Thursday, October 29, 2015

What to Eat When Mommy's Out of Town

I received product for review in order to facilitate this post and giveaway. All opinions are my own and I only share products and services I know will be useful for my readers.

A few weeks ago I attended ShiftCon, a health and wellness blogger conference..  While I didn't have too travel far, it was just an hour and a half up the freeway in Los Angeles, I wasn't planning to drive back and forth and needed to think ahead on what my family would be eating for dinner while I was away. Any mom who goes away for a few days has probably had the same thought as I did... "I hope they don't eat out for dinner every night." My husband is pretty good with cooking dinner, but it is definitely a tall order to be charged with caring for the kids all day, taking them to all their soccer games and softball practice and finding the energy to put a balanced meal on the table. I mean, it's hard enough when it's both of us here. Well, lucky for me an opportunity to try out Charlie's Classic Cooking came at the right time!

What is Charlie's Classic Cooking you ask? It's a meal plan delivery service prepared by an honest to goodness chef. But, wait. There's more! Cooking classes (for kids and adults), cooking club, catering, fundraising and much more. When Charlie came to deliver our 4 family sized meals and told us a little more about his services my daughter's ears perked up about the kids cooking classes. She is eager to get in the kitchen, but just needs a little more direction than what I can give her to let her budding culinary aspirations take flight.

A Little More About Charlie:

With over 25 years of experience of teaching and providing healthy nutritious meals, Chef Charlie has made it his mission to teach everyone the importance of healthy living. Throughout his career, Chef Charlie has prided himself on creating meals from all natural ingredients with no preservatives or additives and 100% trans-fat free. Every delicious dish, whether it’s from our economical and healthy meal plan or customized cooking classes, is always fresh, using locally grown produce and the finest sustainable ingredients seasonally available.

Our meals were delivered cold and in 4 easy to store containers. I had to move a few things around in the fridge to get everything to fit but really what mom hasn't dealt with rearranging things? There was a sheet with our meals listed and instruction to prepare them. I was excited about not just the ease of having dinners ready to go in our fridge for when I was gone, but that these meals had no preservatives or additives like you would find in most foods in the freezer section of the grocery store. 

Because I didn't want to miss out on the entire experience I actually served up one of the meals before I left for my conference. We had the Fettuccine Alfredo with carrots, broccoli and red peppers.

Side note: I couldn't find the sheet of paper with the cooking instructions! So I tossed together all of the ingredients - which all of the items are already cooked - popped it in the oven and warmed it up for about 25 minutes. It came out great! When I found the instructions it had something quite different detailed but either way it turned out great!

This was restaurant quality but with that home cooked feel, you know where it doesn't taste weighed down by fat in order to add flavor? My kids ate it up and wished I had not added all of the sauce. The sauce came in a ziploc baggie and I should have followed my own advice "start with a little, you can always add more." The good thing is that for those who LOVE alfredo sauce, you know there is plenty! I loved that this was a dish that had veggies already mixed in, of course for the health benefits but it also just made the dish that much more appealing to eat. How often do you get 3 veggies on your kid's dinner plate? Nice work Charlie! 

I was excited to try the Lime and Cumin Grilled Chicken with tomato Corn Relish and fresh green beans when I returned from my conference. No hassle dinner after a full weekend of hustle and bustle... BONUS! 

It was so nice to have not just the main course but a full meal with side dishes easy to prepare and tasty to eat. We ended up eating this meal outdoors on the patio which was perfect for this end of summer meal. 

The menu changes weekly and everything is made with natural and local ingredients. And you save a ton of time in meal planning and grocery shopping and most of the food preparation has been done for you. This is a great resource for San Diego families to give themselves a break from the rigor of fixing dinner every night or to save time during the busy holiday season. 

Charlie's Classic Cooking wants one of my readers (that's YOU!) to experience what it's like to have the night off from worrying about dinner. Enter below to win a delivered meal for a family of 4 valued at $75. 

Charlies Classic Cooking

The food just needed to be reheated and dinner was served! I so appreciate the opportunity to give Charlie's Classic Cooking a try and will remember them for the future.