Nutrition, Compassion and Convenience Identify PlantSet Meals
An August 1, 2018, article in Supermarket News reported, “Sales of plant-based foods grew by an incredible 20 percent in the 52 weeks ending June 16, 2018, reaching a total of $3.3 billion.” As more people strive to eat healthier, compassionate plant-based diets, entrepreneurs like Amanda Morrow stand ready to meet those needs with PlantSet Meals, the 100 percent plant-based meal prep company she formed September 2018 with her friend, chef Max McNicol.
Morrow had worked for many years as a certified personal trainer and noticed that some clients weren’t getting results they wanted, despite vigorously working out several times per week. As a self-described “nutrition nerd” and vegetarian/vegan, she began offering meal preparation services for clients.
Morrow had also lost her father to cancer, which led her to further question the role of food in health and diseases. McNicol had been attending a plant-based culinary school at the time, and Morrow had noticed there were no other meal prep businesses in the Forth Worth area offering 100 percent plant-based meals. She realized she had a viable business idea.
As young entrepreneurs with limited financial resources—Morrow is 24 and McNicol is 26—starting a business without a substantial loan was a big hindrance. “A commercial kitchen is the only way we’ve been able to grow,” Morrow says. After trying a few different spaces, PlantSet Meals now has two homes: Locavore, a rent-by-the-hour kitchen business and event space in Fort Worth that hosts a hub of fledgling foodie entrepreneurs; and Viridescent Kitchen, in Plano, a commercial kitchen space and café that’s open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, serving cooked-to-order breakfast or lunch from different chefs. PlantSet Meals is there Wednesdays and Fridays.
Morrow handles most of the marketing and business aspects, and McNicol is the head chef. Doctors, including cardiologist Dr. Baxter Montgomery, whose Garden Kitchen Foods plant-based café, in Houston, inspired the menu. Their goal is to educate people how to positively impact their bodies through food and fitness. Morrow also designs weight-loss meal plans, and will add classes and holistic personal training packages.
“All of our food is very clean and organic,” Morrow emphasizes. The nutritious, yet flavorful plant-based entrees have wooed many customers that don’t eat strict vegetarian or vegan diets. Customers can choose from meals like the light, refreshing Magic Cold Noodles, with cold beets, carrots, cabbage and zucchini noodles topped with onions and served with house-made Magic Sauce made from tahini almond butter and a coconut amino base with ginger, garlic and spices.
Heartier appetites will appreciate the lasagna, made with brown rice noodles layered with tomato basil sauce, zucchini and fresh greens, topped with their scratch-made cashew cheese. Nutrition bars and breakfast cookies are available for a nourishing on-the-run breakfast.
Most of the ingredients are made from scratch, including the sauces and most vegan cheeses. Customers can review the meal choices online and place their orders four days before delivery. People can order just once or get a subscription plan to choose weekly meals and save 10 percent. Meals are delivered on Monday evenings, which is free with orders of $25 or more. They can also be picked up at Viridescent. PlantSet Meals delivers to Fort Worth, Frisco, McKinney and Plano.
Convenience often comes with an added downside of single-use plastic packaging; however, Morrow says all their meal containers are compostable, made with wheat shell fiber. “You can put it in your composter and it biodegrades within 90 days,” she notes. The containers can also be microwaved or put into the oven.
PlantSet Meals also has a presence at farmers’ markets and does pop-up events. In addition, they offer corporate catering services.
PlantSet Meals is located at Locavore, 715 Hawthorne Ave., in Fort Worth; and at Viridescent, 5760 TX-121, Ste. 140, in Plano. For more information, call 682-325-1286 or visit PlantSetMeals.com.
Sheila Julson is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.