A recent survey found that people spend just 12 minutes per night during the week prepping dinner.
Granted, this isn’t anything new, and could help explain why during the last 10 years companies like Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Purple Carrot have flooded the market. Their promise is intriguing: We prep all the ingredients for you. You put them together.
Honestly though, I know a few people (myself included) who have tried these services and they never quite stick. There’s still work involved—work that involves more than 12 minutes.
So a new cluster of companies are making the whole meal-in-a-box thing even easier. Consider these more like TV dinners 2.0, than meal kits. I received samples from a few of these companies and conducted my own taste test for your benefit. Here’s what’s worth it.
This meal-delivery service is popular in CrossFit circles and an official partner with the UFC. They market themselves toward athletes. And for good reason.
“Because I spend my life out of a suitcase,” says WWE wrestler and voice actor, ‘Big E’ (real name, Ettore Ewen). “I don’t have to count macros or worry about what I’m using to fuel my body—they take the guess work out of that process.”
Trifecta has you covered, regardless of how you choose to eat. Keto, Paleo, vegan, vegetarian, clean, or “classic”—you input your requests, they deliver the meals. Their protein options are unique too. There’s elk, venison, and Beyond Burger products. Added bonus: They only used organic produce, grass-fed beef, and wild-caught seafood.
The goods also arrive vacuum-sealed, so you can store them in your refrigerator up to 10 days or for three months in the freezer.
What I Ate: ginger-glazed salmon and spinach, Santa Fe peppers and flat iron steak, mashed sweet potatoes. Trifecta sent us the family-sized portions, which ended up feeding our clan of four perfectly.
Maybe you’re already familiar with this company (they’re popularized smoothies in a cup!). They also have a service where they send you a bunch of pre-portioned fruits and vegetables and all you have to do is throw them in a blender with some water. Boom! Instant smoothies!
Recently they’ve also added flash-frozen sides, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls, and soups to their lineup. The ingredients are all organic and, if you love the stuff, you can sign up for a weekly or monthly subscription service.
What I Ate: Our kids loved the morning oat bowls, which included ingredients I can assure you we’d never try ourselves (mulberry and dragon fruit, anyone?). For dinners, we sampled two prepared sides: butternut squash with chimichurri, and Brussels sprouts Pad Thai. Both were fantastic and would pair well with whatever protein we were having. This helped us save some time from a meal prep perspective.
This company, operated out of Birmingham AL, offers meals that work best for the time-crunched foodie. The company, founded by two female chefs and moms, wanted to help other families solve the problem of, “I am too busy to cook, but want to feed myself and my family well. And, even better, do it without as much cleanup?”
Nourish Foods offers family meals, but they also have plans for individuals and couples. While there are a variety of options, the general theme follows a lower-carb approach.
Dietitian and mom of two, Brierley Horton, of Birmingham uses Nourish Foods to help bridge the gap between work, daily running around, “momming,” and just keeping her sanity. “I love Nourish because it takes the guesswork out of dinner (and sometimes lunch and kid friendly snacks) on weeks when I really don’t have the time to pull together a full week’s worth of home cooked meals,” she says.
What I Ate: What didn’t I eat? The harissa chicken and eggplant bowl, the pulled pork with sweet potato salad, the chicken with romesco sauce, and the zucchini casserole were all standouts.
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