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There are a lot of food subscription boxes on the market, but I’ve always staunchly refused to join their customer ranks—until recently, anyway. Purple Carrot, a plant-based meal delivery service, was my first food subscription box—and I have to say it wasn’t nearly as unsettling to give up the meal power as I thought.
Now, I want to preface this review by saying I’m not a vegan. I occasionally eat a meat-free meal here and there, but it’s not my daily diet. However, I am dairy-free as frequently as possible (but I can only resist pizza for so long) and I’m down with silken tofu in my smoothies. All of this is to say I wasn’t freaking out about trying some vegan meals; I was actually pumped!
I chose Purple Carrot’s Perfect Pair plan. This includes three meals with two servings of each, so it’s good for couples and great for singles who want to eat all week. Each week, Purple Carrot has a specific menu. You don’t get to choose which items you receive, but you can choose not to order a box if you don’t like that week’s menu.
My box contained items to make Vegetable Thai Red Curry, Cauliflower L’Orange, and Coffee Teriyaki Veggie Skewers. I had no idea what food items I was getting, so it was a major pleasant surprise. It was like Purple Carrot read my mind and sent me my favorite things. Red curry is an obsession of mine, I love cauliflower, and coffee makes up 70% of my body composition.
The Perfect Pair Plan costs $68 a week (or $11.33 a plate), and for three vastly different recipes, it’s a bargain. If I had gone to the store to purchase the ingredients for this, I would have spent at least $100 and then had a lot of items left over that I didn’t need.
For example, two of the recipes called for cornstarch and had small bags with the necessary amount included. At the store, I would have needed to buy a larger supply of cornstarch that would end up sitting in my cupboard for two years without being used. That’s a major waste that would grate me to no end. When you look at the price in terms of the ingredient quantities included and reduced waste, Purple Carrot is so worth the cost.
The Best Part
My favorite part of Purple Carrot’s service, aside from the food, was the simplicity. In the box I got all of the ingredients separated and labeled, and then just three pieces of paper with recipe directions, photos, and descriptions. That was it. It was easy to find everything I needed, and so simple to follow along with the recipes.
I chose to cook everything in one day because I’m addicted to meal prepping for the week. It didn’t take me forever either. Each recipe required 30-35 minutes of my time, and I completed each one fully before starting another just to make sure I didn’t get confused or mess anything up. It was definitely one of the most streamlined meal prep process I’ve ever had.
Vegetable Thai Red Curry
Like I said earlier, I love red curry. I’ve never attempted to make it myself though. I was nervous about it for sure, but it actually wasn’t a catastrophe. I didn’t end up with as much sauce in my final dish as there was in the photos, but I’m pretty sure that’s my fault. I just moved houses, and my new place has a gas stove; I think I cranked it up a little too high. The food was still delicious though!
Coffee Teriyaki Skewers
Coffee + Teriyaki + Bell Pepper + Apple = Some of my favorite things. This recipe was the easiest to throw together. I just chopped, slid onto skewers, broiled, and then mixed up the coffee teriyaki sauce. This dish also came with an edamame, kale, and orange salad that was amazing. I didn’t expect to like it since orange, kale, and edamame are not items I normally put together, but it was sweet and refreshing alongside the skewers.
This is the dish that really got me out of my comfort zone. I love cauliflower dearly, but I’ve never had anything “l’orange.” It was quite the experience. I must admit I cheated a little bit on the recipe by taking out the beets. I simply can’t eat them — they taste like dirt no matter how you cook or juice them. Aside from that, I enjoyed the dish. It was sweet and tangy, and it contained filling veggies I love (green beans and cauliflower). Ultimately, no complaints—and I learned a new dish!
After cooking and tasting, I give Purple Carrot a solid 4.5 stars. I only deducted half of a star because the cilantro for my Cauliflower L’Orange was swimming in a brown juice when I opened the package. The delivery guy didn’t knock or anything even though I was home—so the food sat outside in the August heat longer than I would have liked.
Aside from that, which isn’t even in Purple Carrot’s control, I enjoyed the entire process. It was nice to have everything pre-portioned, directions with photos laid out for me, and a variety of meals. The variety is what I appreciated the most. It’s hard to get variety of meals each week and not buy more food than I can feasibly eat in seven days. Purple Carrot took care of that for me.