I first encountered truLOCAL at the National Women’s Show held in Toronto. If you read my previous blog, you’ll know that I almost didn’t even go to the show. But I’m so glad I did because I had the chance to meet Irma, the Director of Customer Experience from truLOCAL. This Canadian company specializes in delivering locally sourced meat. After doing some research about the company, I was excited about the opportunity to try their products.
Psstt…this post is sponsored by truLOCAL. If you want to try this clean meat subscription box, head over to their website and use my promo code, ENSQUAREDAIRED to get 10% off your first order.
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My thoughts on consuming meat
If you follow my Instagram account, you’ll know that I am no vegetarian when I eat out. However, when it comes to meat consumption for homecooked meals, it’s almost nil. And my iron levels seem to agree – they are consistent with what you see in a vegetarian. I’ve been struggling with very low iron levels for the last five years, and while I take supplements and eat iron-rich vegetables, I consume meat when I can as a source of iron and B12.
But, the animal lover in me struggles whenever I go to the grocery store to purchase meat to cook at home. I’ve watched far too many documentaries that highlight the unethical treatment of animals grown for consumption, and all the crap that gets injected into animals. Many times, I browse the meat section in the grocery store trying to find products that are locally sourced, clean and free run. Most times, those grocery trips end up futile, and I go home, planning my home-cooked meals around meatless dishes. Luckily, truLOCAL understands the concerns of consumers such as myself and sources meat that meets (haha, pun intended) my criteria.
truLOCAL offers meat delivery service that sources local high-end products from animals that are free run and raised without added hormones. As well, their meat is considered clean because it is antibiotic free and truLOCAL also hires third party testing to ensure that the meat is what they expect it to be.
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So, how does truLOCAL work?
Once you log onto their website, you can choose either
- The small box, 9 points, $125
- The regular box, 20 points, $250
Points are the currency used to customize your box. In my case, I had 9 points to play with, so I chose:
- 4 boneless skinless chicken breast
- 1 ground turkey
- 2 filet mignon
- 1 bacon
- 1 lean ground beef
I placed my order and a week later, I arrived home on a Thursday to a well-packaged box.
True to their claim, the meat was still frozen when I got home thanks to the dry ice. The meat was very well sealed and well packed, which works for me because I don’t like poorly packaged meat (a bit of a germophobe here). The box was very sturdy and properly insulated, keeping the meat protected and was a good use of space.
Filet Mignon with Sweet potatoes and leek
So I have a confession to make, I only know how to cook lower quality meats, like pork belly, beef shank, and ribs. When I initially logged onto truLOCAL’s site, I was concerned because I noticed all the meat and fish on the website are high-quality stuff. My biggest fear at that moment was messing up a high-quality meat dish.
Luckily, I have my amazing high school friend, Frank who is an incredible cook and offered to make steak and gnocchi carbonara. Sicong, another high school friend, happened to visit from LA, and so he benefited from Frank’s insanely delicious home cooking.
Frank combined a bunch of ingredients together like cumin, paprika, cinnamon, and turmeric to create a Moroccan seasoning.
There are many differences between my cooking style and Frank’s cooking style. For example, Frank uses real butter in his cooking while I use coconut oil. I have to agree with Frank on this one when he says that cooking with coconut oil instead of butter is just not the same…
When it comes to steak, I worry about not cooking it properly at the right temperature. Frank, on the other hand, has cooked steak so many times that he has his cooking process down pat. He knew to cook it for exactly 3.5 minutes (for each side). Timing was so important to him that he put on a watch with a timer to ensure he didn’t overcook the meat (I never do that… Heck, I barely measure my ingredients and don’t do well with following recipes).
The filet mignon is from a county north of Kitchener and had the “melt-in-your-mouth” feel.
Gnocchi carbonara with bacon, avocado, and cheese
Frank used the bacon to make gnocchi with avocado and blue cheese. His dish was a carbonara recipe with other key ingredients that you’d find in a Cobb salad.
This bacon is antibiotic-free, grain fed and, true to their word, has minimal shrinkage.
I knew I enlisted the right person to help me when I watched Frank thoughtfully rearrange the bacon so that the dish looks photo worthy.
Sicong, my other high school friend, just chilled and waited for the food to eat.
Let me tell you, we all could tell it was high-quality meat. Conversations died down quickly once the food was served.
Thai yellow curry with chicken
I used the chicken breasts with Thai curry, one of my favorite dishes. Because the chicken is air-chilled versus the conventional water chilling (I didn’t know that!), the chicken didn’t shrink when it was cooked.
Again, I ain’t no food critic, but this chicken was damn delicious. I can taste the difference in the quality of the meat. Juicier and plumper are the best words to describe the chicken breasts.
Home cooked lentil soup with turkey meatballs
Soup is something that I cook on a regular basis. While this dish tastes good without meat, adding the turkey meatballs brought my soup to the next level.
Spaghetti with ground beef
Last, but not least, the ground beef. While there are a million things I could have used to cook the ground beef (i.e. Chinese stir-fry), I ended up making spaghetti with the meat.
truLOCAL promo code for my readers
Overall, truLOCAL is a fantastic company that tailors to the conscious consumer who is also looking for convenience. You can tell, whether it’s from the branding to the logistics to the products, the founders of this company put a lot of thought and care every step of the way.
If you’re from Ontario and want to try truLOCAL, then head over to their website and use my promo code, ENSQUAREDAIRED to get 10% off your first order.
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