|All photos included from Google Images - not my own!|
My daughter was using a meal kit delivery service in Ontario and was for the most part very happy with it. When I visited her, I often was able to try one of the kits and was impressed. The ingredients were fresh, the recipes interesting and the meals had great flavor. I was intrigued.
|Insulated box my ingredients came in|
and how they were packaged.
It's just Glen and I now, and for some reason that makes cooking harder. I get bored with the same food over and over. I love trying new recipes, but you always end up with tons of leftover ingredients you never get used up, especially spices. I could fill a wall with spice bottles. My daughter had a great cost saving coupon to try the Meal Kit Delivery service she was using. After hemming and hawing and dragging my feet for awhile, I finally gave it a go.
After a three week trial, I decided to cancel my subscription. The service she uses is really based in the Toronto/Quebec area if you look at their website. My assumption is that they contract to a local company for deliveries here. And that seemed to create glitches locally. There was problem after problem, and it just wasn't worth it.
BUT there were also things I really loved about these kits. The recipes were interesting. They helped push me to try new ingredients, new ways of cooking and new flavor combinations. Who knew you could mix a small amount of cheddar with ricotta and a touch of spice, spread on right onto hot, grilled flat breads and top with warm sauteed veggies. YUM!
|Just a few of the companies offering meal kits. |
Here is my person list of pros and cons. I am specifically not mentioning any company by name as they are rocking it back east (in fact they rated best overall in one article), so I didn't feel it was fair to tarnish their reputation when I felt it was their local contractor who was the problem. There are quite a few different companies to choose from, so do your research if you want before giving one a try.
What I loved -
- Each week I could go through 10 or more options and choose what looked interesting to me.
- The menu had full meal, quick prep meal, low carb and vegetarian options.
- Recipes included many ethnic styles - western, asian, south of the border, south east asian and more.
- There was no searching for a recipe and printing it out, making a grocery list, going to the store and trying to find the ingredients.
- Of the 7 meals I made - all but one were generous servings. I couldn't finish my portion. The only one that was fine for me but a bit shy for my husband was the vegetarian flat breads.
- I was exposed to ingredients I had never used before and encouraged to work with others like fresh corn on the cob in different ways.
- There were no leftover ingredients to try and use up. Each recipe had exactly what was needed to make that specific number of servings (usually 2 or 4).
- Wish a few exceptions, the ingredients were fresh and looked good. Exceptions listed below.
- A large printed 8-1/2 x 11 recipe card was included for each meal listing what you received and what you would need to have - usually just several pans, oil, salt, and pepper.
- I truly loved the convenience.
What I didn't love -
- There is a lot of packaging involved. While it is all recyclable and necessary to keep the food fresh, I was uncomfortable with it.
- It is pricey. Remember you are paying for someone else to buy the supplies, package into just what you need, load the box, then drive it to your door. That costs.
- My first delivery meal #1 - was missing an ingredient - peanut butter - which I fortunately had in my cupboard. It also included 3 times the carrots needed.
- My first delivery meal #2 - the peaches included to make the peach and feta salsa were not ripe. I could cut them up, but they ended up adding only crunch not flavor. The package of basil was so bruised I almost could use it.
- My second delivery - It was left at the wrong house. When we didn't see it we walked up the street and found it on someone else's porch. The cilantro in one meal was rotten.
- After that I input SKIP the next 4 weeks so I could think about what I wanted to do. So imagine my surprise when I received an email on Saturday telling me I'd get my next box on Sunday, none of which I selected, and one meal which I wouldn't have chosen. I checked the website and my skips had gone completely missing - all of them!
|I was happy to find the meat vacuum sealed every time!|
What I feel is important in selecting the right company for you -
- They should have a good selection of menus to choose from each week.
- Servings should be generous. You don't want to be hungry after.
- You should have the option of skipping weeks. Out of town, lots of food in the fridge, too busy to cook - skip that week.
- Food should come well packaged and in boxes with some cooling and insulation so if they have to sit on your porch for a couple hours (or with your concierge at your condo), they will stay fresh.
- Meats in particular should be vacuum packed.
- And just a note - if you live alone, the minimum order is 2 servings, 3 meals a week (6 meals). You will either be eating each meal 2 nights in a row. OR you'll eat the first serving one night and the second for lunch the next day.