Saturday, April 23, 2016

Making Our Dinner Time Easy While Still Healthy with Meez Meals


Chicken Rotini from Meez Meals
**Disclosure: I did receive a complimentary experience with Meez Meals to bring you this review. No other compensation was received and all opinions are 100% my own.

We love preparing fresh, healthy meals each evening. But, some days our schedule can be a bit challenging. We have tried those "30 minute meal" recipes that are only 30 minutes if EVERYTHING is prepped for you. We have had quite a few frustrated evenings when recipes took much longer than planned thus giving us little time to enjoy the meal before heading to an activity. I am sure quite a few of you can relate! Meals should be a time to relax and share the day, not a source of aggravation.

We need more of this, but less fuss:

Chicken and spinach
Fresh and healthy!
A few weeks ago, I was fortunate enough to be introduced to an innovative and local meal preparation service, Meez Meals. Meez Meals focuses on providing healthy and fresh meals that families can make in 20 to 40 minutes. By taking a lot of the guesswork and prep time out of making meals, families have a more relaxing cooking experience. When evening hits and it is time to make dinner, it is quite a comfort to know that you have everything you need and ready to go!

Meez Meals reusable cooler
Our Meez Meals arrived in this reusable cooler.
The experience:

We tried two different Meez Meals, a snack and a side. The portions for each were larger than we expected. The dinners we sampled were Panang Curry with Broccoli and Cauliflower and Rotini Di Modena with Chicken & Spinach. For a snack, we tried the Artichoke Quesadilla. For the side, we tried Dijon Roasted Brussel Sprouts.

Meez Meals packaged in cooler
Ingredients conveniently bundled by recipe.
All Meez dishes come in its own paper bag with each ingredient separately packaged, A recipe card provides simple step-by-step instructions, nutritional information, tips for changing the recipe and ideas for lightening it. When I say step-by-step, I mean even down to which pots and pans to use! Easy!

Panang Curry Ingredients from Meez Meals
Voila! Everything easy and straightforward!
I also love that each dish contains way more fresh vegetation than I was expecting. The Panang Curry burst with sizable pieces of broccoli and cauliflower. One thing I hate about harried evenings is that you often skimp on things---quality, nutrition, the quantity of food items and more. Not when you have a Meez Meal!

Panang Curry with broccoli and cauliflower
Panang Curry with Broccoli and Curry
We enjoyed all of our Meez Meals! The Rotini Di Modena with Chicken & Spinach was especially tasty and we may try to fashion our own the future. When I spoke to Jen Moore, founder of Meez Meals, she stressed that one of Meez missions is to put the joy in cooking. So, they welcome customers playing with their recipes and don't mind receiving emails of our own variations on their creations. Heck, it gives them ideas too! We did alter all of the recipes a bit---mostly by adding less sauce and fewer grains. Easy to do!

Rotini di Modena with Chicken and Spinach
Rotini di Modena with Chicken and Spinach
Overall, we were most surprised by the Artichoke Quesadilla. When I ordered the quesadilla, I thought it would be an excellent filler option on a busy day. I knew it would have artichoke and cheese but somehow I didn't realize that it would also have carrots and parnsips. More veggies---big plus! We changed out the flour tortillas for corn and ended up with a colorful dish! We enjoyed the sweetness the parnsips added and will definitely be incorporating this idea in future quesadillas!

Artichoke Quesadilla--with carrots and parsnips!
Artichoke Quesadilla--with carrots and parsnips!
Along with the quesadilla, we whipped up the Dijon Brussels Sprouts. I ordered two servings of the Brussels Sprouts and found it to be more than adequate with leftovers for the next day! Easy to make yet it tasted like a lot of effort went to it! (Ok, I am a little biased--I love Dijon!)

Dijon Brussels Sprouts
Dijon Brussels Sprouts
More about Meez:

After witnessing her sister languish while putting together a healthy meal for her family each day while balancing work and motherhood, founder Jen Moore thought there should be another way. She developed Meez Meals as a way to put back the fun and connection that can go into cooking. By cutting out the menu making process and prep, Meez simplifies meals for busy families. Having prep time covered, families are able to spend more time connecting over a meal. Also, simplifying the process gives children more of an opportunity to help in putting together the meals.

Pot of rice on stove
Cooking away with Meez!
What I love:
  • The dinner hotline: From 5PM-8PM every day, Meez Meals has a dinner hotline to answer any of your questions about a meal--as you cook! 
  • You have control over the number of servings you order. 
  • Delivery is free and offered throughout Chicago and the suburbs.
  • Because Meez goes through each step in such a straightforward manner, you will easily pick up cooking tips to be used while making other meals.
  • I love that you can easily order online and that the meals will be delivered to your doorstep during a designated time window. No going to the grocery store to discover they are out of a key ingredient!
  • There is no subscription--your order Meez as needed on a weekly basis. Order by Friday at noon for meals the next week.
  • Meez sources as many ingredients locally as possible.
Tips:
  • I found that there was more sauce than we needed. I started by putting in an amount smaller than what was called for and tweaking from there. The bonus---it is an easy way to save calories!
  • Remember--you are not glued to the recipes! Just because Meez sent 3 portions, it does not mean you have to consider it three portions. You can easily stretch many of the meals out.
  • I think this service would be GREAT to use for those weeks when you just come back in to town from a trip and you are so BUSY catching up with everything else. Also, it would be great when your significant other is out of town and all hands are already on deck!
Special for Readers and First Time Customers:

Want to try out Meez Meals? I have a special code for readers that are first time customers: Free Dinner for Two using code: littletime30 Enjoy!


We love Meez! We thoroughly enjoyed our experience with Meez Meals! The meals are definitely helpful on those evenings when you just don't have the time to make a meal from start to finish. The "jump start" is welcome and it is nice to not have to wash the prep materials! We love the idea that recipes are suggested and we don't have to come up with our own on a given week. The quality of the food is wonderful and we are thrilled that ingredients are locally sourced as much as possible. We will order from Meez again during our busier weeks!

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