Murfreesboro Mama: 7 family meal plans during quarantine

Apr 23, 2020 at 09:27 am by Laura Beth Payne

Family meal plans during quarantine

If you're like me you've frequently hit the "over it" wall as far as meal planning during quarantine -- whether it's the running around to multiple stores for ingredients or the "I've-seen-this-stove-one-too-many-times-itis" that's set in. I think that's the medical term.

Enter local meal-planning services. While most of our local restaurants offer fabulous family meal packs these days, I like the idea of being able to pick up items (or have them delivered) one or two times during the week and then be able to pull them out as needed, a.k.a., have them be freezer-friendly.

Luckily local spots have us covered with fresh, scratch meals in either family-size or single-serve portions for pickup or delivery. It's a great way to take a break from the meal-prep grind, support local businesses, and keep the family happy and healthy at meal times. 

1. Vine Street Market

From signature soups like their corn chowder to craveable casseroles, Amy Jackson and her team whip up a menu free of preservatives, fillers or shortcuts. Weekly menus are updated on their Facebook page, and orders accepted two days out from pickup. It's a great cost-effective and delicious way to hand over the week's cooking responsibilities.

2. Jo's Custom Cakes and Catering

Yes, she's known for her incredible cakes, but during this season Chef Jo West is making her catering menu available for weekly pickup and delivery. Choose from vintage favorites like creamy mac and cheese, French onion rice, and chicken parmesan or items from her famed catering menu (as long as supplies are available). And, go ahead, add one of her popular "toilet paper" cakes to give everyone a smile.

3. Granny Meals

Lisa Cisco is currently waiving delivery fees to help with the social-distancing thing, so choosing from her fresh menu is kind of a no-brainer. Get scratch-made individual items like meatloaf and mashed potatoes, chicken and rice with greens, and other Southern staples to curbside pickup on Thursdays or "contact-free" delivery on Fridays (special hours available upon on request). Prices beat out most take-out and with all the effort of clicking on her user-friendly website.

4. Munch Meals

If you've thought that maybe quarantine snacks haven't exactly prepared you for swimsuit season, Munch Meals on Medical Center Parkway might be a good place to start. Fresh, flavorful bowls packed with proteins, greens and grains mean that meals are both nutritious and tasty. Meal plans mean you can purchase a week's worth of bowls for the family (don't forget the kid-friendly Munchkins bowls) and store in the freezer to pull out when you're ready.

5. Through the Grapevine

Barbara Lester's local institution has established a reputation for creating elegant and delicious classics like chicken salad, fresh soups and take-and-bake homemade casseroles, and now they're offering curbside pickup and delivery! Head to their Facebook page to peruse the weekly menu, and take advantage of their "essential items" menu to add latex gloves, toilet paper or napkins to your order.

6. Dallas and Jane

Beat the meat counter line and class up your quarantine kitchen experience with Butcher Box offerings and cocktail kits from Chef Alex Belew and company. The boxes include prime meat cuts without seasonings or marinades so you can dress them up to your taste. Eli Mason Old Fashioned Home Bar Kits include premium ingredients for making the perfect Old Fashioned. You can still order individual meals and signature cocktails for take-out at this upscale dining favorite.

7. The Blue Porch

Serving up Southern classics with a twist, Cynthia Richie and team create family-style breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack menus to satisfy even the picky eaters in your crew. Try the New England Clam Chowder, or order a batch of homemade granola bars. Vegetarian options like the black bean enchiladas or pimento cheese spread are also crowd favorites. Order online and reserve your spot at one of their pickup locations. 

How'd I do and what'd I miss? Share your favorite family meal planning service in the comments below!

Laura Beth Payne is a writer mama living and quarantining in the Blackman community of Murfreesboro with her husband Nathan and their two young children. Follow @murfreesboromama on Facebook and Instagram for more ideas for family fun in the city.

Sections: Business Voices