One day it hit me that I was going to have to decide what to make for dinner for the rest of my life. Sure, we'd have the occasional night out to eat, or maybe pizza or Chinese food, but for the most part, that lingering question would always be there. I've heard about services that send you meal ingredients or even recipe cards, but they all seemed kind of expensive to me for what you got. But then I was contacted by a new local business called Simply Delicious Dinners. They're based in Central New Jersey, and they provide ready made meals to their customers. They arrive frozen, and all you have to do is heat them up. Can you imagine how excited I was to try them out?
What is Simply Delicious Dinners?
Simply Delicious Dinners is a service that freshly prepares meals, freezes them, and then delivers them to your home. They are based in Central New Jersey and deliver to Somerset and Mercer counties, with select areas in Morris, Union, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Warren, Essex, and Hudson counties, too. All of their meals are prepared by chefs in a commercial grade kitchen. You can read all about them here.
How Does Simply Delicious Dinners Work?
Well, the good folks at Simply Delicious Dinners provided me with three frozen meals to try, but normally, you go online and choose the meals yourself. They come in different serving sizes, and you choose your meals for the month on their website. Then you choose your delivery time and date (someone must be home to accept the delivery, since the meals are frozen and cannot be left on a doorstep). The menus change each month, so there is always a variety of different meals to choose from.
How Does the Food Taste?
Okay, so I admit I was skeptical. How good could a frozen meal be? Would it really taste as fresh as something you made yourself? Here's what I happily discovered! We were given three meals. The first was Pesto Pomodoro with Chicken. This was our favorite of the three. Directions were provided on the outside, along with the date so you know when it was prepared.
I can't even describe to you how great it was to just take the meal out in the morning and know that I didn't have to worry about dinner that night. Seems like such a minor issue in life, but it was one less thing to worry about. I just loved it. This is exactly how the meal looked when I opened the package. I didn't add anything to it.
I had a little trouble getting it to thaw all the way through, so I transferred it to a glass dish. Next time I would be sure to take the meal out the night before I wanted to cook it, instead of the morning-of.
It smelled amazing while heating up in the oven. We happened to have some bread sticks of our own to serve with it, so I also warmed those up.
My main concerns were that the meal could be either too mushy or too dry, based on my own experience with frozen meals. But this was neither. I swear, it was perfect! Big chunks of yummy chicken- even the Jersey Momma's Boy enjoyed it (and he is soooo picky).
We were also given Tasty Tilapia with Black Bean Salsa. The fish arrived frozen and sealed like this:
All I had to do was thaw it out, then follow the instructions to cook it and top it with the pre-made salsa. I admit I was a little nervous about cooking fish, since it's not something I cook often, but it was actually not that hard and again, tasted fantastic! We even saved some of the leftover salsa to use with tortilla chips the next day.
I chose to heat the salsa up in my skillet, but you could also serve it cold on top of the warm fish. And again, this is exactly what the salsa looked like after I thawed it out and put it into my skillet. I didn't add anything to it.
The final product made me feel like a sophisticated chef. It was also far healthier than something I would have cooked on my own.
Our third meal was Parmesan Chicken Risotto, and just like the others, smelled so yummy while heating in the oven. I can't say enough good things about all of these meals, and I will be honest in saying that they tasted way better than I expected. I was actually surprised and excited by the idea of trying this service on a regular basis.
Is Simply Delicious Dinners Worth It?
Oh my gosh, yes. Especially if you are a busy family or tend to eat take-out meals or fast food. If you cook a lot of frozen pizzas or chicken nuggets, or if you simply want a break from having to decide what to cook each night, then this is totally for you. We also had enough for leftovers with all three meals, so you can get more than one meal's worth out of the deal. The price of each meal varies, so you can choose what you want based on your personal taste and what you want to pay, as long as you are meeting the serving size requirement for each month See their How it Works page for more information.
There is no delivery charge. Our meal arrived promptly and was hand-delivered right to our door. And remember, what sets this business apart from larger meal delivery services is that it's local! It's not being shipped UPS from halfway around the country or shoved into a box with dry ice. These meals are made in New Jersey (possibly right around the corner from you) and hand-delivered right to your door. Honestly, you can't beat that!
Things to Note
-We were given the three-serving meals (they come in serving sizes of 3 or 6, and your orders each month have to total a certain amount of serving sizes. Check the website for details). The Jersey Momma's Boy doesn't eat much, so the majority of the meals were shared between myself and Mr. Jersey Momma. We had leftovers from all the meals we tried.
-If you read this and are thinking, 'I don't like fish,' or 'those don't sound like meals I would like,' then check out their menu! They have an extensive variety of dishes to choose from, and they change each month.
-Most meals have ingredients and serving information listed on the website, but if not, you can ask them and they'll be happy to provide an ingredient list for you. I was hoping the ingredients would be listed right on the containers they came in, but that was not the case (I like to know what I'm eating, you know!)
-This service makes a great gift idea, or can even be used for someone recovering from an illness or surgery. Gift certificates are available if you contact Simply Delicious Dinners directly.
-they sometimes offer discounts and coupon codes through their Facebook page and by email, so be sure to sign up for their newsletter or like their Facebook page.
Disclaimer: I was given three 3-serving meals to try in exchange for an honest review. And, as always, I would never recommend something to you that I didn't totally love myself. Got it? Good.