Locally Sourced, Healthy Meals... Delivered!

We tested out five ways to help you get healthy meals on your table for breakfast, lunch, and dinner—even during life's most hectic times.

By Allison Jones and Tuck Woodstock February 24, 2015

Farm to Fit

Image: Farm to Fit

Farm to Fit was founded in 2011 by G. Scott Brown and Dre Slaman, transplants from Los Angeles who were in search of a fresh, low-cal meal delivery system (a la Jenny Craig) that made the most of Portland’s thriving food community. When their search came up with nothing, they decided to create one of their own. The result is a chef-powered, twice-weekly delivery service that brings fresh—never frozen—food directly to their clients for less than they’d spend at a food cart (with multiple calorie goals and options for gluten-free and diabetic diets). Farm to Fit chef Jeremy Baumgartner prepares each meal for Farm to Fit with the same care and quality ingredients that earned him accolades as head chef of Berkeley’s Back To Earth Catering, one of the Bay Area’s premier caterers with a strong ethos of sourcing it local. Seasonal dishes include Moroccan stew with Carlton Farms pork and couscous, teriyaki rice bowls, hop-brined chicken, naked stuffed apples, and French Cassoulet.

In January 2015, Farm to Fit acquired Dinner At Your Door, another local meal delivery company, and is quickly expanding their reach and customer options. In February, the team will launch a "Signature Dish Menu" option, allowing customers to replace any of the weekly meals with one of fifteen "signature" dishes to help clients customize their order to their liking.

The Deal: 10-21 meals/week for $120-200/week.

The (Vegan) Caterer

When Josh Raymond became an ethical vegan in 1998, plant-based dining consisted of tofu, beans, rice, and Boca Burgers.  Looking for more flavorful fare, the then-teenage Raymond learned to cook by improvising vegan twists on his favorite family recipes, like mac ‘n’ cheese and mashed potatoes with gravy. Twelve years later, Raymond super-sized those same homespun recipes with the creation of his company, The (Vegan) Caterer; in 2013, by popular demand, the business expanded to include a meal delivery service.

TVC’s protein-packed comfort food—think barbecue seitan, curried chickpea burritos, and buffalo soy curls—has proven particularly popular with power-lifting and CrossFit crowds seeking nutrient-dense post-workout meals. Although Raymond proudly brands his business as vegan, he estimates that as much as 40% of his meal delivery clients (and 90% of catering eaters) aren’t even vegetarian…. not until they try his cooking, at least.

The Deal: 5–15 meals/week for $80–$180/week. Four-week minimum. 

Ark Elements

Founded by brothers John and Nick Huston with the idea that the burden on our healthcare system can be dramatically reduced if we focus on functional movements and whole foods, Ark Elements makes tasty soy-free, grain-free, dairy-free, grass-fed meals and granola with an emphasis on sourcing quality ingredients from around here. As a Crossfit gym owner (of Pacific Crest Crossfit), introducing paleo to others was part of John's job, so he teamed up with his brother to make the paleo lifestyle easy and delicious for anyone. 

The from-scratch paleo meals include entrees like apple cinnamon nut porridge, cedar plank salmon with zucchini fritters, grass-­fed meatloaf­ with roasted vegetables and housemate ketchup, and Bolognese stuffed bell peppers. Meals are available for pickup at CrossFit locations around Portland and Vancouver, WA. You can also find prepared meals in the cold cases at New Seasons' Grant Park, Williams, Arbor Lodge, and Seven Corners locations. 

The Deal: Unlike many meal-delivery services, Ark sends subscribers weekly email newsletter menus that allow them to pick and choose from single-serving meals and family-sized portions. There's a weekly minimum of $55 for all orders, but subscribers are free to choose whether they'd like a handful of lunches or three meals a day, every day. 

Full Belly Fare

Lyla Wolfenstein discovered her passion for community nourishment at 17, working at a catering company that doubled as vocational training for the mentally ill. Over the next three decades, while working as a lactation consultant, Wolfenstein frequently volunteered to cook healthy meals for friends with chronic illnesses. Many of these friends also had extremely specialized diets, including low-sodium + low fiber and gluten-free + dairy-free—in one extreme case, a friend couldn’t eat any high histamine or high oxalate ingredients. In January 2014, Wolfenstein went professional with her allergen-free cooking wizardry by launching Fully Belly Fare.

Customers select dishes from a rotating menu of more than 100 recipes, each available with an array of modifications to suit different diets. A typical entrée, “grilled chicken or vegetarian (chickpea) Cobb salad with candied bacon (or tofu),” has eight variations listed and can be made soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, nightshade-free, or most of the above. The organic-leaning menu also offers snacks, sides, desserts, and brunch items (Cranberry walnut white cheddar muffins, anyone?). With such a hyper-accommodating system, any eater can order the perfect plates for a healthful, happy week.

The Deal: $10.95–$14.95 per serving. $75 minimum weekly order. 

Instacart's New Yummly Partnership

Image: Allison Jones

Love to cook for yourself but want to cut down on the time it takes to track down and shop for special ingredients? A new partnership between grocery delivery service Instacart and Yummly's easy-to-use recipe search engine and shopping list app for iPhones streamlines the whole process. Yummly's search engine is massive, which means there are plenty of recipes for every diet, from gluten-free to gluten-full to paleo to raw vegan. We tried out the app collab to round up some ingredients for a Greek salad with chicken. We typed our cravings into the Yummly app, and added the ingredients for the marinade, dressing, salad ingredients to the Yummly shopping cart, which now instantly links to Instacart's grocery cart. Our ingredients showed up from Green Zebra Grocery on time and with a smile—a miracle at the end of a long day.

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