After a long day, how much do you want to come home and make dinner? About a 2 on a scale of 1 – 10, right? And, how are you feeling about take-out food these days? About like I am – too greasy and congealed? Enter the world of pre-prepped, pre-planned, fresh dinners ready in 20 or so minutes. There are now companies that don’t want you to stress about making dinner. They will deliver healthy dinners, packed and boxed, to your front door for an entire week. All you need to do is cook them.
Blue Apron delivers about 700,000 meals a month! Once a week Blue Apron will deliver all the ingredients you will need to make three dinners for two people (they assume you have olive oil, salt & pepper). Each meal has 500-700 calories per serving and uses fresh seasonal ingredients. They feature several entrees, each featuring an unusual ingredient to broaden your culinary experience. You may choose meat, fish or vegetarian meals. The meals take an average of 35 minutes to prepare.
Blue Apron delivers nationwide. For three meals per week that each serve two people – $59.94.
Hello Fresh, started in Germany in 2011, is focused on the healthiest options. They will deliver a box with three meals worth of ingredients per week. Each meal is made with fresh produce and lots of protein. Choose meals for two or four people. The meals take no more than 30 minutes to prepare. Hello Fresh delivers nationwide in the U.S. as well as Germany, the U.K., the Netherlands and Australia.
Prices vary with your selection, but begin at $9.08 per person per meal.
Forage, launched six months ago in San Francisco, provides meals to finish at home in only 20 minutes. You get four servings delivered per week for $15 per serving, or 2 meals for 2 people delivered for $30 serving. They offer a new fresh seasonal menu each week. They offer vegan, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, gluten-free and vegetarian meals. They are currently in California and Nevada and rapidly expanding to other states. Delivery is free and tax is included.
Plated lets you order the meals you want for the coming week from their menu. The ingredients, always local and fresh, show up at your door and all you have to do is prepare them. They list what they are sending you and the staples you should have on hand, which are items like water, salt & pepper and canola oil, nothing too difficult! They also tell you what cooking equipment you will need to have. One recipe called for one pot with a lid. Well-known chefs create the recipes. If your plans change, as long as you have put the ingredients right into your fridge, the meals will stay fresh for 4 – 5 days. Plated delivers to 80% of the continental U.S. The cost is $12.00 per plate per week.
PeachDish, recommended by ASE reader Kathy H., is based in Atlanta and offers four seasonally appropriate meals to choose two from per week. All their meals are Southern-inspired. The standard order is for two people, two nights a week, but they can handle a maximum of eight people. Each meal is $12.50 per person. The meals can take up to 45 minutes to prepare, but you haven’t had to grocery shop or prep! Note: Kathy H. is a southerner, a foodie and an excellent hostess and cook. We trust her recommendation.
Note: We’ve been told by some of our sources that portions may be small from some of these companies, at least by 2015 standards, but perhaps smaller portions are a good idea!