Christi Justus: Is meal delivery service right for you?

Christi Justus: Is meal delivery service right for you?

When my husband and I became empty nesters this fall, we decided to try some of the home-delivery meal services available that are increasing in popularity.

Meal delivery services, also referred to as meal kits, can save you time and energy with meal preparation and are a convenient way to achieve health goals. These companies deliver prepared meals or pre-portioned meal ingredients to your doorstep. They are especially appealing those who want to improve their diet but don’t necessarily have the time, skills, or desire to cook healthy meals. You have the option to choose how many meals to order per week, ability to select which meals you would like to try and number of servings you need. They are appropriate for families, singles and couples alike. Many companies also have new recipes for you to try weekly, which is great for meal variety from week to week.

While initially the cost may seem expensive to some, many clients have said they actually save money verses traditional grocery shopping. There can be less food waste with meal kits as you only receive the exact ingredients you need to make the meal. Meal kits can also be cheaper and more affordable than dining out.

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It is recommended before committing to a meal delivery service to do some research to make sure it will meet your needs. Terms and flexibility can vary between meal kit companies, though many have options to pause a subscription and/or skip a delivery. Variances in menu selections also exist to cater to different dietary preferences such as vegans/vegetarians, gluten free, keto friendly, meals for diabetes and organic ingredients and of course taste.

Consider seeking the expertise of a registered dietitian to guide you in your decision for healthier eating.

Lemon Garlic Beurre Blanc Chicken

  • 6 oz Cremini Mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 oz light cream cheese
  • .6 oz butter
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed and halved
  • .8 oz lemon garlic butter
  • 2 tsp chicken demi-glaze concentrate
  • 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a nonstick pan, sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat, cook chicken until browned 4-5 minutes on one side. Transfer chicken, seared side up to a pan sprayed, foiled lined baking sheet, and cook in oven for 10-12 minutes until internal temperature reaches a minimum of 165 degrees.

While chicken bakes, in a covered nonstick pan, over medium heat, cook green beans, mushrooms, demi-glaze, ½ tsp salt and a pinch of pepper for 6-8 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook 1-2 minutes more until liquid evaporates. Remove from burner and stir in plain butter until coated. Cover and set aside.

Bring 2 T water and cream cheese to a simmer in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once simmering, stir until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Remove from burner and stir in a pinch of salt and lemon garlic butter until combined.

Plate chicken with vegetables and top with sauce.

Nutritional information: Makes 2 servings; per serving: 480 calories 15 g carbohydrate 41 g protein 1680 mg sodium 31 g fat

Author’s note: Salt in recipe can be reduced or eliminated for sodium conscious readers as can butter for fat conscious readers.

Christi Justus is a Registered Dietitian at Gundersen Health System