Imagine if Eleven Madison Park made your salad for lunch. Or your oatmeal for breakfast. Or freshly baked cookies for your before-bed snack. Well this became a reality with the launch of Eleven Madison Home—an extension of the renowned restaurant that brings delicious, plant-based meals and products right to your door, with the mission to help you lead a more plant-based lifestyle, one day a week. I got to try their weekly box, which includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, soup, a snack and dessert (but note that the menu changes from week to week). Here is what that one day of Eleven Madison Home-sanctioned plant-based eating looked like for me, starting with breakfast.
Breakfast: Whole Grain Oatmeal With Rhubarb Compote & Roasted Pecan Butter
The oatmeal was a great way to start the morning. I simmered the whole grain oatmeal mix with the maple oat milk they supplied. The milk had cinnamon, maple syrup and vanilla in it, which made for a flavorful base to cook the oat mixture in. Once that got nice and creamy, I took it off the stove and put it in a bowl with two heaping spoonfuls of the rhubarb compote and roasted pecan butter they provided (which I now slather on toast and drizzle over sliced strawberries). The rhubarb compote was bright, sweet and a little tart, while the roasted pecan butter was toasty, salty and rich. The two juxtaposed each other nicely and made for a truly exciting bowl of oatmeal (words I never thought I would type).
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Lunch: Celery Root Salad Sandwich
Lunch was my absolute favorite meal provided. I was given a make-your-own sandwich, with a hearty slice of fluffy, fragrant rosemary focaccia, a heap of celery root salad, some pea greens with pickled red onions and New York Signature Matbucha.
I started by cutting the focaccia in half and then lightly toasting it, as recommended in the instructions, though it also notes you can also skip this step. Then, I slathered the matbucha on both sides before piling on the celery root salad, pea greens and pickled onions.
This celery root salad is just like a classic chicken salad, but with celery root in place of the poultry. To be candid, I don’t usually like celery at all, but something about the crunchiness and the subtlety of celery root really works for me in this context. But the real star here is that matbucha. It’s very similar to the slightly spicy tomato sauce used in shakshuka, which pairs brilliantly with the creamy salad here. The sandwich overall is so well balanced both in terms of flavor and texture—you get the crunch of the celery root and the walnuts, nice pops of sweetness from the grapes, fluffiness from the bread, spiciness from the matbucha, freshness and a little bite from the pea greens and some acidity from the pickled red onions. I would’ve never thought to make this at home, but it’s honestly genius. Also, I’m wholeheartedly obsessed with that matbucha. I’ve been topping my scrambled eggs with it in the morning and dolloping it onto little canapés of water crackers with cream cheese and smoked salmon.
Soup: Tortilla Soup
The tortilla soup was pretty classic. It had creamy beans and hominy, which added nice texture, and lots of cilantro for freshness. But we have to talk about the crispy tortilla strips provided to top off the soup. Those were outrageously good—smoky, crispy, salty. I could’ve eaten those straight out of the bag they came in, they were so delicious.
Snack: Chickpea Crisps & Olive Tapenade
As for the snack of chickpea crisps and olive tapenade, it was basically what you’d expect. The tapenade was salty and briny and garlicky (and there’s more then enough to last you past the box). But the crisps, though slightly more delicate than a tortilla chip, were very flavorful. They tasted of cumin and weren’t very salty, which made for a nice pairing with the tapenade.
Dinner: Mushroom Kebab With Israeli Couscous and Roasted Carrots
Dinner is probably the most involved meal in the box, which seems fair. I started off by cleaning a few baby carrots and slicing a head of garlic sideways (surprisingly difficult!). Then I placed those on top of a layer of fresh thyme in the small aluminum pan Eleven Madison Home provided me. I sprinkled some salt and drizzled a healthy amount of olive oil over top and then into the oven they went. And wow, the smells coming from my oven were divine.
As a meal, dinner was nicely balanced between hot and cold, spiced and cooling. The best part of dinner was the roasted carrots. Those baby carrots were absolutely delicious finished with that tangy pomegranate molasses (another item that keeps for a while!). And they were oh so tender. This is inspiring me to make roasted carrots a part of my dinner plans way more often.
The mushroom kebab itself tasted of cumin and quite honestly was just fine. The kebab was good for what it was, but was not the star here. What elevated it, though, was the roasted garlic. I smushed some of the cloves of garlic against the mushroom kebab, and together those two really sung. The couscous was a nice note to finish on, since it was mixed with yogurt and cucumber and served cold. Very refreshing.
Dessert: Snickerdoodle Cookies
A cookie right out of the oven is one of life’s great pleasures, and these snickerdoodles let me indulge in that with ease. They come in a cute, little slice-and-bake log with some turbinado sugar for sprinkling. Once baked, they’re crisp on the bottom, crunchy from the sugar on top and soft in the middle. These are the cinnamon-y cookies you’ve grown up eating, but they’re fully vegan—made from rye flour, plant-based butter and flax meal. A warm, cozy, nostalgic way to end my Eleven Madison Home day.
My takeaways from this experience:
- This box inspires me to want to cook more vegetables and has taught me how, to an extent. For example, with the roasted carrots. I replicated that recipe a couple nights later and really enjoyed it. Now it’s a recipe I’ll likely add into my weekly rotation.
- I love the little goodies you get to takeaway from this box—the matbucha, the tapenade, the pomegranate molasses, the olive tapenade, the compote and the nut butter. Personally, it’s hard for me to justify $150 weekly box in addition to my groceries, but those items make the box much more worthwhile for me and allow me to continue experimenting beyond the box.
- In all, I do recommend this box, if you’re willing to part with the $150. All of the meals were so fresh and tasty, and it utilized produce in ways I hadn’t thought to. There’s also something comforting about knowing your meals are taken care of for the day and that those meals are decently good for you and good for the planet, too.
Feature photo courtesy of Eleven Madison Home.