Meez Meals: Some assembly required
Jen Moore, of Chicago, who is a mom, wife and businesswoman, founded Meez Meals two years ago. | Lee A. Litas~Sun-Times Media
Place orders through midnight on Thursday for the following week.
(773) 916-6339, www.meezmeals.com
Updated: September 5, 2012 3:26PM
It’s always better to cook for yourself, said Jen Moore, a Chicago mom, wife and businesswoman.
“When people cook for themselves at home, they know exactly how much oil or cheese they’re putting in, etc., and they can make adjustments and customize on the fly,” she said.
That’s exactly what Moore sought to do with her Meez Meals, launched two years ago. A play on the French phrase “mise en place,” meaning “everything in place” (i.e., pre-cut and ready to use), Meez meals are reviewed by a recipe consultant, who is also a registered dietitian.
Meals are all meatless, but Moore said, “I bet if you looked at our menu it wouldn’t say vegetarian to you.”
Instead of meat, Meez uses beans, dairy and soy to boost the protein quotient. Recipes can also accommodate vegan and gluten-free diets.
“One of the great things I love about meatless meals is that they force you to be a little more creative,” said Moore.
Variety is one of the main problems Moore hopes to solve. “We change our menu every week so there are always new things that people probably haven’t thought to make themselves.”
Another concept Moore addresses is food waste, pointing to how often people shop for groceries only to throw them away because they didn’t get to make that planned meal in time, or tried to make a fancy new recipe only to get stuck with surfeit exotic ingredients well outside their everyday needs.
“Cooking with Meez is a great way to experiment with new flavors without getting a whole new pantry,” stressed Moore.
Every week, members choose the meals they want to try and a cooler box is delivered to their door packed with recipes and all the pre-cut ingredients they need to build dinners from scratch.
Members can order from one to five meals per week, which come in two-serving quantities at a cost of approximately $10 per serving.
This week’s recipes featured Hawaiian kabobs with pineapple rice, black bean quesadillas with grilled banana salsa, and pappardelle with roasted zucchini pesto. Recipes are rated on a “whisk” basis, with one being “super easy” and three being “a bit more involved,” and all nutritional and caloric counts listed.
Meez is now covering 1,000 square miles around Chicago, including the North Shore to Waukegan, west to Naperville and south to Oak Lawn.
“This is a great way to get new recipes into people’s repertoires, which we are always happy to share because we are not selling recipes,” said Moore, “we’re selling the experience.”~.