I'm not on a diet -- I don't believe in them -- but for a few days this week I'm eating as if I am.
That's because I'm test driving the meal delivery service from Licious Living; the Zone Plan to be exact, for one of my Dish columns in the National Post.
Available in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary, the whole Licious process couldn't be easier. You sign up online, then a rep calls to sort out all the details, you choose your healthy gourmet meals, or diet plan, a delivery arrives at your door in a cooler bag between 9pm and 6am, then all you do is heat in the microwavable recyclable containers, and put the bag outside again at the end of the day.
To be honest, I wasn't expecting much from this low-cal low-fat food (I'm on the 1,200 calorie regimen.) But a couple of days in, I'm loving this whole not-cooking-or-shopping-or-washing-dishes thing, and, there have been many more hits than misses on the recipe front.
For instance, yes to the shrimp salad (pictured here) heaped with meaty grilled shrimp, chickpeas, olives, marinated artichoke hearts and tons of fresh herbs. I didn't even miss the dressing. (It's what I'd call a smart salad.) Same goes for the West Coast breakfast parfait, layered with thick creamy yogurt (it tasted like full fat, but I know it wasn't; there was a trick to it), oaty granola, sweet strawberries and pineapple, sour cherries, dried apricots and nuts. It was almost too much to finish. (Almost.)
And I can't wait for today's afternoon snack of deviled eggs.
But what of the blueberry "pancakes" with "syrup"? Well, I will give them this: They were sort of round. And if that's all it takes to call yourself a pancake these days -- so be it.