Are you hungry, Seafoodies?
During National Pescatarian Month, we’ve been sharing some delicious ways to make healthy seafood a regular part of your diet. We know some of you are taking the Pescatarian Challenge to eat seafood two to three times each week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. And some die-hard Seafoodies have taken a deep dive, so to speak, completely embracing a pescatarian (or plant- and seafood-based) diet. Bravo to that! As we wrap up the month, let’s think out-of-the-box (pun intended) and look at a trend that’s really taken off in the last few years—meal kits—and how they can make it easier to embrace a pescatarian lifestyle. After all, it’s hard to beat the convenience of having pre-portioned ingredients delivered directly to your door through pescatarian-friendly meal kits!
Meal kits serve up a variety of rut-busting dinner ideas with a heavy dash of time savings. No shopping, simple prep and minimal cleanup! Ingredients are fresh, recipes are clear and most meals are designed to be ready in 30 minutes. What’s more, several meal kit services now offer seafood and vegetarian selections, making it possible to stick with a pescatarian or flexitarian diet even if you sign up for several meals per week.
Here are some meal kit services that offer solid pescatarian options. All of these companies offer a fresh selection of entrées each week, so the meals we list are representative only. Except where we’ve noted, the meal kits are priced similarly (around $8 to $9 per serving, but prices fluctuate based on the number of meals ordered, and you can expect an introductory discount if you’re a new subscriber). All in all, we were pleasantly surprised to learn that meal kits have come a long way!
Nice and Easy: Blue Apron
Blue Apron was one of the first companies on the meal kit scene, and it’s become one of the largest, too. It’s also our top pick for easy-peasy pescatarian eating! That’s because nearly half of the 16 entrées it offers each week are pescatarian-friendly (two to four seafood and four to five vegetarian); plus, you can add or swap in seafood for another protein. Plenty of variety ensures you won’t be bored! Seafood entrées include spicy maple-glazed tilapia with fig and roasted vegetable rice; baked Parmesan- and panko-coated salmon with squash and garlic kale; and shrimp, kale and mushroom gnocchi with crispy onion gremolata.
Fine-Tuned and Fast: Sunbasket
Two things make Sunbasket a standout. The first is the ability to select (and deselect) foods, so it’s no trouble to tailor to a pescatarian diet. Of the 20 entrées it offers each week, typically four are seafood and five are vegetarian. You can also add some pre-cooked “fresh & ready” meals to your basket (including seafood paella and some vegetarian options). The second thing—and this is a big one—is the ability to purchase protein add-ons, including 15 types of seafood! We’re talking crab cakes, lobster tails, albacore tuna steaks, four varieties of salmon, halibut, shrimp… and the list goes on! Plus, some of the pre-prepped and speedy meals can be made in 20 minutes, and they’re all tempting. How about spicy shrimp penne arrabiata with mushrooms and green beans, or salmon and quinoa bowls with wilted greens and citrus dressing? While this is one of the pricier services, it may well be a worthwhile investment for Seafoodies whose biggest pescatarian hurdle is getting more fish into the house.
For the Experienced Seafoodie: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Good things, indeed! Martha Stewart got her start in catering, so it’s no surprise that her meal kit service offers the largest variety—29 options per week—with at least 11 that are pescatarian-friendly (three seafood, eight vegetarian), plus some vegetarian ready-to-heat options when you don’t have time to cook. Martha’s recipes require a more sophisticated skill set than Blue Apron’s, but Seafoodies who know their way around the kitchen will have no trouble dishing out meals like Manhattan fish chowder with crusty ciabatta garlic bread and ranchero shrimp with black beans and cilantro-lime rice in 20 to 30 minutes. Pescatarian-minded subscribers can add a seafood “protein pack” to their order, as well as dessert.
Pescatarian on a Budget: Home Chef
While Home Chef has a smaller weekly selection than some of its competitors (13 meal kit options including two seafood and two vegetarian), it delivers meals at a lower cost and gets high marks for including an add-on seafood pack, plus the ability to customize, upgrade or double-up on protein for some entrées. It also offers an impressive range of options, including regular meal kits; 15-minute, oven-ready and grill-ready meals that occasionally include seafood; premium “culinary collection” meals; and entrée salads. You can add extras like dessert, bread and pizza to your order. Sample entrées include fried mahi-mahi with dill pickle remoulade, garlic pepper potato wedges and herb-buttered corn and shrimp Marsala pasta with garlic and mushrooms.
Innovative Options: Hello Fresh
Another pioneer on the meal kit front, behemoth Hello Fresh now offers 25 entrée options per week (one seafood and five vegetarian). While there aren’t as many pescatarian entrées, this is a fairly priced service that brings gourmet meals to your door and may appeal to flexitarians and other health-minded households. And if you’re looking for some fresh inspiration, these recipes do not disappoint! Seafood entrées include pecan-crusted trout with an apple-studded salad and thyme-roasted potatoes, and Baja barramundi with turmeric quinoa and salsa fresca.
Worth Checking Out: Dinnerly
Dinnerly bills itself as a meal service offering “unfussy, affordable weeknight cooking,” with 18 meal kit options per week, including at least one seafood and three to five vegetarian entrées. While you can’t swap in or add a seafood protein to get more pescatarian meals, you can select some dessert options to give you a full meal. Dinnerly’s recipes can all be prepared in five easy steps. Seafood entrées lean healthy: Recent pescatarian offerings included low-cal shrimp korma curry over jasmine rice and low-carb lemon oregano tilapia with roasted broccoli.
For recipe inspiration, download our e-cookbook, Everyday Seafood Recipes, here.