Fresh Meal Plan product review

Kimchee Veggie Tacos

Kimchee Veggie Tacos- Fresh Meal Plan

Happy Labor Day- it’s Meatless Monday as well.  I wanted to share with you a great program many of you may find to be helpful.  Especially if you are a Vegetarian.  We know how hard it is sometimes to stick to a diet regime when you are busy and always on the go.

Fresh Meal Plan food

Introducing Fresh Meal Plan.  I was invited to sample a three-day supply of their 3-meal plan (and desserts) recently.  I want to disclose the fact that while my three day membership was complimentary, all opinions published here are my own.

Fresh Meal Plan

As promised, I received two large cooler bags on my front porch early Monday morning.  The bags contained all my food for the next three days, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and desserts.  It was a lot of containers- but any were easy enough to stick into my cooler and tote to work.  I think besides easy portability, one of my most favorite things are the whole ingredients used in each meal- no weird words I couldn’t pronounce or have to look up online to figure out what it was.

Margarita Breakfast Pizza

Margarita Breakfast Pizza

The first day I had a Margarita Breakfast Pizza for breakfast, a White Wine Portabella Mushroom for lunch and a Crispy BBQ Tofu with a pita for dinner.

White Wine Portabella

White Wine Portabella

The white wine portabella contained orzo, asparagus and apricots in it.  I loved the combination of the mushroom and apricots!

PB Banana Mellow Parfait

Peanut Butter Banana Mellow Parfait

For dessert I had a PB Banana Mellow Parfait.  I was given three of these and they were supposed to be eaten as a snack during the day but I saved mine for dessert.

Fresh Meal Plan desserts

Desserts

I was given a tray of desserts which I ate as snacks over the course of three days!

Cinnamon Streusel French Toast

Cinnamon Streusel French Toast

Day two included Cinnamon Streusel French Toast for breakfast, Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese for lunch and a Kimchee Veggie Taco for dinner.

Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese

Truffle Lobster Mac and Cheese

The lobster mac was a nice little treat except that it contained lobster.  I am sure this was just an oversight that it was sent to me in the Vegetarian plan- I do eat fish on occasion and I definitely gave this a try.  It was rich and cheesy.  Fabulous- if you eat fish.  If I were a super strict Vegetarian this may have really made me upset.  However, I have had excellent communication with everyone over at Fresh Meal Plan so I am sure that they would have been happy to fix this oversight.

Egg and Cheese Hashbrowns

Egg and Cheese English Muffin

On the third day I enjoyed an egg, cheese and hash brown English muffin for breakfast, a Caribbean Beach Salad for lunch and another white wine portabella for dinner.

Fresh Meal Plan label

Everything was delicious and each dish had something unexpected added to it whether it was hash browns added to the egg and cheese breakfast or raspberries added to the French toast.

Crispy BBQ Tofu

Crispy BBQ Tofu

So here are some bullet points on the meal plan:

  • No long term commitments
  • No bag deposit fees
  • No hidden charges
  • Weekly billing instead of bi-weekly or monthly
  • Convenient “Sign and Eat”
Carribean Beach Salad

Caribbean Beach Salad

I didn’t go through the process of picking my meals as I was on a complimentary plan but I went through the steps online to see how easy it would be and it was incredibly simple.

Other worthy notes:

  • All meals are placed into convenient containers.  Easy to put into your lunch tote and go from fridge to microwave or oven (up to 250°)
PB Granola Snack

PB Banana Mellow Parfait

  • The Fresh Meal Plan culinary team is headed up by Culinary Institute of America graduate and world-renowned Chef Patrick Delaney.
  • Fresh Meal Plan is the official meal plan provider for the Miami Dolphins.
  • Currently, Fresh Meal Plan is available in Southeastern Florida and just recently has expanded into the Greater Orlando Metropolitan Area.
  • With meals at less than $8 each, this is a perfect option for those who are on the go and have no time to be in the kitchen. Or if you live alone and hate to shop and cook for just one person.
  • There are three plans to choose from- Traditional, Paleo and Vegetarian.  There is also an option to customize your plan to work around allergies and dislikes.  I was extremely pleased with the variety of food in the Vegetarian plan.

Fresh Plan Meal delivery

I told Chad this would also be perfect the next time we are down in Miami for a week. We could just request meals to be sent to our hotel for the week so we can just heat and go.  A great way to avoid fast food restaurants and expensive restaurants while out of town, right?

For more information visit Fresh Meal Plan here. (Note: This is not an affiliate link.)

Lighthouse Ministries- Giving Hope That Changes Lives

Lighthouse-Ministries-Lakeland_thumb.jpg

Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland, FL

In 1977 two Christian business men started a small ministry, then called the Lakeland Lighthouse Rescue Mission.  Today it has become a safe haven for those seeking a hot meal, a place to stay for the night or attend a Chapel service.  Thanks to donations from the community, over 131, 500 meals have been served to those in need.  Lighthouse Ministries also operates 7 thrift shops for communities in Lakeland, Plant City and Brandon among others.

Lighthouse Ministries Chapel

The Chapel at Lighthouse Ministries

Lighthouse Ministries also runs a year-long program to assist those needing help getting back on their feet.  Currently, there are 13 families living and working at the Ministry, from reasons ranging to drug and alcohol issues to abuse to job loss.  Participants live and work at the Lakeland location, are required to perform daily chores at the facility ranging from working in the kitchen to being employed at one of the thrift shops.

Lighthouse Ministries Clothing Thrift Shop

One of seven thrift shops operated by Lighthouse Ministries

Those involved in the program are expected to save a large amount of their earnings to have enough for an easier transition into their own apartment.  Many are offered permanent full time positions with the Ministry upon completion of the program.  And, perhaps one of the best perks of the program, participants are required to attend classes to further their educations, anything from earning their GED’s to attending classes at college.

Lighthouse Ministries Dining Room

The family dining room

I had the opportunity to attend a bloggers event where we were given a tour of the entire facility, meet some of the residents and have lunch with the President, Steve Turbeville, who also serves as the C.E.O.  Steve is an incredibly down to Earth gentleman and answered all of our questions, explained the future plans of the mission and the success of program graduates.

Lighthouse Ministries Residents Common Area

The resident’s common area. This is just one of the many murals that line the walls at Lighthouse Ministries

The program operates on 4 pathways:

  1. Spiritual Growth
  2. Community
  3. Industry
  4. Education

As long as a person has proven to be following 3 out the 4 pathways Lighthouse Ministries considers the program to be a success.

Lighthouse Ministries Library

The residential library at Lighthouse Ministries

Lighthouse Ministries also works with other agencies in the area such as the Orlando Rescue Mission to offer a wider array of help.

Lighthouse Ministries Garden

The hydroponic garden at Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland

Perhaps the most interesting thing we were able to visit was the hydroponic gardens on the Lakeland campus.  Residents tend to the vegetables that are used in the meals that are served.

Lighthouse Ministries Kids Resources

The kids’ activities room at Lighthouse Ministries

Children who live with their parents at the Lakeland campus attend a local public school and have games and activities to participate in while their parents work around the Ministry.  The entire Ministry is funded 100% from donations from the local community.  School supplies, clothing, furniture, food and variety of other items are always needed.

Lighthouse Ministries Women's Accomadations

A room in the women’s dorm

It is absolutely wonderful to have a Christ-based facility here in Central Florida that not only assist those in need, but also offer education, jobs and the tools they need to migrate back into society.  There is also a shelter for local men seeking a safe place for a night.

Lighthouse Ministires Garden Lakeland

The hydroponic gardens at Lighthouse Ministries in Lakeland

Lighthouse Ministires planting garden

Some of the many veggies growing in the hydroponic gardens

For more information or to make a donation please visit Lighthouse Ministries here.

Lighthouse Ministries peppers

Peppers growing in the hydroponic gardens

Lighthouse Ministries Amazing Murals

The lighthouse mural at Lighthouse Ministries

A special heartfelt thank you to Meagan Goepferich (More Than a Coupon Queen), Steve Turbeville and the rest of the staff and residents at Lighthouse Ministries for opening your home and hearts to us and allowing us to have a better understanding of the program.