Home Healthy Eating Meal delivery services that make healthy eating easy — and delicious – CNN

Meal delivery services that make healthy eating easy — and delicious – CNN

29 min read
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(CNN) —  

Another new year, another round of resolutions, right? And after so many months of being quarantined (which translates to countless loaves of banana bread, indulgent takeout orders, emptied bottles of wine and canceled fitness classes), perhaps this year, even more than most, has “eat better” at the top of your goals list.

Luckily, healthy meal delivery services offer delicious, convenient options perfect for anyone ready to make a few dietary changes — from those looking to try keto or eat gluten-free to those who want to go vegan or cut down on calories. And whether you love to cook or are practically allergic to the kitchen, there’s a service just right for you. Here are a few to get you — and the new year — started right. And if you’re looking for more ideas, check out our stories on our favorite general meal delivery services, keto-friendly meal delivery services and food delivery services for vegetarians.

If you don’t cook…


Fresh n’ Lean

Fresh n’ Lean
PHOTO:
Fresh N’ Lean

Healthy goal: Eat more protein.

What to know: Training for a marathon? Finally committed to making good on cleaning up your diet this year? Tired of trading tasty, nutrient-dense meals for bland or high-calorie ones? We think you’ll fall for this delivery service that offers super-fresh gluten-free, organic, ready-to-eat meals right to your front door each week. Using in-season, locally and sustainably sourced ingredients with no fillers, GMOs, hormones, antibiotics or preservatives, you choose from a rotating menu with clearly marked protein and carbs, with options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and bulk items. Just refrigerate your goodies upon receipt and pop them into the microwave for a couple minutes when you’re ready to eat. Worried about waste? Fresh n’ Lean’s ClimaCell coolers are made with renewable plant-based materials and can be recycled with the cardboard boxes they come in.

What you get: We focused in on Fresh n’ Lean’s Protein+ plan, which includes high-quality free-range, grass-fed animal protein, organic vegetables and grains that add up to about 1,500 calories per day for three meals. Fill up at breakfast with dishes such as vanilla strawberry chia pudding, sunny-side egg with tomato (simple but yummy and filling with a cage-free egg, potato, onion, tomato and yellow squash) or a cinnamon apple muffin (trust us, you’d never guess it’s gluten-free). Lunch might be cage-free chicken sausage with pesto rice, BBQ chicken with broccoli or tomatillo chicken fajitas with jasmine rice and beans. And on tap for dinner: roasted pepper burger with kale, smoked beef with vegetables and creamy tomato sauce pasta with shrimp all have us dreaming of our next meal.

Other plans: The Performance Paleo and Keto plans are similar to Protein+ but grain- and legume-free, with Keto adding dairy and nutritious fats. The Vegan plan is all about organic vegetables, plant-based proteins and whole grains, and the Low-Carb Vegan plan includes one standard plant-based meal with grains and one without grains per day. Crave a little more? The Bulk plan lets you stock up on items such as Beyond meat patties, quinoa, chicken breast, fish and veggies.

Pricing: Meals range from $9.33 to $12.69 per meal; choose from five or seven days a week. Not ready for a full subscription? The à la carte menu allows for one-time orders ($85 minimum order required). Call to skip or cancel.


Factor

Factor
PHOTO:
Factor

Healthy goal: Improve your WFH lunches and overall wellness.

What to know: When you put convenience at a premium — but refuse to let food quality suffer — Factor is a fab choice when it comes to meal delivery plans. With a menu updated weekly with dozens of dishes, you choose food made with fresh ingredients that can be heated up in just a few minutes. Rather leave the decision-making to the pros? Allow the expert chefs to select meals based on your preferences and previous orders.

What you get: Recently acquired by HelloFresh, the company allows you to mix and match from featured menu items to curate the perfect healthy New Year’s meal plan for you. Want to focus on better breakfasts? Give yourself a morning boost by selecting a variety pack of wellness shots and cold-pressed juices, paleo granola and gingerbread pancakes. Want to save time on dinner but still eat like a king or queen? Grilled chicken piccata, pork tenderloin with cabbage casserole, shredded brisket with pimento cheese broccoli, lemon garlic shrimp or winter-spiced salmon will make your mouth water. If you’re ready to try the keto trend, you might fill a box with items like a mushroom burger, chorizo chili, keto cheesecake and keto shakes. Us? We’re looking to change our WFH lunch game with a box filled with pumpkin bisque, spicy turkey poblano bowls and balsamic-glazed chicken with butternut squash risotto. Sayonara, sad desk lunches! You’re so 2020.

Other plans: Plans include Paleo (grain-, dairy- and refined sugar-free with quality protein), Keto (low carb, moderate protein, high in healthy fats) and Gluten-Free (veggies, whole grains, grass-fed proteins and legumes).

Pricing: Choose from four, six, eight, 12 or 18 meals a week, starting at $11 per meal. Bonus: All subscriptions come with one free 20-minute consultation with a registered dietitian. Skip or cancel anytime.


FreshlyFit

FreshlyFit
FreshlyFit
PHOTO:
FreshlyFit

Healthy goal: Fuel a new workout plan with clean, whole foods.

What to know: Upping your workout routine in 2021? Upgrade your nutrition plan too with FreshlyFit, a new line of meals from Freshly made for those with active lifestyles. Using clean, whole-food ingredients, meals are low carb, high in protein, gluten-free and chef-prepared with an emphasis on keto, paleo and plant principles. Choose from a weekly menu and simply heat and serve within three minutes. No lines at the grocery store. No time spent chopping, dicing and baking. No messes to clean up. Which, of course, means more time for self-care after all that exercise.

What you get: FreshlyFit menu items average just 14 grams of net carbs and 30-plus grams of protein, and clock in at 550 calories or fewer. Trying to get that sweet tooth in check? More than a third of the meal choices have zero added sugars. Proving that deliciousness doesn’t need to suffer with preprepared meals, check out this menu sampling: Paleo Pork Chop with rainbow roasted veggies and mushroom sauce, the keto-friendly Very Verde Chicken Bowl with super greens pesto and cauliflower rice or the Crave-No-More Shepherd’s Pie with ground beef and cauli-butternut mash. We’re also ordering the Sesame-Ginger Bliss Bowl with noodle-cut hearts of palm, along with the Baked Turkey Meatballs with butternut spirals and eight-veggie ragu. One word: yum.

Other plans: Freshly menu categories include Crafted Classics, Signature Collection, Feel-Better Food and Takeout Twists. If steak peppercorn with sauteed carrots and French green beans, homestyle chicken with mac and cheese, sausage baked penne with sauteed zucchini and spinach, or pulled pork al pastor with cotija cheese and Mexican-style corn sound up your alley, you’ll definitely want to give this meal delivery service a whirl.

Pricing: Choose from four, six, 10 or 12 meals per week, starting at $8.49 per meal. Skip a week or cancel anytime.

If you love to cook…


Green Chef

Green Chef
Green Chef
PHOTO:
Green Chef

Healthy goal: Try going gluten-free.

What to know: With sustainably sourced ingredients, chef-curated recipes and a weekly delivery schedule, Green Chef allows you to choose a plan that fits your goals or lifestyle. Each recipe takes about 30 minutes to make, and there’s no getting bored: Menus rotate every week.

What you get: The Carb Easy plan includes gluten- and grain-free meals, making it a great choice for those looking to cut carbs. All dishes have 35 grams of net carbs or fewer (most are at 20 or fewer; some are below 10) and are high in protein to help keep you feeling fuller longer. Recent menu options: fried cheese with apricot sauce, plus cauliflower rice, kale, roasted peppers, pistachios and tahini; steak banh mi bowls with sauteed broccoli, quick-pickled veggies and ginger-lime aioli; and Mediterranean chicken with artichokes and roasted red peppers, pepita pesto and Brussels sprouts.

Other plans: The Balanced Living plan features a mix of meat, seafood and vegetarian recipes (smoky chicken sandwiches with honey butter, candied almonds and slaw and roasted sweet potatoes; butternut squash risotto with sage-seasoned portobellos, toasted walnuts and parm) and Plant-Powered is, you guessed it, focused on vegetarian and vegan meals. Choose from seven recipes every week (we like the sound of maple carrot power bowls with pearl couscous, kale, dried cranberries and green goddess dressing).

Pricing: The Carb Easy plan gets you three recipes per week with two servings per recipe, at $7.82 per serving (regularly $12.99). Balanced Living and Plant-Powered plans are $6.82 per serving (regularly $11.99). Skip, change or cancel orders anytime.


HelloFresh

HelloFresh
HelloFresh
PHOTO:
HelloFresh

Healthy goal: Cut down on your calories.

What to know: Ready to make some nutritional changes in 2021 but dread the planning that goes into meal prep, long lines at busy grocery stores and spending money on fresh produce you end up throwing out (because, well, pizza is just so much easier)? HelloFresh gets rid of all that angst by doing the hard work for you. Just pick a meal plan preference, choose from some two dozen dishes and each week you’ll receive recipe instructions and all the ingredients needed to make your new and improved healthy meals.

What you get: Calorie Smart meal kits include dietician-approved recipes that contain about 650 calories per serving. Recent dishes: Mediterranean baked veggies with couscous, almonds and Feta; pork chops and apple rosemary pan sauce with mashed potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts; and ginger plum chicken with carrot, bell pepper and scallion rice. With preportioned ingredients, you’ll cut out food waste in addition to calories.

Other plans: You can also pick from Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family-Friendly, Quick and Easy, and Pescatarian. Subcategories let you customize even further — look for “lightning prep,” “carb smart” and “one-pan.”

Pricing: Plans are available to serve two or four people with three, four or five recipes per week, starting at $5.49 per meal (regularly $8.99). Skip, swap or cancel at any time.


Blue Apron

Blue Apron
Blue Apron
PHOTO:
Blue Apron

Healthy goal: Cut down on carbs.

What to know: When you love to cook but would rather avoid the supermarket, Blue Apron is a great choice. With menu options that feature meat, poultry, seafood, Beyond Meat and more, you choose from a rotating menu and receive preportioned and premeasured ingredients with recipe instructions at your front door.

What you get: Part of its new Wellness 360 campaign, Blue Apron menu options now include new nutritionist-approved recipes and a “swap the starch” feature, allowing you to choose, say, chickpea pasta over potatoes. The Wellness for 2 plan features carb-conscious (42 grams or fewer of net carbs per serving) and WW-approved options, and includes three recipes per week. All wellness recipes also clock in at 600 or fewer calories per serving. Recent carb-conscious menu items have included za’atar-roasted chicken thighs with warm farro salad and Feta-yogurt dressing; turkey and mushroom lettuce cups with peanut-soy sauce and yellow curry; and lemongrass tilapia with brown rice.

Other plans: Signature allows for two, three or four recipes per week (each serves two); Signature for 4 serves four; and Vegetarian for 2 includes two or three meat-free recipes per week, each serving two.

Pricing: Wellness for 2, Signature and Vegetarian for 2 are $9.99 per serving. Signature for 4 is $8.99 per serving. Adjust, skip or cancel at any time.

If you want to try going vegan…


Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot
PHOTO:
Purple Carrot

Healthy goal: Incorporate more plant protein.

What to know: Delivered weekly, each Purple Carrot box includes preportioned ingredients needed to prepare breakfasts, lunches and dinners, plus a recipe booklet. Choose your preferred meals from a weekly rotating menu — and, if you love snacks, items such as chocolates or sun-dried fruit ($3.99 to $15.99) can be added on.

What you get: Purple Carrot’s menu notes whether the dish falls into a variety of categories: high protein, chef’s choice, gluten-free, nut-free, under 600 calories or soy-free. For vegan eaters looking for a protein boost, recent options have included Southwest cheesy mac, sesame orange tofu, baked cauliflower Parmesan, Buffalo tempeh quinoa bowls and Cajun baked tofu.

Other plans: Would you rather get the meals delivered already made? Prepared meals, to be heated in the microwave, are also available ($12.99 per serving) for weekly delivery. Recent dishes have included the high-protein almond butter noodles (with baked tofu and edamame) and the gluten-free potato tikka masala (with tofu and cilantro basmati rice).

Pricing: The two-serving plan (three dinners, serving two people) starts at $71.94 per week. The four-serving plan (two or three dinners, serving four people) starts at $79.92 per week. Skip deliveries, pause, change your meal plan or cancel anytime.


Veestro

Veestro
PHOTO:
Veestro

Healthy goal: Lose that holiday weight gain.

What to know: Eating vegan is simple — and delicious — with the help of this meal delivery service that offers 100% plant-based meals that are also organic, preservative-free and, for those who prefer to stay out of the kitchen, come ready to eat. Just pop the chef-prepared dishes in the microwave and they’re ready to devour in five minutes or fewer.

What you get: Take the guesswork out of your healthy food menu when you choose the Weight Loss plan that gets you three meals (select five days or seven days a week) that add up to approximately 1,200 calories per day. Want to take it a step further and make it gluten-free as well as vegan? No problem — just check a box. Meals include items like breakfast burritos, Spanish tortas and oatmeal breakfast pie, red curry with tofu, enchilada casserole and pasta bolognese, all in the range of 230 to 460 calories.

Other available plans: À La Carte lets you select from 20-plus entrees and a half dozen breakfast options (select from 10, 20 or 30 meals per week, as a one-time order or subscription, from $9.90 per meal). Use high-protein, gluten-free, low-calorie, nut-free, soy-free and kosher filters to search for dietary preferences. Chef’s Choice, delivered every week, every two weeks or every four weeks with the option of 10, 20 or 30 meals, includes customer favorites, high-protein and gluten-free categories and starts at $117 per week.

Pricing: The Weight Loss five-day plan is $175.50, while the seven-day plan is $226.80. Meals ship weekly, and you may change, pause or cancel anytime.


FarmBox Direct

FarmBox Direct
FarmBox Direct
PHOTO:
FarmBox Direct

Healthy goal: Start juicing.

What to know: FarmBox Direct works with local farms to curate organic and natural fruits and veggies that are delivered to your door. Each week, you’ll receive an email letting you know what’s being harvested so you can select your favorites. Most boxes come in small, medium and large sizes, and groceries (like milk, eggs or honey) can be added as well.

What you get: If you’re anxious to try out the new juicer you got over the holidays, opt for an all-organic Juicing Box ($57.97). The Green Juicing Box comes with four apples, pears, cucumbers and kale bunches; two avocados, beets, rainbow carrots and bunches of butter leaf lettuce; and one bunch of ginger. The Orange Juicing Box includes eight navel oranges; five bunches of rainbow carrots; four apples and cucumbers; two red Anjou pears and bunches of kale; and one beet and bunch of ginger. In the Red Juicing Box, you’ll get four apples, grapefruits and beets; three navel oranges and red Anjou pears; two cucumbers and bunches of kale; and one bunch of ginger.

Other plans: Boxes are available with fruits and vegetables, only fruit or only vegetables. Once you pick your size you can customize your box, making up to five substitutions. The bestselling mixed Organic Medium Box might contain three apples, russet potatoes, navel oranges, pears and red Anjou pears; two avocados and tomatoes; and one cucumber, zucchini, yellow bell pepper and bunch of Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, butter lettuce and rainbow carrots.

Pricing: The Juicing box is $57.97, and the minimum order is $38.95; skip a delivery or cancel anytime.

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One Comment

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