Tired of the dinner grind? Have someone else do the shopping – and often much of the meal prep – with a meal kit. These weeknight solutions have grown in popularity with busy families. There are lots of options, including many based in the Bay Area.
Gobble – Palo Alto-based Gobble offers "three-step" recipes that are easy to follow, but can require some multitasking. Most foods are pre-prepped, so completing the meal is supposed to take only 15 minutes. The weekly subscription requires three kits (for two or four people) for the first order, but then can be reduced to a minimum of four servings per week. $11.99 per serving for six or more, $13.99 for four; $6.99 shipping.
Good Eggs – This San Francisco company bills its meal kits as "stupid-easy dinner kits … because it’s Tuesday, not Top Chef." Most kits serve three. They also offer brunch, lunch and school lunchbox options, plus prepared foods, fresh produce and tons of groceries. No subscription required. Order by 1 p.m. for same-day delivery. Dinner kits: $14.99 and up or three kits for $74.99, plus delivery fee (free over $60).
Plated – Plated allows you to choose meal plans for two to four people and for two to four nights per week, choosing from 20 recipes each week. Options range from 20-minute quick prep meals to "full culinary adventures" in under an hour. For dinner help with even less planning, you can pick up a refrigerated Plated dinner kit for two at Safeway. Subscription: $9.95-11.95 per serving; free shipping over $60.
Sun Basket – San Francisco’s Sun Basket, headed by former Slanted Door chef Justine Kelly, uses organic and sustainably grown ingredients and offers a variety of plans for different dietary needs, including classic, gluten-free, paleo, vegetarian and vegan options. Be prepared for some food prep, like vegetable chopping. The Family Menu plan offers two, three or four dinners from a choice of six recipes per week for four people at $10.99 per serving; the classic menu offers more options at $11.99 per serving.
Janine DeFao is an associate editor at Bay Area Parent.