You love quality wild seafood. You love couscous. You crave fresh veggies.
But — no surprise these days — you have little time to shop and then prepare a meal.
Sound familiar? You’ll be happy to know that Vital Choice Wild Seafood & Organics now offers a complete, new line of ready-to-cook Vital Choice Meals. Each comes with one of Vital Choice’s signature top-quality wild seafood and a delicious, complementary side dish.
“We foresee these meals being for busy, health-conscious families who don’t have the time (or desire) to worry about meal prep but still want their families to enjoy nutritious, delicious food,” says Kelsey Carlstrom, who developed the meals. “These meals are also sufficiently elegant to serve to guests, taking all of the planning and worry out of a dinner party.”
To find out more about the meals and their development, we asked Carlstrom for details.
Vital Choice was founded just over 20 years ago with a single mission: selling the finest wild seafood and organic foods to enthusiastic customers nationwide. The company has always tried to look ahead to see what customers need now…so what’s the latest offering?
We are introducing seven pre-selected Vital Choice Meal kits. We’ve curated a collection of fish, seasonings, and side dishes chosen to pair beautifully for an easy-to-prep meal for a family.
What inspired you to offer Vital Choice Meals?
This was an idea that the company has been considering for years but could never bring to fruition—until now.
Now that Vital Choice is part of the 1-800-FLOWERS.com family of brands, we are able to put together combinations of delicious, healthy foods by taking advantage of the wide range of products we currently sell. That really could not be done before.
These meals can be prepared easily. The side dishes are mostly “thaw-and-serve,” and the seafood is “thaw-and-cook.” We created the seasoning specifically for the fish in the meal.
The result is delicious meals that relieve busy families of the mental burden of deciding what to make for dinner. This line is something we believe in and hope our customers see the value in as well!
Can you list the seven options?
Sure, here they are. The acronym “MSC” means the Marine Stewardship Council approved it. That means the fish comes from sustainable stocks and is harvested with minimal environmental impact:
- MSC Wild Alaskan Cod and Quinoa-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- MSC Wild Pacific Petrale Sole and Currant-Couscous Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- MSC Wild Arctic Keta Salmon and Black Truffle Almond Green Beans
- MSC Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and Black Truffle Almond Green Beans
- MSC Wild Alaskan Halibut and Rainbow Carrots with Lemon Butter Sauce
- MSC Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon and Quinoa-Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- MSC Wild Chilean Sea Bass and Wheatberry-Kale Salad with Vegan Chorizo
To give you an idea about the delicious details, the Petrale Sole and Couscous Salad meal features a two-pack of 20 ounces of premium wild Petrale Sole, which you prepare with an included packet of Lemon-Pepper Marinade. The side dish, Currant-Couscous Salad with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, is an absolutely amazing flavor combination.
Each provides four to six servings.
That sounds delicious! What was the process you went through to design these combinations?
We really wanted to maximize both taste and nutrition. We wanted to remain in the spirit of the Vital Choice brand by ensuring the side dishes we chose utilized simple, top-quality ingredients that could be enjoyed by our health-conscious customers. The side dishes were popular offerings from Harry & David (which is also in the 1-800-Flowers.com family) which we paired them with some of our top seafood items and seasonings that we thought would make a delicious and easy meal.
What does the shipment look like when it arrives on the customer’s doorstep?
The seafood, side dish, and seasoning will consolidate into one shipment direct to the customer. Both the seafood and side dish ship frozen with dry ice.
Take us through the actual process of making the meal, and tell us about how many people one shipment will serve.
The customer will just thaw the fish and prepare it in whatever way our deemed best/easiest for their planned meal (pan-seared, grilled, etc.). The dried seasonings can easily be used to season the fish at this stage.
Simultaneously, the side dishes can be easily prepared as instructed. The three salads are simply “thaw-and-serve” but the two others, green beans and rainbow carrots, need to be cooked in the oven.
If a customer falls in love with a side dish, can they purchase that separately?
Yes! The side dishes are available on Harry & David’s website, and we plan to offer them on the Vital Choice website as part of this collection for ease of customer experience too.
As mentioned, this is something that has been a long time coming. We’d love for this to expand and get even more options available to our customers. We have a lot of ideas internally, so we are very excited to see how our customers will respond and how to take this line of Vital Choice Meals moving forward.