A Bit Like Having Your Own Personal Chef

Welcome to the 496th Metamorphosis Monday!

Many years ago I read an article in the local paper about a woman who had worked her whole life in the corporate world. One day, tired of the intense stress under which she worked each day, she gave her notice and quit. She opened up her own business doing something she really loved: cooking!

According to the article, she would drive to the home of her customer(s) and spend the day preparing 20 home-made entrees so they would have tasty meals throughout the month. Imagine arriving home at the end of the day and having a home-made meal to eat that only required rewarming.

I was fascinated with that idea on so many levels. I was fascinated (and admired) someone who would give up a very lucrative, long-term career to do something they truly loved, but I was also enamored with the idea of having a delicious, home-made meal waiting each night after a long, busy day. I don’t remember now how much she charged for her services, but I do remember it was way outside my budget. Well, it was only a matter of time before someone was able to make this idea more affordable.

Since cooking is not something I really enjoy unless I’m doing it for friends or family, I’m always looking for fast, healthy alternatives that don’t involve me spending hours in the kitchen. I’ve heard about the services where they ship or deliver a bunch of fresh ingredients, then you just follow the directions to prepare the food. That has never interested me because you still had to spend time cooking it, time that could be better spent reading, gardening, doing a puzzle, or pretty much anything else that isn’t cooking. lol

About a week or so ago I Googled to see what was out there these days–was anyone making homemade meals that were actually affordable? I found 2-3 local companies and ordered meals from two of them. I ended up postponing the delivery of one of the companies to a few weeks out…more on that in a sec.

The first company I ordered from was one called ISOFIT. I don’t know if they are strictly local to Atlanta or not, but I wanted to share how my week went in case this was something you would find interesting. I’m guessing there are companies like this in a lot of the major cities these days, maybe even in smaller towns, as well.

Last Sunday, during the scheduled window, a nice man delivered the 10 fully-prepared meals I had ordered. I noticed as I was putting the dinners into my refrigerator, there were two extra goodies I hadn’t ordered. They had included a couple of things extra for me to try. How nice was that!

ISOFIT Meals

 

I was gone all day on Monday so didn’t get a chance to try my first dinner until Tuesday. The one I chose that day was the “Brazilian Beans with Sausage and Collard Greens” and oh, my gosh, was it yummy! I will definitely be ordering that one again, although it may not be available for a bit since their website says they change the menus up pretty regularly. They may have some meals that are always available, not sure since this was my first time trying them. (I had not heated up the meal when I took this photo below, this was straight out of the refrigerator.)

So here’s one thing I discovered pretty quickly: though I ordered and paid for 10 meals at the cost of around $114 (including delivery) I actually got more like 20 meals because each container holds way more food than I can eat at one sitting. What I ended up doing throughout the week was placing half of the meal onto a plate for heating, then placing the other half back into the refrigerator for another time. When I realized there was no way I was going to be able to eat all 10 meals over the course of a week, I took 3 of the meals and placed them in the freezer. This was very much a learning experience. Next time I’ll probably order 6 or 7 meals, instead of 10.

ISOFIT Brazillian Bean with Sausage & Collard Greens

 

I tried to remember to take photos during the week as I pulled each meal out to enjoy. I think this was the second meal I chose: Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp. It was also excellent! See what I mean about the portions, the shrimp were huge and there was a lot of rice underneath all that shrimp! There’s no way I could eat everything in one sitting, so this ended up being two meals for me.

ISOFIT Sticky Honey Garlic Butter Shrimp

 

At some point during the week, I tried one of the “extras” they included at no cost. The one I chose was the Chicken Tortilla Soup and it was fantastic! It was a wee bit too spicy for my taste and I didn’t eat the jalapenos that were in the soup, but otherwise, the soup was delicious! It had large chunks of chicken so it was really much more like a meal than just a bowl of soup.

ISOFIT Chicken Tortilla Soup

 

Another meal I had during the week was the Turkey and Sweet Potato Sliders. Here’s how they looked right out of the refrigerator.

ISOFIT Turkey & Sweet Potato Sliders

 

Here’s how they looked after I warmed them in the microwave for about a couple of minutes or so at half power.

ISOFIT Turkey, Sweet Potato Sliders

 

That’s a slice of sweet potato on the top and the bottom, with turkey in between. Again, soooo good!

ISOFIT Turkey & Sweet Potatoes

 

This was the meal I pulled out yesterday: Salmon with Sweet Potatoes and Kale. I didn’t eat the kale, found it to be way too salty. Maybe they forgot they had salted it and accidentally salted it again, not sure. But everything else was delicious! The salmon was wonderful, didn’t taste even the slightest bit fishy and was seasoned perfectly. This was an “A la Carte Meal” on their menu, meaning I got to choose my sides. I probably won’t choose kale again since it was too salty for my taste. Next time I’ll get asparagus or broccoli.

ISOFIT Salmon, Sweet Potatoes & Kale

 

Again, the portions are very generous, so I always half them and save the other half for later. What you see below was half of what was in the container above. I could easily add bread to this if I wanted to eat a bit more, but this totally filled me up.

ISOFIT Salmon, Kale, Sweet Potatoes

 

I still have a lot of meals left that I’ll be enjoying this week. Waiting in the refrigerator is a Chicken Caesar Salad with fresh sliced pieces of chicken in a separate container that will get added to the salad when I’m ready to eat it. There’s also a meal of Grilled Chicken with Garlic Spinach and Diced Potatoes, two meals of Caribbean Spiced Ground Turkey & Peppers with Steamed Broccoli and Kale,  Salmon with Brown Rice and Asparagus and Mediterranean Pork & Orzo which is Pork Tenderloin, Orzo, Olive Oil, Spinach Tomatoes and Feta cheese.

There’s also the other “extra” they included that’s a Skinny Mexican Chicken Casserole. I think that’s everything I have left to eat. It’s a lot of food for $114, especially since each meal is really two meals for me. And the best part is, it’s all healthy and I didn’t have to cook it! lol

Here’s a summary of what I ordered:

 

In case you’re wondering, this is not a sponsored post and I didn’t get my meals at a discount. ISOFIT doesn’t know me, other than the fact that I’ve ordered from them once. I’m just a customer like anyone else.

I wanted to share this concept/service with you because so far, I’m really enjoying it. I was thinking the other day what a great service this would be for someone who has just had surgery and is at home recovering. What a relief it would be for their family to know they had ready-prepared meals of fresh food that only needed reheating.

I’ve already paid for 10 meals with a second company called Saige Chefs. I ordered those the same night I ordered from ISOFIT, but they won’t be delivered for a while since it will take me a while to get through all the meals from ISOFIT, plus I’ll be out of town for a few days. I wonder if the meals/portions will be as generous in size with the second company–will find out in a few weeks.

ISOFIT Meals

 

Looking forward to all the great Before and Afters for this week’s Metamorphosis Monday!

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Comments

  1. Thanks for hosting!!
    Hugs,
    Deb

  2. Gayle Kesinger says:

    What exactly did you Google? I know we have these services in Dallas and after reading your post I am definitely going to investigate. I also loved the gallery pictures for the cat. Not much good news out there now so loved the upbeat story.

    • I can’t remember now, I think I Googled “Home-made meals delivered.” I just tried that and a bunch of places popped up, so I’m pretty sure that’s the phrase I Googled. I found the Saige company first and ordered from them, but their website showed they couldn’t start delivery for another week…guess they need a week’s notice. So I googled some more to see what else was out there, and found ISOFIT. That was on a Thursday or Friday night and ISOFIT delivered all the meals on Sunday. The one big difference between the two is SAIGE automatically sets you up for reorders so if you don’t want that, you log on and cancel it. I don’t like that they do that, ISOFIT doesn’t do that. So make sure whoever you use doesn’t automatically set you for reordering again. I’m going to try several companies, just to see who/what I like the most. I may alternate between companies, depending on the type food they serve, etc…

  3. Barbara Eddy says:

    My son is a chef and works at a hospital in Columbus, Wi. Whenever there is a holiday such as Mother’s Day or my birthday, I always tell him I don’t want a store bought gift, I want a day with a chef and he always happily obliges and surprises me with such good stuff. I’m a lucky girl! There is a website called “What I Got Cooking With Rob Eddy” if you’d like to check it out on Vimeo.
    He shows you how to make beautiful dishes with not a lot of effort. Some are very simple and yet gorgeous.

  4. Now THAT is definitely something I am on the same page as you with, Susan. I like cooking when I have friends or family (and not every day), but to cook each and every day – no. These all look good to me, but my husband is a picky eater. I’m going to look into this and see if our small town has either of the two you found, or alternatives. Thanks!

  5. Bernadette M Gibson says:

    What has happened?? I have been following you for years and now I no longer get your posts in my email. How do I go about getting them back? Thanks!

    • Bernadette, I just checked and you are subscribed so it appears that Hotmail is filtering out the emails. There are a lot of articles online about how Hotmail filters out a lot of emails. I had a reader just a week or two ago who wasn’t getting the emails either, and she had a Hotmail email address. She subscribed under a different email address and the emails started coming again. It’s Hotmail, filtering out perfectly good emails. Is there another email that you can use to subscribe. If there is, you can subscribe here and they should start coming again: https://forms.aweber.com/form/39/2054351739.htm
      Sorry they aren’t getting through. Blame it on Hotmail. 🙁

    • Bernadette, I meant to add, I use Gmail and can very much recommend it. It’s free and is much more sophisticated than other any other email service I’ve used. It keeps me super organized with all the features it offers. I love it!

    • Bernadette, here’s one more option to try to see if you can get Hotmail to let the emails get through: https://www.lifewire.com/hotmail-junk-versus-important-mail-1174252
      It’s a known issue with Hotmail. Frankly, I’d just use another service. If Hotmail is that poorly run that they are blocking out perfectly good emails, there’s no telling what else you’re missing that never gets delivered.

  6. Thanks Susan for hosting today. Your ordered meals look great – first try was a winner.
    Joy

  7. Dawne Marie says:

    This is very interesting! Great options for invalids, travelers, working folks, Keto people, etc. The food looked fresh and appetizing. Thanks for the great review Susan.

  8. What a great post. I would have picked the same ones as you did. And it all looks so delicious. Did they have a minimum number of meals? And super idea for someone injured or sick; you could buy a weeks worth of meals and let them choose, instead of giving yet one more casserole. I tried those fresh ingredient ones (also a good idea) but I don’t cook and felt overwhelmed by all the prep steps, lol. Thanks!!

    • To have them delivered, the minimum order is three, I think. I’m not sure if they let folks pick them up or not. I just had them delivered, anything is better than driving in Atlanta traffic. lol

  9. Susan, all those wonderful dishes look so good. Making me hungry! You actually got about 20 meals didn’t you for that price? I could never eat all the food in that dish in one setting. I do enjoy cooking and baking but I like to have time to do it and not be rushed. I have a friend that will take all day Saturday and prepare her meals for the week. I wish i was that disciplined. I like to do too many other things. Like sleep in if I can! So glad you shared. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  10. That food looked delicious. I am anxious to see how you like the next company. Thanks for sharing

  11. I’m like you. I know how to cook but for some reason just don’t enjoy it. I lack enthusiasm about it anymore. We go out to eat a lot but this would be a great alternative especially if I was by myself. P.S.- I’ve never had collard greens in my life!

  12. This is a great service, I need to see what’s available in my area. I’m not interested in cooking the food myself but fully cooked meals would be of interest! We do have a restaurant that offers “grab it and go” dinners, I pick one up every week or two and make 2 meals out if it. Enjoy, and thanks for sharing the info.

  13. Rachel Wolters says:

    LOVE this post from you! I, too, love doing so many other things rather than cooking, but I do love to eat, so this was all so very interesting!
    Thanks so much!
    Rachel

  14. Snowflake281 says:

    I, like you Susan, am not crazy about cooking and don’t consider myself to be a “good cook”. I mean I can prepare a meal well, if I’m not familiar with it, but I have to follow a recipe. I’m not great at improvising, which is what I think separates the good from the great cooks. This service seems like the way of the future. I also wouldn’t mind trying those meals that you have to prepare with the ingredients and directions included. I think I like the idea of these prepared meals because I absolutely hate, loathe, abhor (you get the picture) going food shopping! The way people shop tells a lot about their personality and so many people are just inconsiderate, oblivious and altogether “out there”. Anyway, thank you for introducing me to these services. I’m definitely going to do my research on them.

  15. Susan, there are local companies here in Austin that offer this service, as well as personal chefs that will cook in your home as the lady you mentioned in the article. Fortunately I have a live in chef! I’m lucky! Your meals look delicious. Love the idea of the turkey sliders.

  16. If I subscribe to an in home food service, what will I do with all of my antique and collectible china sets? My husband is a big eater. I showed him this post and all he could say was “Great, now we can get rid of at least 500 pieces of china in the basement.” But then he asked, “”How do you plan to recycle over 700 (his estimate) black plastic food containers per year?” Do you think two people could realistically share a meal in order to keep costs down? In your objective opinion would the meals cost on average $14.00 per meal per person? My husband has never really cooked a meal in his life. I cook at least 5-6 days a week. I usually love to cook. But after 50 years of marriage, I would like a rest.

    • I’ve been saving the containers to ask if they recycle them. I’m sure they can’t reuse them for food, probably break some health laws or something. If they don’t recyle them, I can save and recycle them at our local county recycling center.
      Tell hubby it’s a no-go on getting rid of the china because you still need your beautiful dishes to serve the meals on! 🙂 I take my food out of the container and heat it on a plate, so I’m not normally eating it out of the container.

      Whether it would be enough for two people, it would depend on how much they like to eat at a meal. I don’t like that feeling of being overly full/stuffed, so I can’t eat all of it at once. It’s perfect for me to get two meals from, but I know most men tend to eat more. So, not sure it would be enough for both you and your hubby.
      You may want to order a few meals from whatever company does this in your area and has good reviews online, just to see how it works for you guys.
      If you like it, you may want to supplement your own cooking a few days a week so you can take a day off. Hope that helps, Nancy.

  17. Patricia says:

    Wow – this sounds great – so glad you shared with us ! And the meals look amazing too ! Wish the company you ordered from was in Ohio too !!

  18. As a senior, I can finally say I don’t like to cook. About the kale-pour some vinegar over it. I laugh about the kale craze, my family grew kale for decades. It seems like a lot of food they sent to you and I would feel guilty for not eating all of it.
    Years ago when I was working, I happened upon a personal chef and left drooling over sea bass and his gourmet menu. He prepared everything in the shop, delivered and perhaps cooked in someone’s kitchen. Wow. Dream come true. LOL

    • Wow, that does sound like a dream! It would be so wonderful to have someone preparing fresh, healthy lo-cal meals each day. Myrna, don’t worry, I do end up eating all of it, just over the course of two meals since there’s so much in each container.

  19. Sounds wonderful….I purchase meals from Muscle maker in Illinios.
    Same concept but my meals are a little smaller and seven dollars each.
    Great way to not waste food…seems so many vegetables were going bad
    In my fridge.

  20. Cyndi Raines says:

    They all looked very tasty! For the spicy soup, add a dollop of sour cream and that will tone it down and also make it creamy, that is, if you like sour cream, ha. I thought the prices were reasonable since you are getting 2 meals out of each dinner and you don’t have to cook. Great time saver and not have to fight traffic to grocery shop. It is hard cooking for one! When I was single, I ate a lot of tuna, salads and soup.
    (No wonder I was a lot thinner, lol.) Here’s a possible tip for future meals : Save your containers and next time you order divide them and freeze those meals you may not want to eat twice in one week. Thanks for another great post.

  21. I am very much like yourself Susan, as always have preferred cooking for a crowd. As for the cost of the meals; IMHO I feel they are more than reasonable. Also speaking for myself, I have now resorted to buying either prepared salads OR fresh vegetables offered in a salad bar to build your own as find that so much of the products in the grocery stores are so water-logged that they either quickly turn to mush or mold. (Like who needs a full head of lettuce, cauliflower a bunch of broccoli or carrots or a bag of full red onions particularly you when wish a variety. ) With all said, did I also mention that they are already sliced, diced etc. for you … :). -Brenda-

  22. thanks for hosting another great party. the meals look great. thanks for the review. xo- maryjo

  23. I’ve tried numerous meal services over the last year-the fresh ingredients you prepare following instructions kind. I received an invitation in the mail last week to try a company called Freshly, which delivers fresh prepared meals. They even offer breakfast meals. The invitation offered $40 off the first two weeks: 6 meals each week for $39 per week. If your interested, check them out at Freshly.com. The code I used for the discount was FRESHLY2XG which is for new customers and ends 9/15/18. I won’t receive my first week of meals until this Saturday, so I can’t vouch for taste and portion size, but the meals looked and sounded delicious. I live in Macon so they may be available in ATL, also. Cheers! – Janet

  24. If you don’t mind me asking Susan, what do you eat for Breakfast and Lunch?? These were dinner meals yes??

    • When I ordered 10 meals, I was thinking they would be lunch and dinner for 5 days (Monday-Friday.) I figured I would eat out at least once on the weekend. I ended up not starting to eat the meals until Tuesday since I was gone all day Monday. Then it turned out some of the meals were big enough to be lunch and dinner that day. So they went a lot further than I had thought they would.

      For breakfast, which is normally late (like around 10:00) since I don’t eat as soon as I get up, I usually eat an Eggland’s Best Cage-Free Boiled egg with toast. Sometimes I make egg-salad with it and eat it that way, but often I eat it, as is. I buy those in Publix in the egg section…already boiled so I don’t have to take time to boil them.

      I’m not much of a coffee drinker but unfortunately, love Cokes, so sometimes I’ll drink 1/2 Coke with my breakfast. Later in the day, I may have some iced coffee with a little cream…that’s the only way I like coffee is iced with milk.

      So the meals were really meant to be lunch and dinner, so I would have to stop to figure out what to eat for those meals. 🙂

  25. Love your blog and website. You have the best tablescapes and I get alot of inspirational ideas from you! I am also in the Atlanta area, love to hear where you do your shopping in the Atlanta area. Keep Posting. Thanks

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