NYC Meal Delivery Services Review

NYC Meal Delivery Services Review

What’s the one thing that most of us New Yorkers have in common? We don’t spend much time in our kitchens! Who needs to cook when Seamless Web can deliver any cuisine you desire delivered to your door? But the downside is that seamless can be loaded with calories and not-sot-heathy ingredients. Wouldn’t it be great to have a healthy meal waiting for you at home? The ultimate health hack! The good news is that there are numerous meal delivery services that do just that. Read the round of NYC Meal Delivery services that Catherine Scott Fischer, my nutrition student, and myself came up with.

Meal delivery services offer a variety of choices

Whether your goal is to eat healthier, lose weight or follow a certain diet like vegan, gluten free or paleo, you can find a meal delivery service to fit your needs. Some meals can be ordered day to day while others require a week or more commitment. The prices also very considerably. Some meals require “light assembly/cooking” whereas others are ready to pop in the microwave or oven. So browse through my suggestions. Keep in mind that I have only tried two of these services, so I can’t vouch for all of them. We will be reviewing Meal Kits and Ready to Eat meals.

NYC Meal Delivery Services

Meal Kits

This type of service is best for those people who like the idea of cooking but don’t want to find recipes, go to the grocery store or do a lot of prep work. They also work well for newbies in the kitchen as you get detailed directions.

  • Blue Apron I did trial this one – see my blog post.
    • Nutritionally speaking: Meals are 500-700 calories per serving and take an average of 35 minutes to Blue Apron Potatoes, Carrots and chickenprepare. You can choose if you want vegetarian, meatless, no fish, etc. There are healthy options available but aside from selecting a few basic categories (i.e. no meat), you don’t get a say in what meals you get. Calories and nutritional information are available.
    • The low down: You have to get 3 deliveries a week (2 servings per delivery). So that’s 6 meals a week if you are cooking for yourself.  I would suggest checking out the menus for the following week ahead of time so you can cancel that weeks delivery if the recipes don’t appeal to you
    • Price: The 2 person plan is $59.94 a week. You get 3 meals a week and it comes out to $9.99 per person per meal. Delivery is free. There is no long term commitment – you just need to cancel 6 days before the next delivery date.
    • Sample meals: Seared Chicken & Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes with Fig Butter-Glazed Carrots (pictured above), Indian-Style Paneer & Creamy Tomato Curry, Stuffed Zucchini with Carrots, Currants & Freekeh
  • Dinner Thyme
    • Dinner Thyme, turkey meatballs, noodles and veggiesNutritionally speaking: You can customize the menu options to fit your needs. For example, light & healthy, GF, dairy free. It includes the ingredients and nutrition facts.
    • The low down: Over 75 items on the menu. You can customize the menu anyway you like. Food comes prepped, portioned and packaged, along with step by step recipe cards for each menu item. Meals can be prepared in as little as 15 minutes.
    • Price: They are not a typical weekly meal service, most people order every other week. Their purpose is to have your freezer stacked with meals and ready to reheat whenever you feel like it, so for this reason, their minimum order totals $80. Free delivery for orders over $180, $5 delivery fee for orders ranging between $130-$180 and a $10 charge for orders between $80-$130.
    • Sample meals: Turkey meatball Soup with Lo Mein Noodles and Veggies (pictured above), Pecan Crusted Tilapia with a side of Cauliflower Fried Rice, Shrimp and Artichoke Pizza on Grilled Panini
  • Hello Fresh, sausage risotto with zucchini Hello Fresh
    • Nutritionally speaking: Classic Boxes (include fish or meat) and Veggie Boxes are included. Nutrition facts are available. The average meal contains 500-800 calories. So if you are watching your weight, pay attention to those calories (or give a larger portion to your dining partner!)
    • The low down:  HelloFresh meals use farm-fresh, seasonal, locally-sourced, pre-measured ingredients, conveniently delivered to subscribers’ doorsteps across the United States (except for Hawaii and Alaska). With the HelloFresh recipe box subscription, you will receive a box of fresh ingredients and delicious recipes every week. If you wish to pause your subscription this option is available to you, as long as you pause 5 days before your next scheduled delivery. Each meal is designed to be prepared in about 30 minutes.
    • Price: One box contains approximately 3 meals a week for 2 people, $61 including delivery. Students get 15% off every HelloFresh box!
    • Sample meals: Sausage and Tomato Risotto with Lemony Zucchini Ribbons (pictured above), Creamy Dill Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Asparagus, Pasta Parmesan with Zucchini, Tuscan Herbs, and Marinara Sauce
  • Plated
    • Plated, turkey stuffed peppers, couscous and mozzarella Nutritionally speaking: Each week there are nine options for veggie (including dairy-free and vegan), meat and seafood. The average meal contains 600-800 calories. Calorie contents are given as well as macronutrients but no other nutrients. The meals include a lot of vegetables and seem to be a step up from Blue Apron. The meal kits include seasonal product and meats raised without antibiotics.
    • The low down: This is a subscription service but you can cancel any time with advance notice. Ingredients will stay fresh in your refrigerated box for up to 24 hours after the expected delivery date. Once they’re in the fridge, they’ll stay fresh for 4-5 days. As with the other meal kit services, step-by-step instructions are included on how to prepare the meals.
    • Price: 2 recipes (4 total plates) = $48 per week ($6 shipping). Free shipping on boxes over $60. However they do have a first week discount which brings the price down to $36.
    • Sample meals: Turkey-Stuffed Peppers with Pesto, Couscous, and Mozzarella (see picture above), Chicken and Pinto Bean Enchiladas with Tomato-Poblano Sauce and Monterey Jack, Chickpea, Spinach, and Quinoa Bowl with Tikka Masala and Coriander-Lime Vinaigrette
  • Sun Basket
    • Sun Basket, pad thai, shrimp and rice noodlesNutritionally speaking: They adhere to different diets as well. To name a few, they have a carb-conscious, paleo, Mediterranean, lean & clean, gluten-free, and a vegan plan. Their meats are organically sourced and are antibiotic and hormone-free. Their meals range between 500-800 calories per serving.
    • The low-down: They have already pre-measured all the ingredients in your basket to decrease waste and save time. They include easy to follow recipes in which the meals can be prepared in about 30 minutes. They have two options to choose from, either the classic menu that includes 3 recipes per week (you can choose from 18 recipes each week) for either 2 or 4 people. The second option is a family menu where you can opt for either 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week and have 6 recipes to choose from every week. If you are looking for a meal delivery service for just yourself, you will most likely have a lot of leftovers for each meal as their portions feed a minimum of 2 people depending on which plan you choose, so that is something to keep in mind. You can cancel or modify your subscription at any time.
    • Price: For the classic menu option, it costs $11.99 per serving and for the family menu option, it totals $10.99 per serving. For first-timers there is free shipping for your first delivery!
    • Sample meals: A customer favorite – Shrimp Pad Thai with Rice Noodles and Sugar Snap Peas (pictured), Bali Tofu Burgers with Sambal Mayo and Sweet Potato Fries, Skewered Chicken Satay with Garlic Vegetables and Cashew Dipping Sauce
  • Purple CarrotPurple Carrot, tomato soup and basil, toast
    • Nutritionally speaking: Fully plant-based and nutrient-dense menu. Their ingredients are extremely clean and minimal. The caloric content in their meals range between 500 and 800 calories and they include a nutritional label on every meal.
    • The low-down: Each week you choose 3 dinners and each dinner consists of 2 serving sizes. They have options between chef’s choice, quick & easy meals that are prepared in 30 minutes or less, and lastly, high protein meals. You can mix and match between the three options. They include an easy-to-read recipe booklet for every meal and have already pre-measured all of the ingredients for you. They deliver to 48 states across the US. The menu for the following week will be made available every Wednesday. The three designated days they deliver are Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays every week. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time as long it is before the Tuesday deadline a week prior to your future order.
    • Price: It’s $12 a meal, totaling $72 a week (you get $20 off your first order dropping it down to $52!). Price of shipping is already accounted for in the price of meals.
    • Sample meals: Creamy Tomato Soup with Basil & Seeded Avocado Toast Spanish (pictured), Cauliflower Steaks with Chickpea Farro Pilaf & Romesco Sauce, Curried Tofu Collard Wraps with Quinoa Speckled Rice & Chile
  • Green ChefGreen Chef, Chicken with carrots, cauliflower
    • Nutritionally speaking: They are very accommodating to different dietary preferences as you can choose from the following meal plans; paleo, vegan, omnivore, keto, gluten-free, vegetarian, and pescatarian. The recipe cards that are included with each meal come with the caloric content and full nutritional information.
    • The low-down: They are an USDA-certified organic company and all of their ingredients are non-gmo. Their packaging is very sustainable and eco-friendly as it is recyclable, reusable or compostable. You can opt for a 2-person plan or a family plan (accounts for 4 people). Each meal is prepared in about 30 minutes. The 2-person plan gets you 6 dinners a week, 3 dinners per person and includes step-by-step instructions on how to cook each meal. You can choose weekly or bi-weekly deliveries, or a monthly subscription. They deliver to most states across the US apart from Alaska, Hawaii and certain areas in Louisiana. They have deliveries Monday through Friday. They have a new menu every week so you will never get bored of their recipes!
    • Price: Starting price for each meal is between $10.99 and $12.99 depending on which meal plan you opt for. Flat rate shipping fee of $6.99.
    • Sample meals: Za’atar Roasted Chicken with roasted carrots, cauliflower “couscous” and almond with Tahini Sauce (pictured), Spanish Tempeh Paella with Roasted Sweet Potatoes & Bell Pepper and Olive Garnish, Hawaiian Salmon Poke Bowl with Cabbage, Bell Pepper & Orange Slaw, Sushi Rice and Ginger Relish

 

Prepared Meals – Ready to Eat

These meals are for those people who don’t want to do ANY meal prep … aside from turning on the oven or popping them into the microwave. They arrive at your apartment in chilled containers.

  • Fresh Direct
    This is a one-stop online delivery service from everything from groceries to wine to pet supplies. There are definitely meal options at Fresh Direct. More details about healthy shopping at Fresh Direct at a later blog post – today but I’m focusing on Meals.Fresh Direct, chicken and shrimp with rice, vegetables
    • Nutritionally speaking: There are definitely healthy options here and they all include the nutritional content.
    • The low down: A wide selection of meals, including stir-fry kits, heat n’serve meals and frozen meals. Entrée and side salads are available as are vegetable side dishes. A minimum delivery order of $30.00 with a $6 delivery fee (in most locations). You can choose the day you want it delivered along with a 2-hour window. Perishables stay fresh for 2 hours after delivery. It is recommended that frozen items be put in the freezer immediately upon arrival. Meals take between 10-60 mins to prepare.
    • Price: ~ $13.00 for many of the meals per serving. Many of the frozen dinners are $10 (serve one). Vegetable side dishes are ~$6.00 (serve 2)
    • Sample meals: Chicken and Shrimp Paella with Saffron Rice and Mixed vegetables (pictured), Turkey, Kale and Quinoa Meatballs with Grilled Vegetables and White Beans in a Red Wine Tomato Sauce, Chicken Tikka Masala with Vermicelli Pilaf, Spiced Tomato Sauce and Yogurt (family size)
  • Sakara Life
    Sakara Life, avocado, quinoa, lentils
    • Nutritionally speaking: Organic meal delivery program is based on a whole-food, plant-rich diet that includes fresh, nutrient-dense, and delicious ingredients. As per the website “We believe in counting our blessings. Not points, carbs, or calories”.
    • The low down: Expect delicious, fresh, creative salads, pea soups, and carrot sandwiches—stuffed to the brim with trendy superfoods galore. They switch up the menu weekly (and seasonally), so if you’re planning on becoming a regular, you won’t get bored.
    • Prices: 3 days: $80 – $239 depending on how many meals you get.  5 days – ranges from $120-$349 depending if you want 1-3 meals a day. Ingredients, again, are “mostly” organic and local.
    • Sample meals: Earth Bowl with Hemp + Dulse Avocado, Sprouts, Radish, Quinoa, Lentils in a Mustard Sesame Dressing (pictured), The Red Beet Burger served on Chia Oat Bread with Avocado, Eggplant Florentine with Garlic Roasted Broccolini, Stewed Tomatoes, Fresh Greens
  • Provenance MealsProvenance meals, salad, tomatoes
    • Nutritionally speaking: They tackle a different approach to conventional meal delivery services as they intentionally do not include the nutritional breakdown or caloric content for their meals. So if you count your calories and macros, this might not be the best option for you!
    • The low-down: All of their meals are gluten-free, dairy-free and refined sugar free. They provide fully organic meals that are sourced from local farms. As mentioned earlier, they do not provide a numerical nutritional breakdown. The reason for this is that their company focuses on the quality of the ingredients and they believe health and even weight loss is more complex than just counting calories. In regard to meal options, they include about 2-4 options that you can choose from for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks each week. Depending on what days you ordered food for, it would either arrive the night before or the morning of. Shipping will cost $4.99 per delivery. You are also not obligated to have an ongoing subscription, you can opt for a one-time weekly delivery. Have specific dietary restrictions? No problem! They are conducive to a range of diets from grain-free, vegetarian, and vegan.
    • Price: If you are sticking to solely breakfast, lunch, and dinner with no snacks, the starting price totals to $68.
    • Sample meals: Quinoa Orzo Salad with Kale and Lemon Dill Vinaigrette, Chicken Pot Pie with Cassava Crust and Market Greens, Brazilian Shrimp Moqueca with Coconut Cashew Rice
  • Epicured MealsEpicured Meals, carrots and buckwheat
    • Nutritionally speaking: All of their meals are gluten-free and adhere to a low FODMAP diet which is great for those who are experiencing gastrointestinal issues and follow a low FODMAP diet to alleviate their symptoms. They are also great options for those who want a healthy portion controlled delivered to their door. They have vegan and dairy-free options and provide a filter on their website in order to narrow down results. Their meals are intentionally portioned to provide one serving with calories ranging from 210 and 560.
    • The low-down: Their meats do not contain any hormones or antibiotics and they use organic produce whenever possible. Their delivery days range depending on where you are located. If you live in the New York Metro-area, they deliver on a select 3 days: Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. If you reside outside this area, they deliver solely on Wednesdays. They deliver to several states on the east coast such as Boston, Washington, Philadelphia, etc. Their delivery costs a flat rate of $10 but if you order enough meals, you will be eligible to receive free delivery for the week. They offer many options for entrees, soups, bowl/salads, sides, snacks and breakfast. The menu varies depending on seasonality but they have many meals that are available all year round as they are customer favorites!
    • Price: The average price per meal totals to about $15. The price will increase if you opt for meat-based options as opposed to vegetable based. You can cancel, modify or skip a week as long as you do so before Friday at 7 am.
    • Sample meals: Roasted Spiced Carrot & Parsnip Buckwheat Bowl with Lemon-Tahini Dressing (see picture), Coconut Shrimp Laksa with Jasmine Rice, Moroccan Tajine with Herbed Quinoa
  • Daily HarvestDaily Harvest, sweet potato, wild rice
    • Nutritionally speaking: They have options for a range of dietary preferences including low-sugar options, paleo, keto, vegan, etc. Nutritional information for each recipe can be found on their website and are additionally written on the side of individual cups containing one’s meal.
    • The low-down: Daily harvest is entirely plant-based and vegan, their meals are composed primarily of fruits and vegetables. They focus on healthy, nutritious meals that can easily be prepared within minutes which is very convenient for those that are often on the go but want to maintain a healthy lifestyle. They offer smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, chia and oats bowls. They deliver to most of continental USA and each cup is pre-made and frozen. You just have to place smoothie contents in a blender and add liquid. For the bowls, you simply have to heat it up. They are very transparent with their ingredients as they include the benefits of every ingredients when you look up the nutritional information and breakdown of every bowl.
    • Price: You can opt for weekly or monthly deliveries. The least number of boxes you can get is 9 and you choose what you want in order. If you want solely smoothies you can pick 9 smoothies and if you prefer a mix of smoothies and bowls, you can do that too therefore it is very customizable. For the weekly 9 cup plan, it is about $70 but they have a deal with the code “THREEFREE” which is automatically applied at checkout that gives you 3 free cups, removing around $24 of your purchase, totaling to $46. They also offer free shipping for first time orders and you can easily cancel or modify your order!
    • Sample meals: Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash Harvest Bowl (pictured), Cinnamon Protein + Banana Oat Bowl,  Cacao + Avocado Smoothie
  • Kettlebell KitchenKettleBell Kitchen, chicken and carrot noodles
    • Nutritionally speaking: They locally source their food when they can and are completely soy and dairy-free and do not use any inflammatory oils (canola, corn) or artificial ingredients. They offer a breakdown of Macros and caloric content for each meal as well as the full list of ingredients.
    • The low-down: They offer an a la carte option where you can do a one-time purchase and they offer meal plan programs. The meal plans are tailored to every individual based on consumer goals and dietary preferences. You can cancel or pause your subscription at any time as long as you do so before midnight on Wednesday night. They offer a total of 10 different meal plans based on dietary lifestyle and/or goals concerning fitness. To name a few, they have meal plan options ranging from slim, build, perform, endure, pure paleo, complete keto and whole30. They partner with several gyms where your meals can be delivered to free of charge and they also provide an option for home delivery for a fee depending on where you are located. Their meals will stay good for 3-5 days and are conveniently labeled with an eat-by date, however you may freeze the meals to increase the shelf life and simply reheat it when you decide to eat it.
    • Price: Price varies between $9 and $14 depending on which meal of the day and portion size.-
    • Sample meals: Chicken Primavera over Carrot Noodles (pictured), Turkey Picadillo with Cuban Cauliflower rice
  • Portable Chef
    • Portable Chef, cauliflower, couscousNutritionally speaking: They customize each meal to your goals (lose/gain weight, eat less sugar, etc.) and dietary preferences. You fill out a questionnaire on their website which provides them with the necessary details to curate a meal plan specifically to your liking, lifestyle and goals.-
    • The low-down: They are a farm-to-table meal delivery service. They use all-natural, organic ingredients. All of their ingredients are sourced from small family farms that grow their crops free of any pesticides, herbicides or fertilizers and raise their livestock in a natural environment. They prep your meals based on your questionnaire and all you have to do is reheat it via microwave, oven or stove and voilà! They deliver throughout New York City.
    • Price: The least expensive option is dinner for 3 days ($96) and can go up to $644 (7 days worth of breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks).
    • Sample meals: Seared yellowfin Tuna Steak Slices with Sichuan Peppercorns and Ginger-lime Sauce, Grain-free Sweet Potato Dumplings with Sage, Grilled Chicken Breast with Charmoula and Preserved Meyer Lemon
  • BistroMDBistroMD, beef and rice
    • Nutritionally speaking: It is geared towards those who wish to lose weight. They offer the 5 following meal-plan options to choose from depending on one’s dietary preference: standard meal plan, gluten-free, heart-healthy, diabetic, and lastly, menopause-friendly meals.  The standard plan for women includes 3 meals and 2 snacks per day averaging 1,200 calories. For men, it is an average of 1,400 calories and includes 3 meals and 3 snacks a day. They provide nutritional information and an ingredient list for every meal which is easily accessible through your online account.
    • The low-down: They have onboard registered dietitians that curate a custom plan for each customer in order to satisfy their goals. You have access to an online account where you can customize/make edits, approve or remove any meals. You can also choose to forego a delivery week through your online account.
    • Price: For your first week, you get 25% off in addition to free shipping. Including the discount, prices range from $90 (5 days worth of lunches & dinners) to 135$ (7 days worth and includes 7 breakfasts and lunches, 6 dinners). Without the discount, the range is $120 to $180.
    • Sample meals: Beef with Red Wine Sauce and Barley (pictured), Pork Tenderloin
      with Mushroom Marsala, Lasagna with Garden Marinara

 

I’d like to thank Catherine Scott Fischer for helping me do this roundup. Catherine is  a senior at New York University studying Nutrition and Dietetics. She was born and raised in Belgium and moved to the US when I was 18. This move coincided with a drastic change in her diet and she developed a passion for healthy, plant-based food!  She has been vegetarian for 6 years and transitioned into a vegan lifestyle a year and a half ago. Catherine loves running, dancing and cooking! Stay tuned for more of her blog posts.

Have you found a delivery service you’d like to share with us?  Have you tried any of the above services? What did you think?

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