Marianne and Annette, owners of Nature's Plate
The Nature's Plate menu is all plant-based. Photo courtesy of Nature's Plate
Only fresh ingredients are used at Nature's Plate. Photo courtesy of Nature's Plate
Meals are packaged in recyclable containers that are easy to take on-the-go or for school lunches.
Each meal is clearly labeled.
Stay tuned to read more from Annette and Marianne in Food Forward!
Welcome, Lake Highlands, to our newest column, Food Forward
! Today we are introducing you to a company so pure, you’ll feel healthier just reading about it.
In 2012, two Lake Highlands sisters, Annette and Marianne, created Nature’s Plate, a plant-based meal delivery service. The company was established in response to friends’ requests for convenient, healthy lunches based on what they witnessed the sisters eating.
Their mission was simple – to make plant-based, whole food accessible and convenient, while also delicious and satisfying.
Today, you’ll get a glimpse into the company and learn why Annette and Marianne are so passionate about what they do. Then each month, you’ll have the pleasure of reading directly from them about healthy eating for the whole family.
One of the reasons the sisters put so much time and effort into Nature’s Plate’s menu is because they believe we all need to be a part of combating the childhood obesity epidemic. One way to do that is to stay away from the “convenience foods” that are so accessible.
“Convenience foods are full of processed ingredients and are usually high in refined sugar,” explained Annette. “Diets rich in these ingredients have only been eaten for a short period of time, beginning in the last 50 years.”
“During that time period, our society has seen sharp increases in cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. There’s no doubt that obesity is a related issue, but the scientific community is just beginning to understand the wide variety of ways these foods affect us.”
“And for children, there is evidence that these processed, artificial ingredients can cause mood and behavior issues as well,” Annette said.
While the research may not be fully conclusive at this point, the sisters point out that it’s obvious a whole food diet, rich in plants is health-promoting and results in much lower rates of these diseases and conditions.
“Whether it’s the absence of processed food or the presence of so many nutrients in a plant-based, whole food diet doesn’t really matter – either way, we know it’s healthier.”
And the Nature’s Plate menu is chocked full of nutritious, whole food meals! When asked to share which their favorite meals on the menu are, there was little hesitation.
“My favorite is the Beans and Greens soup,” Marianne exclaimed. “Mostly because it's delicious, but also because I am a huge fan of the one pot meal - I love soups and stews that contain beans and vegetables, especially greens.”
“I am always looking for recipes that contain beans, greens, and grains - and of course that taste good. My five-year-old daughter's favorite is actually a soup that is not on the menu yet but will be for Fall. It's a kale soup that is chock full of kale (obviously), sweet potatoes, and other vegetables. She loves it and has been eating it since she was a toddler.”
Annette’s family’s favorites have changed over time, but her current favorite is the Stir Fried Rice with Edamame & Asparagus.
“It has great flavor and a large variety of vegetables. And the Un-Tuna Salad is great for lunch, especially over mixed greens (we offer it in a wrap too). On the snack/treat menu, the Gluten Free Brownies are my favorite - the texture and flavor are amazing.”
“My kids are older (18 and 21), and they love testing the food. They are meat-eaters, so it probably makes sense that their favorites are very much in line with our biggest sellers: Veggie Mac, Lasagna, and Black Bean Tacos. And they like the Tofu Scramble Tacos as snacks,” Annette explained.
I got to taste test some of the meals and they were all amazing! The Trail Mix Cookies were by far the favorite in our house. As Marianne explained, they taste like dessert but are actually full of seeds and nuts and are healthier than almost any snack bar you can find.
Annette has lived in the L Streets for 7 years, and moved to Lake Highlands to be close to her sister and because she loves the area. She has two children (ages 18 and 21, Kyle and Andrea).
“Both kids have been a big help tasting recipes the last few years, and Andrea helped out with Nature’s Plate deliveries over the summer,” said Annette. “A couple of the original menu items are recipes my kids have always enjoyed.”
“Although both enjoy the occasional fast food / junk food, they also know a lot about healthy eating. Andrea (who attends Texas Tech) has been known to text me pictures to show off her healthier meals. She also designed the Plant-Powered Superheroes for the Kids’ Meals.”
Marianne has lived in the L Streets for 9 years with her husband, John, and her 5 year old daughter, Claire.
“Claire loves to talk about food (I wonder where that comes from) – one of her favorites is freshly cooked beans, straight out of the pot,” she said. Marianne’s older son, Chris, lives in Richardson and has also provided lots of great taste testing assistance over the years. He even hosted a Nature’s Plate sample and information session at his office!
Curious about the menu and how ordering and delivery works?
* The kids’ lunch menu includes items like peanut butter and jelly (on a sprouted grain English muffin), hummus with veggies and whole grain pita chips, and sweet potato hash.
* Each lunch also comes with fruit and a healthy treat, such as a trail mix cookie with oats, nuts, seeds and no refined flour or sugar.
* Deliveries are made on different days of the week to Dallas neighborhoods including Lakewood and Lake Highlands. Meals are delivered refrigerated and remain fresh for five to six days.
* Not only are the meals and snacks 100% plant-based, many of the ingredients are organic and all are non-GMO.
Stay tuned to hear more from Annette and Marianne about clean, plant-based eating in Food Forward!
Check out the Nature’s Plate website by clicking here
or "like" their Facebook page
Nature’s Plate items are listed on My Fitness Pal
under the brand Nature’s Plate.