Pocketful of Sunshine. Sun Basket. One is a song by Natasha Bedingfield. The other is a meal delivery service focused on cleanliness, flavor, and sustainability. Both make you feel happy inside. Sun Basket was founded in 2014 by chef Justine Kelly and tech entrepreneur Adam Zbar.

About the Company:

The company’s motto is that food should taste good first and do good always. Sun Basket is a certified organic handler and strives to source organic produce 100% of the time. It also focuses on seasonal ingredients to ensure a freshness that maximizes flavor. The service also provides meals for all kinds of diets including paleo, gluten-free vegan, vegetarian, and Mediterranean. Not only is the food healthy for you and the environment, but also the packaging is recyclable and compostable. Sun Basket focuses on sustainability by partnering with farmers who use sustainable crop rotation and water efficiency and treat animals with respect.

The Food:

I was able to try three meals: Cheesy fusilli with leeks and winter greens, Hanoi-style sole with rice noodles and mango salad, and an Orzo bowl with broccoli, sun-dried tomatoes, and pistou. I also tried their new Organic Spicy Southwestern Salad and avocado hummus (which was to DIE for).

The cheesy fusilli had great flavor. I enjoyed eating the broccoli leaves and leeks because I would never buy those for myself; however, the dish was not nearly as cheesy as advertised in the picture. Still delicious, but as a cheese lover, I was slightly disappointed.

The Hanoi-style sole was my favorite meal because of the array of flavors and its level of sophistication. A college student cooking fish like a pro on a week night. Who, me? Confession: I have never cooked fish on my own before, but Sun Basket made it incredibly simple, and I felt good for eating healthy protein. The mango salad and pineapple sauce that accompanied the fish were scrumptious and the perfect combination of salty and sweet that I love.

The Orzo bowl was super easy to throw together and was right up my alley. For some background info, I could live off of grain bowls. The possibilities are endless with the versatility of all different grains or pastas. I expected to love this meal and I did. The sun-dried tomatoes provided a perfect tartness, the broccoli provided a crunch, and the goat cheese was as creamy as cream cheese. And who doesn't love pesto?

The Organic Spicy Southwestern Salad was very quick to put together and had lots of crunchy bits including sliced almonds, purple cabbage, and pumpkin seeds to create a great texture profile. The dressing definitely had a kick, but I will be the first to admit my low spice tolerance. For people who love spiciness, this dressing might have been a bit bland for you.

Last but definitely not least: the avocado hummus. What do you get when you combine two of the most popular snacks? Heaven, absolute heaven. It was creamy and the perfect spreadable texture if you want to have both avocado and hummus toast at the same time. It was also great to dip carrots and peppers in.


I reached out to Sun Basket to ask them what makes them special. Here is a summary of their responses:

Allison Walter: What makes Sun Basket different from other meal delivery services?

Sun Basket Team: Sun Basket is the only healthy eating platform that empowers you to live your kind of healthy. Sun Basket delivers easy, healthy recipes with seasonal, organic produce and clean, responsibly sourced meats and seafood. The recipes are created by Co-Founder and Executive Chef Justine Kelly in collaboration with our in-house dietitians, ensuring every meal is as healthy as it is delicious. Sun Basket offers 18 weekly recipes spanning 10 different meal plans: Chef’s Choice, Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Pescatarian, Diabetes-Friendly, and Quick & Easy. Sun Basket customers can opt to stick to a meal plan, or mix and match across all 18 weekly recipes to personalize their menu to meet their health goals.

AW: Does the company ultimately aim to source 100% organic produce?

SBT: Sun Basket strives to source organic produce 100% of the time, with our upmost priority on ingredient quality. In order to source the best produce seasonally, we design our recipes flexibly, occasionally substituting comparable ingredients. In the event that a key ingredient cannot be sourced organic, we may substitute its conventional counterpart.

AW: Where does the chef, Justine Kelly, get recipe inspiration?

SBT: Chef Justine Kelly and her team of test kitchen chefs have worked in many of the best professional kitchens in the Bay Area. They draw inspiration from their collective experience, and in the meals they enjoy both together and in their respective travels.

AW: Is the company interested in expanding to desserts?

SBT: Sun Basket always strives to help our customers eat healthy in their daily lives, and to provide options that fit each customer's lifestyle. While we do not currently have plans for dessert, we recently introduced our organic 5-minute salads, which make a great lunch solution, and we also offer healthy snacks. Stay tuned for other new personalized options that we are excited to be introducing later this year.

AW: Who does Sun Basket see as the face of their company? What is the typical Sun Basket customer?

SBT: The typical Sun Basket customer is a vibrant professional who strives to live a healthy lifestyle and wants support and expertise to find time to cook and eat healthy food at home. They rely on Sun Basket to remove the time-intensive obstacles to healthy cooking, including grocery shopping, label-reading, and meal planning. With Sun Basket, they can enjoy meals that are delicious, easy, healthy, and above all, fit their lifestyle.

Overall, the Sun Basket meals I tried were delicious and easy to make. The estimated times given to cook the meals (20-45 min) were accurate and clean up was minimal after. I felt good for putting healthy meals in my body and for helping the environment by consuming organic produce. You may be able to make scrambled eggs in 10 minutes, but why not spend the extra 20 minutes to make yourself a gourmet dinner with the ease that Sun Basket provides. And don't forget to blast Pocketful of Sunshine while you're at it.