Cooking for one just isn’t fun. Yet you know the quick bites you’re grabbing at the drive up most nights aren’t doing your body any favors. Taco Tuesday with co-workers probably isn’t helping your quest for a flatter stomach. Meal planning still escapes you. If you could have one wish come true it would be for someone to take over the planning and cooking for you, making meals that are healthy, delicious and the proper portion.
Wish granted! Welcome to the world of healthy prepared meals delivered to your door! We’ve talked about healthy meal kit services like Hello Fresh but they still require 30 minutes (sometimes almost an hour!) in the kitchen and the portions are too big for most females. If you need a simple solution for solo cooking, I’ve gathered together a few of the best prepared meal delivery services.
This is not a sponsored post. I bought a box of each of these healthy prepared meals delivered with my own funds. I also enlisted a guest taste tester – my mom. She lives on her own and, truth be told, she’s never been big on cooking. I’ve recently turned her on to Amy’s Organics to replace her “budget” frozen meals from the big box store. I thought this might be a good time to share with her another approach to quick, healthy but no-cook meals.
Hungryroot was my first experiment. I have to admit; many Hungryroot meals do require a tiny bit of cooking. But this meal delivery service keeps kitchen time super simple. It is also 100% plant based. Hungryroot strives to get more people eating their veggies by making it delicious, quick to fix and delivered directly to your door.
I chose the Starter Set with 4 meals and 2 snacks/sides and it was plenty for my week! Meals usually made more than one serving so I could share with Bri and have the leftovers the next day. Cooking was very simple and took less than 10 minutes. For example, the Garlic Alfredo Burger Bowl required me to sauté Brussels sprouts and warm up the veggie burgers. I added the Chickpea Alfredo and viola…dinner was served. Other options in my box like Ginger Tahini Yuba Noodles or Cherry Chia Maple Oatmeal only required warming up.
The down side was they aren’t very flavorful. Of course, for the convenience you could easily add some salsa or other extra seasonings if your taste buds require it. At $69 a week for the Starter Set I would also so this is the best value for the money. Many of the sauces have extra servings so you can use them for other easy meals. I also ended up with extra greens that I used for another salad later in the week. If you want more for your money and don’t mind 10 minutes or so in the kitchen here’s a great choice for you.
My next choice, Daily Harvest, wins for simplicity. These healthy prepared meals delivered to your door are frozen with no cooking required. All you have to do with their selection of plant-based soups, bowls and oatmeal is heat them up. They also offer smoothies that all you have to do is blend. You can sign up for a weekly or monthly plan, selecting your own choices for each delivery.
I picked a selection of bowls, soup and oatmeal for my mom and me to try. I really enjoyed my selections, especially the Brussels sprouts + Tahini bowl. The flavor was amazing and the portion was reasonable. The Turmeric + Lemongrass soup was fiery and bold, a perfect midday pick me up.
Mom, however, didn’t enjoy her selections quite as much. She and I have a very different palate and I don’t think she enjoyed the bolder flavors. She also had a consistency issue with both the Brussels sprouts + Tahini bowl and the Cinnamon Protein + Banana oatmeal. She thought the Brussels sprouts + Tahini bowl would be better as a soup, which I think would have totally washed out the flavor and the “hearty” feel. If you’re a more adventurous eater and need a super convenient option, check out Daily Harvest.
Our final pick was Freshly. Freshly offers “chef cooked healthy meals” delivered to you each week. You can pick anywhere from four to twelve meals per week from a menu with a variety of options…as long as you eat meat. I purposely sought out a service for healthy prepared meal delivery with meat options since not everyone is vegetarian. I found the vegetarian options very limited here. I ordered four meals, two for me and two for my mom.
I found my selections bland. The Gnocchi Primavera was ok but I felt like it needed a punch of something. I also found it less than satisfying for the number of calories in the meal. The Golden Beet Veggie Bowl tasted better but was light on veggies and heavy on quinoa and calories.
The omnivore meals, however, seemed more balanced. My mom enjoyed these meals more than Daily Harvest. I know she was worried about the Moroccan Chicken with Cauliflower Couscous being too “spicy” because she grilled me about what “Moroccan” meant. She ended up liking the flavor and told me the chicken wasn’t “rubbery” like her other frozen meals. She also thought the texture of the pasta in the Veggie Baked Penne was perfect and loved the spinach and sauce.
These meals are fresh, meaning the refrigerator not the freezer. You’ll need to make sure you don’t over order and eat within a few days of delivery. For an omnivore, this would be a great choice for mid-week delivery (you can choose your date) to make up the gap between cooking on the weekends and an empty fridge by Friday.
Maybe you don’t need the delivery? If you are local, Mama Jean’s Natural Market stores and MJ’s Deli offer a great selection of prepared meals ready to grab and go. Everything from Kale Power Salad to their famous tuna salad to vegan soups are available when you want them. It’s better than the drive up but allows you more delicious spontaneity than having healthy prepared meals delivered. It’s even better to have mama in the kitchen than a private chef!