As an adult, I finally realize why my mom got so annoyed when I complained about having leftovers for three nights in a row. Figuring out what to cook for dinner every night can be hard.
That's why meal delivery services took off when they first hit the market. Of course people love the idea of having everything they need to cook a meal delivered right to their door.
So I decided to hop on the bandwagon and try a popular meal delivery service, Purple Carrot. They focus on veggie-centric meals, which was perfect for me since I'm mostly vegetarian.
With the new popularity of meal delivery services, some companies are finding niches to distinguish themselves. Purple Carrot, as you might have guessed from the name, is veggie-centric – delivering plant-based vegan meals every week. The meals don't include meat or dairy products but still strive for a balance of proteins, starches, and veggies.
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As a mostly-vegetarian who never cooks meat, I was delighted to find an all-veggie meal service. And with evidence showing plant-based diets are good for the planet. Purple Carrot is a positive addition to the meal services out there.
Choose either a two-serving plan or a six-serving plan
The two-serving plan lets you choose three meals a week with two servings each. Purple Carrot gives you eight meal options per week, and you pick your top three. Since I don't have any dietary restrictions other than meatlessness, I let Purple Carrot choose for me.
The six-serving plan sends you two meals a week with six servings each. Purple Carrot picks the meals for this plan.
You tack on extras if you want
For an additional cost, Purple Carrot will send you smaller bonus recipes like breakfast foods and snacks. I didn't go for this option, though everything looked delicious. You can opt-in or out of extras at any time.
The box shows up and you get cooking.
My delivery came on a Wednesday packed in plenty of ice. There was no worry in my mind that the food had been properly kept fresh.
You keep going with your meal plan – or change, pause, or cancel
At any point, you can switch from a two-serving plan to a six-serving one or vice versa, hit "pause" on your orders for a month, or cancel your order entirely.
Payment is per week, so you won't have to pay for anything you don't receive.
I really appreciated this flexibility because if you just don't want or need meals delivered one week – it's easy to cancel.
Food quality is excellent
Almost everything arrived fresh and stayed fresh until I cooked it. Some of the salad leaves were wilted by the time I opened the box, but that's probably because I left the box out too long (pro tip: refrigerate veggies ASAP in the summertime). I was impressed, though, by how fresh the dairy substitutes and condiments remained.
Portions are super big
Portions were pretty large for some dinners, meaning leftovers and more for the money. The Charred Eggplant Pad Thai lasted for four meals and was just as delicious as leftovers that 4th time!
Some lighter meals like the Green Goddess Chickpea Sandwiches came out to about two portions. But still – the fact that the portions were generous I appreciated because good food is great to eat again as leftovers.
Taste and flavor
Great – I love vegan food so I wasn't missing the meat, but the real test was that my omnivore, bacon-loving boyfriend also gave the food a stellar review.
So that's a win-win review for Purple Carrot – the food is THAT good!
All the necessary spices (except salt and pepper) were included. If you like a lot of spice you can always augment the meals from your own spice rack. And you may end up having a lot of extra garlic; Purple Carrot sends you a whole head of garlic when a recipe needs a few cloves.
For me in particular, it was fun discovering new ways to cook vegetables. Their garlic roasted carrot fries might be my new go-to potato substitute when I'm in a healthy mood.
I also am now a huge fan of the Spicy Barbacoa Tempeh over rice with avocado on the side and Pesto Stuffed Peppers with quinoa – both delicious and pretty simple to make.
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Delivery and packaging
As with most delivery services, these days – the box is recyclable. Yay!
But I was bummed to see that everything is packaged with so much plastic.
I was glad to see Purple Carrot is using small condiment containers that can be recycled, though. And I was able to reuse some of the plastic bags so that's good.
Ingredients are clearly labeled so you have no trouble figuring out what's what.
Purple Carrot is a fantastic way to get a variety of vegan and veggie-centric recipes into your diet. And the fact that my meat-eating boyfriend also liked the food is a huge win.
Whether you've been thinking about adding more plant-based meals or you've been vegetarian for years, this service is worth a try.