My Week With Tuesday Foods: Amanda Rae, Writer And Editor

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My Week With Tuesday Foods: Amanda Rae, Writer And Editor


A diary of spring clean eating in Aspen: Daily smoothies, a jackfruit surprise, pumpkin cornbread worth copycatting, and the dreamiest whipped chia pudding

By Amanda Rae


Creole Style Jack Cakes.

Goji Chipotle Dressing.

Carrot Coriander Sunflower Paté.

Coco Berry Crunch

OMG. I’m reading the menu for tomorrow’s Tuesday Foods delivery (May 2-7) and I’ve got visions of a rainbow spread dancing in my head.

Already I know that the plant-based meals will be bomb. A few years ago I interviewed Kelly, a certified health coach and vegan chef, and Lisa, a certified nutritionist and exercise physiologist, for my Aspen Times Weekly “Food Matters” column (before they rebranded to Tuesday Foods from Good Clean Food) and got a taste. Kelly explained then that the goal with their organic, vegan meals is “to make it diverse and special and not something you could whip up on your own in five minutes.” Amen.

I’ve always loved to cook (thanks, Mom!), both for daily sustenance and as a creative outlet—I wrote “The Aspen Cookbook” in 2020. Still, as a busy single gal living in a tiny condo, sometimes I crave a BREAK. Am I offseason burned out? Check!

While the opportunity to restore healthy habits with Tuesday Foods meal delivery is enticing, perhaps most exciting about this food adventure is that I WON’T HAVE TO DO DISHES ALL WEEK! Hooray! I go to bed in a great mood.


Signature Plan weekly menus are posted online, so I know what to expect in my delivery, left in an insulated bag at my door before noon. I get a text message confirmation, and transfer everything to my fridge. Pretty little rainbows are layered inside the big glass jars like fruit-and-vegetable mixed media. I dig it!

I’ve been experimenting with intermittent fasting for a while, and usually I don’t get hungry before noon. Running out the door for morning meetings on the road, I shake up The Hulk, a vibrant green juice, cold-pressed celery, fennel, lemon, lime, kale, collard, parsley, and cucumber. The process preserves vitamins, minerals, living enzymes, and antioxidants versus heat-pasteurized juices sold at the grocery store, which may contain added sugars and preservatives.

The Hulk tastes like a leafy garden in a glass! I think it would make a refreshing companion for nonalcoholic imbibers at brunch or as the backbone to a nouveau Bloody Mary. I feel quenched and flooded with nutrients.

I’m back home by 4 p.m. and I’m starving. Whoops. Should have brought a snack for the road. It’s too early for dinner, so I tide myself over with a Coco Berry Crunch Smoothie. I pour almond milk right over the berries, banana, cacao powder, cashews, hemp seeds and almond butter in the compostable cup, let it sit five minutes, then dump it all into a blender and blitz. It’s rich and chocolatey, with tiny flecks of date and raspberry/strawberry seeds that lend a satisfying chew-crunch. When I return to the kitchen to compost the empty cup, I slurp the melted liquid straight from the blender jar. I. Want. Every. Last. Drop.

It’s an overcast afternoon, and a chill is settling over Aspen. Craving a hot dinner, I warm one third of the Goop Inspired Detox Chili (each jar is 32 ounces) in a pan on the stovetop and toast a sliver of Vegan Pumpkin Cornbread. A few sprigs of cilantro and one green onion, sliced, goes on top of the chili, which is brothy, like an extra-chunky soup. Packed throughout are toothsome chunks of veggies: melt-apart potatoes, carrots, crunchy celery, tender cubes of pumpkin, black and pinto beans…whoa, is that an earthy, licorice-like burst of parsnip in there? I don’t even like licorice, so I never buy parsnips to cook at home. Chalk one up for diet diversification.

It is free of tomato, so easy to digest for those sensitive or with reflux,” Kelly explains of the Goop recipe, modified with Tuesday Foods’s signature vegan spin. Together with the super-moist, toothsome cornbread (studded with corn kernels, green chile, and jalapeno), each bite has a synergy of flavor, texture, and mild, lingering spice. One slice of cornbread isn’t enough! I save the last sliver to accompany tomorrow’s serving.

My main course is the Mexican Style Chopped Salad. I can’t help but dump the entire jar into a big glass bowl to see the full effect. It’s got that classic “fiesta” vibe—you know, crinkles of green Romaine lettuce, thinly shredded purple cabbage, chopped red pepper, black beans, sliced radish, and small-diced jicama that burst between teeth with cool, watery crunchiness. The short-grain brown rice tossed with taco seasoning will be my sole critique all week: I’m not a fan of the hard texture of cold brown rice. Though the instructions don’t mention it, re-steaming the rice in a pan with a splash of water does wonders before adding it back to the salad.

What I do love, though, is the Goji Chipotle Dressing. Made with orange juice, pumpkin purée, and goji berries, it’s sweet, with subtle smoky flavor and a distinct undercurrent of cold-pressed extra-virgin olive oil. Looking back, I forget to squeeze a lime wedge over top! I print out the printable menu, which now lives on my countertop for quick reference.

Sometimes I can’t sleep if I have dessert on the brain. So, in the name shuteye, I break off a corner of the Awesome Almond Butter Brownie. Fudgy it is! I love the crushed walnut topping, the creamy almond butter notes, and that Kelly and Lisa use dates and maple syrup instead of refined sugar, plus incredibly silky-smooth vegan dark chocolate (Hu Kitchen-brand chunks). A few bites are all I need to slide into sleep mode.


Not even 24 hours into this diary, I’m realizing how FUN it is to pick meals from my fridge as easily as I would pick a dress from my closet! What a time-saver.

To break my fast, I try the Emerald City green juice, this one a little bit sweeter than The Hulk with lemon, ginger, and green apple in addition to cucumber, celery, kale, and collards. Refreshed, I sit down to write.

Later I blend up a Blueberry Protein + Oats Smoothie. It’s ultra-creamy and filling from the oats and sunflower seed butter. I never think to add oats to my homemade smoothies, so I make a mental note to start doing that.

At my desk all afternoon, I snack on Crudités with Carrot Coriander Sunflower Paté and Black Bean Dip while working. I’m impressed by the little wedges of radicchio—my favorite bitter leaf—and sticks of fennel and jicama, two more veggies I never buy at the grocery store. There are also snap peas, two kinds of radishes, baby purple cauliflower almost too cute to eat, and a few bonus dried apricots. It’s a 24-ounce glass container of raw veg, so I save half.

For lunch, I warm up a third more of the Goop Inspired Detox Chili, mainly to polish off the last small square of cornbread, which I slather in Black Bean Dip. Great combo! I add pumpkinseeds, cilantro, and green onion­­—and this time I don’t forge the lime squeeze. Citrus and fresh herbs fast-track brightness to almost any dish.

I’m hungry a few hours later so I prepare half of Buddha Bowl 1: Quinoa Tabbouleh. I carefully scoop out half of the cucumber and tomato, arugula, roasted cauliflower, quinoa, and chickpeas to a bowl, drizzle it with Lemon Tahini Dressing, a squeeze of lemon juice, and half of the slivered almonds and currants. The combination is creamy and fresh: crunchy almonds and sweet currants in contrast to the nutty tahini dressing. I add a few sprigs of basil from my window garden and a couple of roasted tomatoes from my fridge.

Though I technically ate two lunches—two courses spread out over a few hours—Tuesday Foods invites portion control. I grew up in a “clean your plate” home, and for better or worse, that’s stuck with me. Having a week’s worth of meals ready means I must practice potion control.

I had planned to eat another dish for dinner, but I’m still full. Around 7 p.m., I panic. I’m out of pumpkin cornbread which I want to eat with the rest of the veggie chili tomorrow. I sleuth around the Internet to create a vegan, gluten-free copycat recipe using all the same ingredients listed on the Tuesday Foods website.

Tomorrow’s cornbread is ready an hour later. Though I didn’t have sweet corn kernels, jalapeño, or vegan cheese shreds on hand, the flavor is respectably spot-on. It’s super moist and tender, thanks to pumpkin purée. True to my Virgo nature, I write up recipe—email me to try it for yourself! (Or just order extra at Tuesday Foods checkout, see my tips at the end.)


May the 4th be with you! Every spring, at this time of year, it seems, I’m on a cleanse. Winter in Aspen is hard on the body and spirit. Thank you, Tuesday Foods!

At my desk, I drink the Straight Celery Juice. Grassy, earthy…it feels like a system cleaner. I suck it down and feel virtuous.

“We really feel like our program is a (continuous) cleansing opportunity,” Kelly says. Adds Lisa: We’ve been doing juice cleanses since January 1—everyone is jonesin’ for juice!”

Makes sense: Last fall, Tuesday Foods acquired Carbondale’s Tonic Juicery and relocated to a new production facility in Carbondale.

LOCAL is the biggest draw: Unlike other meal delivery services I’ve sampled (Sakara Life, Hello Fresh), Tuesday Foods is headquartered close to home, so the food delivered is ultra-fresh. (A second production kitchen opened in Boulder in 2020.)

The Quinoa Tabbouleh Salad second serving holds up for lunch! I’m inspired to prep the ingredients (quinoa pilaf, marinated chickpeas, chopped tomatoes and cucumber, slivered almonds, and currants) to top arugula for my own salads this summer. Tuesday Foods is giving me all sorts of meal-prep ideas. Win!

Late afternoon, I’m craving an energy boost, so I blitz up the Creamy Mango Matcha Smoothie for a mellow caffeine boost. Almonds, coconut flakes, and dates provide lots of “chew.” I pour it back into the compostable cup to take it to the park, where I meet a friend. She oohs and aahs at the creamy green color.

I’m intrigued by the Creole Style Jack Cakes with Mixed Cabbage Slaw and Remoulade Dip Sauce—I don’t prepare jackfruit at home, either! (I know from my chef bud that whole jackfruit prep, with its thick inedible rind and sticky latex sap, is a b*tch.) I warm the cakes up in a hot sauté pan until browned, then place them on top of butter lettuce leaves. The shredded cabbage had been layered on top of the creamy dressing, so it stayed crunchy.

I love the texture—jackfruit strings apart like crabmeat! Hearts of palm remind me of artichokes, marrying well with the smashed garbanzo beans and GF breadcrumbs. I eat both, feel too full, and wish I’d saved one for another meal. Portion control, Amanda!

Craving something sweet, I dip intothe six-ounce Britt's Lemon Blueberry Chia Parfait, named for the Boulder kitchen head chef, on the TF team since day one. Turns out she uses fewer chia seeds than standard chia-seed pudding and whips the lemony cashew-coconut cream into a fluffy cloud. It’s zesty, sealed with a top layer of intensely flavored blueberry jam. I take a few bites, shove it back in the fridge, and escape the kitchen. Progress!


Happy Cinco de Mayo! I’m out of juice (see tips at end), so I guzzle green tea until lunch.

I already ate the Mexican Chopped Salad, but I’ve got Chef T's Bento Bowl with Holy Hemp Dressing: “A one-bowl wonder of sticky rice, sautéed vegetables, marinated mushrooms, tamari-roasted seasonal squash, and crisp fresh veggies.” Turns out Tara, the Tuesday Foods bookkeeper, webmaster, and an original TF chef, lives half of the year in Mexico. Does that count as on-theme?

I’m glad I read the instructions this time: “We like to keep the carrot and jicama fresh + raw to add after warming everything else together in hot pan on the stove.” It’s a cool topping on a hot bowl bursting with varied flavor; nori sheets crumbled on top add texture and salt.

Hungry again around 4 p.m., and not wanting to fill up before a dinner party, I blitz another Blueberry Oats Smoothie. The convenience of dumping premeasured ingredients is everything—maybe I start batch-prepping my own at home? If I could afford Tuesday Foods on the reg, I would gladly let them take care of it for me!


Do you ever wake up to a serious food craving? That happens to me today. My mind heads straight for the fridge and that last cup of veggie chili. (Amazingly, the cornbread seems moister today than Wednesday, when I baked it—thanks to the pumpkin puree, perhaps?)

But first, CycleBar. One of my favorite instructors is back to the studio, and she murders us for 45 minutes. I feel strong, and ready to refuel.

Back home, preparing lunch could not be easier: I dump the remaining Goop Inspired Detox Chili into a pot, add a splash of chicken stock (I keep ice cubes of homemade stock in my freezer) and toast the cornbread. Topped with fresh cilantro and more toasted pumpkinseeds…it’s exactly what I woke up daydreaming about.

Good news: the company’s new Carbondale kitchen means expansion: On June 1, Tuesday Foods will launch a takeaway window with à la carte items, juices, and smoothies. Also find Tuesday Foods at the True Nature Healing Arts café, Basalt Sunday Market, Wednesday Carbondale Farmers’ Market, and 51st annual Mountain Fair (July 28-30).

“The process is replicable because we have been doing it for so long­­­—about 48 deliveries a year for four years—so we can easily take a concept and turn it into a ready-to-eat Tuesday Foods dish,” says Kelly, citing cookbooks, blogs, and staff backgrounds as inspiration. “Our team just gets it. We are all in a flow, knowing what it takes to have each dish come together in a balanced and delicious way.”

I can’t help but admire my still-clean kitchen. It will stay that way tonight: I have dinner plans.


I wake up feeling bright, energized…and wistful. My week with Tuesday Foods is almost over. I’m lighter on my feet, and some cravings have reset. Next week, I’m undergoing a most unpleasant dental surgery. At least my system is flooded with nutrients from this weeklong plant-based program because I feel ready for recovery.

“Eating a Tuesday Foods plant-rich diet is deeply nourishing to the body and soul—something we know from personal experience and confirmed by the latest research. Food is medicine,” Lisa shares. “Plant foods are rich in phytochemicals that protect, heal, and energize the body. Plus, plants feed the and support the microbiome, which science shows [is] the control center of our health and well-being, contributing to better digestion, better sleep, serotonin production (the feel-good hormone!), hormone balance, supporting the immune system, and helping with weight loss.”

I’m on board, ladies! I place the rinsed glassware back into the insulated bags and leave them on my doorstep for Tuesday pickup.

I feel grateful for this week with Tuesday Foods. Now…if only I could figure out how to make that pumpkin chili and those almond butter brownies!


· In the future, especially during super-active weeks, I might prep tofu or chicken to add extra protein to meals.

· If you love loaded garnish like I do, make sure to have extra herbs, seeds, nuts, and dried fruit on hand to add to dishes. Check the weekly menu to determine what works best.

· Do yourself a favor and add a few extra treats (and juices) to your basket before checkout. I wish I had. I’m hooked on Lisa and Kelly’s Awesome Almond Butter Brownies and Britt’s Chia Seed Parfait, chef’s kiss!

Amanda Rae Busch

Follow me for more good eats: @aspenscoop

Amanda Rae is an award-winning writer, editor, and Aspen Times Weekly food columnist from 2013-2021. Currently she contributes to Aspen Sojourner, Après, The Purist, and Edible Communities, among others, and reps Everybody Water in the RFV. During the pandemic she tested and edited 100+ favorite restaurant recipes for "The Aspen Cookbook" (2020), a Colorado Book Award Finalist. While she much prefers winter's drama and snowboarding 108-day seasons, Amanda is excited about farmers' markets and her weekly CSA share, picnics, lawn games, camping, cycling, and motorcycling. Tell her what you're eating: @aspenscoop