Gigante Bean and Artichoke Olio, and Squash and Wild Rice Gratin. Given how easy they were to make and the varied flavor profiles, I'd recommend trying them all. And when you use Food & Wine's special code FWBAKES to sign up, you'll get up to $40 off your first box.

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I started with the Squash + Wild Rice Gratin for a little American flair. This nightshade-free dish includes a medley of delicata squash, red cabbage, cranberry seeds, and Brussels sprouts served over wild rice and lentils with a parsnip thyme sauce drizzled on top. 

Shop now: Harvest Bakes, $12 each; daily-harvest.com

Instructions are printed clearly on the side of each package, and there are only four steps involved. First, set your oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit, then take off the package sleeve and remove the plastic cover. Place the frozen Harvest Bake on the oven rack and let it bake for 22 to 27 minutes, stirring halfway through. Once it's finished, let it cool for one to two minutes, and then dig in!

daily harvest prepared food
Credit: Courtesy of Madison Yauger

The first dish didn't disappoint because its robust flavors played well with one another. The sweetness of the squash melded with savory elements like rice and Brussel sprouts to form a full-bodied bite that took me back to Thanksgiving. Similarly, The Chickpea + Coconut Curry had a nice balance of flavors because the more mild ingredients like sweet potatoes and green chickpeas cut through some of the spices, which included turmeric, cumin, and chili pepper. This one was my favorite: As someone who often uses red pepper flakes and chili powder in my kitchen, this dish brought a little heat

The paleo-friendly and allergen-free Cremini + Smoked Paprika Ropa Vieja, meanwhile, is a Cuban-inspired dish with mushrooms, kale, pumpkin and sunflower seeds, plantains, and kohlrabi (a turnip variety), all served with a tomato and red pepper sauce. The seeds added a solid crunch with every bite, and the plantains softened the naturally bitter flavor of kale. 

daily harvest prepared food
Credit: Courtesy of Daily Harvest

One past critique of Daily Harvest has been the portion sizes, which are designed to reduce food waste. But the company has been listening, and the Harvest Bakes are substantially bigger than its other offerings—perfect for a whole meal or as a side for two or more people. For example, the Gigante Bean + Artichoke Olio is as filling as they come. This Italian-focused meal has flavors and textures similar to a spinach and artichoke dip, combining buttery gigante beans with artichokes in a creamy sauce that's similar to Alfredo, but made with pureed cauliflower, garlic, yeast, and chickpeas. To me, it resembled a cheesy feast; it even includes "breadcrumbs" with hemp for additional flavor and fullness.

For more meals and snacks, consider the full Daily Harvest menu, which has smoothies, grain-filled Harvest Bowls and grain-free Forager Bowls, flatbreads, soups, oat bowls and chia bowls, and even desserts like Scoops, a vegan ice cream. To sign up, choose from three box sizes: small (nine items), medium (14 items), and large (24 options). You can filter the menu options to highlight or hide certain ingredients, and once you've selected your food, you can set your delivery dates and frequency. It's easy to alter your subscription at any time. 

If you're like me, you want to spend more time eating and less time cooking. Adding Daily Harvest's new Harvest Bakes to your meal plan will satisfy both of those goals this year.