Food delivery it comes in all shapes and sizes these days and that includes great meal kits for vegans and vegetarians. You can find delicious plant-based recipes on the menus of most meal kit companies, but Purple carrot is one of the only ones completely vegan meal kits available. That means no meat, folks, so if you’re the meat-eating type, turn back now, because beyond this point, it’s mostly lentils, ancient grains, nuts, and lots of healthy veggies.
With many of us looking for ways to eat healthier in the new year – or all year for that matter – eating vegetarian cuisine even a few nights a week has become a popular way to do so, but for the seasoned carnivores, eating and cooking plant-based food has its challenges. The biggest hurdle I encountered when introducing more plant-based meals into my diet was finding interesting recipes to make, but also learning how to make them well. The Vegetarian Meal Kit can help with both, providing veggie-based recipe ideas along with all the know-how and right ingredients to make vegan and vegetarian dinners that taste great without the help of lab-grown imitation meats .
That’s one of the reasons Purple Carrot has become a popular meal kit option over the past few years, but the questions for Purple Carrot loom large: Will these plant-based meal kits satisfy a carnivore like me — or is the food more -suitable for small woodland creatures? I wanted to see how Purple Carrot’s recipes held up in a real-life taste test, so I cooked vegan meals for a week to find out. And as a meat eater who also likes vegetarian food, I consider myself pretty well qualified to do so, thank you very much.
If you’re interested in trying vegan meal kits to get a few more servings of vegetables into your weekly diet, or giving the old industrial animal complex a break for a day or two a week, read my first-hand review of the Purple Carrot plant-based meal kits feeding.
How Purple Carrot works
Purple Carrot works like many other meal kit companies by sending all the ingredients and instructions for making vegan recipes at home. Since it’s all vegan, plant-based cuisine, you don’t have to choose from an array of meal plans. It’s also worth noting that this is a subscription service, which means meal kits will come every week, but you’re free to cancel or pause at any time without penalty, so don’t be put off if you want to try it out.
The only major decision you’ll make when you sign up is how many servings and meals per week you want to try. If you choose just three recipes per week and two servings per meal, it costs $13.25 per serving. Choose a two-serving meal plan four recipes per week and the price drops to $11 per serving. Four-serving plans are $11 per serving, whether you choose three or four recipes.
From then on you will have eight vegan dinner recipes to choose from each week for next week’s delivery, which is less choice than most meal kits, but considering it’s only vegan food, it seemed like enough choice. Although this may be the weekly meal for dinner minimumsPurple Carrot also allows you to add breakfast and lunch sets as well as vegan snacks to go with your weekly deliveries if you choose — more on that later.
Purple Carrot Pricing
|Meal portions||Price per serving||Total for a week (3 meals)|
|2||$13.25||$79.50 (6 servings)|
|4||11||$132 (12 servings)|
Unlike some meal kit services, Purple Carrot chooses your delivery day based on your proximity to fulfillment centers. The ingredients arrive in cooler bags and are said to keep for up to 72 hours. This is longer than most meal kits and is probably because they don’t contain meat. Shipping is always free, which helps offset the higher overall price
What are purple carrot dishes?
Purple Carrot Meals are 100% vegan and healthy, although not necessarily low-carb or low-calorie. Most are focused on whole foods and vegetables without meat, dairy or animal products of any kind. This may sound like a given, but I’ve noticed that many meal kit companies have included plant-based meat alternatives such as Impossible beef and Beyond meat in their vegan and vegetarian recipes. Not so with Purple Carrot. You will find some tofu-based proteins like tempeh and tofu, but not many of the newfangled lab-made imitators.
Expect hearty bowls of grains, nuts, and vegetables from Purple Carrot, as well as hearty lentil soups and rib-eye stews like vegan chili or West African peanut stew. There are also usually a few delicious-looking vegan pasta dishes on the menu for any given week, such as lemon courgette pasta with creamy cashew sauce and artichoke hearts. There is often a plant-based taco recipe or sandwich option as well. While some meal kit companies play it safe with familiar flavors, Purple Carrot makes big changes with flavorful curries, sauces and spice blends to add some pop to vegetarian recipes.
Purple carrot does not allow replacements or upgrades but there’s not much you could really trade anyway. I was a little surprised they didn’t let you add some of the aforementioned plant-based alternative meats, but alas, that’s not their style. The purple carrot the produce was some of the freshest of any meal kit service I have ever tried and the portions were substantial.
Food supplements: breakfast, lunch and intermediate meals
In addition to weekly meal kits, Purple Carrot offers breakfast and lunch kits as well as snacks that you can add to your a la carte delivery. Lunch sets are two servings and cost $9 per serving, while breakfast sets, such as Tropical Coconut Pancakes with Fresh Fruit, are under $5 per serving but only available in four-serving portions. Breakfasts are individually priced and include sweet and savory bites such as fried mushrooms, vegan chocolate and peanut butter truffles.
How easy are Purple Carrot meal kits to make?
Purple Carrot meal kits are not easiest for cooking services I’ve tried, but to be honest, I’ve been cooking some foods I don’t cook that often — one of the reasons I was excited to try — so my kitchen instincts weren’t that keen. Whole grains, for example, tend to take a little more time and attention to cook, so expect to hover over a pot with some regularity. Having said that, you won’t need any previous experience to make them. Most purple carrot dishes take about 30 minutes, give or take, and rarely more than 45.
What I cooked and how it went
- Green curry lentils with brown rice and vegetables: I had to tune in for this since I like lentils, but I’d be lying if I said I was excited. But it was so, so good. An amazing balance of sweet and heat and I happily finished the leftovers for lunch the next day.
- Butternut Zucchini Noki: This one was also really tasty, if not a little heavy. It was easy to make and tasted great all round.
- Buddha bowl with peanuts and avocado: This one was good, but not particularly exciting. That was the only thing I ate, I considered the price and thought “is this worth the money?”
Purple carrot auxiliary materials
There is nothing too good or too bad about recipe cards. I found them clear and concise with some helpful footnotes for beginners and helpful cooking tips I might not have considered otherwise. I also appreciated the quick little explanations for any unusual recipes.
Who are Purple Carrot meal kits suitable for?
Obviously, these meal kits are great for vegans or vegetarians or people trying to incorporate more plant-based food into their diet. For me it was a good way to learn to cook vegan products and I’m working with some ingredients I’m not that familiar with, like lentils, nori, and pumpkin.
Who Purple Carrot meal kits aren’t so good for
Besides the obvious answer, people who eat meat, the purple carrot is also not great for those trying to stick to specific diet plans like keto, paleo, Mediterranean, or others. There aren’t many weekly choices, and while they’re generally healthy, many contain a significant amount of carbs, calories, or both. It’s also on the expensive side, although it’s not the most expensive I’ve tried.
How much are Purple Carrot meal kits?
Purple Carrot meals are $9 to $12 per serving, depending on how many servings per meal you order. A box of three meals a week for two people will cost about $72.
Purple Carrot packaging and environmental friendliness
Purple Carrot isn’t much better or worse than other meal kit services when it comes to packaging. Each food item was separated into plastic bags, while some companies use paper, but Purple Carrot’s cooler bags are recyclable and the ice packs are biodegradable. Get the brand full breakdown of recycling here.
Change, skip or cancel a Purple Carrot order
You can add, change or cancel meals easily through the app or through the website. You can also skip delivery for a week or cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff.
The final verdict on Purple Carrot
I enjoyed these meal kits quite a bit, and even as a seasoned carnivore, I really didn’t miss the meat. While I’ll occasionally replace meat with Impossible or Beyond “meat” in some of my rotation recipes, including bolognese and chili, I didn’t have much prior experience cooking more traditional vegan food and got a crash course from Purple Carrot.
As a meat eater, I’m not sure I’d want to cook meals with purple carrots every week, especially since it’s a bit expensive. But since you can skip the weekly deliveries anytime, I love the idea of recipes and ingredients for interesting vegan meals appearing semi-regularly. If you want a weekly stream of meal kits but don’t want to commit to eating 100% vegan, try Sunbasket or Blue apron which have both excellent recipes with and without meat.
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