Crunch Time: Meez Meals to the Rescue

Beverly Kim's Meez Meal

Beverly Kim's Meez Meal

Dinner time is crunch time, especially when there are children involved. Processed food is designed to be simple and quick, but it’s a solution with a downside, given the growing concern about the link between good food and good health. Enter Meez Meals, a company designed to make home cooked meals as doable as they are delicious.

Founder Jennifer Moore says the conversations she had with consumers when she worked as a brand manager for two food companies were the inspiration for the concept. While people expressed interest in eating “real” food, they found it difficult to find the time to make it. What was needed, she reasoned, was a company that delivered everything from the cut vegetables to the pre-measured seasonings, all packed in vacuum-sealed pouches designed to keep the properly refrigerated food fresh for a week. The only thing left for the customer to do was the cooking, none of it complicated.

“Meez Meals is efficient,” Moore explains. “Not only does it eliminate prep time, but it also simplifies shopping. And then there’s the economy of not having to buy an entire bottle of a rarely used ingredient- something like pomegranate molasses- when all you need is a teaspoon.”

So how does it work? Once the next week’s meals are posted, customers order as many-or as few- as they want. The more people you’re feeding, the less expensive the per person charge. Deliveries are made on Mondays, either between 2 and 5 in the afternoon or 6:30 and 9:30 in the evening. If customers aren’t home, the insulated pouches, complete with ice packs, are left in a designated spot. There’s no charge for delivery anywhere in the city or in the north suburbs south of Waukegan or the west suburbs from Naperville east.

All of the meals are vegetarian, with modifications available for people on vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, and sugar-free diets. Also included are suggestions for adding various proteins, such as meat, poultry, fish and tofu.

Monthly menus include a meal created by a well-known chef as part of the Meals for Good program, which launched towards the end of 2013 and works in conjunction with the non-profit organization Common Threads. This month’s guest chef is Beverly Kim, chef/owner of Parachute, a new, buzz-worthy restaurant in Logan Square. Her dish, a vegetarian chow fun, is made with broccoli, garlic, ginger, shallots and shiitake mushrooms. All of the ingredients, from the chow fun noodles to the rice wine, are completely prepped and ready to stir-fry.

To ease preparation, there’s an easy-to-use, read-before-you-start cooking guide for each dish, complete with a list of requisite equipment, dietary print-outs, a time table, and suggestions for decreasing fat and calorie counts. And if there’s a problem, Meez Meals has a hotline available from 5 pm to 8 pm.

According to Moore, Meez Meals isn’t meant to be a five-day-a-week solution to the dinner time crunch.
“We’re positioning Meez Meals as an attractive option in a game plan that includes a variety of options,” Moore adds. “Customers are under no obligation to order on a weekly basis. Neither do they have to order a set number of meals or servings when they do order. And since everything stays fresh for a week, flexibility is a built-in given.”

Meez Meals, 1459 N. Elmwood Avenue , Evanston 773.916.6339

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