Eating family meals has never been easier now with many new meal prep services such as Hello Fresh, Blue Apron, Sun Basket and soon to be released Amazon Meals kits. Ingredients are delivered to your home with recipes that take all the guesswork and time out of meal planning for busy parents. I enjoy cooking and fortunately, my husband does too so I’ve never felt a need to use these services. I believe family meals are one of the most important things a family can do together but I realize busy schedules can make it difficult to eat a home-cooked meal.
Out of curiosity (and to educate myself on the process), I ordered from Hello Fresh for a week while my husband was out of town since I would be pressed for time. I ordered 3 vegetarian meals from Hello Fresh and they showed up at my door with multiple plastic ice blocks and styrofoam packaging to protect my ingredients. My initial thought was, wow that is a lot of packaging and waste to ship my ingredients. Once I started reading and learning that my “local” potatoes were sourced from a farm in New York and shipped to California and then packaged and shipped out to me in Oregon, I was feeling less excited about this easy dinner option I was preparing. The negative carbon footprint I was taking part in was an added turn off. The meals were good enough and it was fun to try something different. We had an arugula/pear pizza, which I loved but my kids not so much. We also had a curry rice pilaf with vegetables and I never ended up making the shepherds pie which the “local” potatoes were intended for. My experience was satisfactory I suppose and still, this can be a good option for busy families. Ultimately, I’d much rather recommend options to the families I work with that involve true, “local” foods that are actually grown in the Pacific Northwest. I started to research more local options and found ACME Farm and Kitchen, based in Seattle. ACME serves Portland and Seattle with locally sourced foods. I tried their services and felt a lot better from the start when the box was delivered from a driver in a van (not FedEx), with limited packaging and wasted resources. There was a cooler pack to keep the cold foods cold with biodegradable ice packs. I selected the Surf option, which included a rockfish kabob served over couscous, broccoli lemon pasta and finally kale and feta pies. My kids only really liked the broccoli and lemon pasta and other than the couscous weren’t big fans of the fish or kale and feta pies, which were my favorite. My only criticism was not realizing that using their service, we needed to have a well-stocked pantry and some of the basic items we needed, such as lemons, we didn’t have on hand, which prevented us from cooking a meal the day the box arrived.
In my search for other meal prep delivery services that use local ingredients, I came across several other great options of meal delivery services providing homemade dinners sourced from primarily local ingredients that deliver or offer local pick up in Portland and/or Vancouver, WA. One of these services I’m eager to try is Josephine’s They operate on the Uber/Lyft model of meal preparation by connecting you to chefs in your neighborhood who like to cook (and make a little extra income). You simply search in your zip code and view for your neighbors are cooking to purchase family style meals directly from them.
Additionally, there are other great services that provide healthy hot, chilled or frozen prepared meals that can make meal planning a little less daunting for busy parents. If you find yourself leaning on fast-food restaurants and take-out many nights each week, I encourage you to look at some of these healthier options.
Below is a compiled list of resources. I hope to try many of these over the course of the year and I’ll report back with an updated blog post.
Meal Delivery Services for Portland and/or Vancouver, WA
Partner with your neighbors to share meals. Find meals from neighborhood cooks, order, and pick-up. Simple home-cooked meals.
Most offer family size portion.
Special diets: Dairy free, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten free
Pick Your Dish
Homemade dinner, pick up locations throughout Portland.
Special diets: Gluten free, vegetarian
Homemade dinner, using local and organic ingredients, delivery service in Portland.
Special diets; vegan, paleo, dairy-free, soy-free
Locally sourced, meals delivered in Portland and Vancouver ($5-$15 fee) with Pick up locations in Portland, Vancouver, and Camas.
Special diets: vegetarian, calorie specific
Vegan Meal delivery service, locally grown organic as much as possible, delivered in Portland and Vancouver.
Special diets: Vegan, gluten-free
Vegan meals sourced from local businesses and farmers when possible, delivered in Portland, OR.
Special diets: Can meet special allergy requests
Local organic ingredients, delivery to Portland and Vancouver.
Special menus: Paleo, gluten free, vegan
Paleo restaurant that offers meal pickup in NE Portland and delivery ($15-$25 delivery charge for local delivery).
Special diets; Gluten-free, dairy free, soy free, Paleo, GAPS, Low FODMAPs and special requests.
Paleo meal delivery using local ingredients, pick up meals at multiple drop-off locations throughout Portland.
Family size meals available
Special menus: Paleo, soy, and gluten-free
Locally sourced ingredients, ready made meals and meal kits available and delivered to your door. Delivery in Portland and Vancouver.
Special menues: Vegetarian, Gluten free, kids meals
Meal Prep Delivery Service:
Quality local ingredients delivered to your home with recipes for easy meal preparation, delivered in Portland, Vancouver, Seattle
Special diets: Vegetarian
Don’t get me wrong, cooking with kids is a wonderful way to expose them to new foods and is the most economical option for families. I encourage families to find a few nights each week to cook meals at home and work on involving your children so one day they too will know how to cook. Check out my blog post, 10 Tips For Making Family Meals and Meal Planning Easier. For a week of easy dinner ideas, see my blog post: A Week of Kid Friendly Quick and Easy Summer Dinners.