A Round Up of Local Meal Kits; Delivered


Pictured Above: The Food Crate

Staycating during President’s Day weekend? Let’s make pretend we’re somewhere more fun and ordering up room service with these local and delicious meal deliveries!

Azuluna Foods

This exciting CT-based dinner delivery service is one-of-a-kind. Real chefs trained at Johnson & Wales, sourced from local farms, scratch-cooked, and delivered to your door to heat and serve or freeze for later. I received a box filled with all sorts of delishness and was bowled over by the quality of these prepared meals.

Available as a subscription or a one-time order (much easier than starting/pausing/canceling, which I’ve done with every other service). The dishes come in eco-conscious, BPA-free packaging and can be microwaved or baked. You choose from three menus: traditional, paleo, soups and stews, or traditional AND paleo mix.

All the entrees I enjoyed were gluten-free friendly, soy-free, carb-controlled, and ranged from 440 to 650 calories. Each shipment comes with eight dinners (4 meals, two of each). And EVERYTHING was absolutely yummy. My favorite might have been the gluten-free chicken pot pie: pasture-raised chunks of chicken in a house-made veloute with mirepoix and peas, topped with a flaky gluten-free crust and served with crisp broccoli florets. A FAR cry from the frozen pies of my youth.

The maple glazed salmon features a licking of New England maple syrup atop coconut sweet potatoes, braised red cabbage, and greens. I was sad when it was over! Chicken Tikka with roasted veggies and spiced broccoli logged in at a reasonable 440 calories. I’m not sure how they do it, but the accompanying cauliflower rice, usually a mushy mess, had the texture of actual rice, a neat trick.

The ingredient lists have absolutely nothing on it that you won’t recognize, simply a protein, veggies, olive oil or butter, and spices.

Whether you just need a week or three off cooking or are having trouble sticking to your Paleo plan, you should give this service a go.

Find out more here: https://azulunafoods.com



The Food Crate

Founder Jordan Laudano hails from a family that has supplied high-end restaurants across New England with provisions. During the six months prior to their launch, he and his chef labored in their commercial USDA certified kitchen to develop recipes that they can pack and ship directly to you. What’s the upshot? High-end restaurant-quality meals with little to no prep in YOUR kitchen. They’re not in the business of trying to teach you how to cook, like Blue Apron and other food boxes; rather you choose what you want from their vast options and voila! Heat up your picks, and a delish dinner is on the table.

You can order prepared crates like The Atlantic Steam Pot, Carnivore Grill, Smoked Barbecue or Sunday Sauce, or create your own from the assortment of charcuterie, appetizers, entrees, and sides. Everything looked so tempting, we most definitely over-ordered.

Our favorite was the tuna kit: a fresh-from-the-sea block of Ahi, with sesame crusting mix and umami-rich citrus/wasabi/soy sauce. I dipped the Ahi in the mixture, pan-fried for a minute or two per side, and proudly presented a gorgeous dish.

We loved the ease of a surf-and-turf-inspired grill of skewered tenderloin tips marinated in Japanese Barbecue sauce and Thai Shrimp, deeply flavored with coconut, fish sauce, and lemongrass. We grilled them up, but you can also pop in the oven.

For lunch, we snacked heartily on gluten-free flaky crab cakes with a luscious lemony aioli.

Even cocktail hour was covered with a disc of creamy CT-based Arethusa Farm Camembert (Jordan tries to source as much as he can locally) quince paste, my favorite oat crackers, and buttery Marcona almonds.

We saved the tasty and bright Sunday sauce for Sunday (of course) and accompanied it with a mountain of chicken meatballs (which arrive partially cooked, ready to pop in the oven) studded with mozzarella, spinach, and red pepper. Even a jar of freshly grated pecorino was provided. We added our own gluten-free pasta and enjoyed an Italian feast.

For dessert, we baked up a tray of the irresistible coconut chocolate chip cookies, warm and gooey straight out of the oven.

I’m a firm believer in gifting consumables, and The Food Crate will be high on my list. I’ve already sent one out and shared my goodies with a housebound friend.


food crate


Healthy PlanEat

Now you can get your local farm-fresh veggies and other local provisions delivered straight to your door with Healthy PlanEat. Healthy PlanEat is an online marketplace where farmers can sell food directly to local customers including individuals, shops, restaurants, and schools. The farms in our network are committed to sustainable growing practices. Launched during the pandemic as a farm pick-up service with locations in surrounding towns, founder Rosemary Otsfield now provides direct-to-your-door delivery.

My box over the summer was brimming with fresh bunches of kale, lots of squash and zucchini, onions, cukes, beets, and a sweet package of honeycomb. It was more than enough veggies to keep me eating healthy all week long.

If you’d rather pick up in person, peruse the Healthy PlanEat website, make your purchases by farm during the order window, and choose your pick-up location from the list, which includes Old Lyme, East Lyme, Fisher’s Island, Essex, Middletown, and more.

Lots of local goodies are available, including spectacular breads, MicroGreens, oysters, maple syrup, meats and cheeses, and more veggies than you can imagine from providers like Nana’s, Eight Mile Meadow, Absolute Bearing Coffee Company, Passionately Pasta, New England Sea Farms, Sweet Grass Creamery, Fisher’s Island Oyster Farm, Drew’s Honeybees, and a plethora of local farms. Rosemary’s brilliant idea is bringing the wealth of local farm products directly to the people. A lovely thing to support!

Order window is Sunday and Monday each week until 9pm.



Cold Spring Farm

We’re happy to whip up a feast at home and if it doesn’t require much running around for quality ingredients, even better! Consequently, Cold Spring Farm’s Meal Kits packed with farm-fresh goods, handpicked and delivered, are a win-win for us. After poring over the mouth-watering selections on their user-friendly website, I decided on the Farm-Raised Bone-in Pork Loin Roast Kit ($75.00 + delivery). Once my big, bountiful delivery arrived on my back porch, I got right down to business prepping the gorgeous gourmet potatoes, carrots, and onions. They were tossed with olive oil and roasted alongside the pork roast (rubbed with sage and garlic). I caramelized the leeks (so clean!) and added a spoonful of dijon for a tasty sauce atop the pork. I served the roasted beets over a bright bouquet of fresh spinach greens and made a big batch of tangy red cabbage slaw for a little added crunch. Scrumptious and easy and zero shopping involved! This kit feeds 4-6 people so there were plenty of leftovers as my crowd is still minuscule. There are many kits to choose from: Breakfast Quiche, Bone Broth, Winter Squash Boats, Tomahawk Steaks. See the options here.

You can taste the love and hard work in what they do in CSF’s offerings. Their meats are raised with care and nitrate-free. They grow all manner of herbs, fruits, vegetables and flowers and you can check it all out at their farm stand. Prefer to shop at home? Don’t miss their online farm stand. It’s a one-stop-shop.

Cold Spring Farm offers CSA and Subscriptions for both pick-up and delivery. You can see the options here.


cold spring farm