FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We make it very easy for you to buy a gift certificate for someone and really simplify their life with tasty, healthy, home-cooked meals. Magic Meals Gift Certificates can be ordered for $99 or more; you just let us know how much you want to spend. All gifts will have sales tax added and orders under $150 will be charged a $10 delivery fee. Orders over $150 have delivery in our normal service area included for free. When you order the gift certificate, we’ll need your contact information and the contact information and address for the person receiving the gift. You can make pay by check or cash or via PayPal. When we receive payment we’ll mail 1) a color gift certificate, 2) a letter explaining the Magic Meals Gift, 3) a brochure telling more about meal package options, 4) and a business card. We can either mail the gift certificate package to you or directly to the person receiving the gift. The person receiving the gift can contact us at their convenience anytime within 12 months of receiving the certificate. When they contact us we’ll visit with them and help them figure out the meal package that best meets their needs. Gift certificates can be redeemed for any style of meal plan for the value of the certificate, or it may be applied toward a larger package. Then we’ll do the cooking and schedule delivery right to their home. Simple.
We pride ourselves on meeting each of our client’s individual needs, and preferences are high on that list. We often will leave out ingredients for some clients, and leave them in for others. There are some recipes where this is easier than others, and if it’s not possible, we will help you choose items that are better suited to you and your family. Just let us know and we’ll make it work! Of course, if you are allergic to an item or have other medical restrictions, make sure to discuss those with us as well. We work with many people with very specific needs. Often, they can be accommodated within our standard menu and pricing. If the changes needed are extensive, we can also create customized menus just for you, to ensure that your food is safe for you and/or meets your needs and preferences. The more we know, the better we can cook for you!
Our focus is on health and good taste, and we are proud to say that the majority of our meals meet the American Diabetes Association’s guidelines for healthy eating. These healthy guidelines apply to all of us, not just those with diabetes, and this is the way our family chooses to eat. We never serve you anything that we don’t feed our own children, and we’re pretty picky about what they eat. If your doctor has given you specific parameters, (i.e. a certain amount of carbohydrates per meal or day) we can follow your doctor’s orders in your meals. This can usually be done within our standard menus, though very particular restrictions may require a customized menu. Our standard menu recipes focus on whole grains, lean meats, good fats and lots of fiber and vegetables. We also structure our recipes to keep things like calories and fat reasonably low while maximizing flavor, nutrition, and fiber. For example, a common side dish is Buttered Green Beans. At some restaurants, a dish like that would be swimming in butter, containing far more fat and calories than someone with diabetes (or any of us!) should be eating. Our method is to use a small amount of butter for flavor, then use heart-healthy canola oil to make up the remaining amount necessary for cooking. The result is good tasting food, with healthy ingredients and an appropriate amount of fat.
We offer several different styles of packaging, to go with our different menu plan formats. The Home-Style meals usually come in three-compartment trays and contain one entrée and two side dishes, and each tray is meant to serve one person. The Senior Home-Style meals are the same, just with a smaller portion size. The trays are microwave-safe and oven-safe, up to 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Occasionally in the Home-Style Plans, a meal is a one-dish meal (like an all-in-one casserole.) These come in plastic bowls with lids that are microwave-safe or aluminum pans that are oven-safe. The Grab & Go Plans are entrée-only meals that come in plastic bowls or aluminum pans, and each meal is meant to serve one person. We also offer any of our plans in family-style packaging. Each meal serves 4-6 people and they usually come in aluminum pans meant for the oven. Occasionally the meals will be in large plastic bowls.
The amount of freezer space required depends on the package size you order, but most orders will fit within the space of an above-the-refrigerator freezer or a side-by-side. Half packages containing 10-15 meals usually take half the space above the refrigerator, or less depending on the cubic footage of your appliance. Full packages of 20-30 meals can take anywhere from 2/3 the space to all of it, depending on the style of packaging (i.e. meals in trays with side dishes or Grab and Go bowls.) So, for most clients, there is room for all their Magic Meals, plus other items you keep in your freezer. Some of our clients do choose to use a separate deep freeze for storage, and others have purchased a small separate freezer just for our meals. This is definitely not necessary, but some find it convenient, especially those that order larger packages. They find the small expense of the freezer is off-set by the better value of buying in bulk.
We deliver all of our meals to you frozen, ready to be reheated when you need them. Each package has a label with individual thawing and reheating instructions. Most are pretty similar; the meals are best when they are thawed overnight in the refrigerator, and many of our meals are designed to be reheated in the microwave. Occasionally there are meals that are best prepared in the oven (fish always falls in this category) but if you prefer microwave-only, just let us know and we’ll make sure to package according to your needs. If you prefer not to use the microwave, we can also ensure that each item is oven-ready. We do not have packaging that is safe for toaster-oven use, but we’ve had quite a few clients who use them. They simply placed their thawed meals on a toaster-oven safe plate and heated them.