Cooking at home can sometimes involve more brainstorming than writing the great American novel, especially if you’re a food-lover and love to cook. The concerns of meal-planning are only amplified when a foodie wants (or needs) to go on a diet. The first few days are an inviting challenge in trying to replace fatty and carbohydrate-laden ingredients with healthier options, but as time progresses and busy work schedules take their toll, the gourmet dieter becomes burdened with trying to devise creatively healthy recipes and resorts to frozen bags of broccoli, mundane salads, or just gives up entirely.
Meal plans and home delivery diets claim to offer solutions for busy professionals but have always been for those with, shall we say, “less refined” palates. Some delivered meal menus consist of nothing more than low-calorie sports bar fare, while some offer nonperishable packets that would not appeal to a raccoon. For anyone with good taste, diet deliveries are pushed into the corner of things that are just gastronomically wrong. That notion was what was ringing in my ear when I was introduced to DeliverLean, and I was skeptical that any home delivery diet plan could be delicious or satisfying, much less creative. While definitely not haute cuisine, DeliverLean did dispel my preconceived notions of diet deliveries with an array of well-thought out dishes that were healthy, tasty, filling, and quite inventive.
I received an insulated bag on my doorstep well before I woke up containing 5 packaged meals and a menu describing what I would be eating that day. There was a container for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as a wrap and a mid afternoon meal to be eaten as “snacks”, and each container had labels indicating the dish, as well as the calories that each contained (approximately 400 for each meal). Breakfast that morning consisted of cinnamon raisin French toast with banana compote and two slices of Canadian bacon with a side of sugar free pancake syrup, which was simultaneously filling and light. My mid morning snack consisted of a delicious burrito stuffed with seasoned roast pork, refried beans, low fat cheddar, and roasted tomatillo salsa that was so good I was shocked that I was eating something healthy.
Lunch was a unique creation: a shepherd’s pie studded with olives and craisins (like a Cuban picadillo) and topped with velvetty whipped sweet potatoes. This was served with wedges of roasted parsnips that offered a delightful crunch and were a great seasonal treat. I advised DeliverLean of my allergy to shrimp, which meant that I would not be partaking in their shrimp spinach salad with starwberries, goat cheese and pecans with an extra virgin olive oil and raspberry vinegar dressing for my mid afternoon “snack”. Instead, I was delivered a refreshing and creamy mixed berry smoothie along with a moist and unbelievably-rich-for-diet-food carrot cake muffin sans the cream cheese frosting. Just as I was starting hear a rumble in my stomach, it was dinner time, and I sat down to a meal of turkey fracese with chile-roasted broccoli and a lentil pilaf that made for the perfect ending to my day of healthy eating.
The meals that I received that day was part of their traditional plan, but customers can choose from organic, paleo/gluten free, and HCG options. For those who are on a protein kick, DeliverLean offers double protein options that contain approximately 600 calories per meal. The chefs at DeliverLean devise weekly menus along with an in-house nutritionist and deliver meals that sound appetizing even if you’re not dieting, like sweet Thai chili tilapia or grilled pork chops Veracruz. The most satisfying part of DeliverLean is that it apparently achieves the goal of making you lose weight as evidenced in the testimonials on their Facebook page - hard to believe that food that tastes this good could do such a thing!