I started an atrocious habit in my home.
A few years ago while aiming to please a picky toddler and a foodie husband, I began cooking three separate dinners. While my son’s palette was and still is easy to please, the question of, “What’s for dinner?” for my husband and I was more challenging to answer.
Do you know someone who savors the cooking process?
I am not one of those people.
The challenge in making three meals at one time is, inevitably, one of the dinners would not turn out right. This is because I am not Emeril Lagasse.
Adding insult to injury are constant supermarket visits, where I am certain to forget an item.
Ask me how I feel about clean up?
I can be positive in telling you that I can not stand doing it.
This month, I finally had a long overdue chat with my overwhelmed self and asked myself “How can I make things more streamlined in my home?”
Meal time kept being the chore that should be consolidated somehow, especially since now, a few years into this habit, our evenings are packed with sports practices, meetings, conference calls and a variety of commitments that, admittedly, happily keep me out of the kitchen but do not alleviate me of the responsibility to get my household fed.
I decided that simplifying meals had to happen and I approached the situation as I would any business decision; I analyzed the cost.
Groceries in New York City are very expensive. Ordering ‘take out’ from a neighborhood spot is not much different in price from buying the groceries and making them at home.
Yet, the downside to ordering-in most nights was not knowing the nutritional content of the food in terms of calories, sodium, fat and protein. Hidden oils and butter can add up quickly. Portions also tend to be large and I did not want making my life a little simpler to mean expanding our waistlines.
A meal-prep kit such as ‘HelloFresh‘, which my peers rave about was not an option, because it did not solve our differences in tastes, nor did it solve my lack of time and interest of being in the kitchen, although kudos for getting the grocery shopping out of the way.
In the past, and as you may recall, I tried Sakara Life, and loved it. But that was only for me. You will not catch my husband indulging in kale. It’s just not his thing.
Kettlebell Kitchen Meal Plan
I decided to do something I heard about but had never tried and ordered from Kettlebell Kitchen (KBK) – a nationwide delivery or pick-up meal service – that allows diners to pick their own meals or have a trained Kettlebell nutritionist select them based on personalized guidelines. Ingredients are locally sourced when possible and of the highest quality. Beef is 100% grass-fed; poultry and pork are raised without hormones and antibiotics. Fish is wild-caught. The kitchen is not certified ‘Gluten-Free’ but does best to avoid it. Nut and soy-free options are also available.
While this program was not of interest to my son, it would allow my husband and I to select meals that suited our individual preferences, have them delivered and on the table within 10 minutes.
A visit to www.kettlebellkitchen.com brings clients to a menu categorized as:
- Weekly Specials – what’s new this week
- Complete Keto – high fat/low-carb meals and the buzz word of the moment in nutrition
- Core Menu – the most popular KBK meals available weekly
- Vegetarian – plant based, animal free fats, and minimally processed grains
- Sides and Desserts – extra options to add to your meal plan
Surely, there had to be two dinner options on this menu that we could order.
Choosing your meal plan is easy.
- 6 meals a week – lunch or dinner $11.95/meal or $71.70/week
- 12 meals a week – lunch and dinner $11.35/meal or $136.20/week
- 18 meals per week $10.75/meal or $177.30 /week
Customize and Pay As You Go, which is what we chose to do. I cannot go out for diner and get a meal for $12, so the price seemed more than reasonable for a beginner to this program. Lunch and Dinner depending on size (medium and large) range from $11.95 – $13.95.
For our first order, we did three nights of meals and actually ordered the same ones. Go figure.
Home delivery was effortless. The delivery window of two hours was a non-event because the food arrived right at the beginning of the estimated window. If you prefer pick-up, you can enter your zip code and find a location near or within your zip and save a few delivery dollars.
Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken
The first night we had Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken, (330 kcal, 15g carb, 9g fat, 42g protein.) The ingredients were simple and included coconut aminos, honey, mustard, red pepper, onion, garlic, salt and pepper.
Paleo and gluten free; we enjoyed the taste. It was a quick, simple, satisfying meal and I was cautiously optimistic.
Turkey Picadillo with Cuban Cauliflower Rice
The following night we tried the Paleo Approved Turkey Picadillo with Cuban Cauliflower Rice, (370 kcal, 17g carb, 21g fat, 31g protein.) I really wanted this dish to work out.
My husband tried to put the turkey on a wrap from the cupboard but this could not be saved. I kept thinking, “This must be what dog food tastes like.” We ended up not eating it.
Bacon Chicken Waldorf Salad
By the third night, we were not sure what to expect but I really enjoyed the Bacon Chicken Waldorf Salad, (420 kcal, 19g carbs, 19g fat, 44g protein.)
My husband was not sold. The culprit was too much kale for him but that is subjective. It was a solid salad and satisfying.
Bacon Crusted Chicken Bites with Spinach & Roasted Broccoli
The following week we tried the Paleo-Approved Bacon Crusted Chicken Bites with Spinach & Roasted Broccoli ( (350 kcal, 14g carb, 17g fat, 38g protein) and Whole30 Approved Apple Braised Pork with Cauliflower Mash (390 kcal, 17g carb, 19g fat, 37g protein.)
The Bacon Crusted Chicken got thumbs up.
Apple Braised Pork with Cauliflower Mash
The pork however, well, when my husband threw it out, I understood why and followed.
Guilt-Free Buffalo Grilled Chicken with Roasted Peppers and Onions
In our final week, we had the Whole30 Approved Guilt-Free Buffalo Grilled Chicken with Roasted Peppers and Onions (370 kcal, 16g carb, 14 g fat, 44g protein) and we both gave it a “thumbs up.”
You may be wondering what the verdict is?
Based on what we tried, I would say: “Stick with Chicken Dishes.” Kettlebell does chicken very well and we consistently enjoyed the preparation.
Outside of chicken, things were a little dicey with flavors. I would definitely order this again, but I would be mindful of the type of protein selected.
Angela Ranieri joins us as Contributing Writer with an extensive background in Fashion, Beauty and Digital Media. Her credits include Sales and Marketing for with PRADA USA Corp., followed by a jump in to the world of beauty as an Esthetician followed by Spa Manager at Jurlique, Spa Manager and Client Relationship Manager and Digital Business Development coordinator position at Amore Pacific where celebrity clients were and remain confidential and her column, “Ask Angela,” was featured on the Amore Pacific USA website. She has also been a contributor for Beauty to Shape and Fitness Magazines.
A side job as a Hospital Victim on “As the World Turns,” and a correspondent on the now defunct lifestyle web series “Tangerine Living,” Angela is no stranger to juggling multiple positions and has built quite the resume. A move to The New York Daily News as Training and Employee Relations Manager with a night and weekend gig as make up artist for runway shows, (she studies in Los Angeles with Amy Ward) including Vogue Bambino and multiple commercials, Angela became a Mom, her best and most important credit to date.
Since Motherhood, Angela has been a Brand Ambassador for the skin line Patchology, featured in Saks Fifth Avenue in store and on air with CBS News segment “Patch me Pretty.” She has been a beauty guest for QVC, and the founder of her own social media communications business, helping business owners to share their digital voice. Actively involved with Smart Children with Learning Differences, her most favorite down time hobby is discovering the best in beauty, travel and fashion around the United States.
Angela is a graduate of Syracuse University with a BS in Communications and Writing, where she appeared on the University Union News as an Anchor and on The Beat of Syracuse, Z89 as a DJ. Angela has an MBA in Marketing and Entrepreneurship from Northeastern University. While at Northeastern, her Market Research on the Electric Car was published for University use.
Working with AlphaLuxe is a unique opportunity, “to share what I am most passionate about. Living your best life. In her spare time, you can find Angela running, practicing yoga, taking her son to one of his sports practices. She resides on the Upper West Side of Manhattan with her husband, son, and chihuahuas.