If you’re in San Antonio (or if you know someone who lives in San Antonio or the surrounding area) you’re going to want to sit up and take note. You might be wondering what Dinner Elf is and why I’m so excited about it. Dinner Elf San Antonio
I was provided free meals by Dinner Elf in exchange for promoting their service. The gushing over the awesomeness of Dinner Elf is 100 percent genuine.
Dinner Elf is a meal delivery service that does more than deliver food. It delivers a professionally trained chef to your door who is carrying groceries for meals that you’ve picked out. He (or she) prepares your meals in your kitchen, puts them in microwaveable containers in your fridge and cleans up. And it's affordable. Yes, really affordable. Dinner Elf starts at $10 per serving so if you think in-home meal prep is out of your price range, it's more affordable that think!
I’ll just give that a moment to sink in.
It. Is. Glorious.
Dinner Elf San Antonio is here and it's glorious
I like to cook, and I have some above-average culinary skills. If I were given the option to have a professional chef all the time, I probably wouldn’t take it because I find cooking and recipe creation relaxing…sometimes.
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Sometimes I just don't want to cook. Life gets busy and the three hours between my kids getting home and dinner time is hectic. My solution to this pain point is usually called “order pizza” which is fine for once in awhile but I’m trying to plan healthier meals for my family. See also I’m trying to re-set from two weeks of traveling and lots of food splurges.
Dinner Elf is different from any other meal delivery service out there. I’ve used services that deliver fresh ingredients with step-by-step recipes and I’ve used services that deliver pre-made meals to my door step. Both of those options have their good points, but Dinner Elf goes waaaay above and beyond any other option that’s out there.
I get fresh, wholesome meals made with whole foods. Someone else deals with going to the grocery store and doing the cooking and cleaning. All I have to do is clear off a shelf in my fridge for the food containers and decide when it’s time to eat. Easy peasy.
You can order online…the process is simple and the Dinner Elf website is very user-friendly. The hardest thing is trying to pick your three meals and three sides. There’s a huge variety, from comfort foods like macaroni and cheese and chicken pot pie to more adventurous offerings like coconut curry scallops or peanut butter and banana quesadillas.
A great many of the foods are Paleo and Whole30 compliant. You get the chance to leave notes for your Dinner Elf when you make your order, and of course, the more you use the service the better they get to know your family’s palate.
One of our meal options was chicken tikka masala and I left Elf Nolan a note that said three out of four of us really enjoy spicy foods but that one of our kids couldn’t handle any sort of heat whatsoever. We got four portions of mild, flavorful chicken tikka masala and one container of curry sauce with some serious heat. Everyone was happy.
Dinner Elf uses a reminder system that pushes texts to your phone. It’s pretty impossible to forget you have an appointment and you even get a notification when your Dinner Elf has completed their shopping and is in route to your house. Dinner Elf shops at HEB here in San Antonio, which is one of the places we do our regular grocery shopping. I love that they’re getting my food from somewhere I know and trust.
Our first (because there WILL be a next) experience with Dinner Elf came the day after two weeks of some pretty serious traveling. I got up with the chickens on a Thursday to fly to Syracuse for a press trip where I got to represent Traveling Mom and got home Sunday night. I ate lots of great food while in Syracuse, like a maple bacon bourbon donut called the Dizzy Pig and a peanut butter and jelly cheeseburger (yes, really.) My husband and two boys probably ate Ramen and cereal for four days. I don’t really want to know.
I got home Sunday night, emptied out my suitcases and repacked for a week at Walt Disney World and a Disney Cruise to the Bahamas, where I ate an amount of ice cream that I would not have thought possible. It always kind of stinks to come home from vacation, especially something as magical as Disney World followed by a Disney Cruise.
You have to make your own coffee. No one folds your towels into the shape of cute animals. And there’s so much laundry. I’m currently on a laundry pause because all my baskets are full of clean laundry that I’m too lazy to fold and put away.
The last thing I wanted to do was come home and cook.
And, I didn’t have to.
We got home on Monday night and, because I’d set up my Dinner Elf appointment before we left, Elf Nolan showed up at my house the next afternoon with groceries. Cruise re-entry is tough but having a professional chef whip up some tasty meals in my kitchen was a great way to mitigate that. I always thought only fancy people had chefs prepare their food and I'm so happy that Dinner Elf has made this type of service possible for regular people like us…although I did feel kind of fancy when there was a chef in my kitchen, not gonna lie.
You can check out my Facebook Live from when Elf Nolan was cooking for us here:
Traveling as frequently as we do, Dinner Elf is going to be our new “welcome home” sanity saver. There’s no need to rush to the store to buy a full cart of groceries or make those not-so-healthy food choices. How many times have you said, “Let’s just hit a drive through on our way home?” I know we’ve done that a LOT. When you’re tired and hangry, the last place you want to be is in a grocery store with kids. Preparing something from scratch and cleaning it up to boot? Hard pass.
Dinner Elf is also a great option for meal trains. The next time you need to take a meal to someone who is recovering from surgery or someone who has a new baby, why not send them a Dinner Elf? I know every time I’ve ever signed up for a meal train, I have questions about what people can eat or like to eat and I always worry that I’m going to bring the wrong thing.
I also love this as a gift option. I would be thrilled to get this for Christmas or Mother’s Day. I am a big “experience over stuff” person and for someone to give me the gift of not having to cook AND a delicious meal at home in my yoga pants? Well, I’d say that person gets me.
If you’re struggling with preparing paleo or Whole30 compliant meals, Dinner Elf is a great option. It’s also a great option for someone who just plain doesn’t like to cook or for someone who has absolutely no time to do it.
I don’t think I could completely turn my kitchen over to Dinner Elf, but I love knowing it’s there as an option to give me a break and to get my family trying some fun new dishes that are outside my normal repertoire. In addition to the chicken tikka masala, we got to try paleo style sloppy joes atop roasted sweet potatoes and vegetarian enchiladas made with black beans and butternut squash.
Those enchiladas, ya’ll. So. Good. I am not a vegetarian but I love a good meatless dish and the idea of putting butternut squash in enchiladas is genius. For sides, we enjoyed delicious green beans with almonds on top, carrots roasted with orange zest, and zoodles. All healthy and delicious as well as very hearty and filling.
My two seven-year-olds didn’t eat full portions (although sometimes the amount of food they can pack away surprises me) so we had some extras for lunch. I have one kid that will eat absolutely everything and another that is frustratingly picky. Even my picky kid cleaned his plate. He raised his eyebrows at the zoodles and seemed suspicious of the enchiladas but he ate everything, which is a major accomplishment for a mom who is used to battles at the dinner table.
You can get a ton of info from the Dinner Elf’s website (as well as check out all the different menu options). If you have questions about allergies, ingredients or pricing, it’s all there and easy to navigate.
I find Dinner Elf to be affordable. The meals are around $10 a serving which makes it do-able for me for a monthly option. There’s also a Savings Club which makes sense if you plan on using Dinner Elf at least once a month.
And, for those of you who have asked, the Dinner Elf doesn't look like a real elf, which completely confused my kids. After Elf Nolan left, the boys kept asking if he went back to the North Pole.
You can also add your favorite meals on the site. Every customer has a Favorite Dinners list that they can customize with all their favorites, and Dinner Elf will use that to auto suggest menus for future appointments. You can always change those suggestions, but it helps customize things a bit for your family and maybe try a few new things.
If you’d like to try Dinner Elf for yourself, I’ve got a couple of deals for you. You can use my coupon code RC5569 to get $10 off your first regular meal. Dinner Elf will also donate $10 to meal coordination page to help a family in a season of need. I love that we can help other families out by using a service that makes sense for us. If you have additional questions about Dinner Elf, this page should answer them.
One of my San Antonio area readers can also try a free sample appointment (one dish and one side) and I’m pretty sure you’ll be hooked just like me. To enter, just leave a comment on this post or comment on this Facebook post. I’ll pick a winner on Friday, March 9th. Please only enter if you live in the San Antonio area. I know…I wish Dinner Elf were everywhere, too. If you have friends who live in my neck of the woods, please tell them about this.
I was provided three meals from Dinner Elf free of charge in exchange for this blog post but like with anything I promote on this blog, all opinions are mine and I’m beyond excited to see a service like this come to my area. We’ve used Blue Apron and a prepared meal delivery service and this is by far my favorite way to not cook.
Don’t forget to enter the give-a-way and tell all of your San Antonio friends to enter, too! And, if you're in San Antonio or Austin, check out Dinner Elf!
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