I Tried the New Made By Whole30 Meals and I’d Definitely Order Them Again
There’s nothing like whipping up homemade meals, but sometimes life happens. Whether you have your hands full taking care of kids or you’re busy at work (or both), sometimes you just need someone else to cook. And if you’re doing a Whole30, that can make shopping and cooking even more complex.
If you haven’t tried it, Whole30 is a popular 30-day diet that focuses on cutting out sugar, alcohol, grains, most legumes, and dairy. After 30 days, you reintroduce the foods systematically to see which, if any, cause GI symptoms or have other negative effects. There are zillions of Whole30 recipe resources online and in books, and now the company has launched a service that delivers Whole30-approved meals right to your door. And because these dishes are gluten-, dairy-, soy-, and added sugar-free, they’re a healthy option whether you’re doing the diet or not.
How it works
These chef-created dishes arrive fully cooked, are ready to eat in just a few minutes, and can be shipped weekly.
Each week, you choose from a rotating list of recipes tailored to your region that features dishes like lemon garlic chicken, shakshuka, and beef stew. The company sources the produce as locally as possible, and procures the animal protein from local farmers and suppliers with the highest welfare standards.
I’m a huge fan of convenience items like meal kits; I’ve tried many through the years. Though Whole30’s are fully cooked meals and not a kit per se, I knew I had to give it a go.
I received these six meals:
- Citrus chicken with cabbage slaw and plantain mofongo
- Pork picadillo with sweet potato hash
- Lemon-caper chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes
- Curried beef with cumin sweet potatoes
- Pepperoncini pulled beef with with mashed sweet potatoes
- Chimichurri steak with roasted garlic yuca and sauteed mushrooms
The meals arrived cold in a small cardboard box, which was easy to break down and didn’t have any unnecessary packing materials. I immediately noticed each meal’s packaging was sleek and streamlined, making it simple to store in my refrigerator. I just stacked them all on a shelf, and I was good to go.
Each meal came with easy, straightforward instructions printed on stickers placed right on the packaging. This made prep a breeze; all I had to do was remove the package’s plastic lid or pull back a corner of its thin plastic covering and heat it in the microwave. In about two or three minutes, I had a ready-to-eat meal, and no dirty dishes. I also appreciated how the directions were placed on the packaging and not included in a separate sheet in the delivery box, which I might have lost or thrown out accidentally.
When it comes to premade meals and meal kits, I’ll be honest — I don’t exactly have high expectations when it comes to taste and texture. However, I was pleasantly surprised that each meal I sampled from Whole30 was exceptionally delicious. They were all flavorful, had the perfect ratio of protein and vegetables, and didn’t taste overly salty — an issue I’ve encountered with other pre-made meals and meal kits. I also found each meal to be filling. I prepared the meals for lunch and dinner, and they worked well for either.
Here’s what I thought of each meal:
- Citrus chicken with cabbage slaw and plantain mofongo: This chicken dish was impressive. The chicken was moist, and the plantain mofongo offered a great, slightly sweet addition to the meal. The cabbage slaw was crunchy and cooling.
- Pork picadillo with sweet potato hash: This dish was great — and this is coming from someone who historically is not a fan of ground pork. The pork was perfectly seasoned and mildly spicy, and the sweet potatoes were tender. I also liked the bright flavor of the raisins and the crunch of the sliced almonds. My boyfriend snuck a bite and told me this was something he would order at a restaurant. I could see myself enjoying this one again but over jasmine rice to add some bulk, although I know rice isn’t Whole30-approved.
- Lemon-caper chicken meatballs with mashed potatoes: These chicken meatballs were so good and actually tasted homemade. Premade meatballs are often spongy or rubbery, but not these — they were moist and tender, and the meal was filling. The green beans had a slight snap, and the mashed potatoes were light and airy. I also found the lemon caper sauce especially tasty — so much so that I wanted more of it.
- Curried beef with cumin sweet potatoes: This was another winner. I found this curried beef dish flavorful and warming, with the right amount of spice and heat.
- Pepperoncini pulled beef with mashed sweet potatoes: I loved this one. The beef was very tender and had a slight heat to it, which gave the dish an extra kick. The mashed sweet potatoes were very good also — the texture was smooth and creamy and they tasted fresh.
- Chimichurri steak with roasted garlic yuca and sauteed mushrooms: I’m still thinking about this dish. The steak was tender and had a flavor-packed crust, the garlic yuca was well made, and the sauteed mushrooms helped balance out the dish’s textures. There were also sliced sun-dried tomatoes and onions mixed throughout, which provided another flavor dimension.
These dishes ranged from approximately $14 to $18 each. They’re certainly pricier than what I’d spend if I shopped and cooked, but that’s to be expected considering the convenience. Compared to delivery or dining out, they’re probably on par or less expensive, especially considering that they’re healthy.
Overall, Whole30’s premade meal delivery service is a winner. The meals are flavorful, healthy, and filling without tasting too salty or sweet. I like the sleek, easy-to-store packaging and that the instructions for heating are placed on the containers. Meals were a cinch to prepare — what beats a few minutes in the microwave? — and required virtually no cleanup. I would probably order Whole30’s premade meals when planning ahead for a busy work week. I could also see scooping up a few as a supplement to grocery shopping to help quench that “restaurant taste” I crave after cooking at home for an extended period.