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When you have a demanding career or a busy family (or both!), putting healthy meals on the table night after night can be a difficult chore. Home-cooked dinners require an investment of time: planning menus, shopping at the grocery store or farmers market for ingredients, prepping and cooking, and then cleaning up afterward. With so many steps to deal with, it’s no wonder that good intentions so frequently get derailed by real life. Maybe your final meeting of the day ran late, and by the time you were able to log off or leave the office the time there’s no time for meal prep. Or maybe your child’s baseball game ran long, making it impossible to squeeze in a market trip before you had to take their sibling to a birthday party.

Even if, for once, you’re able to get through a week of dinners that came together exactly as you hoped, then you just have to do it all again the next week, facing all the same challenges. It’s easy to fall into a rut of ordering takeout when plans hit a snag, just adding to the feeling that you’re continually a step behind.

If you think this is a problem everyone else handles more effectively than you do, there’s reassuring news. They don’t. The proliferation of different types of meal delivery and meal kit services makes it obvious that many people need time-saving ways to have nutritious, delicious meals regularly, not just when they can spare the time and energy from their career or family. A healthy meal delivery service can be a game-changer for busy professionals and parents if it’s chosen with your needs and tastes in mind. Here are some points to consider.

Meal Kits vs. Prepared Meal Delivery Service

The dizzying number of options available for giving busy professionals or families an assist with dinner takes some consideration when you’re figuring out what will work best for you. One large category is meal kit companies like Blue Apron, HelloFresh or Purple Carrot, which deliver pre-portioned ingredients to prepare recipes at home. These save the time you would have spent putting together a market list and shopping. They can also cut down on food waste, because you don’t end up with extra odds and ends of ingredients. However, you still have to prep and cook the dishes you select—if your week goes sideways and you simply don’t have the time or energy to cook when you planned, your fresh ingredients could go to waste. Also, many of these services prepare their kits for either two or four portions, which can make them tricky for families with fewer or more people than the kits are designed for. Oftentimes lower quality ingredients are manufactured and shipped nationally.  Finally, these tend to work on a subscription model. If you don’t log in to select your menu, you may receive a delivery you didn’t choose.

A prepared meal delivery service, on the other hand, provides meals that are already made, eliminating the time required to prep ingredients and cook as well as meal planning and shopping. But these also come with different features that may not be well-suited for everyone.

For example, some meal delivery services offer only individually portioned dishes, which isn’t ideal if you’re looking for family-style meals. Others are geared toward a specific dietary concern or style of cuisine, which may not offer the variety necessary to suit every member of a household. And as with meal kits, many are subscription-based, making it important to understand their policies so you don’t end up getting charged for meals you didn’t want or end up with a delivery on a week you’re heading out of town.

Another major point to consider is if the meals are delivered fresh or frozen. While frozen meals can be stored longer, they can be less convenient when it’s time to reheat them. Reheating in the oven is a lengthy process if the dish is put in frozen—which is problematic if nobody is home to start dinner well in advance of when you want to eat. The alternative, microwaving, can leave dishes with an unpalatable texture, and if you’re heating multiple dishes they have to be done one at a time. Frozen meals also restrict your options, as not all dishes freeze well. Finally, if you want fresh sides, such as salads, you will need to supplement your meal plan with additional shopping.

Fresh meal delivery is the simplest way to plan for healthy dinners that are ready to eat quickly with a minimum of fuss. And for those who live in the Bay Area, north Lake Tahoe, and the Sacramento to Auburn corridor, Jessie & Laurent offers the perfect customizable meal delivery for busy professionals and busy parents.

Making Fresh, Delicious Dinners Easy

With Jessie & Laurent, you select from weekly menus of à la carte entrees, sides, soups, salads, and desserts prepared fresh by hand daily to build your perfect selection of meals. Most dishes are available in 3 sizes to make it easy to order the right amount for your household. Our dishes come refrigerated, ready to heat in the oven; reheating takes 30 minutes or less. Reheating in the oven is often at the same temperature for main and side dishes, making meal prep effortless. Instead of dreading dinner as another chore at the end of a long day, you can simply pop everything in the oven, toss the salad, set the table, and decompress as you enjoy delicious, healthy food that’s all ready at the same time.

There are never any commitments or delivery fees—conveniently place your order on our website a week at a time or several weeks in advance, and your selections will be delivered on your regular delivery day. Our menus always include dairy-free, wheat-free, and vegetarian options.

We also take the stress out of special occasions with packages like our Mother’s Day Brunch Feast, featuring Fage Greek yogurt parfaits with fresh berries and From the Fields Granola, our classic artichoke and asiago frittata, arugula salad with shaved ricotta salata and cured Culatello, and melt-in-your-mouth sticky buns.

No matter how busy your life is, Jessie & Laurent can be your game-changing solution for time-saving meals. To get started, simply place your order on our website or contact our office here for more information.

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