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Saturday, August 25 2007

Is the thought of preparing dinner enough to send you to the nearest phone to order take out? Ever dream about how much more you would enjoy sitting down to a healthy meal with your family if the drudgery of meal preparation was gone from your life?

Well, imagine dinners like these…Cranberry Chipolte Pork, Grilled Herb Shrimp, Tuscan Smoked Chicken, Arroz con Pollo, Beef Satay Skewers, Garlic and Balsamic Marinated Sirloin Roast, Pesto Cheese Ravioli with Chicken, Asian BBQ Pork Roast, Cajun Shrimp Pasta and Stuffed Flounder with White Wine Sauce. Or what about Quiche Loredo, Szechuan 5-Spice Stir Fry, Grilled Salmon with Lemon and Garlic Butter, Parmesan Crusted Tilapia with Tomato-Garlic Aioli, Chicken Piccata or Pork Medallions with Mustard Sauce?

Sound like menu items from an upscale restaurant, don’t they? Could be, but did you realize they could also be the items found in your freezer?

That’s right, even if you are not a gourmet cook, you can order meals like these to be delivered right to your doorstep, or you could pick up and/or assemble these meals yourself. Here’s a rundown of several of the options available and how they work.

A popular choice is to assemble meals yourself at one of the "meals to go" businesses. To find one in your area check out this directory, Ordering meals from any of these is similar; all of the details are available online, but here’s an overview of how things work. First, login to the website and create a new account with a username and password. After registering, select a convenient time slot from those available to come into the store and assemble your meals. The store has all of the fresh recipes, ingredients and measuring utensils needed at various work stations. Moving from station to station, you measure out the ingredients required for the entrées you purchase, putting each in separate containers. Plan to spend roughly 45 minutes for each 6 entrees you choose. That’s all there is to it, no preparation or clean up work involved.

Once home, you can assemble each entrée by putting all the ingredients together in a container of your choice. Put the meal in the freezer for use at a later date.

Its just too easy. Of course if you want it even easier, for a small fee you can have your meals all assembled for you, so all you need to do is pick them up. What a time saver! Orders can usually be placed in person or over the phone as well.

What do meals cost? Prices vary, but most quote prices of approximately $3.50 per serving, with typically 2 sizes of meals available. The smallest serves 2 - 3 adults, with the larger size serving 4 – 6. Typically there are a dozen or so recipes that vary each month, so you’ll never get bored eating the same meals over and over. Check each website for further details on the entrees available and the cost of meal packages.

If you prefer home delivery of meals, there are even more options available online, however these do tend to be more expensive. Try googling “home delivered meals”; there are several companies available offering these services.

Yes, with the busy schedules that September brings, its a great time of year to try out one (or more) of these meal assembly/delivery services if you haven’t already. Just think, on your way home from work or school or soccer practice, you might actually be looking forward to what’s for dinner.

Sue Roberts, MPH MS RD/CN is a certified nutritionist and registered dietitian.

Get a copy of her FREE ebook, "The Secrets about Weight Loss Supplements: What You Need to Know" at

Posted by: Send a Meal AT 11:51 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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