A boxful of health

05-10-2017

It’s almost impossible to scroll through Instagram without coming across food pictures. Though a lot of them have vibrant cupcakes and pretty desserts (#dessertporn), of late, the feed has also been showing up a number of delicious salads. Think bright red cherry tomatoes, warm brown pita, cubes of feta and smooth pecans gleaming under a light drizzle of olive oil. Salads are what people are turning to and salad subscriptions are now a growing trend in the city. Here are three of Chennai’s new crop of salad makers who deliver a boxful of health to you.

Lean On Me

Minal Kripalani’s idea of a morning workout is different from most others. Hers involves pacing around the kitchen, spiralising veggies and frantically tossing up large quantities of salad. These are then deftly packed into transparent boxes and her version of the marathon ends as they are dispatched to her clients by 12.30 in the afternoon. Even a late night of partying doesn’t deter her from this three-days-a-week routine that she’s gotten into ever since she started her salad company Lean On Me in March this year. On most nights she’s probably dreaming of broccoli, lettuce and a holy matrimony between various exotic ingredients! “I keep going through a lot of salads and altering ingredients based on what is available here,” she says, with a laugh.

Kripalani has been baking for 20 years now and wanted to try something different. She was eating healthy and experimenting with salads and noticed quite a few people asking her to make salads for them too. That’s how the idea came about.

“A lot of people want to eat right but don’t know how to put a meal together. I want to make salads something you can enjoy instead of feeling pressurised to eat healthy. Mine are no carb with just protein, green leaves, vegetables and a dressing.” There is the option of prawn, tuna, chicken and eggs for the non vegetarians and haloumi, legumes, paneer, tofu, sweet potato and a lot more for the vegetarians. Lean On Me doesn’t have a fixed menu because Kripalani does not want to restrict it to a certain number of options. In an attempt to offer exotic flavours so far she’s come up with Japanese, Indo-Mexican, Argentine and the 17-ingredient Khow Suey salad. The lettuce wrap is the most complex of the lot. It involves using fresh lettuce leaves in place of a paratha to create a roll that’s stuffed with veggies. The challenge is making sure the leaves don’t get soggy. This wrap has tangy flavours of chaat and is served with a green chutney. While zucchini, carrots, raw mangoes, spring onions, avocado, figs, olives and pomegranates are often used in her salads, she also has pickled ingredients, smoked meat and nori strips that are trending in the world of salads.

To subscribe, log on to Lean On Me’s facebook page.

Yummfit

Sandeep Raj often finds himself eating his way through different varieties of salads. Call it the perks of the job or a work hazard, if you will. Raj is the co-founder of Yummfit, a healthy food delivery subscription system that he started with Rasika Kalyanikar in February this year.

“Raj is a nutrition and lifestyle consultant. In the field for five years he observed that a lot of people didn’t eat healthy due to a lack of novelty in their dishes, inconvenience and time constraints. Around the same time, I was toying with multiple ideas about bringing something different to the food space and this concept of delivering fresh, healthy, customised food came into play,” says Kalyanikar, a B-school graduate and entrepreneur.

Yummfit offers a subscription model for daily meals and salads that’s delivered twice everyday.There is also the customised meal plan. The duo takes up to 30 monthly subscriptions and 50 flexible orders at any given point. Their clients include celebrities, athletes, fitness enthusiasts, home makers, new moms, corporates and college students who have specific goals in mind, most often weight loss and stamina building.

“We also do vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free meals,” adds Kalyanikar. There are mixed, composed and bound and warm salads. “We currently have 10 different types of vegetarian and non vegetarian salads, but if you ask me at the end of the day I would say we are all about customisation, so I keep the options on the table and whatever my clients like, I make that,” she adds.

To subscribe,

email rasika2700@gmail.com

Fit meals

When Shravya Reddy moved to Chennai after having lived in Mumbai for a few years, she was on the look out for healthy meal delivery services. “But I soon realised that there weren’t as many here. Mumbai on the other hand has a range of healthy food delivery services to choose from, that my friends and I used to use regularly. That’s when I decided to start my own health food subscription service to cater to harried professionals, clueless bachelors and fitness enthusiasts. Most of them work long hours and don’t have the time to whip up delicious and healthy meals. Being a passionate foodie, I’ve always wanted to do something food related. And that’s how Fit Meals came about,” she says.

Launched in July this year, she has already clocked in a sizeable clientèle ranging from 18-year-olds to 67-year-olds. “It’s been a great three months and while I haven’t actively marketed it, it’s been growing purely by word of mouth,” she says.

While her service is a subscription based one, with Reddy providing three meals a week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday) she also offers one-off orders. “It’s usually people who travel a lot who find that the subscription plan doesn’t work for them. When one orders on a need-only basis, each Fit Meal is priced at ₹ 350 as opposed to ₹ 300 if one subscribes.”

While most of her meals range from 250-400 calories, Reddy says that she looks at striking a nutritional balance when providing these meals. “While some extreme diets may suggest otherwise, we all need a balance of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fibre, vitamins and minerals in our diet to sustain a healthy body. One doesn’t need to eliminate certain categories of food, but rather select the healthiest options from each category. I like to colour my Fit Meals, so I load them up with some salad greens, two or more colourful fruits or vegetables and include some lean protein and healthy fats,” she says.

Her meals include interesting options such as a watermelon and musk melon salad with a balsamic reduction and a yoghurt feta dressing, spiralized vegetables with an Asian sesame soy dressing — phad Thai inspired (no-noodle) salad and Mediterranean salad with a garlic tahini dressing. “Ingredients are key here. So I ensure I use the best quality ones. I’ve identified a few good suppliers for various fresh and high quality ingredients be it fruits, vegetables or nuts. And all the meals are made by me at home.”

To subscribe to Fit Meals by Shravya call 9176773339.

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