I’m not sure what it says about my life that the Hy-Vee “Dish” freezer meal workshop I just attended was fun and exciting, but it kind of rocked my world. (Well, nobody got me tickets to the Beyoncé Formation World Tour!) My friend Kate from babysitting co-op got together 15 women for a Monday night happy hour situation and we all left with 10 meals (four serving each) for under $150 – and no cost to attend.
Our workshop was from 6-7 p.m., which was perfect timing to take advantage of the Hy-Vee Market happy hour before we started in on our meals. My grandpa always used to write recipes with “Step 1: Pour a drink,” so I felt right at home. The packaging itself happens in the market cafe, too, and you can bring your beverage right over. (My friend’s jaw dropped when they gave her a bill for just $4 for two local brews. Good deals. Or she’s just cute.)
The Hy-Vee staff (shout out to Jenn and her team at the Valley West location) did all of the shopping/chopping for us before the event, and each meal had a prep zone with all of the ingredients, instructions, measuring spoons, labeled bags – everything. You just don an apron, gloves, buddy up and measure and dump. The ingredients were high quality, and whatever is left over you can arm wrestle your friends to take home.
There’s a variety of meal options, so Kate was a genius and invited us all to a Facebook event and posted the options as a poll, so we could vote for our favorites. Here’s what we took home:
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Southwest Marinade Steak
- Party Chicken
- Firecracker Grilled Salmon (super excited about this one!)
- Honey Garlic Meatballs
- Baked Ziti
- Chicken Asada Fajitas
- Crockpot Italian Beef
- Chicken and Dumplings
- Orange Chicken Stir Fry
I brought my sister-in-law and caught up with my friend Kimberly at the Chicken Pad Thai station. Then, once all of the meals are prepped, they divvy them up for you and you just pay at the register.
I could totally see organizing one of these as a great “stock the freezer” party for a mom-to-be, with everyone chipping in to buy her portion of the dinners. I could also see a group of dudes doing this, or a couples date night thing with a bunch of friends.
Really, just, everyone with a mouth – if you’re the kind of person who uses the slow cooker on the regs, sign up for this. Hy-Vee always manages to make grocery shopping fun for me, and they really outdo themselves with the Dish event. I think you can get a group together and call to schedule a workshop, but certain Hy-Vees also have them on their events calendar.