Christi Justus: Is Meal Delivery Right for You? | Prescriptions

When my husband and I left the nest empty this fall, we decided to try some of the food delivery services available that are increasing in popularity.

Meal delivery services, also known as meal kits, can save you time and energy with meal preparation and are a convenient way to achieve your health goals. These companies deliver prepared meals or portioned meal ingredients to your door. They are especially appealing to 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, the ability to select which meals you’d like to try, and the 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 variety of meals from week to week.

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

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It is recommended before you commit to a meal delivery service to do your research to make sure it meets your needs. Terms and flexibility may vary between meal kit companies, although many have options to pause a subscription and/or skip a delivery. There are also variations on the menu selections to cater to different dietary preferences such as vegan/vegetarian, gluten free, ketogenic, diabetic meals and organic ingredients and of course flavor.

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

Lemon Garlic Beurre Blanc Chicken

  • 6 oz cremini mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 ounce light cream cheese
  • 0.6 ounces of butter
  • 8 oz green beans, trimmed and cut in half
  • 8 oz lemon garlic butter
  • 2 teaspoons chicken demi-glaze concentrate
  • 12 oz boneless skinless chicken breasts

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

While the chicken is baking, in a covered nonstick skillet over medium heat, cook the green beans, mushrooms, demi-glaze, ½ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper for 6-8 minutes until tender. Stir occasionally. Uncover and cook 1-2 more minutes until liquid evaporates. Remove from burner and add regular butter until coated. Cover and reserve.

Bring 2 tablespoons of the water and cream cheese to a simmer in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once it simmers, stir until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes. Remove from burner and add a pinch of salt and lemon garlic butter until combined.

Serve the chicken with the vegetables and cover it with the sauce.

Nutrition Information: Makes 2 servings; per serving: 480 calories 15 g carbs 41 g protein 1680 mg sodium 31 g fat

Author’s note: The salt in the recipe can be reduced or eliminated for sodium-conscious readers, as can the butter for fat-conscious readers.

Christi Justus is a Registered Dietitian at Gundersen Health System

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