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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Food Delivery: Going Vegetarian in June

Princess Dieter is not a vegetarian. I enjoy roast or fricaseed turkey, roast chicken, chicken breast in just about any form, beef, and pork. (I can't eat seafood, which I love, but, well, life is full of unfairness, huh?)
But my main loves are cheese, eggs, and beans. As long as I have those three, I actually could go meatless and not suffer unduly.

BUT...here's the reason for the whole "vegetarian for a spell" thing:
I need to focus all my energy for a while on the novel I'm writing. This means, the shopping, chopping, etc, no. I don't wanna waste time on that. So, I signed up for Diet-To-Go, a meal delivery service. Three meals a day, seven days a week, delivered once a week to my door, all frozen and ready to be stored until I reheat and EAT. (They have options without breakfast, or five days a week, etc.)

This is not a long-term solution, and we all know it. This is one of those, "Oh, it measures my calories for me, provides the cooking, and I don't have to think about it" things.

I have actually tried two diet delivery services: Diet-To-Go first back in Jan-Feb, when I made a totally fruitless attempt to diet sans motivation. (I just ate the delivery food PLUS more food. Urp.)

I also I tried Diet To Your Door (Bistro M.D. now) , in March. I did not like DTYD/BMD very much, although they had some nice low-cal bagels and tasty muffins and pastries (I wish I had jotted down the brand names, cause I'd buy them!). They also have a decent high-protein hot cocoa. But the meals....eh. I don't want to eat chicken THAT much, and especially pre-cooked chicken, which, sorry, is kinda nasty. I ended up tossing most of what I ordered. Some is still frozen solid in my fridge. Unless you adore chicken you boil up in a bag, I don't recommend DTYD.

With Diet-To-Go, I tried both the vegetarian and the low-carb. The low-carb: Yuck. And not satisfying. The low-fat I didn't bother with: too much chicken and turkey, and I am not paying for a turkey sandwich I can make without fuss at home.

The vegetarian option, though, is rather tasty. I actually enjoyed it, mostly. The ravioli and stuffed shells and mac n cheese satisfy a gal like me who loves her pasta. The breakfasts--skip the bagels, tasteless; the muffins are TOO SMALL, get one from Vitalicious instead. BUT..the omelets are okay and the pancakes are AMAZING. They come in apple or blueberry stuffed, and I just get the whole week substituted with pancakes. SuperYUM.
Other options: The waffles are dry and bland, but if you like waffles, you might enjoy them. The low-fat Stonyfield yogurts are great. (I've been buying only them since I discovered them on DTG, and ditched the other yogurt brands. Unfortunately, with DTG, I sometimes got a frozen up one that had an expired date or soon to expire date. While that just probably means they had it frozen for a while, it's very offputting. I'd recommend Diet To Go try harder to send fresher dated yogurts.)
Some of the breakfasts with baked good (muffins, scones, etc) also come with juice and yogurt. So, that's a nice combo. (The scones are delicious.) Little Ocean Spray juices, btw--apple, orange. Easily portable to work.
I tend to substitute a lot. Since I ate their entire rotation of vegetarian meals, I learned what I liked and what I didn't.

For instance, I really liked the Mirkin burger, but not on their kaiser roll. I put it on Ezekiel bread (whole grain, fiber) and it rocked with the BBQ sauce. I also love the feta cheese and bean wrap. (They really need to start using whole grain products. It's crazy to still be serving white flour in this day and age.) The wrap is lovely. Toasted in an oven (rather than nuked), it's really yummy. I also like the meltovers, but I take the toppings off their bread and put it on a whole wheat pita or other crusty whole grain option. More fiber and tastes better (less soggy, too, when toasted).

The nice thing about Diet-To-Go, too, is that you get a little dessert with some entrees--chocolate mousse, angel food cake (tiny portion), peach crisp (not that crisp, but hey, DESSERT!).
Some entress have mini-sides: One has this red pepper spread that is just amazing with a breadstick or two.

Skip the fettucine in white sauce. Utterly overcooked pasta and tasteless sauce. I mean tasteless. I felt like I'd put unflavored goo in my mouth. The cous cous--not for me. Unappealing texture (I've had cous cous made my a local North African chef, and it's great. This is not THAT.) The spaghetti pie--dIdn't like it. The eggplant parmesan: skip it. (And I"m a huge eggplant freak.) I sub out ALL the stuff with soy for the dinners. I just didn't like those soy thingies. And I like soy--soy milk, tofu--even if I shouldn't eat it due to my hypothyroidism. Endocrine disruptors are not my pal.
Like I said, I substitute a lot. (There is an extra charge for this, but I'd rather have something I'll actually enjoy and pay a bit more.)

So, if you ever get really, really busy and want to try a diet delivery service, and you LIKE vegetarian menus, really like vegetarian, then this is one I'd recommend. Just be ready to dish out anywhere from 400 to 600 bucks a month for one person. (I know, not cheap. This is why it's not a long-term solution. It's a temporary boost or help or timesaver, pretty much.)

If you've had experience with the other diet delivery services (or the ones I mentioned), why not drop a comment with a link to where you discuss it, or just comment away about it.

The Princess is off to work on her story now...


Cat said...

Nice review! I am currently experimenting with Seattle Sutton and it's ok. Definitely nice that it's not frozen and most of it is pretty fresh, but I am running into similar issues as you. Part of the time they use whole grain but then they'll throw in some white flour out of nowhere. I think I'll do another week or two and then decide if I'll go back to preparing my own meals.

Lily T said...

That's such a wonderful idea to use a diet delivery service for a temperary timesaving option! I liked your review. Very detial and gave me an inside look to what it would be like to receive this service.

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Zanitta said...

where are you? come back!

***CCC*** said...

Hope you're doing some happy writing, Your Highness!

Yay to convenient, yummy food!