Having a full-time job, a part-time blog, and an active event calendar does not leave much time to prepare home cooked meals every day – let alone to grocery shop. However, I still want to eat healthy and ensure that I know what I am putting into my body. I have tried meal delivery services before, but none that have offered the quality and freshness of ingredients as Cooked, in addition to the variety of offerings that change every week.
Cooked, located in Evanston, just north of Chicago, prepares healthy, locally sourced meals which are packaged in sustainable, biodegradable packaging, and delivers them to your door. Each meal is individually packaged and labeled with heating instructions. Meals can be heated right in the packaging in the oven or microwave. While the meal offerings change each week, Cooked always offers healthy options under the “Clean Burn Shape” category, in addition to Dairy Free, Free Range, Gluten Free, Organic, Vegan, and Vegetarian selections. Kids can also be accommodated.
Every Friday, a new menu is posted on Cooked’s website. Delivery takes place Sunday through Thursday, and meals can even be ordered with same day delivery if the order is placed by noon. No contracts, commitments, or minimum orders are required. Cooked currently delivers throughout the City of Chicago, as well as the northern suburbs, and delivery fees depend upon the delivery Zip Code.
I recently tried a few meals from Cooked and was impressed with not only the quality of the ingredients used, but the taste, as well. The first meal that I tried was the roasted salmon, with crispy kale and cauliflower “rice” – made from pure cauliflower and no grains at all. A lovely butternut squash puree was included, as well, and I found myself eating it with a spoon. The salmon was perfectly cooked, and even after reheating was tender and moist. And, unlike other delivery services I have tried, the salmon did not give off even the slightest fishy smell – important if you have your meals delivered to your office! This was a winner.
The next day, I enjoyed the Pav Bhaji, a vegetarian Indian street food favorite, composed of carrots, cauliflower, and other vegetables which are cooked together with spices. Instead of toasted bread, I ordered mine with a side of mashed sweet potatoes, and everything was incredibly delicious, spicy, and flavorful. It definitely satisfied my Indian food craving – in a healthy way.
For lunch the following day, I tried the lentil soup, with green lentils, squash, kale, carrots, and onions. Once again, the flavors were exceptional, and the soup was quite filling thanks to the copious amounts of lentils and chunks of fresh vegetables in this warming soup.
I was also eager to try the Vegetarian Lasagna Stuffed Spaghetti Squash after reading so many delicious-sounding recipes for it, and it did not disappoint. Also offered with sausage, this entree was gluten free and featured assorted vegetables, tomato sauce, and cheese. A nice sauteed spinach was served on the side. I probably could have done with a little less cheese on mine, but the flavors were great and it was also healthy.
Aside from a delivery snafu that caused my food to be delivered an hour early and left outside of my garage hanging from a door, I was very impressed and pleased with my experience with Cooked. I have been promised that the delivery process has improved, which will make everything from the ordering, to the delivery, to the reheating, to the eating process a seamless one. I look forward to Cooked making my weekly meal planning much easier – and healthier.
To entice you to try Cooked even more, they are offering customers one FREE entree, when you order four or more. Just enter “CHRITIQUES” in the special instruction field at checkout. Then, let me know your thoughts. Happy and healthy eating!
While I received complimentary products to facilitate this review, all opinions expressed herein are my own.