Bringing it home: Delivery meals
Maybe it’s our limited freezer space, or our especially busy schedules. Whatever the reason, New Yorkers aren’t in the habit of preparing and then freezing dinners ahead of time.Oftentimes, supper is whatever prepared dish looks best at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s. But you have options that are even more convenient, and often much healthier – delivery meals that come straight to your door. And because many of the companies list ingredients on the packages or Web sites, these dishes can serve as a roadmap for creating balanced meals at home.
Zone Manhattan, zonemanhattan.com
This weight-loss delivery-meal program offers seven, 14-, 21- and 31-day programs. The cost ranges from $32.95 to $45.95 per day, and includes three meals and two snacks delivered each day. Before you begin, a dietician helps figure out your desired caloric intake, modeled on a 40 percent carbohydrate, 30 percent protein and 30 percent good fat ratio. While the food is tasty (who would have thought a re-cooked spinach and cheese omelet could taste so good?), portions are small. If you find yourself craving more, you must stick to the recommended low-carb snacks or risk undoing all your hard work. Popular dishes: Steel cut oats, sweet Maine lobster and whole wheat pasta provencal, grilled lamb T-bone with grilled vegetables Susie’s Supper Club, susiessupperclub.com
Though it’s not a diet delivery service, Susie’s is committed to real, whole preservative-free ingredients, and reasonable portion sizes. All containers are clearly marked with ingredients, as well as cooking instructions. Founder Susie Cover was a personal chef before she decided to start the company. The company offers two delivery windows on weekdays and caters to families who are too busy to cook. The tasty, restaurant-quality food changes seasonally and is available a la carte. Most main courses are around $10, sides are $6-8 and desserts are about $5. Popular dishes: turkey meatballs, Chicken Milanese, zucchini fritters Nu-Kitchen, nu-kitchen.com
While working for American Express, Mark Newhouse had no time to think about eating well, let alone cook. Figuring others had the same problem, he launched Nu-Kitchen, a delivery service dedicated to balanced, healthy eating. Most women on the program are allotted 1,500 calories a day, and most men receive 1,800. There are full-day options, which include three meals and two snacks (for women) and three meals and three snacks (for men). Newhouse recommends the five-day program, but you can go a la carte. Breakfast dishes are $7.95, lunches and dinners are $11.50 and snacks are $3.50. Since the company caters to busy professionals, meals can be delivered to offices from 7-9 a.m. for an additional fee. Everything is easily accessible online, and you can pick from about five tasty (and well-sized) choices per meal or snack. Popular dishes: Pepper-crusted salmon with soy drizzle, applewood-smoked turkey with orzo Normandy, honey poached figs and cherries Freshology, freshology.com
This L.A.-based company was founded by Todd DeMann, a former NYC restaurant owner who felt nutritional delivery services lacked quality food. Customers on the East Coast can take part in the company’s Get Slim program, which offers a Mediterranean-style diet, balancing proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Boxes are delivered twice a week and can be filled with three or four days of meals. The food stays fresh thanks to a gas-flush packaging system. The prices range and max out at $39.95 a day. That includes breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. Popular dishes: Granola with Greek yogurt, chicken salad, tea-soaked wild salmon and New Zealand lamb chops. FreshDirect, freshdirect.com
FreshDirect.com caters to New Yorkers who don’t have time to shop for food, so it’s a logical brand extension to offer microwaveable delivery meals. There are several varieties of 4-Minute Meals, including lines from Rosa Mexicano, Tabla and Terrance Brennan. There’s also Presto Italiano and EatingWell and Smart & Simple lines. Nutritional information for all meals are available online, and the average cost is about $7.50 per meal, lowered because of the bad economy. These tasty, fresh-ingredient filled meals are very popular with New Yorkers. Some proteins, such as shrimp and chicken come raw, so make sure everything is cooked evenly before you eat it —it many need a little bit of extra time. Popular dishes: Chicken tikka masala with pea pilaf, Italian meals, all of the Smart & Simple meals