Right now, we're all looking for ways to get delicious meals on the table without spending too much time in the kitchen. Meal kits or delivery services, anyone? You betcha. To avoid going to grocery stores amid the coronavirus crisis, meal kits and subscription delivery services are proving to be a blessing during these trying times.
But just because we're cooking at home or ordering in meals (and perhaps jazzing them up with pantry staples) doesn't mean we want to compromise on our Southern palates. That's why we're currently swooning for the below meal kit and meal delivery services to keep our bellies full and help us all spend more time at the table and less time prepping and stressing over "what's for dinner?" Read on, and get excited for restaurant-worthy cuisine at home.
1. Freshly (from $7.99 per meal)
Just heat these fresh, pre-made meals up and you're ready to eat. Freshly offers a range of restaurant-inspired meal categories to choose from and all meals have an emphasis on healthier-for-you ingredients. Our Southern souls are all about the Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac & Cheese made with a gluten-free almond flour batter, brown-rice macaroni, and cheesy sauce made even creamier with butternut squash and cauliflower purée. Another winner? Slow-Cooked Pork & Herbed Gravy with Skillet Kale & Roasted Potatoes.
2. EveryPlate (from $4.99 per serving)
We love cooking (ahem, in 30 minutes or less) these home-style meals, especially when we're craving our local barbecue joint. Some recent standout meals include oh-so-savory Cowboy Skillet Pie, Sweet & Smoky BBQ Pork MeatloavesSweet & Smoky BBQ Pork Meatloaves, and Smoky BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches.
3. Goldbelly Restaurant Meal Kits (from $25 for six people)
Order some of your favorite dishes from restaurants and chefs you love. How about a spaghetti dinner for eight ($40) from Murfreesboro, Tennessee's Demos' Family Restaurant? (Don't forget to order the banana pudding!). Or perhaps tonight calls for some barbecue from Kings BBQ in Kinston, North Carolina? Check out all the Southern regional favorites here.
Goldbelly also offers City Subscriptions (from $79) which gets you sweet or savory grab bags from beloved haunts. Right now, 100% of all net proceeds from City Subscriptions will go towards delivery of Goldbelly boxes to the healthcare workers and first responders of that city. Some current Southern favorites include Topsail Steamer in Surf City, North Carolina ($119), Parkway Bakery & Tavern in New Orleans ($79), and Loveless Cafe in Nashville ($99).
4. RealEats (from $8.75 per meal)
These chef-made meals are as easy as boiling the pouch in water or emptying the pouch onto a plate and heating in a microwave. RealEats’ changing menu rotates based on the availability of seasonal ingredients and includes as many locally sourced ingredients as possible. Cilantro Lime Shrimp Tacos with Organic Brown Rice, Tomatoes, Corn & Cilantro Crema? Yes, please. Worth noting: RealEats meals are shipped to 28 U.S. states at this time, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and more Southern locales.
WATCH: 8 Positive Ideas for Staying Busy While We Are Social Distancing
8 Positive Ideas for Staying Busy While We Are Social Distancing
There are many activities we can participate in during this time to keep us busy and ease our anxiety of the unknown.
5. Hello Fresh (from $7.49 per serving)
Whip up chef-curated meals that will delight your Southern taste buds. It's going to be tough to decide between Low Country Shrimp & Grits, BBQ Cheddar Pork Burgers, and Cheesy BBQ Pulled Chicken Bowls for dinner. Why not order all three?
6. Daily Harvest (from $5.99 per meal)
Even Southerners need to detox sometimes. That's why we love Daily Harvest's lineup of plant-based fare that manages to be both comforting and also nutritious in every bite. Choose from oat and chia bowls, smoothies, soups, bites, harvest bowls and flatbreads. P.S. Once you've artichoke and spinach flatbread-ed, you'll never go back.
7. Snap Kitchen (from $9.58 per meal)
For the picky Southerner or those with certain dietary preferences, you'll want to check out Snap Kitchen. Designed by nutritionists and chefs in collaboration, plans include low carb, keto-friendly, Whole30, paleo, high protein, vegetarian, and more. Recent must-haves? Crispy Salmon and the Hot Chicken with Fusilli and Cheese. Amidst the coronavirus pandemic, in addition to providing meals to local healthcare workers on the frontlines through their Help A Hero donation program, the company is also working with various other organizations, including Fuel the Frontline in New York, so first responders can enjoy free meals.
8. Nurture Life (from $6.89 per meal)
For Southern youngsters, Nurture Life creates nutritionally balanced meals that are portioned by age (babies to 18) and delectable enough that mom or dad will want to steal more than a few bites. Start with winners like the Mac and Cheese with Cauliflower, Southwest Beans and Rice Medley, and Turkey Meatloaf with Potatoes and Green Beans.
Share with us: Have you tried any of these services before? What's your favorite?