Meal Prep vs Ready to Eat: Which Is Better?

These days, everyone is busy. With work, the kids’ afterschool activities, and everything else that’s on your calendar, it’s no wonder many people are looking for easy dinner options. While you could eat out or hit a drive-through, those aren’t great for your wallet or your waistline. That leaves you with eat-at-home options, and with meal boxes all the rage, the next question is: Do you choose meal prep kits or meals that are ready to eat?

What About Meal Prep Kits?

There are a number of meal kits on the market these days. Many of the mainstream brands offer vegetarian and/or vegan options, and there are some that are dedicated to plant-based diets. What differentiates a meal prep kit from ready to eat is that, with the former, you receive recipes and pre-portioned food that you then have to prepare and cook. If you like to cook and have about 30 –45 minutes, this might be for you.

You usually have to supplement the box items with some ingredients you either have in the house already or a quick trip to the store will solve. These may include staples such as oil and butter or fresh items such as produce, depending on the box.

For the industrious vegan, you can save the recipes and replicate them on your own.

Pros:

  • Eliminates meal planning, other than choosing them on the website.
  • Most ingredients are included.
  • You can save recipes to make again without the plan.
  • Ingredients are fresh, not frozen.
  • You can try all kinds of new meal options.

Cons:

  • Require at least basic knowledge of cooking techniques.
  • May have to do supplemental shopping.
  • Must have pots, pans, and other cooking tools.
  • Need to clean up and do dishes after cooking.
  • Shipping may be high if the company is not local.
  • Time is needed to prepare the meals.

Ready to Eat Vegan Options

For those who lack cooking knowledge and/or are short on time, there is an alternative to eating out or going through a drive-through: ready to eat meals. Delivered to your home on a regular schedule (daily or weekly), the boxes include meals for the day or week. Again, as with meal prep kits, there are a number of vegan options from which to choose.

With the ready to eat option, you get your meal out of the refrigerator or freezer, heat it in the oven or microwave, and eat. That’s it. The hardest you’ll work here is choosing your menu and paying the bill. Plus, it’s as if you ordered Doordash since the meals are prepared by chefs, taking the guesswork about if you’ll measure things right or it will taste the way it should.

Pros:

  • Eliminates meal planning, other than choosing them on the website.
  • No preparation or clean-up is needed since the meals arrive readymade.
  • Meals are ready in as much time as it takes to heat them up.
  • If the service is local, your meals will be freshly prepared.
  • Cooked by professional chefs, these are restaurant-quality meals.
  • Requires no cooking ability.
  • You can try all kinds of new meal options.

Cons:

  • You’ll need to clear out some refrigerator or freezer space to store a week’s worth of meals.
  • Shipping may be high if the company is not local.
  • You can’t replicate the meals unless you do some detective work.

Which Option Is Right for You?

Thankfully, we have a number of options to eat healthy, delicious food at home on a plant-based diet—and with minimal prep work or thought. You can try both meal prep kits and ready to eat options and see what works best for your lifestyle. But at the end of it, if you’re looking for something quick and easy, our money is on ready to eat.

At Vegan Taste, we deliver ready to eat, plant-based meals to individuals and families across the Phoenix metro area. Cooked with love by Chef Jason, our meals are nutritionally dense and taste amazing. Even the pickiest eaters in your family will love them! And if you have special dietary needs, just let us know; we’ll do our best to accommodate them.

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