Meal kits have become so popular in recent years that even grocery stores are carrying them.
The idea of putting together just enough ingredients, including fresh vegetables and meat, in a kit with a recipe started, however, by companies that wanted to ship these meal kits to your door, including Blue Apron, Plated and Hello Fresh.
As national companies, these services aren’t able to tout the use of locally grown produce or meats, and they all use an excess of packaging to make sure the food arrives cool.
But in 2016, an Austin-based meal kit company opened with the idea that they’d create a low-waste meal kit that featured produce grown in a network of backyard gardens and local farms.
Founder Yogesh Sharma started Lettuce to both inspire home cooks and contribute to the local food economy by making a business that could scale into other markets.
Unlike those meal kit boxes that arrive by mail, all the ingredients come in reusable plastic and glass containers, and the company picks up these containers and your food scraps when they deliver the next set of meals.
After several years in operation, Lettuce has more than 1,000 recipes that are divided up by dietary preference, so you can order gluten free, vegan and omnivore meals. Each of the meal kits includes three recipes, for either two or four servings, and they start at $49, including delivery.
You can also buy single two- or four-serving meals through the site, and delivery for those is free on orders over $30. They also recently launched smoothie kits that come in jars. Current recipes available on the site include coconut lime chickpea curry, sauteed rockfish with a tomatillo salad and roasted potatoes, udon soup with pan-fried tofu and tamari-glazed portobello tacos with an Asian salad.