If you’re a busy parent, or a busy single professional with little time or even inspiration to eat healthy, I recently discovered a convenient solution to add to your regime – it might just save you one or two nights off…
Meet Corrine Stadel, a busy parent herself and owner of Fresh Dish, in South Vancouver. Fresh Dish assembles fresh meals for you, made to order, fresh or frozen, and either in group portions or single servings. They offer a variety of entrees, side dishes, appetizers and desserts even. Operating six days a week, you simply order online, by phone or email, 48 hours in advance, then pick up or have your order delivered to you. Fresh Dish’s monthly menu will save you time in shopping and cooking so all you have to do is heat and eat!
I met Corrine in her south Vancouver store location to hear about her Fresh Dish experience…
How did Fresh Dish start? I love to cook. …I am a single parent and had a very busy career. Sensational Suppers was a store that I discovered at a trade show, so I went and loved it [similar concept to Fresh Dish]. My teenage daughter started dinner before I got home. Then the franchises became available and I bought a franchise. About six months later, they decided to close. So I rebranded and went independent.
Do you create your own recipes? We find recipes, there are three of us, and tweak them; and then we use our own family stuff. Like family recipes that we’ve used for years and years.
What are your favourite dishes? Most of them… but the sockeye salmon on a cedar plank [is great]. I love our pork dishes – our pork is great. I haven’t really had [a dish] that I disliked ever.
What do you enjoy most about your job? Being my own boss. The flexibility of having to raise a family, I can be flexible with my hours to be at home. …The customers play a big part too, because they give us a lot of feedback. We cater to all our customers. We are open and flexible with our menu – we get a lot of requests for vegetarian, low-fat, or salt free. As a franchise you couldn’t do that.
How does Fresh Dish work? The idea is that you buy a series of meat, so that you have a whole bunch of different options [each serves 2-3 or 4-6] and in the morning you just take one out and then cook it at night by following the instructions. [The food marinates during the day as it thaws out]. Some items will come with different steps, like sauté and add sauce; but our soups and chilies are premade and precooked. Our lasagnas are very popular too. Our vegetarians go with vegetarian lasagna, and there’s also a broccoli & spinach, a chicken, a seafood – and our seafood has crab, shrimp, and scallops in it – no imitation seafood. We have customers that order two or three every month. All our cooked [singles] meals come with a protein, a starch, and vegetables. You just microwave and it’s ready. They usually come off our menu and change weekly.
With hopes to expand I into a bigger location, and expand on their singles meal menu options, which are growing in demand, Corrine’s team is working to add some new products to the mix, including tofu options.
“You are not shopping, no prep work, and it saves you money because you’re not buying a bunch of different ingredients. Predominantly, we all have about 6-8 items [in our routine menus]. This gives you some variety and something different. Without having to go buy a whole bottle of something, use it once, and then end up throwing something out.” I related to her instantly, so I am sure you can too…