I will not kid you. I’m NOT the best domestic diva you know. That woman who can dump random ingredients into the pot and cook up magic? That won’t be me. That mommy who creates fun-looking, healthy lunch treats for her kids? No, not me. That wife who keeps the budget tight with zero food wastage in the fridge? Nope, still not me.

So while I’m not a lot of things, I’m most certainly a deal spotter. I can evaluate the pros and cons of something and decide if it’s worth my family’s appetite. And it is with great pleasure that I found DinnerTime to be a service impeccably worth our attention.

DinnerTime lets you choose a menu from their website, order it for the week for 2-10 number of people and then delivers all the ingredients needed to cook it up, complete with a detailed recipe card.

The menu changes every week and are classified under standard & gluten free, vegetarian and paleo. With four dishes in each package, the cuisine ranges from Spanish to Italian, Indian, Chinese and everything in between!

Given the chance to choose a diet, I decided to go experimental with the Paleo menu for the week. The menu sounded pleasantly varied:

  1. Deconstructed eggplant lasagna
  2. Italian chicken fingers on zucchini pasta
  3. Ginger & lemongrass poached white fish
  4. Cauliflower & sweet potato curry

The website did not give the recipe to these dishes, but provided a list of standard (and quite common) items I should pick up from my kitchen cupboard– black pepper, cinnamon, coconut/olive oil, dried basil, dried oregano, garlic powder, ground coriander & cumin, paprika, salt and turmeric. Everything else required to make the paleo dishes were supposed to arrive at my doorstep on Sunday morning in a big DinnerTime package.

The package was just about an hour late, but it arrived looking loaded and promising! Opening it, I found neatly packed vegetables, meats and powders. Most of the items seemed to have been picked up at Choithram’s, with the eggs sealed and labeled “organic” from GoOrganicMe. Arabic courgettes, broccoli, yellow pepper, onions, lemon, eggplant, sweet potato, mushrooms- all were fresh and already seemed clean. Chicken was branded Al Rawdah, Beef mince was low fat, there was Savoy coconut cream, Goodness Foods Almond powder and Natco’s tinned chopped tomatoes. I could already sense a week of no food wastage – what with everything seemingly in exact required quantities and weights!

So, proving the husband’s constant wise words that “one should always keep one’s fridge with some empty space”, I began storing the dismantled DinnerTime ingredients into my fridge. The recipe card showcased 4 recipes with details instructions and I recommend reading the FULL recipe before you start your ingredient preparation. Failure to do that had me dicing my eggplants and courgettes differently and then wait for realization to dawn when I finally reach the specific point in the recipe card. There is advice on how to keep the supplies fresh, how to store the greens and herbs and an index categorizing the ingredients to its respective dish.

What I Liked About DinnerTime:

  1. Variety – All four dishes had great variety in terms of flavors and there was absolutely no repetition in techniques or taste.
  2. Quality – The ingredients were of good quality, whether it was greens, meat, herbs or tinned products. This ensured the meals to be super fresh, vibrant and delicious.
  3. Quantity – The meals were supposed to be for 2 pax. However, with each dish we had leftovers that could feed us for another night. So in our case, the package splendidly lasted for more than a week!
  4. Zero wastage –The ingredients were provided in ration, ensuring zero excess and wastage. There was no scope for vegetables getting spoilt, leaves wilting or meat turning old.
  5. Time saving – For a not-so-creative home cook as myself, I saved incredible amount of time by NOT having to plan the meals for the week and NOT having to do my grocery shopping. That further meant my impulse purchases were nil and excess spend was at an all time low!

What could be better about DinnerTime:

  1. Chopping – Almost all the recipes called for the vegetables to be diced or chopped. With my inexpert knife skills, too much time was spent on chopping and peeling, and perhaps a chopped pack of sweet potatoes or spinach could have been more efficient and helpful.
  2. Incomplete – While 3 dishes from my paleo package were meals in itself- the lasagna, the chicken fingers and the poached fish- the fourth dish of cauliflower and sweet potato curry felt incomplete due to the absence of a rice or roti to go with it. It does not make sense to include a curry in the package without something to serve it with. Perhaps, something that missed their attention?

So, that’s DinnerTime for you. A service that is a definite life-saver for those too tired to hunt down recipes, drive and do the dreaded grocery shopping, yet crave for home-made meals cooked with own hands! With a service like DinnerTime, the ground work is laid for you, all you have to do is dance and cook and make merry. Speaking of merry, here’s wishing everyone a very merry Christmas folks!!

DinnerTime – The Pricing Story:
Standard Box – Aed 320
Gluten free – Aed 400
Vegetarian – Aed 320
Paleo – Aed 420
Standard startup box – Aed 350

DinnerTime can be contacted via +971 55 7908733 or their website www.dinnertime.me. FoodKissed was approached by DinnerTime to experience the service and the quality of the ingredients. All the opinions written above are 100% honest and from personal experience. If you have anything to add/counter/question, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. Thank you for reading! 🙂