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What’s The Deal With All These Delivered Dinners?

virginia-eaton-10-21-16-1-snol-delivered-dinnersWhen I talk to clients about healthy eating and spending time in the home kitchen, I get lots of enthusiasm, until about the second or third week when the novelty of cooking from scratch begins to lose its shine. To make it less likely that a client will go for fast food temptations when in a rush, I coach them on the importance of food prep by planning ahead and having some easy-to-grab food waiting patiently in the fridge.

Another option that came to my attention over the last several months is having meals ready to prepare delivered to your doorstep. You’ve probably heard of some these companies such as Blue Apron or Sun Basket, for example.

virginia-eaton-10-21-16-6-delivered-dinners-3These companies are a fairly good solution to the day-in-day-out planning, shopping and cooking drudgery that many folks complain about and, surprisingly, the cost isn’t as unreasonable as you might think.

I have tried Blue Apron and was happy with the tasty food. The directions were easy to follow and portion size was generous, providing leftovers for lunch the next day! I have a client who uses Sun Basket and, from her description, the two companies sound very similar.

Here is how it works. Once you create your account on the company website, you have a series of choices, such as, are you feeding two people or four? What day of the week do you want your delivery? Do you eat meat, no meat, fish or shellfish?

Once you have made those selections, your first box will arrive in a matter of days, well-packed with all the ingredients measured out and step-by-step instructions, with photos.

virginia-eaton-10-21-16-2-snol-delivered-dinners-1The meals typically take between 30-45 minutes to prepare and produce a healthy dinner replete with protein, carbs and healthy fat. All meals are made with real food as opposed to processed food, and portion size was adequate on some menus and generous on others. Either way, you will push away from the dinner table feeling satisfied.

Just a note: if you are someone who likes something a little sweet after dinner you’ll have to provide it yourself, as none of the delivered meals I checked out offered dessert as an option. Blue Apron does offer wine selections with their meals but it does push the price up significantly.

My complaints about dinners delivered by whichever company you chose, is that you better plan on cooking your recipes during the three days that follow delivery because the meat and fish do not hold well.

virginia-eaton-10-21-16-2-snol-delivered-dinners-2To preserve freshness, the first thing I do when I unpacked the box was to prioritize the meals: fish first, chicken second and meat or vegetarian recipes last.

There is a tremendous amount of packaging with these meals, everything comes measured out in its own little containers and except for the ice packs, everything is recyclable, but be warned, it definitely burdens recycle bin!

While some meals are more to my taste than others, every meal came together without a hitch, meaning the recipes were accurate and directions easy to follow. Every now and then, an ingredient was missing or didn’t make it in good condition and, when I notified the company, they were very happy to credit my account with sincere apologies for the inconvenience.

Now, let’s talk price. On average these meals cost $10 to $12 per meal per person. You could absolutely create a delicious meal from scratch for less money, but if you compare these home deliveries to eating out, there is no comparison! You receive a lovely, balanced meal made with quality ingredients for roughly $10 per person, and you can’t beat that at any restaurant in town.

virginia-eaton-10-21-16-4-snol-delivered-dinners-5The other aspect of companies like Blue Apron is that you are cooking recipes you may not normally cook with ingredients that might be novel. You may actually expand your culinary skills as well as you palate!

These services are not for everyone, I haven’t ordered from Blue Apron in months but I like the option of doing something different if I chose. If you’re curious, most companies will offer some sort of discount for the first week and it might be worth trying out a few different companies to see what menu and dietary options are available.

If you try or have tried any of these home delivery dinners, leave a comment about what you think.

Read more of Virginia Eaton’s blog posts here.

Virginia Eaton is the owner of Oakhurst wellness center Class: The Body Pastiche

One comment

  1. I’m in the process of comparing 5 of the top meal delivery services for an article I’m writing and must say that Blue Apron was my least favorite! The recipes were uninspired and there were too many steps. I’ll be giving a full report in about a week or so…stay tuned.

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