Imagine getting a knock at the door and the porch reveals a large, styrofoam container shrink-wrapped and waiting.
Upon opening, it becomes quickly clear that what is lurking under the air padding and the freezer packs is no ordinary diet food. In fact, I’d slap anyone’s socks (in my mind) for even comparing these to the standard grocery store diet freezer foods that beg for attention, un-romantically plopped into the microwave, and then picked apart with a fork. Sometimes the cardboard tastes better than the food (and is more nutritious).
Alas, no badness exists with Diet-To-Go, a company that sends healthfully cooked meals to dieters. Made fresh and then overnight shipped, these dishes are real. They’re wonderful. And they are, above all, discernible food with real ingredients. Did I mention they’re also low-carb? I also love that, while at least a few of the dishes seem to contain soy, the labeling states any allergy flags for consumers.
My only real beef: The packages tend to shift in transit, sometimes causing sauce to flop around inside of the bag, which makes opening the packages a little messier than I would like.
Still, this is a minor inconvenience considering this is fresh food delivered overnight to your doorstep. I could seriously live off of a few of the meals I tried (Veal Parmesan? Oh my God, yes) and would be happy eating these over and over for the next six months.
On to the meals themselves:
Veal Parmesan ♥♥♥♥♥
My favorite of all the dishes, I knight thee O Fabulous One. This delicious, cheesy, saucy little dish comes complete with veal, marinara, cheese, decadent green beans, mushrooms and artichoke heart quarters. This dish is reminiscent of some of the nicer Italian joints I’ve frequented, but without the carb-laden guilt or the impending blood sugar crash afterwards. This dish rates the full five stars for flavor, presentation, lack of soy, and overall satisfaction. Oh yes. There was much satisfaction to be had.
Chicken Fajitas ♥♥♥♥♥
Masked behind the package label, I had expected to see before me a large amount of succulent, grilled chicken and festive roasted vegetables beckoning my tongue to come forth. What I received instead were 2-3 depressing slices of (still delicious) chicken fajita and a smattering of roasted peppers and onion sitting to the side. The bonus? Guacamole, Brussels Sprouts, and broccoli, all creating a vibrantly colored dish. Still, I wanted more chicken and roasted vegetables and less sides, and for 11 net carbs, you tend to expect more bang for your dinner buck. I had to ultimately ding this dish three points: 1. Where’ the meat? 2. The broccoli was floppy. 3. This dish includes soy (I’m allergic to soy).
Roasted Half of Chicken ♥♥♥♥♥
In this main dish that really eats like a meal, the chicken is terrific, and the cauliflower purée is wonderful; unfortunately, the presentation was a bit of mess, since the purée slopped all over the container, leaving a mass of gritty white vegetable around the bag and the chicken. The bonus? The entire, generous meal nets only 3 carbs. Not bad for a substantial dish. I recommend baking this dish to reheat because the microwave won’t do half of a roasted chicken as much justice. The cauliflower purée is phenomenal, infused with sour cream, heavy white cream, parmesan cheese and chives. I knocked the score down for 2 reasons: 1. The mess. 2. This dish includes soy ingredients (Again, allergic to soy).
Scrambled Eggs ♥♥♥♥♥
This breakfast boasts a colorful combination of two egg patties, Canadian bacon, spinach, and cauliflower. What I like about this combination is the ability to sandwich the meat between the two egg rounds and handle it with my fingers for deliciously sweet, meaty bites of breakfast goodness. The cauliflower has just the right bite without being mushy, and the spinach is the perfect bit of dark vegetable that reminds you this way of eating can really be for keeps. I only deduct for soybean oil and a lack of cheese sauce I feel would have linked all the elements together–but at only 5 net carbs, this dish is a winner.
Spinach Quiche ♥♥♥♥♥
Don’t let the bratwurst-sized sausage link worry you; this savory, colorful breakfast dish delivers a juicy, flavorful one-two punch to the taste buds, and for only 6 net carbs. Adding to the already tremendous portion of spinach Quiche is a side of al dente green beans and red peppers. This breakfast looks and feels mature and refined (but not fussy) and healthy (but not boring). Even the inclusion of soy in the dish isn’t enough to turn me away from giving top marks.
Cheese Omelet ♥♥♥♥♥
This flipped egg is one I flipped over. Simply heat the container in the microwave for a cheesy omelet filled with bacon, spinach and freshly chopped salsa. How fresh, you might ask, is the salsa? Put any thoughts of a liquid mess of juices aside; we’re talking full-on, diced tomatoes, pepper and onion that bring this dish to the next, flavorful level. My only wish is that there was more, but I was full for hours on Monterey jack cheese, eggs, bacon and vegetables. This dish has soy protein isolates and modified food starches, but I’m willing to overlook this for 5 net carbs.
Turkey Meatloaf ♥♥♥♥♥
While I am not a fan of meatloaf, this dish positively knocked my socks off of my feet and into the neighbor’s chimney. Delicious, ground turkey, vegetables and spices combine for a delicate, delicious dinner I’d eat again. Daily. Served with almost crisp green beans (the way I love them) and creamed spinach (wonderful), all flavors melded together for a zesty combination of earthy, hearty flavors. My concerns are the inclusions of brown sugar, corn flower, cornmeal, and soy; and at 17 net carbs for the entire plate of food, the count is as high as some low carbers’ daily totals for 2-3 meals. Still, the savory meal is one I would eat again. It felt positively sinful.
Chicken Roma ♥♥♥♥♥
Getting stuffed has never been more pleasant. Savory chicken breast showcases a decadent Roma stuffing and rests on a bed of collard greens with a side of cauliflower. The lightly pungent, creamy flavors of the dish are a delight, and while I typically avoid chicken, the combination and preparation of the ingredients left me wanting more. At only 4 net carbohydrates–and while this dish has some soy and wheat (I suspect in the seasonings)– I would definitely eat this again.
Baked Cajun Salmon ♥♥♥♥♥
A generous portion of seasoned salmon awaits in this subtle, spicy presentation. The deliciously fork-flaky protein is accompanied by cream sauce, asparagus and broccoli to excite and soothe the taste buds. The seasoning on the broccoli is fantastic and zips the dish up with bright flavors and colors. The inclusion of wheat in the sauce is a disappointment, but even the most picky fish fan in the house gave this dish the thumbs up.
All in all, I am in love with the concept: Have delicious food delivered, heat it up, eat it, and lose weight. Portion sizes are already figured for you. It’s like a spa day for your mouth. It’s no wonder epicurious.com rated Diet-to-Go #1 over The Biggest Loser Plan, Chef Diets, eDiets, Healthy Chef, Fitzee Foods, Healthy Chef Creations, Jenny Craig and Nutrisystem.
At the same time, $7.84 for a meal can be a pretty spendy proposition in this economy, which makes this plan perfect for dieters who don’t have time to cook and who value the convenience of having healthy, delicious foods available for each meal. The tremendous quality of the meals means you can expect to pay more than you would for a salad at your favorite haunt–but you’re also scoring delicious proteins at each meal, too.
To boot, Diet-to-Go doesn’t claim to beat the supermarket down the street. It doesn’t have to. Compared to other food delivery services like FreshDiet, BistroMD and eDiets, their delicious offerings are a pretty tasty bargain.
My biggest beef? It’s not with the company.
It’s not seeing the American Diabetes Association put their stamp of approval on the low carbohydrate plan, and not seeing the American Cancer Society not put their stamp of approval on the lower carbohydrate plan. I am a little annoyed with the American Dietetic Association, too, but their lack of approval doesn’t surprise me. These meals contain the healthiest grain-free ingredients of all the plans available and deserve their rightful place in each of those organizations.
Would I sign up for this program? No, but I spend much of my time in the kitchen developing recipes, a luxury many do not have.
If I worked out of the home full-time and was in need of tremendously healthy, rich, quality foods, and had no time to cook, I’d sign up in a heartbeat. For $600 a month, you can skip restaurants, grocery shopping, and fumbling through food menus, and instead put all of your efforts into enjoying your food. If you have to serve a family high-carb meals, you can enjoy your own, knowing you didn’t have to cook twice.
And, because of their special offer, you can save %25 off of your first order by using the code: yourlighterside.
I really like what these guys are doing. I’d love to see their foods make grocery store freezers.
In a sea of chemicals, colorings, and flavorings from beaver butts, we could use a little food sanity right now.
Price: $7.89 per meal and up
Usefulness: Healthy, fast meals that taste like home.
Negative: Soy inclusion in some dishes and slightly spendy for the average dieter who has time to cook
Store Locator: Where to buy
Savings: Save 25% on your first order by mentioning the code “yourlighterside.”
Disclosure: Diet-to-Go, a site sponsor for Your Lighter Side, has provided these meals free of charge for review, but this has not affected my review of the item(s) received.