From Our Editors
One tax season, working mom Melissa Lanz tallied up the year’s receipts for takeout and convenience food and was stunned by the total. She recalls, “Our busy, unorganized lifestyle had driven us to spend the cost of a new car on takeout.” On top of that, she felt sluggish and unhealthy. A little online searching revealed that common wisdom held that one must choose between fast or healthy. Unconvinced, the one-time Internet marketing executive left her job and began tinkering with recipes. As she worked, three main priorities became clear: healthy and seasonal ingredients, simple recipes, and kid-friendly meals.
The set-up is simple: every Friday, the expert team posts 20-ingredient grocery lists and recipes for five meals centered around health. Recipes include gluten-free, vegetarian, and paleo varieties for those with special diets. There is also a For One option for those singles who want to eat well at home.
The grocery lists eschew preservatives, processed foods, and frozen ingredients in favor of seasonal items that are good for you and the environment. Every recipe piggybacks off the others, so every item on the list creates balanced meals without waste. The list also includes estimated prices, which helps balance budgets or train for future appearances on The Price Is Right. The Fresh 20's diverse meals include recipes such as flank steak tacos, turkey enchiladas, and butternut-apple bisque. Melissa also authored The Fresh 20 Cookbook, incorporating these same principles into the crafting of over 125 additional recipes. At the end of 2011, only two years after Melissa started The Fresh 20, InStyle magazine toasted the entrepreneur for creating one of the web’s “genius sites that make your day easier and better.” Since then she has also been featured in the New York Times, USA Weekend, Shape, Parents, and Prevention Magazine.