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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Fab Faves: Dream Dinners

Today’s Fab Fave is Dream Dinners! My friend Emily M. recently shared some of her Dream Dinners meals with me, so I joined in with her to put them together on a Saturday morning at the Poway location here in San Diego. We had a blast! My sister-in-law Jess and friend Isa have SWORN by Dream Dinners for a long time…they love the food and the price, so I’m glad I finally got in there to try it out!

Dream Dinners’ Bombay Chicken with Coconut Rice, as cooked by MOI!

If you’ve never heard of Dream Dinners, here’s how it works: Each month there is a list of meals to choose from. You go to their website, select your location, then select your meals, in 3- or 6-servings amounts. You must order a minimum of 36 servings, any combo of 3- & 6-servings welcome. If you order 72 servings, you qualify for a Volume Reward, which definitely cuts costs. A great way to do it is to sign up with a friend to get your Volume Reward and split your order…which is what Emily & I did.

Back to our Dream Dinners visit…Emily & I arrived and all of our labels were ready to go. Each meal has a station where you put the ingredients together in Ziploc bags. Most meals fit neatly into a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, so they don’t take up much space at all!

All my meals fit nicely in a 1-gallon Ziploc bag, which I could lay nicely in the freezer

Reasons we loved going to Dream Dinners:

  1. As we were putting our meals together, they brought out some peach cobbler for us to enjoy. THAT never happens at home.
  2. Picture me trying to pour honey out of a plastic, ungreased measuring cup. Suddenly a young man pops up and says, “Would you like a spatula?” and hands one over. THAT never happens at home.
  3. Best part of all…when you’re done putting your meal together, they clean up after you! That DEFINITELY doesn’t happen at home!!

Emily and I were laughing the whole time because it was just so great – we felt very pampered and everything was efficient and clean. Everyone who worked there was ubelievably friendly and they even carried our food out to the car for us!

Here are the contents for the Bombay Chicken…with the instructions label

“But is the food good?” Yes it is! Everything we tried was super yummy. Pictured at the top of my post is the Bombay Chicken with Coconut Rice (from June’s menu). It was seriously good. It was also our last Dream Dinners meal we had in the freezer…so sad. I kept forgetting to take pictures of our DD meals and almost forgot this one as well – thanks to Nate for remembering so you can see how delectable it looks! They are easy to put together as well!

“But is it affordable?” I went through and averaged this month’s meal costs: 6-serving meals averaged $25, 3-serving meals averaged $13 (prior to Volume Discount). Isa swears she saves money overall doing Dream Dinners. I don’t know if I would necessarily, based on what I spend on groceries, but I WILL say this…if you put any of these meals together on your own, it would definitely cost more than what you get it for at Dream Dinners. And the choices are things that I would never make at home, so it’s nice to mix it up!


  1. 1

    Dream Dinners saved our lives while I was morning sick and couldn’t cook. It was so nice having something that Stu could heat up quick or throw on the grill without much trouble. Definitely worth it during that time!

  2. 2

    Are the recipes healthy?

  3. 3
    Jane Maynard

    that’s a great question! I think in general it’s pretty healthy…really depends on the dish. The meals that I chose seemed quite low in fat, sugar and sodium. DD uses lots of interesting and cool spices to get a lot of the flavor in the dishes.

    You can view the nutritional information for each month’s meals on their website (under Menus & Sessions). Looks pretty good to me as I scan quickly, although the cheese lover’s manicotti is a little scary (big surprise!). 🙂

  4. 4

    Jane that was so fun pretending we were on a cooking show and all of the people around us were just making it happen. Who thought cooking could be so much fun?

  5. 5
    Jane Maynard

    it totally was like being on a cooking show! I forgot that part…so funny, we could all be emeril all the time if we had so many assistants. 🙂

  6. 6
    Lindsey Barttels

    ive been meaning to comment on this for months, jane. my sister actually owned a DD in michagan that i worked at for a while, so i have a soft spot for them. THEY ARE GREAT! I LOVE that you posted about them. i know there are lots of copycats out there, esp in UT, but i have never found another chain that really got unusual, delicious and gourmet meals so easily in your hands! anyway, thats my plug. and there are ways to make the meals a bit healthier, you just have to ask for substitution recommendations 😉

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