Ten year old Caitlin Sousley thought she was simply preparing her ‘How To’ speech for school. Little did she know that her speech would lead to the development of an entire business. Caitlin’s speech was titled “How to Bake Cookies”. She put each ingredient in a zip-lock bag, labeling the contents. Instead of writing note cards, she numbered each bag and listed the recipe instruction for the step. The speech earned her an A, but also gave her and her mother a new career path.
Caitlin’s mother, Diane, feels strongly about gathering around the dinner table. However, like most families, she understands how difficult it is to prepare a healthy meal every night of the week. One day, while grocery shopping, Caitlin reminded her mother of her ‘How To’ speech. She wondered aloud, “Why doesn’t anyone do that?” She suggested to her mother that there should be a company that prepares fresh, healthy food for families. Diane said that she was never able to get that comment out of her mind. Eventually, Diane and Caitlin decided to be those people.
They began Ingredients Delivered in 2015. Ingredients Delivered takes the work out of home cooked meals. Their clients choose three meals a week from a total of six recipes. The company plans the meals, does the shopping, washes/slices/dices/chops the ingredients, packages the ingredients, and labels the ingredients as well as the instructions in “how to” style. Then, they deliver the meals to your door each week. They are an Omaha-based company. Because they are local, they employ drivers to deliver food and never ship their food through the mail.
I had the pleasure of touring Ingredients Delivered. I have to say that I was very impressed. Caitlin, now a Sophomore at Millard North, manages the labeling and packaging of the meals. She is also in charge of planning the menu for each week. As a mom, I couldn’t help but be proud of this young woman, creating a business before she could even drive. Caitlin makes sure that the recipes are dye-free and preservative free. Each recipe is between 350-550 calories per serving and takes between 10-30 minutes for the family to prepare.
Diane told me that they only use real foods. She suggested, “Run if there is more than five ingredients on a label.” Diane orders the food and does the shopping. She prides herself on using the freshest ingredients possible. She stated that she purchases the food from a variety of locations, based upon quality. If she is not satisfied with the quality of food on delivery, she will personally run to a local grocery store to find an ingredient that is up to her standards.
I was ecstatic to learn that there was an Omaha based meal delivery service. Shopping local, supporting local entrepreneurs, is a great way to boost your local economy. When you shop local, you are buying from your neighbors, your sisters, your fathers, your friends.
Clients are provided three meals a week with 2, 4, or 6 serving portions. Clients have two options for each meal but are provided with the recipes for all six meals. My options for the week were:
- Steak tips with mushroom gravy over egg noodles and side of fresh green beans
- Skillet Lemon Butter Shrimp with Couscous and Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Turkey Meatloaf with Mashed Red Potatoes and Broccoli
- Chicken Pot Pie
- Cashew Chicken Over Rice
- Squash and Zucchini Quiche with Salad
I have been sampling different meal delivery services, so I already had questions for each company:
Is it fresh?
Yes. I loved that my food came directly from the facility through a delivery driver rather than through the mail. I trust that the other companies take precautions to keep food fresh. However, there is something slightly uncomfortable about the idea of raw chicken traveling through days over dozen of states. With Ingredients Delivered, the food is prepared on Friday and Saturday and delivered on Sunday. My packaged arrived on Sunday with ingredients that looked and smelled fresh.
Is it healthy?
Yes. Each meal contains between 350-550 calories per serving. From what I have observed, most meals contain meat, veggies, and maybe a starch. All meals are dye free and preservative free and made with real ingredients.
Is it time-saving?
Yes! Yes! Yes! I have tried several other meal delivery services and this is by far the company who has saved me the most time. Because they are local, they can do all the prep work for you. I did not have to cut, dice, or chop anything –even the chicken was done for me. Normally, I expect to be prepping for over 30 minutes, but with Ingredients Delivered, I was sitting down to eat in 20-30 minutes. It was unexpected and most certainly amazing.
Ingredients Delivered also uses a system that I have not seen in other meal delivery services. They label each ingredient with the name but also the step number and direction for cooking. All I needed to do was set the ingredients in order by number and work my way through them. It was phenomenal.
My three meals; Lemon Butter Shrimp, Cashew Chicken, and Chicken Pot Pie
Is it economical?
Ingredients Delivered is very competitive and most of the time cheaper than their national competitors. Price, no meal planning, decreased prep time (everything is ready to go), and the amazing meals are all reasons why this is such a great value.
Ingredients Delivered makes sure to use re-usable packaging to avoid waste and save money. Each week, clients place their re-usable bags on the porch. Ingredients Delivered drivers pick up the empty bags when they deliver the meals for the week. Bags are washed and sanitized and used again the following week. I was impressed at how environmentally friendly this process was, but more selfishly, I was also excited to not have a giant cardboard box to break down and take up space in my trash can.
Is it tasty?
Yes. I enjoyed trying some new meals or additions to favorite meals. I have never used puff pastry for chicken pot pie, but I think I will definitely continue to do this. And the shrimp was delicious. If you know me, you would be surprised to hear that I ate Brussels sprouts and actually liked them. The big question – did my kids think it was tasty? Yes! My children (4 and 5 year-old boys) ate vegetables…and meat. This is a big deal in my house. I have one kiddo who only likes carbs and one who only likes meat. For both of them to eat and try everything on their plate was huge!
One thing to note: The portions are true to size. We ordered two servings per meal and tried to feed two adults and two children. If you are going to feed more than just two adults, definitely order the four serving size.
Is this a good option for busy moms?
Yes! From a time saving perspective, Ingredients Delivered is a God-send. I did not have to look up recipes. I did not have to make a grocery list. I did not have to fight to get three kids under five into the van, to the store, through the aisles, into the checkout line (without buying candy), back into the van with grocery bags, and home to put the groceries away. If we had ordered the 4 serving potions, we would have had three nights of home-cooked meals faster than ordering pizza.
If you want to save time, eat healthy, and explore new dinner options, try Ingredients Delivered. By doing so, you’ll support local entrepreneurs and enjoy more time for family. Reach out to them today!