Thursday, December 15, 2011

Too Busy to Cook? Fresh Meals!

If you love to eat fresh, natural, organic food, but don't have the time or talent to cook, Melanie Haupt, food writer for the Austin Chronicle, rounds up local sources who will be glad to handle that chore for you. Almost all of them use fresh, natural, organic, local ingredients.

From meals-in-a-kit to oven-ready to personal-chef prepared, here's where to satisfy your appetite without breaking a sweat in the kitchen.
Ask any working mother which of her domestic duties she would prefer to outsource, and she might say cooking or cleaning house or doing laundry. But I don't clean the house or do laundry 75 times a week, nor do I spend hours planning, budgeting for, and preparing to clean or do laundry. So, my answer is, hands down, that I would love to outsource some of my duties as executive chef at home; if such a wish were to be granted with the added bonus of a tear-free mealtime, even better.

We're fortunate in Austin to have a wealth of businesses devoted to providing families like mine with ready-made meals available for pickup or delivery. I decided to focus on locally owned businesses that, for the most part, specialize in family dinners. The services I chose range from purveyors who use grocery-store-quality ingredients to those whose menus are dictated by what's available at the farmers' market. While the pros and cons of each service will vary on a family's tastes, budget, and geographical location, my evaluation takes into consideration taste, quality of ingredients, nutritional value, ease of preparation, cost per serving, and whether my children cried at the sight of the food.
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