As a single person, I struggle to eat full, healthy, nourishing meals. What normally happens is that I stock up on greens and veggies, eat some of them and then get busy and let rest rot.
It’s also quite common for me to work until I’m ravenous, then scour the cupboards for whatever I can find to graze on or try to order a healthy takeaway and count the cranky minutes until it arrives. Occasionally I get my act together and make myself some nourishing soups to freeze, but it’s rare.
I’ve tried meal deliveries, but I usually get tired of them after a few days. They all seem to have a certain “taste” by then and often the food piles up because I get tired of it, no matter how much I try to vary it.
That’s why Food Nation Go caught my attention when they got in touch: healthy, whole-food, ready meals delivered to my door. I simply order it the night before I want it and it’s all freezable, too.
All meals can be easily heated in the oven or microwave and they fulfill most of today’s nutritional requirements: non-processed, additive-free, naturally low in sugar and saturated fat and made from quality-sourced ingredients, nothing processed.
Full disclosure: The company provided me with a Dh300 voucher to stock up for the purposes of this review. But as soon as I return from an upcoming trip, I’ll be ordering more. Here is why:
• I am very particular about the ingredients in the food I eat. I can tell Food Nation Go is the real deal because of how well I feel after eating. So many companies deliver food that doesn’t achieve this and I’m sure it’s because there are ingredients that have been processed.
• It felt lovely to have a stocked freezer with nourishing meals on standby, and I cut down hugely on takeout.
• I found Food Nation Go actually boosted how much I cooked for myself, by giving me a few “anchors” for the week and I didn’t feel so overwhelmed when trying to decide what to eat, buying ingredients and trying to use them up before they go bad.
• The Dh300 allowance enabled me to get an astonishing amount of food in: six entrees, one salad, four soups, one breakfast cup and some vanilla powerbombs. That is far, far, far cheaper than a meal delivery.
• Everything was good. My absolute favourite meals were the salmon tartare fish cakes and the pumpkin parm soup (so unbelievably creamy). Close seconds were the cauliflower tikki masala and the Moroccan lentil soup.
Food Nation Go is an extension of Food Nation, a catering company that since 2016 has provided nutritious meals to 40,000 school children through its Eat Bright program. (The company also operates 25 coffee shops located in schools). Founder Magnus Mumby, who is a chef and nutritionist, told Catering Middle East that nourishment is the name of the game.
Take the painstaking work that goes into each lasagna, for example: ragu cooked for 10 hours, loaded with shredded root vegetables to boost fibre and create a meat reduction that leaves less of a carbon footprint.
What’s also nice is that Food Nation Go has gone beyond helping the single person sustain their nutrition. They’ve now launched Family Bakes, which feeds four to six people and starts at Dh70 per tray. You simply cannot cook for that price. And the menu is just as varied: You can go for beef lasagne or roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings, or choose from vegetarian options, like spinach and pumpkin cannelloni and cauliflower lasagne.
They have also launched a line for the holidays that is affordably priced, with a meal for six coming in at Dh295. The Christmas platters will feed four to six people and include all the favourites, like roast turkey, sage and onion stuffing, roast potatoes, carrots, garden greens, gravy and cranberry sauces, with a sticky toffee for four to follow.
One other sustainability bonus: Food Nation Go opts for traditional production methods, resource sharing and using simple recyclable packaging where possible.
Ann Marie McQueen
Ann Marie McQueen is the founding editor-in-chief of Livehealthy and host of The Livehealthy Podcast. She is a veteran Canadian digital journalist who has worked in North America and the Middle East. Her past roles include features editor for The National, trends writer and columnist for the Canadian newspaper chain Sun Media, and correspondent for CBC Radio.