Family * Travel * Food

7 Reasons to Use a Service for Fresh and Ready Meals

Fresh and ready meals can transform your health objectives by bringing nutrition to the front of the priority list, without the hassle and extra time required for cooking and meal preparation. As a result of this excellent nutritional opportunity, it is important to invest time into selecting the best-prepared meal service to meet your needs. Like with other services, not all prepared meal companies are created equally. Therefore, if you seek meals you will eat and enjoy then you must know all considerations and avoidances.

The following will teach you seven reasons why you might want to try a meal service that offers fresh, healthy meals. 

One: Consumer-Friendly Packaging

Packaging that is excessive and not environmentally-friendly should be avoided. Also, BPA plastics are on the “do not use” list for the environment and your body, so you want to avoid them. That means you want to find meals prepared in modern, eco-friendly packaging that is BPA-free. These containers must be well-sealed and recyclable to minimize your environmental footprint. 

Two: Convenience

Some meal kits ship individually portioned ingredients, so you can cook your food easily at home without trips to the grocery store. If you desire convenience, then choose the prepared meal option. These are meals you can have delivered, refrigerate for future use, microwave, and eat out of the dish.

Three: Customer Service

Like with any product or service, customer service can make or break a company and a prepared meal business is no different. If any company does not value its customers and satisfaction over all else, then you must keep looking. 

Four: Easy-to-Read Information

If a fresh and ready meal service doesn’t provide accessible, easy-to-read nutritional information about all meals, it’s time to move. Having access to the nutritional information about what you consume delivers the insights required to meet nutrition and health goals. This is critical if you are following a specific diet, like Keto. 

Five: Flexibility

Many fresh and ready meal provides will not budget on your plan after signing up. However, part of eating healthier is finding what works and doesn’t so you are going to want to make changes. Therefore, if you need to change meal plans or put your plan on hold for a vacation, don’t opt for a service that does not allow changes. Instead, find a prepared meal service that offers flexibility in their plans and meal options. Request customer reviews and testimonials to set the expectation. 

Six: Healthy Ingredients

If you are utilizing a prepared meal service, then never pay for subpar ingredients. First and foremost, a prepared meal company is a business, many of which will compromise the final product for the consumer to save on their bottom line. Therefore, find companies that utilize local and organic produce and other ingredients. Search for services offering whole ingredients to maximize health benefits. 

Seven: Variety of Options

How boring would dinner be if you are eating the same meal three or four times per week? It’s certainly a good deterrent from reaching your nutritional goals. A fresh and ready meal service should allow you to choose the meals and not have them decided for you. That means, the best services provide a variety of choices ahead of time, not just one or two, so you can meet your goals and maintain a healthy biome.

In summary, healthy meal services can be a life-changing endeavor. With their nutritional deliciousness, you can free up time to focus on other healthy activities without ending up in the drive-thru line at 9 PM. To get the most out of a fresh and ready meal service, you must know when to pursue and when to run, while knowing exactly what to expect from the provider.


Bring Out Your Inner Foodie With Home Chef

Have you noticed that meal subscriptions are on the rise? With back-to-school season in full swing, many parents are feeling the sting of being time-crunched. There are school functions, sports, and other extracurricular activities. Factor those things in with the commute to and from work/school, homework, and household duties and you have families who are beyond busy. Shopping for food can be a big chore for many. This is where Home Chef meal delivery service comes in to save the day.

Home Chef offers meals to suit everyone whether you are a big family, college student, or empty-nesters. You can tailor your tastes and family size which helps to have the correct portions and avoids food waste. When you go to the Home Chef site you will be directed to put in your email address and zip code. You are then able to put in payment information and set up your Taste Profile. You can specify which foods you want to avoid (great if you are vegetarian or have food allergies) and if you have special dietary needs like low-carb or low-calorie. Once you have your order in place, you will receive an email with a delivery confirmation date.

Your meal kits will come packed very well in ice packs and sealed properly to avoid any leakage or possible cross-contamination. You can tell a lot of care goes into packing orders.

Each meal comes complete with recipe and instruction card along with all of the ingredients that are pre-measured and portioned. The card lets you know what additional items you will need that you have on hand like salt, pepper, olive oil, pan, etc... 

The meal kits I received were the Thai Red Curry Shrimp with jasmine rice and snow peas and Parisian Bistro Steak with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans. Fancy, huh?

In your first order, you will receive a binder to keep your recipe cards organized. The cards come already hole-punched to make things easier. 

I am an avid cook and for those who know me, you know that I can do some magical things in the kitchen. It took a lot out of me to feel comfortable cooking something I thought might lack flavor. I decided to be open-minded and give Home Chef a chance. I am SO glad that I did! Both meals exceeded my expectations and tasted like they were from a high-end restaurant. Each dish runs around $9.95 per serving which is less than dining out at a fine establishment. 

The Parisian Bistro Steak with dauphinoise potatoes and green beans was amazing! The steaks were about 1 1/2 inch thick. I had to finish the cooking in the oven because they were too rare. I seasoned them with sea salt and cracked pepper according to the instructions and I'm glad I did. The sauce was full of flavor and any more seasoning would have ruined the dish. Those potatoes were everything! The Parmesan shavings added such good flavor along with the shallots, chives, and heavy cream. My advice is to follow the instructions and you will not go wrong at all. 

The Thai Red Curry Shrimp with jasmine rice and snow peas was so delicious and full of flavor as well. It tasted just like what I order at my favorite Asian Bistro without the hefty price tag. The shrimp were very fresh as well as the vegetables. I could eat this meal a few times a month and never get sick of it.

My overall opinion about Home Chef is very positive. The ingredients are super fresh and high quality. They even indicate on the recipe card a timeframe to cook your meals in the event you order multiple meals at once. This allows you to know what needs to be cooked first. Seriously, this makes meal planning a breeze. You are able to try different things to make meal time more interesting. I plan to order more meals in the near future since it saves so much time and money when you factor food delivery costs. I always thought these types of meal delivery services would break the bank and it really doesn't. Some exotic ingredients can cost an arm and a leg, but with Home Chef, they send you just what you need for your meal. This beats being stuck with an ingredient you may only use once or twice a year and end up throwing it away. 

What I really love is that you can send a gift card so you are able to share the gift of food with the people you love from far away. This is excellent if you have a college student living on campus and you want them to have healthy options. If you've been on the fence about trying this type of service, don't wait any longer. Give Home Chef a try and I feel like you won't be disappointed. This would be a great gift idea for the person who has everything. 

For more information about Home Chef, visit them at their website and follow them on Facebook and Twitter for updates and promotions. 

I received a promotional code to redeem towards meals from Home Chef. All opinions are 100% my own as always. 

See how Green Giant Seasoned Steamers can perk up your meals (Review & Giveaway)

Green Giant has come out with a new line of vegetables that is a delicious and easy option for your family meals. Introducing, Green Giant Seasoned Steamers. Available in six different varieties, Green Giant Seasoned Steamers are one of the first sauce-free seasoned vegetables to bring unique chef-inspired seasonings and premium cut vegetable blends to your dining room table. 
These tasty Seasoned Steamers are bound to spice up any meal with six varieties including: Mediterranean Blend, Tuscan Seasoned Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts with Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, Honey Roasted Sweet Corn, Honey Dijon Carrots and Backyard Grilled Potatoes.

My family tried out the Tuscan Seasoned Broccoli as a side dish and were quite impressed with the great flavor. I am the type of cook that regardless of if something is pre-seasoned, I still have to jazz it up. Not this time. The broccoli was perfectly seasoned. The bonus is the cooking part. All you do is pop the bag in the microwave and you're done! It's a great time saver. Click here for a money saving coupon for $1 off on a future purchase. 

How would you like to try out the new Green Giant Seasoned Steamers for yourself? One lucky Momfiles reader will win a prize pack including: (1) VIP coupon for one free package of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers™, (1) Apron, (1) Green Giant Serving Spoon and  (1) Mixing Bowl. Enter below: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway is open to US Residents only and will end on October 29, 2012. One winner will be chosen at random and will be contacted via email. Momfiles is not responsible for any lost or stolen prizes. Good luck!

Disclosure: The coupons, information, and gift packs have been provided by Green Giant® through MyBlogSpark.
Shelly, Mom Files


The latest from my kitchen

Lately I have been battling the dinner cooking blues. As usual, I feel like I have run out of ideas. I have been following a couple bloggers that have been meal-planning in advance and I decided to give it a try. For me, I can only do one week at a time (maybe even 4 days). I am a 2-3 times a week grocery shopper because I like everything to be as fresh as possible. I won't say that I have been overly successful in the meal-planning department. I feel like I can't stay on track because my taste or mood might change according to my schedule. One great thing is I have been cooking a lot of meatless meals. I am a HUGE veggie lover. I don't think there are too many vegetables I don't love.  In recent weeks I decided to cook meals without meat and without alerting the family ahead of time. To my surprise they all (even the hubby) love NOT eating any meat. Whaaaattt???!!!! We have all decided that we will have 3-4 meatless meals each week. Today I threw together a fabulous veggie stir-fry served with Jasmine rice and kimchi.
It was so delicious and even the kids agreed that adding any meat, chicken or even shellfish would have spoiled it. I love Asian cuisine so I am really happy that the family loved it as much as they did. 

Last weekend I made a Caribbean style fish dish (Escovitch) that got rave reviews from the family. This dish starts off with seasoned and fried fish that is then topped with a vinegar and citrus based sauce that also contains onions, fresh tomatoes, scallions and hot pepper. This dish can be served with boiled plantains & cassava or just plain rice or grits. 
I am just so happy that my family is all on board with having more meatless meals. I think it will make menu planning a little bit easier and maybe I will actually stick to it! 

What are your favorite meatless meals? Do you meal plan? 
Shelly, Mom Files
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