A Takeout Addict Tries Clean Eating

Breakfast was steel-cut oats with quince and cranberry. Could I make oatmeal myself? Yes. Do I like it better when someone makes it for me and tops it with various dried and stewed fruit? Yes! The following mornings I had mulberry ginger granola with Brazil nut milk and Mexican chocolate coconut yogurt. I awakened every day like a child on Christmas, so eager to eat something more exciting than toast.

I wasn’t as thrilled with the rest of the food. The kale chicken caesar with nutty herb croutons was easy to eat between meetings, but I’ve had better kale salads. The lemongrass ginger chicken soup was well suited for lunch on an overcast day, but not quite enough to keep me full until dinner, which was wild mushroom shepherd’s pie. At lunch on Day 3, I picked at my vegan caldo verde with focaccia (focaccia, for the record, doesn’t translate very well sans gluten), fed the rest to my dog and ate a toaster waffle.

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Sakara Life’s Chaga Chai Detox Bowl, Breezy Berry Scone with Homemade Apple Butter and Detox Tea.

Credit
Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Next up was Market. Kitchen. Table. I had seen its delivery bags around my Brooklyn neighborhood. This service doesn’t offer breakfast, but my first day’s lunch (eggplant salad with crumbled feta, roasted red peppers and arugula) and dinner (baked coconut shrimp with sweet chili kelp noodles) came with two snacks (trail mix and edamame hummus and carrots) and a dessert (banana cream pie chia pudding). I ate them at intervals while powering through deadlines and didn’t once think about cookies.

I liked the amount of food and the variety of ingredients but was confused by the food philosophy. Everything was surely packed with nutrients, but some items were gluten-free (raw Mexican brownies) while others were not (chocolate zucchini muffins); some meals were vegetarian (mushroom beet and bean burgers over greens with baked sweet potato fries and sriracha aioli), while others contained meat (chicken enchiladas with red pepper sauce and avocado crema). If gluten isn’t the enemy here, then may I at least have had a whole-wheat bun on my veggie burger?

And I started to miss hot food. All of the deliveries come cold and can be eaten as is, although items like veggie burgers or shrimp can be plucked off their beds of greens to be heated up.

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The company’s Niçoise salad has an “egg” fashioned from cashew and macadamia nuts.

Credit
Danny Ghitis for The New York Times

Last up was Sakara Life, which counters leaving out a lot of fun stuff by being vegan, gluten- and dairy-free with its wild popularity with beautiful people on social media. It has a granola that comes with a bright-green nut milk tinted with…

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