Category Archives: Business Practices

A Look Back at 2017

This past year wasn’t just a year of turmoil and emotion for the country, it marked some big changes for, as well. Our company has reached a lot of goals this year, and we’re looking forward to 2018 for us and our customers.

First, and not least, we launched a completely redesigned website. It’s responsive for all phones and computer devices, and we hope more intuitive for our customers! We welcome feedback, let us know how you like it.

Further enhancements will continue to be put into the website in the coming months.  For example, coming soon is a whole search and filter system. You’ll be able to enter the types of meals you want, such as breakfasts or gluten free or low fat or only beef, and the site will show you all the meals that fit your categories! moved their Corporate office and Customer Service team from Northern California to Kansas! Kit, caboodle and staff, we packed it up and moved it to Lenexa, KS. Our distribution center is way over capacity and since we had a new distribution center in process, we felt it was a great time to consolidate all our operations into a single location.

Recently with all the extreme weather in parts of the US, we ended up with serious issues at one of our main production kitchens that made most of our USDA proteins, we have been scrambling to move production of many of these items to another one of our kitchens.  Hopefully most of the menu items will be relocated by year end and management is aggressively working to add additional items to the menu to ensure a varied number of options for our various sub-menus.

2018 is looking rosy! We hope that you enjoy your holiday season and that you have a healthy 2018.  All the best for the New Year from all of us at!


Chef Francesco’s Secrets

soups Soups, Unbelievably Good.

If you are familiar with the, now defunct, classic television series Seinfeld, then you are familiar with one of the most beloved and hilarious single episode characters known only as the “Soup Nazi” (the Soup Nazi’s name was later revealed to be Yev Kassem for those interested in such things).

For those of you unfamiliar with the character, he was the creator of soup that was to-die-for.  However, if you wanted to enjoy his delicious soup you were required to go through a very strict ordering process and if you broke any of the Soup Nazi’s rules, well, then…NO SOUP FOR YOU.

So what does this have to do with our own Chef Francesco and his secrets?  Well, in the episode, the character of Elaine stumbles across all the Soup Nazi’s secret recipes and makes them available to all, effectively driving the recipesSoup Nazi out of business.

Needless to say, many chefs are very protective of their recipes and Chef Francesco, who is responsible for such classics as beef stroganoff and lemon rosemary pork, is no different.  However, since many of you have asked for (demanded?) some of our recipes, we managed to “acquire” a few of Chef Francesco’s just for you…at great risk to our own personal safety.

Unfortunately, all we managed to abscond with were two sauce recipes (marinara and lemon butter).  However, since they are such versatile sauces, maybe it was actually quite fortunate that these are the first two recipes we’re publishing.

Lemon Butter Sauce


1/4 pound (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup dry white wine
3 lemons, juiced
2 Tbsp minced yellow onion
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper to taste

Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a nonreactive skillet over medium-low heat.

Add the onion and garlic and cook gently, stirring often, until the onion is translucent – turn heat down if onion and garlic are browning.

Add the wine and lemon juice and Worcestershire sauce and bring to a boil over high heat.
Cook until the liquid is reduced to a syrupy consistency. Use the spoon test. If it coats the spoon, it is thick enough.

Whisk in the rest of the butter, in chunks, one at a time, until melted. Let each piece melt before adding another.

The sauce should be emulsified at this point. Strain through a sieve, taste and season, and serve immediately.

Makes about 1/2 cup.

Marinara Sauce

Franceso says the most important thing for a marinara sauce is the tomatoes. He uses Valoroso Pear Tomatoes , but use any quality canned Italian tomatoes.’s Stuffed Peppers in Chef Francesco’s Marinara Sauce


1⁄4 cup extra virgin olive oil
10 medium garlic cloves, minced
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
a few red chili flakes
1 tsp dried oregano
2 bay leaves
3 (28 ounce) cans good quality tomatoes, blended to a thick consistency
1 cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil gently in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, celery and carrots and sauté until onion is translucent.

Sprinkle with chili flakes and oregano and cook 30 seconds longer. Add bay leaves, and pour tomatoes over. Stir well.

Increase heat and bring to a boil. Then lower heat to a simmer, cover and cook until thickened, stirring frequently. When sauce is about halfway to being thick, add the basil and stir in well.

Strain the thickened sauce, pushing on the remains with a wooden spoon to extract all the flavor.

Use an immersion blender to make the sauce smooth, or put the sauce into a blender. Be careful with the blender; fill it no more than half way, and put a towel or pot-holder on top and hold down firmly. The hot liquid will make the lid jump!

Taste and season.

Makes about 5 cups.


Eating Well on a Special Diet An Alternative to Meals on Wheels

Portion Control meals
Honey Mustard Chicken, one of our meals

Let’s begin this post by stating, unequivocally, that Meals on Wheels is a terrific program that has looked out for the nutritional, safety and companionship needs of seniors for decades. Their tireless volunteers ensure that eligible seniors receive at least one hot, nutritious meal a day delivered to their home or senior center. They also spend time with the seniors they deliver to and provide much needed safety checks. For millions of seniors, Meals on Wheels has been more than just a meal delivery service. However, despite their best efforts, Meals on Wheels does have some limitations and might not be the ideal meal delivery program for everyone.

Healthy Frozen Meals
Spinach Mushroom Lasagna with Green Beans

Several of those limitations include eligibility, lack of availability in certain areas, and limited meal choices. Generally speaking, Meals on Wheels is designed for those seniors who, for various reasons, cannot prepare their own meals and do not have a caretaker to assist them with that task. Due to limited resources, such as money and volunteers, Meals on Wheels must make the above a requirement for eligibility. But at we have no such requirement. You can simply avail yourself of our services because you would like a break from preparing meals, or are tired of the post-meal clean up, or like the convenience of having delicious and nutritious meals delivered to your door. The reasons you choose are your own.

Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo, Cauliflower and Mixed Vegetables - Individual Meal Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo, Cauliflower and Mixed Vegetables
Three Cheese Ravioli & Spinach Alfredo, Cauliflower and Mixed Vegetables

Meals on Wheels is actually comprised of over 5,000 independently run, local programs and in some urban areas, availability can be quite limited due to the limited resources of the program. In some instances, otherwise eligible seniors are placed on a waiting list.

At there are no waiting lists and availability is not limited in any way, shape or form. Your meals will be delivered to your door at your convenience. Meals are delivered frozen. You heat them at your convenience in your microwave, enabling you to eat on your own schedule.

You can also order a la Carte, with fantastic main courses, soups, sides and desserts!
You can also order a la carte, with fantastic main courses, soups, sides and desserts!

In most cases, the meals that are prepared and cooked by Meals on Wheels are done so at a local hospital and for that reason menu choices are limited and the food can be, how shall we say…quite bland. One look at our menu and one quickly realizes that this is no hospital menu.

We offer a myriad of choices based on our customer’s nutritional and/or medical needs. So whether you simply enjoy good food, are on a low-sodium diet or require diabetic-friendly meals, we’ve got you covered with various meals to choose from.

And if you decide to go with our auto-ship meal program, your meals will be delivered automatically when you desire, and selected according to your likes and needs. Don’t like a meal? Let us know and you won’t receive that meal again. Really like chicken? Every meal can feature chicken, if you prefer.

As previously stated, Meals on Wheels provides a very valuable service to seniors across this country and does so in an exemplary manner. But due to limitations beyond their control, the services they offer are limited and may not meet the needs of those who, for whatever reason, enjoy the convenience of home delivered meals, and that’s where comes in. So please visit our home page at or call us at 877-51-MAGIC (877-516-2442) for more information.


The Logistics Behind Prepared Meals Delivered

Most people who have availed themselves of our services here at know that we deliver nutritious and delicious meals right to your door.  They know that we provide prepared meals that meet a wide variety of nutritional requirements, to include diabetic and dialysis friendly, gluten-free, low-carb, heart healthy, and low sodium.  What many of our customers do not know is the logistics involved in the meal delivery business and how we strive to keep transportation costs down.

Our Facility in Kansas

As they say in real estate, the top three things to consider when buying a property are location, location, and location and we did just that when we located our warehouse facilities in Kansas.  Why Kansas you ask?  Due to its centralized location within the lower 48 states, Kansas saves us, and thus, you, on shipping costs.  It matters little whether we ship to either coast, southern Texas or the upper peninsula of Michigan, shipping costs are kept to a minimum.

After our chefs have prepared and cooked your healthy and appetizing meals, they are quickly flash-frozen to lock in the essential vitamins, minerals and taste that you have come to expect.  Obviously, they must be kept in that frozen state as they are shipped to your door and that requires dry ice (which is simply carbon dioxide in solid form, FYI).  The inclusion of dry ice adds to the weight of the shipment which adds to its cost as well.  However, if you live in a warmer climate, say southern Florida or California, we add extra dry ice to the packaging to ensure your meals stay frozen at no additional cost to you.

deliveryOnce your meals have been packaged, we then turn them over to our preferred shipping company, FedEx.  Why should you care about this?  Well, because we ship so many prepared meals across the country and do so exclusively with FedEx, they give us a bulk shipping discount (kind of like when you buy a bunch of stuff at a big box store…the more you buy the more you save).  We then pass on that discounted shipping rate to you.  Simply stated, we charge you what FedEx charges us.

So if you’ve ever wondered how we derive our shipping costs, it’s simply determined by what FedEx charges us based on the weight of the dry ice and prepared meals in your package and how far your package must be shipped to arrive at your door.  Now you know the little secret behind the logistics of shipping in the prepared meals delivered business.


Most Frequently Asked Questions From Customers Last Year

chicken-noodle-soupHow do you keep your meals fresh and frozen?

We cook our meals in small batches and we flash freeze them right away to avoid using preservatives. To keep them frozen during their transition from our warehouse to their new home we package the meals inside a Styrofoam cooler with enough dry ice to assure the meals to be frozen upon arrival.

Can we use more than one discount / Promo code at the same time?

Our system will only take one.

What happens if the receiver is not home?

If the FedEx driver feels it’s safe to leave the package out in front of the door, the driver will leave it. The meals will be in good condition as long as the recipient comes back later that day and stores the meals on the freezer.

Why are the Meal Packs on the Special Diet Menu on more than one menu?

We like to give our customer selections/options. Of course the Renal and Dialysis meals have a closer look  due to certain restrictions such as having to monitor the potassium, phosphorus, protein. They fall under the other categories/options because their nutritionals are monitored in a similar way.

How do your meal programs work?

If you are looking for an automatic shipment we will need a credit card on file, what meals you prefer or don’t prefer (Fish, No Fish etc ), how often you would like to get your meals (once a week, once every other week or once a month) and how many of them. We have no fees, and meals can be changed or cancelled at any time. For regular orders placed every 30 days or less and at $125 or more, delivery is free.

I’m trying to use a promo code for free shipping but it’s not going through?customer-support

Four possible reasons:

  1. The promo code is expired.
  2. If the promo code states free shipping on orders of $80 or more and the price is 79.99 our system won’t recognize 79.99 as $80.
  3. If one of your items is from the Special Deals menu, that item won’t count towards the total.
  4. No free shipping to Hawaii and Alaska because it’s not ground.

Would it be possible to get meals that are both renal and diabetic friendly?

It is definitely possible to get meals that are both renal and diabetic. The menu that I would recommend would be the renal menu. We alternate some of our renal meals into the diabetic menu just because they are monitored the same way as diabetic meals with low sugar and low sodium except that on renal we more closely monitor the potassium, protein and phosphorus. You will see some of our renal meals in the diabetic menu, but not all the diabetic meals on the renal menu, just because some diabetic meals may be high in potassium, protein and phosphorus.

Do you ship outside of United States /Internationally/ Puerto Rico?

Due to other countries having certain regulations we aren’t able to deliver our meals outside of the United States beside Hawaii and Alaska . The shipping cost for Hawaii and Alaska might be a little on the high side since we have to ship them on a plane, but its definitely possible.

I live outside of the United States and I’m trying to place an order for someone who lives in the United States, but I’m not able to place the handmadeorder online?

Due to our high security system our system won’t allow you to place the order online however you may place your order over the phone. The number for international calls is 650-941-2260. You may also email us the list of the items you want and in separate emails send us your credit card information. (Credit card number in one email, your address and CSV number in a separate email for security)

Where are your meals prepared?

We have  individual kitchens in California.

Do you use organic products or ingredients?

We try working closely with organic ingredients but since some of our products are in demand we have to use the ingredients that are available to us.

Are there any antibiotics in the chicken products, or any hormones in the beef products?

No antibiotics in our chickens and no hormones in our beef products.


Meal Programs

Hi, all, I just wanted to write again about Meal Programs (or meal plans). This is where you get a bunch of meals every week or two, without having to come on the site and order. It’s so great for seniors, and also for children of seniors who want to help their parents out. Older people get tired of cooking, and often get tired of eating too. I remember being shocked at how thin my mother had gotten on one of my visits; maybe you’ve had that experience too.

The process is easy, first you call in to our toll-free number and talk to one of our friendly staff. You order a few meals, try them out and see how you like the food. Then we’ll follow up to see if you want to get a meal plan going. In the initial discussion we’ve made a list of foods you (or the person you’re buying for) don’t like or can’t eat.

We figure out how many meals you want a week and how often to send them. We take your payment information. And that’s it. Meals start to arrive, and you only have to contact us if you want a change or want to stop for a while or forever. With meal plans, delivery is free.

Here are some key points:

  • Guaranteed Satisfaction
  • Personalized Meals
  • No contracts, No commitments
  • Free Delivery
  • Start and stop anytime with no penalties.

We’re proud of our program, the most flexible in the business. So whether you’re interested in our HomeStyle meals or would like full meals; whether you have diabetes or would like to lose weight; whether you’re a senior with a small appetite or an athlete with a need for carbs, we have you covered. Give us a call, 877-516-2442.


Melody, blogger



The Most Frequently Asked Questions of 2012

When you call the customer service line, a friendly voice will answer saying something like this, “ this is Mariel…this is Michelle…this is Greg and we will be ready to hear any questions you might have before you place an order, while you place your order, after you place your order and once you’ve received your order! Customer service is very important to us and we want to make sure that all of your questions, comments or concerns get addressed. Here is a list of questions we get frequently.

The Most Frequently Asked Questions of 2012

“Do you deliver to my area?”

Yes we do! If someone lives there, we can deliver frozen, prepared meals right to your door anywhere in the US, including Hawaii and Alaska!

“Will the food be alright in transit? If it will take three days to get to me, I don’t want spoiled food.”

It will absolutely be alright in transit! We have UPS tested packaging that will keep your order completely frozen in transit. It is shipped on dry ice that is supposed to dissipate while on its way to you so the package gets lighter and you don’t have to deal with too much dry ice in your package. Whether your transit time is one or three days, you will get your food completely frozen. If you have any issues with your package at the time it arrives, just let us know.

“What happens if I’m not home to receive the package?”

If you’re not home, UPS/FedEx is instructed to leave the package at your door. This way, if you are at work and come home, you will find your order waiting for you.

“I’m not sure what you get in a bundle. Can you explain what “Complete Pkg” means?”

Our bundles are a great and very easy way to get a variety of meals. When you see a bundle on our menu, the prices shown is for either 2 or 4 servings of each meal listed. You can order the meal with or without desserts. The “Complete Package” contains all of the meals, enough for either 2 or 4 people including the listed dessert.

The One Serving Bundles are for people who are dining alone. The entrees and sides come in separate single serving containers which make it easy to take out and heat only one serving. This is a great option for college students, active seniors and busy singles.

“Do you have a Gluten Free/Dairy Free menu?”

Our Gluten Free and Dairy Free menus are not certified, and the items may be made on shared equipment but they do not have gluten or dairy in the ingredients. We have a section of the HomeStyle Menu that will not have gluten or dairy in the ingredients. If you have any questions specifically about these menus, please call our customer service number.

“What is the average cost of a meal?”

Well, it’s difficult to say. Just like a restaurant menu, it varies. We have two different menus so typically, the Special Diets Menu will have meals from $10-$14. Our HomeStyle menu has items that range from $10 a serving to $30 a serving depending on the dish and the sides you put with it. A beef dish with 2-3 sides will be a little higher in price than if you get a vegetarian item for example.

“Is shipping included in the cost of the food?”

Shipping is a separate charge that is based on the weight of the package (or how much you order), where in the country it is going and the service you select. Currently, shipping starts at $18.95. One way to get a fabulous (free) deal on shipping is if you become a regular customer. If you place your order within 30 days of your previous order and the order is over $100, we will take care of the shipping charge for you. Just call our office to learn more!

“Are you local?”

We are not local to you, but we are all around! Since we deliver to all 50 states, we have a centrally located distribution center where all of our meals are shipped out of to get directly to your door by UPS/FedEx. We do not have any stores locally and grocery stores do not carry our meals. Instead, we are a one of a kind service that will deliver frozen, hand prepared meals and meals catering to specific diets.

“Which meals are your favorites?”

I love the Eggplant Parmesan, Beef Pot Roast and the Individual Crab Cakes Meal.

Why should I choose over going to the grocery store to buy a frozen meal?

If you go to the grocery store you will find meals that are mass produced and filled with sodium as a preservative. If you’re looking for a special diet meal, you won’t find products that are monitored for sodium or carbohydrates for diabetics or potassium levels for dialysis patients like ours do. Our HomeStyle menu is prepared in small batches with quality ingredients. Whether you’re caring for someone, or finding meals to help your busy family come together with a great meal, is a perfect option for you.

“I just received my order” or “I want to place an order”, and [insert issue here]. Can you help me?

Absolutely, we are always glad to help! Just call our customer service line and let us know how we can help you.

Hopefully one of your questions is in here and you are now wiser and can begin or continue getting delicious, nutritious and convenient food from And as always, if you have any questions please give us a call at 877-516-2442.

Bon Appetit!


Senior Meal Plans

I’ve been writing a lot about senior meal plans lately, on various web pages. Senior nutrition is a really serious issue in the country. Other countries, too. Here’s a good video about how to cook for a senior.

You may have an elderly friend or relative that you visit regularly and worry about. You can cook for them, based on the video above, or have meals delivered. Of course meals on wheels is a well-known resource. We think’s  senior meal plans are a cut above.  There’s a large variety of meals, and two menus to choose from.

I don’t usually spend a whole blog concentrating on only, but I really think this senior meal plan is something to talk about. Here’s how it goes.

You call in and tell the person who answers the phone that you’re interested in a meal plan. The first thing you’ll find is that there’s no commitment! How many times will you see that in a meal plan? The staff member will talk you through the kinds of foods you like, and arrange to send an order. You’ll receive the order and try the meals, and then someone will follow up with you.

If you’re interested in establishing a meal plan, it goes on file with your likes and dislikes, things you’re allergic to, dietary needs. etc. And your meals will be hand-picked and sent out to you. OK. Sit back and be amazed. How many companies do that for you? It means if you don’t like broccoli (George Bush Sr.), you won’t get broccoli. Period.

You can call in and tell us that you didn’t particularly like a certain meal (or that you absolutely loved another), and that will be taken into account in future orders. Plus you get a discount on every shipment. Personal touches like that, in my opinion, make this senior meal plan better than any other. By the way, you don’t have to be a senior to take advantage of this!

Ok, you’re thinking. What if my circumstances change and I can’t afford the meals anymore? How much does it cost to stop them? Nothing. Call before the next order is placed and we will not send it or any subsequent order.

“But what if I go on vacation?” – no problem. Call and we’ll stop the meals for as long as you need. “What if I have been eating out or something and the meals are building up?” My, you worry a lot, don’t you? Again, no problem. Call us and ask us to cancel the next shipment and then start them up again.

That’s a lot of “no Problems”. But that’s how we roll around here. We really do care about the customer, and their needs. And when you call, you may get put on hold but you won’t hear, “If you want a meal plan, please press one. If you want to know our hours, please press 2”. Nope,a  real person will answer the phone and talk to you.

So maybe we’re some kind of a throwback, but that’s the way we like it. We think you will, too.

Melody, blogger


Our Chefs

Our chefs are some real characters, and as professional as they come. Their passion for creating  great food shines through. Here’s an interview with Francesco Avella, who has created some of our most enduring dishes, like the Portabella/Shiitake Mushroom Ravioli and Shrimp Fettucini Alfredo.

Here’s a little something for fun! (It doesn’t look anything like Francesco, though!!)

Francesco has been cooking all his life. He grew up in Naples, Italy surrounded by the bounties of the garden and the sea. For the last 23 years, however, he has been an Executive Chef running a commercial kitchen in the greater San Francisco area. In this interview, he talks about his culinary inspirations, and his passion for creating foods that fit the needs of the customer.

What started your love for cooking?
I have been around food all my life. As a young man I was in love with my father’s home cooking. After school, I was right there in the kitchen with him trying to help, but the most he let me do was peel potatoes or slice carrots or onions. My reward at the end, though, was to taste the finished meal. I still believe that home cooking is the best.

Why do you enjoy working with
I love being part of a great company, seeing it grow and feeling proud of being part of it. I believe in using the best ingredients and putting them together and creating great dishes under no pressure is a great accomplishment.

People are becoming more familiar with how restaurant chefs lives their daily lives, but probably don’t know as much about a commercial chef. What are some of the differences?
There’s a big difference between a restaurant chef and a commercial chef. Restaurant chefs cook and serve the food right away while it is still hot. My job is to create and prepare dishes that have to be reheated in the microwave or the oven and while still preserving the freshness and the flavor. My dishes require a lot of preparation and tasting in order to come up with the right texture and freshness. It takes a lot of patience!

What ingredients do you love to work with?
The ingredients that I like to work with are mainly vegetables and seafood; obviously, because it reminds me of home.

What are some of the dishes you’ve created that are the most popular, or that you’re the most proud of?
I feel proud of my Eggplant Parmigiana, because it’s a recipe from home and we do it a little differently than most cooks. Also it is one of’s top selling products. Typically when you cut basil, it turns black pretty quickly. So instead we create a basil pesto that we stir into the tomato sauce. You get a great basil flavor, and a good color. Also, we don’t bread the eggplant – just use egg and flour, fry it lightly in canola oil, and drain it well so it’s not oily at all. It’s time consuming and more costly this way, but we really want to create a flavor that lets the customer knows that a lot of time and care went into preparing the dish – even though it takes only a few minutes to heat it up!

Any memorable mistakes in the kitchen? Or a dish that didn’t quite work out?
Yes! I’ve made many mistakes in my cooking; sometimes to the point where I feel like giving it up all together. But my love for cooking always returns and there are always new challenges to come up with the best products.
In this business, you have to think about not only how you’re going to cook the ingredients, but how they’ll reheat as well. Water is the enemy of freezing and reheating food! For example, with vegetables that contain a lot of water like mushrooms and zucchini, we bake them with a little olive oil and garlic to get out the water. We also use a lot of crunchier vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and carrots because they don’t have as much water. The same goes with sauces – we test our sauces many times so that they’ll reheat at the right consistency.

Thanks, Francesco, we love your passion and applaud your fresh-tasting flavorful dishes!

Melody, Blogger


New Video starring…Me

I wanted everyone to know what the meals look like when they arrive at your door. So I created a video of me unpacking a parcel. And even though I’m appalled at how I look and sound ( a common reaction), here it is!

Video Link to YouTube

I plan to do another one soon, showing me heating up some of the products and how easy that is, and how it looks plated. I am sorry to have to tell you that many of the cupcakes and the double fudge brownies are already gone. Don’t know how that could have happened…

If you just want to look at the photos, check out our flickr photostream here:

Our Flickr Channel


Melody, blogger.