Toronto gets in on the latest round of restaurant-worthy meal delivery services


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The pork tenderloin prepared meal from Yumba

Now that we’ve crossed over from the lazier days of summer to back-to-busy season, saving time is on many people’s minds. Between work and school obligations, weekend activities and more, it’s hard to figure out when to get all the basics done like making dinner. Outsourcing can help save your sanity, and give you a bit of your schedule back. There are plenty of great options in meal delivery services that will get you the nutrition you need; with all the flavour you want. Toronto entrepreneurs are leading the way with local additions to the list of options.

Yumba

Yumba is the new kid on the block delivering ready-made meals curated by local chefs.

Instead of opting for fast food or quick serve, customers can order dishes from Yumba made with fresh, seasonal ingredients like Chipotle Pulled Pork Pasta, Creamy Dill Salmon, and Japanese Kabayaki Flank Steak. Meals are ready to enjoy in minutes. Delivered in a chilled reusable thermal package, subscribers to the service will also receive a weekly menu listing ingredients, allergens, and macros. 

A range of plans are available for weekly delivery (four, six, eight and 12 meal plans), and vary in price from $12.50 per meal to $10. 80 per meal, depending on how many meals you opt for, with no commitment. 

Eat Train Live

It is often said that you can’t out train a bad diet. Make sure your food is working as hard as you do with meals from Eat Train Live. Created by certified trainer, nutritionist, and avid cook Lonie Murdock, this is a go-to for people who are serious about their macros and want ready-made meals.

Murdock has taken the comfort foods that she and her clients love and has reinvented them into clean eating marvels like Salmon Poke Bowl with Ponzu Dressing or Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Brussels Sprouts, Roasted Potatoes and Red Pepper Sauce (so it’s not going to be one boneless, skinless chicken breast after another.) The company also offers total wellness services including personal training and fitness classes, and an in-house naturopath. With an emphasis on clean protein sources (no antibiotics, hormones or GMOs), all meals are free of gluten, dairy and soy.

Eat Train Live offers a range of plans to suit your needs priced from $168 to $252 per week. 

Chef’s Plate

If you love to cook but are not so into (or don’t have time for) shopping and prep work for dinner, then Chef’s Plate is a great option for you. With 11 different meal options each week this kit comes with pre-portioned healthy ingredients and chef inspired recipes (past chef partnerships include Patrick Kriss of Alo and Vikram Vij). Recipes all take about 30 minutes and are rated according to skill level, though all are very achievable.

Chef’s Plate also is scalable for different households. The two-person plan starts at $49.80 per week and features dishes that trend towards more grown up palates, like Coffee-Rubbed Steak and Chicken and Romanesco Bucatini Pasta. The four-person family plan starts at $78.00 a week and aims to please the crowd with items like Butternut Squash Cavatelli Pasta and Enchilada Short Stacks. Both plans offer choices of two, three or four meals per week. First-time subscribers often get 50% off their first week, which makes it even more tempting to skip the dreaded late afternoon “What are we having for dinner?” conversation. 

Green Zebra Kitchen

Looking for a meal plan option that is all-vegan, all the time? Look no further than Green Zebra Kitchen. New York born-and-bred brothers Dan and Gregg Lewis are the team behind this operation. With family roots in the food industry, both eventually left the corporate world to study at the Natural Gourmet Institute so they could focus on their love of cooking organic, natural and whole foods. Gregg moved to Canada for love and started Green Zebra Kitchen, and Dan soon joined his brother in Toronto to help grow the business.

Together they cook healthy meals that use organic, GMO-free, gluten-free whole foods that are as local and seasonal as possible. And of course, 100% plant-based.

Small ($62.00) and large ($119.00) meal plans are available with Tuesday delivery times. Favourites include the deconstructed Tempeh Reuben, with base of potatoes, roasted cauliflower, quinoa and Russian dressing with a layer of Alchemy Pickle Company’s Sauerkraut, chickpea tempeh, layered with cashew cheese. Meals are simply reheat and enjoy. Customers can also order smaller items like beverages, granola, flourless breads and dips, snacks and decadent desserts like chocolate peanut butter cups. 

Rachel Bies Nutrition

With a celeb or two on her client list, culinary nutritionist Rachel Bies is focused on delivering meals that are gluten-free (she avoids it herself), with optional dairy-free, vegan and paleo dishes. Her background is in holistic nutrition, and her approach to food is balanced with a healthy dose of joie de vivre. With items ranging from breakfast smoothie packs, to powerful snacks like Tigernut Chocolate Squares, to dinner dishes such as Wild Rainbow Trout with Strawberry Salsa and Brussel Sprouts, her focus is on working with you one-on-one to help you eat, live and feel better. Mix and match sides and proteins are available. Meal delivery is GTA-only, and because plans are so individualized and the food is seasonal, prices vary, so contact her for more information.

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Michelle Jobin is a TV host, producer, writer, and Stott Certified Pilates instructor based in Toronto. She is fitness, travel, style and food obsessed.  For more of her musing on these subjects and beyond, follow her on Instagram @michelle.jobin  Twitter @michellejobin or visit her website at mlchelllejobin.com

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