As the days grow longer our schedules get packed tighter. This month seems to bring a strange kind of crunch time as we rush about, cramming in activities and appointments before the gloriously casual pace of summer arrives. Whether it’s school functions or corporate picnics, sports tourneys or 2nd-quarter conferences, the calendar is covered in notes and meal-planning falls off the radar … way, Way, WAY off the radar. No need to curse the family with weeks of unhealthy drive-thru gut-bombs. Investigate some of the prepared meal resources around town, and bring home something delicious to refuel the whole harried gang.

(Images, clockwise from top center: Come and Get It; Baked; Lucy's Market; Casseroles To Go)

Prepared meal vendors help maximize limited time and avoiding dinner time rush. (Images, clockwise from top center: Come and Get It; Baked; Lucy’s Market; Casseroles To Go)

PREPARED MEAL VENDORS

  • Baked: This East Cobb emporium offers dine-in, online ordering, catering and take-out from their rotating menu of entrees and sides. www.bakeithappen.com
  • Casseroles: In Morningside/Virginia-Highland behind Rosebud, Casseroles encourages customers to stop by and see what’s cooking or order ahead from their menu. www.casserolesatlanta.com
  • Come and Get It: Now here’s a novel approach! In this case, take the name literally! Find this pop up shop by simply turning into the driveway, and up to the garage door at the side of this residence. It’s open from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily and while there is no website yet, the menus are listed on their Facebook page along with driving directions to the location at 10 Palisades Road in Atlanta.
  • Lucy’s Market: Produce, florals, and gifts dance happily throughout this adorable market, and a full range of prepared foods beckon from the cases along the rear wall. lucysmarket.com
  • MetroFresh: Healthy, creative cuisine is made affordable and accessible by and for the self-proclaimed “MetroFreshuals” of this Midtown oasis — dine-in, carry-out, and catering. metrofreshatl.com
  • OK Cafe Take-Away: Buckhead’s favorite comfort food diner offers a huge selection from their To-Go shop on the side of the restaurant — entrees, casseroles, soups, salads, baked goods, and desserts. www.okcafe.com
  • Swan-To-Go: Sign up via email to receive the changing weekly menu for Swan Coach House, then swing by the Slaton Drive entrance and bring the elegance of the Coach House home to your table. www.swancoachhouse.com
  • SimplyFresh: Using only the freshest, organic ingredients, SimplyFresh keeps the menu uncomplicated to provide high-quality at reasonable prices. www.simplyfreshmkt.com
  • Stacy’s Kitchen: In the Station at Vinings at 2810 Paces Ferry Road, Stacy brings homestyle meals to busy patrons, including ready-to-bake casseroles, sides, soups, appetizers and baked goods. She’s currently revamping her website, but keeps a menu tab on her Facebook page.
  • Urban Pl8: Chef Betsy Pitts takes convenient healthy eating to the next level with Paleo, Vegan, and Vegetarian menus … that can even be delivered to area CrossFit gyms! www.urbanpl8.com
  • Whole Foods: Yes, Whole Foods often earns its nickname of “Whole Paycheck,” but their Whole Value Meals are, indeed, a great value. With 3 or 4 selections daily, prices range from $16-$20 and include a fully-balanced, healthy meal with salad. Various locations throughout the metro area. www.wholefoodmarket.com
With the wide variety of meal options around Atlanta, there's no reason to resort to drive-thru gut-bombs. (Images, clockwise from top right: Swan Coach House; Whole Foods; OK Cafe; Urban Pl8)

With the wide variety of meal options around Atlanta, there’s no reason to resort to drive-thru gut-bombs. Pick-up something healthy the whole family will enjoy. (Images, clockwise from top right: Swan Coach House; Whole Foods; OK Cafe; Urban Pl8)

SUBSCRIPTION MEAL SERVICES

  • The Dinner A’Fare: Once known as social kitchens for cooking parties, this chain has transitioned into a prepared meal service. Purchase a package of 6 to 12 meals, choose the serving size needed, and then select from the option to pick-up meals or have them delivered. www.dinnerafare.com
  • Garnish & Gather: Harvesting the popularity of the farm-to-table dining experience, Garnish & Gather curates recipes from area chefs, then delivers the ingredients and cooking instructions to the doorstep of joyful subscribers. Additional information about the meal, along with a library of helpful preparation techniques, can be found on their website. garnishandgather.com
  • PeachDish: On a quest to make the term “foodie” less intimidating, the PeachDish team packages fresh ingredients and recipes into a kit, then sends it out to members once a week. www.peachdish.com
Garnish & Gather and PeachDish bring the recipes and the ingredients to the doorstep of subscribers.

Both Garnish & Gather and PeachDish bring the recipes and the necessary ingredients to the doorstep of subscribers. (Images: Garnish & Gather, top. PeachDish, bottom)

This list gives a great variety of options from all across the city. Try a few, pick some new favorites and keep the mealtime chaos at bay whenever possible!

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