Good Fast Food

No matter if your diet is vegan, Paleo, gluten-free or you just want some good, old-fashioned baked chicken like Grandma used to make, the online grocer Greenling has it all.

Its dozens of different meal kits feature premeasured and prepped ingredients, easy-to-follow recipes and an affordable price tag—making healthy cooking at home a viable option for even the busiest of Austinites.

Despite the wide variety, Greenling representatives say one factor has remained constant: a commitment to local and certified-organic ingredients, no GMOs or pesticides, and using pastured meats from farmers who have the highest standard of care for their animals. “Our big mission is to change the way we eat and increase access to local and sustainable foods,” says Greenling’s Kathryn Hutchison. “What these kits offer is the same quality of food with easy, convenient and healthy recipes for [our customers] to enjoy.”

Hutchison says meal kits are one of the fastest growing segments of the online business, which started in 2005 with an emphasis on organic produce—much sourced locally—for the Austin area. The business has since expanded to a full-service online grocery store with dry goods, grass-fed dairy and meats and more, and now delivers to San Antonio, Dallas and even Houston zip codes. 

Since the prep kitchen opened in 2010, Greenling went from selling a few basic meal kits, such as macaroni and cheese and other family favorites, to now more than 130 different recipes and prepared foods—including kits for casseroles and slow-cooker meals, ready-made salads, fresh-pressed juices, as well as those that are Engine 2 Diet-compliant, LoveLife program-compliant, gluten-free, vegetarian and more. “There is a huge market for young professionals or even busy families who have different dietary needs,” Hutchison says. “Many times, our single-meal kits that serve two are really useful if Mom or Dad is eating a special diet but they want the kids to have a different meal. It makes cooking a couple of different meals at dinnertime feasible.”

Signing up for Greenling is free—apart from a $10 deposit required for the green insulated bin in which the food is delivered—and there is no delivery charge for orders of $25 or more. Costs for the kits and prepared foods range from $2.49 for the Grab & Go all-local side salad to $32.99 for a six-to-eight-person chicken spaghetti bake kit (which includes locally sourced mushrooms) to $85.99 for an Engine 2 Diet five-meal kit that provides 10 servings. “The price is comparable to a value meal at a fast-food joint, but what you’re getting is grass-fed meat or dairy, or other local and organic ingredients,” Hutchison says. “Plus, delivery is free—unlike all the gas you’d burn while waiting in line at the drive-through.” —Nicole Lessin

For more information, visit greenling.com