Gourmet By Numbers Adds Up to Delicious and Healthy Family Dinners in the Comforts of Home

Often when my family finds itself in a time crunch (which happens alot as a family of four), I lean heavily Pecan Crusted Chicken with Stuffed Sweet Potato and Garden Salad by Gourmet By Numberson unhealthy food choices—something from a fast food restaurant; easy-to-warm-up processed foods like chicken nuggets; or a frozen casserole which often isn't ready until late.This week we tried a different option—Gourmet By Numbers.

Locally-owned Gourmet By Numbers offers meal kits that include fresh, pre-prepared, pre-measured ingredients for dinners that can be cooked at home in 30 minutes or less. The company sources as many ingredients as possible directly from local farms and small businesses. The kits can be conveniently ordered online and are delivered right to your front door.

Ordering, Delivery and Important Packaging Note
The KidzAustin clan selected the pecan crusted chicken with stuffed sweet potatoes and chopped salad.We also ordered a vegetarian dish for Grandma—butternut squash, chickpea and chard stew in a bread bowl with arugula and pear salad. I was able to schedule a specific time for delivery, so there was no Ingredients for Pecan Crusted Chicken with Stuffed Sweet Potato and Garden Salad by Gourmet By Numbers of Austin, TXworrying whether or not someone would be home to receive the kits.

The meals arrived packaged in convenient reusable bags. Each ingredient was packed seperately andmarked with a name and number (see photo to right). A relatively easy-to-follow recipe was placed in the outside pocket of each bag. I say "relatively easy" as at first I didn't realize the clever significance of the numbers on the items nor in the words "By Numbers" in the business name. It turns out, each step of the cooking directions are marked by a number on the recipe. These numbers very intentionally coincide with the number included on the labels of each ingredient. So, for instance under "2. Cook the Spinach," I was easily able to distinguish which ingredients to use—the spinach and oil provided with the "2" on the label. Once I figured this out, it was a very easy recipe to follow.

Preparing the Dish
Beast and Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast -- photo by Amy BoyleI enlisted the help of my husband and 11-year-old daughter to complete the meal. After doing it, though, I can safely say this could have easily been done by one person if needed. My daughter assisted with cooking the spinach for our dish and also cooking Grandma's soup, which she loved doing. If you have younger children who'd like to contribute, but aren't as safe around a stove, I would suggest allowing them to assist with a salad or bread component—adding or mixing the ingredients together.

Everything fell together beautifully, minus the absence of red pepper flakes referenced in the directions for the stew. This wasn't much of an inconvenince as I generally keep them on hand anyway. The dinners probably took a little less than the time anticipated on the recipes—25 minutes estimated for the pecan-crusted chicken meal and 20 minutes estimated for the stew. And, when plated, they looked very similar to the photos provided (see image of our version under "Finished Product"). The difficultly level for each dish was graded "Medium" for the chicken dish and "Easy" for the stew. Don't be afraid of "Medium." It really wasn't a big deal.

The Finished ProductThe final version of the dish cooked by the KidzAustin clan.

In the end, we were able to all sit down for a nice family meal that consisted of real food. Nothing was precooked, processed or preserved. It was fresh and delicious. The portions were generous and the smell that permeated through the house was savory and welcoming to anyone walking through the door.

A Quick Review

Would I recommend this product/service? Yes.

It is family friendly? Absolutely.

What was our favorite thing? The chicken.

Additonal Comments:
Mine: I think Gourmet By Numbers meal kits are a wonderful healthy option for a busy lifestyle or maybe just a busy day. We achieved a wonderful family moment over a nice meal and I didn't have to run out to buy numerous tiny ingredients to get that gourmet experience. Heck, I didn't even have to Google a recipe!

My daughter's comment: "When I go to college and live in an apartment. I'd love to have something like this to cook." This statement reminded me of my days in college when I was lucky to have anything fresh on hand and I certainly didn't have a selection of spices or anything that would take it to the next level. So, Mom's of college students out there, meal kits from Gourmet By Numbers might make the best 'care package' ever—especially when they need to eat well like during finals.

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More Info About Gourmet By Numbers

Food can be delivered in most Austin areas and now Pflugerville. Click here to see the Gourmet By Numbers delivery area.

Order anytime online. Food will be delivered between 2 and 5 PM.

COMING SOON:          
Austinites will also soon have the opportunity to conveniently shop Gourmet By Numbers for menu options in person. Due to open its doors early 2015, a brick and mortar location (7318 McNeil Dr) in North Austin will provide even more meal options. The space is 1,170 square feet, with an all-new interior designed by Kelly Stevens from Seven Creative in Austin. The store will stock freshly made, chef-inspired meal kits and a selection of unique kitchen gifts and retail items.

Store hours of operation will be from 10 AM to 7 PM, Mondays through Saturdays.