There are days when leaving the house seems a daunting proposition, but the groceries are running low and you don't have the time or energy to cook a full meal anyway. Thankfully, a growing number of businesses are creating great frozen foods for delivery on a weekly or daily basis. Stock up on these Italian and Mexican offerings, with pasta, lasagna, rellenos, tamales and even pizzeria-quality frozen pizzas:
Mario and Kelly Crobu are restaurant veterans with a combined thirty years of experience in five different countries. Mario was born on the island of Sardegna (Sardinia), and the name Crobu means "crow" in the Sardinian language, so the couple incorporated a crow on the labels of their new home-delivery business. Casa Crobu's menu runs from familiar favorites like deep-pan lasagna loaded with Bolognese sauce and cheese (there's also a meatless spinach lasagna) to specialties from Sardegna, including plump, fig-shaped ravioli called culurgione, which come filled with a mixture of potato, pecorino cheese and fresh mint leaves. Eggplant parmigiana, spinach-ricotta ravioli and another rarity called malloreddus alla Campidanese (curled pasta similar to cavatelli in a tomato-based ragu with sausage and mushrooms) round out the menu. You can also purchase containers of sauce, desserts or a complete Casa Crobu starter kit on the company's website. The pastas and sauces are all made from scratch and frozen before delivery, so you can cook them at your convenience. Orders can be placed throughout the week for delivery on Thursdays.
Green Roots Meals
Green Roots delivers frozen Mexican dishes created by founders Érica Arteaga and Liz Gonzalez-Lara, two entrepreneurs who combined their business skills and passion for Mexican cuisine into a new company. Arteaga grew up in Aguascalientes, Mexico, and after moving to Colorado started her own import company selling frozen-food products from Mexico to Denver restaurants. Gonzalez-Lara hails from Guadalajara and runs her own hair and beauty salons, but teamed up with Arteaga to start Green Roots to provide meals to people spending more time at home and to share the flavors of her home country with Denver. Choose from a range of fresh-made, flash-frozen chiles rellenos, chimichangas, quesadillas and tamales, as well as slow-cooked meats like barbacoa, chicken tinga, pastor, carnitas and chicharrón. Soups, black beans, refried beans, rice, salsas and bottled hot sauces are also available, along with a range of desserts, including whole pies. Order by Tuesday each week for delivery every Wednesday. Many of the products come in vacuum-sealed pouches for easy reheating.
Minga Provisions Pizza
Chef Eric Chiappetta, the voice of the Chef or Death podcast, has worked in many Denver restaurants, and has even owned his own, but over the summer he launched Minga Provisions, selling jarred pickles, Italian sauces and giardiniera at farmers' markets and other pop-ups around town. As winter set in and farmers' market season came to an end, the chef found shelf space for his giardiniera at local grocery stores, and also created a new line of frozen pizzas. These sixteen-inch monsters have little in common with the bland pucks you find in supermarket freezers, but bake up more like restaurant pies. Consider them a replacement for delivery pizza, only better. You can crank up the oven at your convenience and the pizza comes out bubbly and crisp around the edges since it doesn't endure a thirty-minute car trip in a cardboard box. A cheese pizza starts out at $15, and there's also a meat-lover's (with pepperoni, fennel sausage, ham and bacon), a Minga combo (with just about every topping you can think of), and a veggie pesto pizza. Order online for delivery, or pick yours up at Minga's commissary kitchen at 675 South Broadway.
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