Meal boosters!

Local Crate

This new home meal service (currently available in Minnesota, Illinois and California) delivers fresh, as-local-as-possible, pre-portioned ingredients for recipes by local chefs. 

The minimum order is two meals (four servings) per week at a cost of $54. At that price ($13.50 per serving) — and for the gourmet quality — we like these meals for in-house date nights with your significant other (and friends). 

But if your budget allows — and if your kids might enjoy, for example, Bahn Mi Pork Panzanella (with pork from Elgin, Minnesota, and barrel-aged sriracha from St. Paul) — go nuts.  

Wanna sample first? Look for Local Crates at select Target stores and participating co-ops ($16.99–$19.99 per kit), including a crate featuring a Spanish steak skewer recipe by local Octo Fish Bar chef Tim McKee. Learn more at localcrate.com.

Mostly Made

A busy Minnetonka mama came up with a great idea while delivering meals to her sister while she was undergoing treatment for breast cancer: Rather than making entire freezer meals ahead (which took up a ton of freezer space), she started making just the fillings. 

It was a hit! So Jillian McGary decided to run with the idea and hosted a hugely successful Kickstarter campaign in 2017.

Today McGary is selling those tasty frozen fillings — made in a local USDA-certified kitchen in Minneapolis — on Amazon.com, at Mostly-Made.com and in Twin Cities groceries stores. Each pouch is 22 ounces and costs $12.99.

The lasagna filling — Italian sausage browned with crushed tomatoes, basil and savory veggies — serves four to six when added to recipes for calzones, stuffed peppers or lasagna. 

The enchilada filling — chicken and black beans braised in tomatoes, smoky chipotle and savory Southwest veggies — serves four to five when rolled into tortillas, baked into stuffed peppers or served over nachos or baked potatoes.