Photos by Kasey Meredith

For on-the-go lifestyles, finding a quick healthy meal is not always easy. At Fit Pantry, it’s fast fit food as their slogan says. Co-owners Sarah Kuhlmann and Tarin Meadows are friends who have a passion for fitness. Tarin started doing meal preps out of her kitchen for herself in training for fitness competitions and then she began making them for her friends.

When it came time to turn this passion into a business, she called on her friend Sarah, who was living in San Diego at the time, to come back to Bakersfield. Together, they dreamed of having their own location complete with a drive-thru for the ultimate convenience of food on the go. Along came Bakersfield’s version of “Shark Tank,” in which an investor was found, and the dream became a reality with the opening of their northwest location. Now, they are celebrating their one-year anniversary Monday, Oct. 30, and everything on the menu will be $5.

Some changes will be coming soon in early November with expanded hours and the addition of breakfast and lunch items like their new line of “balanced bowls.” Check out their menu online; they offer something for everyone at any point in the day, from light options like smoothies and açaí bowls to three-course meals. Keep them in mind at your next event for your catering needs.

Plate Your Own – Garlic rosemary chicken with broccoli and brown rice ($11):

At Fit Pantry, you have the option of creating your own dish by choosing a protein with two side items, such as vegetables, fruits, quinoa, sweet potato fries and more. The garlic chicken rosemary is tender, moist and flavorful with a touch of lemon juice. The broccoli was cooked al dente. I thought there was a seasoning on it because it was so flavorful. The brown rice was also good in that it was moist and not too dry. This dish has the potential to be bland and boring because this food is clean of sauces and seasonings, but what comes through is fresh-tasting, good food. A nice touch to this place was the lemon cucumber water that makes for a clean palate at the end of your meal.

Kale + quinoa salad ($10):

Everyone’s favorite ancient grain, quinoa, has the tendency to be too crunchy or too wet, but not Fit Pantry’s. This quinoa is pearlescent and fluffy and when the zesty lemon dressing hits those grains, the dish is transformed. Fit Pantry’s zesty lemon dressing is simple, yet a killer combination: lemon juice, cayenne pepper and olive oil. The quinoa and dressing aren’t the solo stars of the show. Topped with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese and red onion, this salad is a fun spin on a Greek salad. Instead of romaine lettuce, this has kale, a leaf packed with nutrients that has the tendency to be tough. Not here though; its slight bitter taste cuts the sourness of the dressing and feta. The kale and quinoa salad perfectly encapsulates Fit Pantry’s cooking – simple, yet effective. Bold flavors packaged in straightforward dishes. 

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