The Dish: Meals Made Easy
Three local solutions for healthy dinners at home, including meal pickup and delivery services.
As school is in full swing, and busy family and work lives don’t leave much time for cooking, you might find yourself reaching for grease-stained takeout menus. But there are other options for easy, healthy meals at home in the form of pickup dinners and meal delivery services. Here are three alternative solutions to “What’s for dinner?”
For the sports-playing, studying, working family with good taste: Ella’s @ Home
After a long day of work, shuttling the kids off to assorted activities and running errands, you may just want to sit back at home with a glass of wine and forget about chopping and stirring for a night. This is where Ella’s @ Home comes in. Chef Jeanie Roland comes to the rescue with pre-prepared family meals that can be picked up and heated at home.
Jeanie’s husband and co-owner of Ella’s, James Roland, explains: “When a dish is made in a restaurant, there are components of it that are good right then and there, but over time, it doesn’t reheat well,” he says. “…But if you give us twenty-four hours, we’ll make the dining experience of Ella’s at home more enjoyable.” Meals are cooked three-quarters of the way to make it more convenient for patrons. “They literally just put it in the oven and, by the time they open a bottle of wine and set the table, it’s done,” James Roland says. Place orders twenty-four-hours in advance.
A taste of the dishes: Ella’s @ Home encourages you to mix and match different sides, mains and desserts. Examples of what’s offered include duck salad, lamb gnocchi, seasonal risotto and double chocolate brownies. See more here.
Ella’s @ Home, Ella’s Fine Food and Drink, 2 Tower St., Westerly, 401-315-0606, ellasfinefoodanddrink.com
For the modern family that craves nostalgia: Feast and Fettle
What if, like with "The Jetsons," food could be summoned with the push of a button or delivered by a super-intelligent robot? Well, a computer can count as a robot, and the button can easily be the “pay” tab on the Feast and Fettle website.
Feast and Fettle was created by Johnson and Wales University graduate, Maggie Mulvena, to provide healthy, fresh, cooked meals for families. With a pick-and-choose format and deliver-to-your-door service, it might be a dream come true.
Mulvena not only has a culinary degree that includes a thorough knowledge of nutrition, she also has experience as a personal chef.
“The driving theme behind my food is actually convenience. We make everything from scratch,” she says. “Most of our clients are double professionals and I think that’s something that has changed in society. It’s really hard to cook the way that our grandparents did, but we still want that. I embrace the idea of convenience, but also of receiving a nourishing wholesome meal.”
And what does "fettle" mean? Mulvena explains. “I was looking for food words relating to wellness and health, since my background is also in nutrition,” she says. “I came across the word ‘fettle’ which actually means ‘of good health.’ ”
A taste of the dishes: Feast and Fettle allows you to mix and match different mains and sides, creating a family-friendly menu. The menu gets a big change every two weeks, and examples of what’s offered include arugula and fig salad, roasted Brussels sprouts and chicken enchiladas. See more here.
For the health-conscious, environmentally friendly person who wants to be vegan but, gah, cheese is just so good…: The Purple Carrot
Created in nearby Massachusetts by Providence native Andy Levitt, the Purple Carrot sends packaged boxes of pre-measured raw ingredients for you to fix up into a satisfying (and wicked tasty) meal at home…and it’s all vegan. The instructions are included and you are still given the satisfaction of getting down and dirty and mixing and chopping, baking and presenting a beautiful vegan meal to all your friends/family who swore they would never give up meat. Once others realize how well they can eat without carnivorous components, they might be sold on the vegan lifestyle. “The Purple Carrot is not about preaching veganism, but rather about helping people get exposed to the idea of eating plant-based,” says Levitt. He notes that some customers have said they still have to cook a side of meat for a spouse or significant other. “If that’s how people want to enjoy our meals, then that’s their choice. We don’t frown upon that because it’s all about getting comfortable with new styles,” he says. “But after eating our meals more often, that person might say, ‘Maybe I won’t eat that chicken anymore.’ ” Plus, a vegan, plant-based diet is better for the earth, making this is the ultimate feel good food.
A taste of the dishes: Purple Carrot’s menu changes weekly, offering colorful and flavorful dishes. Some meals include coffee teriyaki skewers with citrus edamame salad, cauliflower l’orange with beets and fresh herbs and Thai red curry vermicelli with radishes and Swiss chard. See more here.