It’s that time of year again: I’d finally stopped dating all my checks with “2017,” and my New Years’ resolutions to eat more whole foods and make better meal choices were quickly starting to fade into distant memory.
The time, effort and the mess of prepping healthy breakfasts and lunches to bring to work each week was wearing on me. I needed a solution, and quick.
Enter Beef Cake Fuel in Clocktower Square on University Avenue in West Des Moines, which recently opened a storefront to supplement its already popular meal-prep business.
I was initially drawn to Beef Cake Fuel when it began offering acai bowls, which are sometimes sugar bombs disguised as health food. However, just like everything on the menu, the bowls came complete with nutrition facts and a breakdown of all the macronutrients and calories in each item, which made me feel a lot better about stopping by to grab one for breakfast.
My go-to has become the Blue Harvest Bowl, which includes a frozen acai base topped with granola, banana, blueberries and chia seeds (on this day, I added strawberries). Beef Cake Fuel offers three other specialty bowls — including the Bee Bowl, with honey and bee pollen, and the Truffle Shuffle, with peanut butter and chocolate — but also offers a make-your-own option.
After three consecutive Saturdays of picking up a bowl before heading to work, I got curious: If Beef Cake Fuel’s breakfast options were so good, surely their made-to-order and grab-and-go options had to be delicious, too (spoiler alert: they were).
I stopped in on a Saturday — although it should be noted that Beef Cake Fuel is open 7 days a week and is a popular choice with the West Des Moines lunch crowd — to pick up dinner for my husband and I, along with a salad for the next day.I chose the Blueberry Basil Salad, which comes with grilled chicken, blueberries, almonds and a homemade blueberry basil dressing over a spring mix of greens. As a 100 percent proponent of fruit in salad, this was a delicious combination and something I would order again in a heartbeat.
My husband chose the Thai Peanut Chicken Wrap, which included grilled chicken, peppers, onions, cheese and lettuce in a whole wheat wrap complete with a Thai peanut sauce. It also came with a side salad and was plenty for two meals’ worth of food.
I’m happy to note that the salad I’d grabbed for later held up just fine for two days in my fridge. The Maple Mustard Chicken Salad, which comes with grilled chicken, tomato, onions and walnuts alongside a maple mustard dressing, was the perfect combination of sweet and a little spicy and made me look forward to bringing a salad for lunch (which doesn’t happen often).
While I stopped by and picked up just a few meals, Beef Cake Fuel also offers multi-meal plans, and delivery is available through the MyTown2Go service.
If desserts are your thing, Beef Cake Fuel also offers low-carb cheesecake, muffins that align with the ketogenic diet, and protein-packed monster cookie energy bites, all of which are on my list to try the next time I stop by — because we all know it won’t be long before I’m back again.
Beef Cake Fuel
Where: 2800 University Ave., suite 440, West Des Moines, IA 50266
When: Monday through Thursday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturday and Sunday, 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.