“What’s for dinner?” is the tired and uninspired question we ask a lot in our household. I am not a cook (I prefer to bake), so my husband prepares 60% of all dinners, and the other 40% is take-out/restaurants. During my search for healthy alternatives, I was introduced to Dream Dinners, a meal assembly service that takes the chore out of menu planning, shopping, chopping, and clean-up. Their service enables me to do once a month cooking/preparation of meals with a menu that changes monthly and with each season. I was intrigued. My husband and I are trying out Dream Dinners on a trial basis and they’re going to help with one month of dinners.
There are over two dozen meal selections, with a variety of meat, poultry, fish and vegetarian dishes. I choose a couple of each, with my focus on meals that are low in fat and require less than a 30-minute cook time. I placed them in my virtual shopping cart and checked out; $210 for 13, 3-serving meals – less than $6 a serving.
Step two: choose a date and time to prepare meals.
When I arrived at Dream Dinners (slightly nervous) the welcoming staff greeted me like I was an old friend. There was upbeat music playing in the background, scented candles burning, people mingling and prepping. Kate – an Active Moms’ Club alum! – helped me get started with my meal preparation. Just as I did with Kate at her first AMC class, she took my hand and led me through my first DD experience. Everything is labeled at Dream Dinners – it’s like Garanimals for the kitchen. I had a personal drawer with my name on it, with the recipe cards for each meal I purchased inside. These cards would go inside my prepared meal bag and serve as label & cooking instructions.
Hands washed, apron on, plastic gloves ready for prepping.
Kate helped me through my first meal prep. Each meal has it’s own station, and instructions for a 3-serving or 6-serving-sized meal sit on top of the counter. So simple for me to follow!
Every food container is labeled and appropriate color-coded measuring spoons in each container. Really, this couldn’t get any easier! My first meals, Mango Glazed Salmon (two of them!) were prepped in 5 minutes. I zipped up my finished bags and placed them in the fridge, on the shelf with my name on it. No chopping, no clean up. I moved on to the next station.
As I moved through each station, I was impressed with how streamlined the process was. Some women were drinking wine (Yes, it is BYOB!). There were groups of friends chatting while they worked. It was a friendly and inviting atmosphere.
I prepped 13 meals in 90 minutes and I’m sure it will go even faster next month. For those short on time, for $25 Dream Dinners will even do the meal prep work for you, just schedule a time to pick up.
When I finished, Kate packed all of my meals in two bags while I ordered December’s dinners and scheduled a date to return. A menu planning sheet is provided when you leave for added convenience, offering a side dish recommendation for every meal I prepared. Now I have my menu, and a grocery list.
For added convenience, Dream Dinners also offers “Finishing Touches”, add-on side dishes and sweets.
Dinner time just got a LOT easier in our house! I am very impressed with the entire process; and I’m actually excited to cook these meals for our family. Stay tuned, I’ll be sharing my cooking adventure with you too. Give it a try! Sample their menu with Dream Dinners’ introductory offer, 3-6 meals for just $75.
Share your dinner-time experiences with us. Do you use Dream Dinners, what’s your favorite meal? What would make prep easier for you?