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Once a week, Verily Table subscribers receive a tidy roundup of recipes and podcast episodes that we’ve curated from around the web. But behind the scenes, it’s a little more complicated. Sometimes we listen to a podcast episode only to discover that it’s not as interesting or informative as we hoped. Sometimes a recipe just flat-out flops. And sometimes, we do like a recipe or podcast episode—but not quite enough to recommend.

So, to offer some insight into our process, the following are recipes and podcasts that didn’t make the cut—and why.


Egg roll skillet

There was a lot to like about this recipe—it was easy to make, and it really did seem like eating the inside of an egg roll! Unfortunately, it was a little on the bland side. It needed a little something, but I couldn't quite put my finger on what. (The sweet and sour sauce I usually dip egg rolls in, perhaps?) That being said, I want to make it again and play with the flavors, or perhaps find a different version of the recipe. Even though this one didn't quite make the cut, some variation on it may show up in Verily Table in the future. – Kellie Moore

Taco soup with ranch

This soup initially did make the cut for Verily Table, but we kept bumping it further out on the schedule. Now, soup season has passed, and so has the timeliness of this soup. However, if you’re a year-round soup-lover, it’s definitely worth trying. Aside from being delicious, it’s great because there are so few dirty dishes involved. The soup is very thick, but it does thin out a bit while cooking. (I used 1 1/2 cups of water, but you can do more if you prefer a more brothy soup.) I used regular kidney beans instead of chili beans, and the soup still had plenty of spice. – KM

Apple spinach chicken burgers

I have a few excellent chicken burger recipes on rotation—and we’ve featured them in past editions of Verily Table—so I was hoping to add another one to my repertoire. This recipe, however, ended up being quite boring. Maybe dicing the apple instead of grating it would’ve helped offer stronger bursts of flavor; maybe it could’ve used a robust spice profile, too. But as it was, even with the honey mustard topping, it just wasn’t something I’d look forward to eating again. (It didn’t help that I also overcooked them, so they turned out dry.) – Laura Loker


NPR Life Kit: “This is a Good Time to Start a Garden. Here’s How.”

We've featured several episodes of Life Kit in Verily Table before, and though informative, this particular episode just wasn’t quite the right fit. Based on the description, I was expecting a balance of tips for yard gardening and small-scale gardening (for patios, windowsills, or kitchen herb gardens). Though there was mention of those small-scale possibilities, I thought it was a little too heavy on the yard side—knowing some of our readers live in apartments (and as an apartment-dweller myself), it didn’t seem broadly applicable enough. There were also lots of details, so while I enjoyed listening to it on an afternoon walk, it seemed like it would be difficult to pay attention to while trying to follow a recipe. And, in a time when we’re facing a lot of pressure to make the most of our circumstances by trying new hobbies, I didn’t want to be a voice adding to that pressure. However, if you have the time and space, and you’d like to get into gardening, this could be a good place to start—just not while you’re making dinner. – KM

Unlocking Us: “Brené on FFTs”

This was the first episode of Brené Brown’s podcast, which launched earlier this year. If you’re not familiar with Brown, shes a research professor who specializes in courage, vulnerability, and shame. Having recently read one of her books (Rising Strong, which I highly recommend!), I was really excited for this podcast. As the first episode, this one focused on the vulnerability that comes with doing something for the first time and offered insight on how to grow through our new experiences, challenging as they may be. However, there was some language sprinkled throughout that I wasn’t comfortable broadcasting in my own home with little ears listening in (the “FFT” in the title stands for “f***ing first time”). For that reason, I was hesitant to recommend it to others who may be sensitive to that. I also wasn’t sure how much it would resonate with someone who wasn’t already familiar with Brown’s work. However, if you’re into Brené Brown and don’t mind the language, it’s worth a listen. I should also note that while we didn’t end up using this episode in Verily Table, we will be including a couple different episodes of Unlocking Us in upcoming editions. – KM

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