There are just some ideas that you hear and think “I wish I thought of that first”. Let’s face it, even when we have lightbulb moments most of us still don’t act, but thankfully for us when Jennifer Moore was inspired with the concept behind Meez, she did something about it. Based on the fact that these days, we’re often too busy, with too little cupboard space, to prepare fresh, healthy and most of all imaginative meals, Jennifer and her team have come up with the perfect solution. They plan the menu, prep the ingredients and deliver the neat little package to your door. It can then last up to 7 days before you pull it back out to feed yourself, or up to 6 people!

The best part? All the meals are VEGETARIAN (with 3-4 vegan options available) and they’re updated weekly, which means you have 5 amazing dinners (or lunches, there’s no stopping you making it for the next day) to choose from. The veggies are chopped, spices are measured out and the instructions are step-by-step, making it a no brainer to cook a meal about which you can literally say “I made it myself”.

The name, Meez, is inspired by the French Mise En Place – for having everything ready to go when you’re ready to cook. You have until Thursday midnight to order each week, and deliveries arrive the following Monday. When the doorman called to say he doesn’t take delivery of fresh food, I was chuffed to tell him it could stay there for up to 12 hours outside of the fridge (the box is insulated and contains ice-packs to keep the ingredients fresh).

I was expecting the Roasted Artichoke & Mushroom Paella, so when the North African Couscous arrived (also with artichokes… Mmmmmm) it was an even better surprise. It is exciting to review stuff like this that is so wholly relevant for me, and therefore (hopefully) for you guys whether vegetarian or not. I asked Julie (from the agency who represents Meez) about the suppliers, with local, ethical and most importantly sustainable produce always being at the top of my list. She said “Most of the ingredients from Meez Meals come from local suppliers.  They buy most of their produce from a family owned business, all of their tofu comes from from an artisan tofu maker in Andersonville who uses all organic, GMO-free ingredients and works in small batches, and their pizza dough and bread come from Bennisons, the family owned Evanston bakery institution”. Heaven.

I loved the Recipe Quick Tips for each meal, and while there had been a change made in the cooking method for one of the dishes, I had received an email to tell me how to go around it. The language is friendly for beginners to advanced cooks without being patronising, and it’s clear the ladies have tried and tested their Modus Operandi, with hints like “Read through the entire recipe before you start to cook” and “Preheat your oven as soon as you start thinking about dinner”. The cooking methods are all simple but you still feel like a bit of a maestro when it works out. Brilliant. They even have a hotline from 5-8pm to answer questions and provide further insights if needed.

Meez delivers to the 25-mile delivery zone around Chicago, which is 1,000 square miles and includes downtown Chicago, the North Shore, Waukegan, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Downer’s Grove, and everything in between. I can’t imagine what could stop Meez from branching out further and having kitchens all over the place! Lastly, I hear you asking, what about the food? For the record, it was delicious. The Paella was definitely the favourite of the evening. This week they have Spanikopita Tostada Stacks and Orchiette with Artichokes & Sun-Dried Tomatoes. If you’re in the area that Meez serves, it’s a no-brainer.

Roasted Artichoke & Mushroom Paella

Paella ingredients

Mushroom& artichoke mix

Tomato & onion mix

Cook the tomato, add the rice, seems simple…

Stir it around

The two dishes getting prepared side-by-side

Add some water

Arrange the ingredients “artistically” on top. Artist! That’s me! I can do this!

Throw it in the oven

Sprinkle over breadcrumbs and almonds

Voila!

Roasted Artichoke & Mushroom Paella

North African Couscous

Couscous ingredients

Veggie mix with artichokes, chickpeas, carrots and other goodies.

Red pepper sauce

Stir it together

Perfect couscous

Fluff it up with a fork

Ready to serve

Chef extraordinaire

Roasted Artichoke & Mushroom Paella & North African Couscous. Dinner is served.

Meez Meals
773.916.MEEZ (6339)
www.meezmeals.com