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'Bowled' Over: Norwalk Chef Powers Up Healthy Bowls In New Delivery Service

Norwalk resident Jamieson Van Loan of Maikana. Photo Credit: Submitted
A power bowl from Norwalk-based Maikana. Photo Credit: Submitted
A fruit and veggie-loaded power bowl from Norwalk-based Maikana. Photo Credit: Submitted

NORWALK, Conn. --- You can thank Costa Rica for the concept behind Maikana Foods, a healthy "power bowl" food delivery service, currently in Norwalk and Darien.

Chef/Owner Jamieson Van Loan, who ran a restaurant in Playa Grande for three years, created Maikana Foods from her desire to get back to her "pura vida" Central American living after moving back to Fairfield County.

"I found it so easy to be active and eat healthy sustainable foods while I lived in Costa, but when I came back to the States the same lifestyle was more difficult to come by," said the Norwalk resident.

"I wanted to make eating healthier accessible, creative and really delicious.

"And I wanted to eliminate the stigma that wholesome meals and healthy eating have to be bland and boring."

Her solution: A blend of nutrition-packed power bowls, created with the assistance of Norwalk-based Katie Diehl of Diehl Nutrition.

The food delivery service which she began in November 2016, includes an ever-changing menu -- think quinoa bowls filled with turmeric-roasted sweet potatoes, lemon-scented shredded chicken, baby spinach, toasted pepita seeds, red onions, roasted sweet corn, pomegranate seeds and a cranberry maple chia seed dressing or smaller bowls like white bean, lemon and spinach soup and oven-baked Keftedes (Greek meatballs) with cumin infused spicy tomato sauce. An array of parfaits and muffins are also available.

Clients place orders online by 3 p.m.; the food is then delivered to their doorsteps between 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. the following day.

For now Mai Kana, which , means “come and eat” in Fijian -- Van Loan spent part of her childhood in Fiji as well as Darien -- operates delivery service in Norwalk and Darien only.

However, starting Monday, March 27, Van Loan, who serves as cook, founder, driver, and chief bottle washer, will offer a pick-up fridge at Bar 'Bucha in Westport (597 Riverside Ave.,), so those outside her delivery area can still power up with her food. The fridge will also have additional offerings for purchase.

Van Loan's goal is to expand delivery to New Canaan and Westport by summer's end. And then head to  Stamford, Fairfield and Greenwich after that.

Also new: Starting in May, Maikana will be donating a percentage of each sale to a local charity to help feed underprivileged kids.

"I'm very passionate about my charity work," said Van Loan who volunteers twice a week at the Open Door Shelter in Norwalk.

Thinking bigger, she said she'd love another restaurant down the road, but isn't sure what the future may hold.

Said Van Loan: "For now,  I'm so happy cooking every day and making people happy through good food. It is such a blessing to be able to do what you love."

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