I am reviewing meal delivery services. There are several options these days so whatever your price point of dietary requirements, you can probably find one that works for you. The first plan tested is Purple Carrot.
Purple Carrot is a meal delivery service offering all-vegan meals. You may choose 3 unique meals per week for 1-2 people for $72 or 2 unique meals per week for 3-4 people for $80. They also offer a High Performance meal option – endorsed by NFL Quarterback Tom Brady. This plan offers 3 unique meals for 1-2 people for $78. The high performance plan is said to be higher in protein and gluten free.
I chose the standard 1-2 person plan. My research included two weekly deliveries. For me, as a single person, this broke down to 3-4 meals from each recipe, so not a bad deal. I had a coupon for my first delivery, which saved me $29. For some reason the charge for my next meal box was only $68.
Purple Carrot provides all ingredients and recipe cards so you have everything you need (and only what you need) to create the dish, and you have a picture so you’ll know what it should look like.
Video of me opening the first box. In the video I say that the high performance meal plan is $20 more, but it is only $6 more. Not sure where I came up with $20. Also – the video cuts off early, but you’ll get the idea. (I did this one on the spur of the moment, so I apologize for not being dressed up!)
Malai Chickpea Dumplings.
These were very tasty! The Indian spices tasted authentic. The dumplings were made from chickpeas. I really enjoyed this meal.
I really enjoyed the tofu. I was excited to learn how to make it crispy on the outside like it is in restaurant dishes. I didn’t cook the rice noodles to cut down on the carbs, but I didn’t miss them at all. (Note the skeleton hand salad tongs…my dollar store find last year that I use whenever possible!)
This recipe included a small loaf of bread which, unfortunately, grew mold before I was able to cook it. So I substituted a slice of my organic bread so I could take advantage of the garlic aioli – which was yummy! The “scallops” were actually king mushrooms. No, they did not taste like real scallops, but they were tasty. The real star of this dish was the garlic aioli. It was so good that I ate it all in one serving – don’t tell!
I forgot to photograph the meals from the second box, but I will say that in that box I found my favorite recipe of all – Quinoa Burgers. The recipe card is shown below. The star of this recipe is the ranch dressing – but I must admit I fluffed it up a bit with standard mayonnaise (non-vegan) and some extra ranch dressing spice mix. After making this recipe, I believe the secret to really good ranch dressing is pickle juice. The burger itself was also very good – much better than most veggie burgers I’ve had. I also liked that the burger “bun” was half a pita. I kept the recipe card for this one. I will definitely make it again on my own!
I was excited about this plan because it is vegan. While I do eat some meat, I prefer vegetarian or vegan meals. I just feel better when I eat at least vegetarian. Unfortunately, for me Purple Carrot was not a great fit for two reasons: first, many of the meals were very high carb – some over 100 grams per serving. I eat a low carb diet, so this is no good. Second, there are no options to select a different meal if you don’t like one or more of the three meals that are planned for the week.
There were a couple hiccups with food quality. The bread for the “Scallop” Cioppini – as I mentioned – molded quickly. The celery for one of the recipes was molded on both ends (I ended up not using it because I’m not a fan of celery), and the green onions were a little wilty coming out of the box. I used my own from my garden.
I’m also not crazy about having to dispose of a large box every week. We’re talking external box, Insulation inside the box and several ice packs.