This LA Meal Delivery Service Is Making Eating Healthfully A Whole Lot Easier
Let's be honest: it's not always a breeze to make healthy choices when you're as busy as most Angeleans are. Whether commuting cuts deeply into your day, you're constantly heading from one meeting to the next, or you're just totally buried in projects, it's easy to fall victim to grabbing convenience foods or takeout because you're in a rush and have no time to prepare yourself a more nutritious meal. That's where healthful meal delivery services can be your saving grace—though most people assume they can't afford such a luxury. But one local company aims to make getting organic, wholesome dishes delivered to your door easier than ever—regardless of your dietary restrictions.
Kooshi Gourmet was started by husband and wife team Albert and Amanda Melera, who have cut their teeth in some impressive LA kitchens and acted as private chefs for the city's elite. While a meal plan from Kooshi is ideal for detoxing and kicking off your own healthy cooking and eating habits, the company sets itself apart by offering meals that are unbelievably satisfying (think seitan bolognese with roasted spaghetti squash, seabass ceviche, and protein power nut balls made with organic vegan chocolate) so you never feel deprived. Everything Kooshi offers is inherently gluten-free, and there are options for paleo, pescetarian, and vegetarian folks as well as those who are looking to detoxify and you can tailor your plan by selecting how many meals you want per day, your desired calorie count, and your dislikes. Once you've picked your plan, you can schedule your delivery to meet you where it's most convenient.
After testing out their vegetarian enchiladas wrapped in thinly sliced jicama, we fell hard for the company. Thus, we were curious to talk a bit more with Amanda and Albert to learn more about their tips for healthy cooking at home (post-cleanse), what other wellness practices they can't live without, and the memory that made them first fall in love with food.
What's your earliest food memory?
Amanda: My grandmother used to make these amazing Belgian waffles with sour cream and fresh maple syrup. Some of my earliest memories are sitting around the table at her house on weekends and holidays. I think of her every time we make waffles at home.
Albert: I have a very early memory of my dad handing me a beautiful ripe tomato straight off the vine. I feel like I made the connection in that moment that food comes from plants, which come from the earth. Sounds simple, but to a kid it can be pretty mind blowing.
You clearly eat and cook healthfully on the regular, but what would your guilt-free last-meal-on-earth be?
Albert: The most sublime meal, in my mind, is one that’s enjoyed as close to its natural state as possible. Something that you have to work for and cook over an open flame. The best example I can think of is a fresh caught wild fish and foraged greens with some local lemons squeezed on top. Seeing the life cycle of the ingredient from start to finish is something that’s always felt very satisfying to me.
Amanda: My first impulse is a really amazing steak. I’m also obsessed with Indian and Thai food. It would definitely be something really decadent and delicious prepared by a world famous chef. A real once in a lifetime experience meal.
Let's talk supplements. Are you into any?
Albert: We’re big fans of Omega-3 fatty acids, green superfoods derived from sea plants, Vitamin C concentrates, charcoal, aloe, and paleo protein powders.
Besides what you put into your body, what are some of your other must-do wellness practices?
Amanda: I make time for cardio a few times per week, but I think that mindfulness is equally important. It’s really beneficial every once in awhile to remember to stop, breathe, and be present.
Albert: I always feel better throughout the day if I make time for an early morning hike. It helps me create a level of freshness and optimism that can carry me throughout the day.
What are some of your favorite Kooshi dishes at the moment?
Amanda: My Kooshi dinner favorites are the miso glazed cod with sautéed wild mushrooms and baby bok choy and the wild salmon with sautéed bell peppers, eggplant, spinach, and lemon zest. I’m also really into our breakfast scramble with chicken sausage, fresh goat cheese, shallots, and pea tendrils.
Albert: I can never get enough of the stuffed poblano pepper with grilled corn, sautéed zucchini, and French feta.
A meal plan with Kooshi is such a good way to jump start a health kick and detox your body. Post-cleanse, what are some general tips for cooking healthfully at home you can give us?
Amanda: Use as many vegetables as possible. Get creative. Get inspired. Pick up a book or a magazine. Or even look at Instagram to find something delicious that gets you excited to try a new recipe. We love to frequent our local farmer’s market as a family to find the freshest ingredients.
Tell us your at-home, go-to meal when you've only got 15 minutes and don't have a ton of ingredients?
Albert: Homemade mac and cheese? [He laughs] I love organic yogurt, fresh berries, and granola in the morning. It’s always quick and super satisfying. Another one that I love is a traditional mediterranean dish: labneh with zaatar and extra virgin olive oil.
Amanda: I love a good charcuterie or meze. Many nights of the week, instead of sitting down to a full meal, I’ll make a spread of meats, cheeses, veggies, nuts, and pickled vegetables to graze on throughout the night. It hits all the right notes without requiring too much prep.