Welfare

Compassionate Eating Made Easy

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Kick off the new year with healthy and humane meals from My Veggie Chef

BY HEATHER DOWDY
PHOTOS COURTESY MY VEGGIE CHEF



When Kristie Rigdon Holdren left an unsatisfying healthcare job in 2011, she knew it was time to follow her true passion: vegan cooking. “I remember sitting in the break room one day eating my vegan lunch and feeling depressed,” she recalls. “That’s when I just shook my head and said to myself, ‘I just want to share vegan food with others!’ I had always had an entrepreneurial spirit and in that moment, I decided it was finally time to take a leap of faith.”

With five-hundred dollars and “a dream”, My Veggie Chef was born, offering homemade, healthy vegan meals delivered on a weekly basis. Kristie found a commercial kitchen she could rent by the hour, and she posted a menu to the East Nashville Listserv and her Facebook page. The response was immediate. Within a month, she’d replaced her healthcare salary; three years later, she is approaching a million dollars in sales and has served over 1,800 families across the greater Nashville area.

The key, it would seem, is that the company not only caters to vegans, but to anyone looking for an affordable and convenient way to make meals healthier. “Whether you’re a vegan, vegetarian or just want to eat healthier, we offer complete meals to feed your whole family without having to plan, shop and chop all of your time away,” she explains. “If you’re an omnivore and don’t want to give up meat, you can easily add your own meats to our meals. It works for everyone.”

The meals are affordable: a weekly delivery of five dinners runs $80 plus tax and delivery, with each dinner offering about four servings. They’re also super convenient—one of the aspects Kristie feels sets her business apart. “We differ from some of the other grocery delivery services in that we offer fully prepped meals. Everything is already chopped and seasoned for you, then delivered to you frozen. You simply heat it up and enjoy.” And for those who think that plant-based eating has to be boring, think again—weekly meals offer a variety of tasty dishes, from tamale casserole and Mediterranean pasta bake to chunky corn and potato chowder and chickpea wraps (pictured below). Personally, I happen to love the Indian-inspired curry dishes!

Of course, for many animal lovers, it is the humane approach to eating that we love the most. Those of us with strong compassion for cats and dogs often naturally feel that same compassionate toward other animals. While many animal advocates are vegan and vegetarian for that reason, others seek to simply reduce their meat intake (such as doing “Meatless Mondays”) or are searching for more humane, local options. Kristie’s mission is to offer something for all of us. (Case in point: yours truly is a longtime vegetarian who also tries to limit my dairy intake. My husband enjoys humanely raised meats. And we’ve both enjoyed many of these meals!)

“I wanted to give people a healthy, affordable alternative to other fast meals, and I wanted it to be a plant-strong option,” says Kristie. “If you’re a vegan or vegetarian, we offer a healthy and compassionate choice. And if you’re a meat eater, hopefully our service can help you free up some dollars so that you can replace factory-raised meat with local, free-range options. Every step we take matters, not only for you but also for the animals and our earth.”

ORDER TODAY AND SAVE $10!
Order a meal delivery during February or March and save $10 off with coupon code NASHVILLEPAWSAVE. Order online at myveggiechef.com, where you’ll also find menu options and more details. My Veggie Chef delivers within a 35-mile radius of downtown Nashville, including Franklin, Gallatin, Kingston Springs, Lebanon, Murfreesboro and everything in between.

[My Veggie Chef is the official sponsor of our February/March 2015 Compassion Issue. You can view this issue in digital format here.]

 


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