I finally did it: I ordered my very first meal kit from a meal delivery service. I wanted a plant-based meal delivery service that would make healthy eating easier than ever. Enter The Purple Carrot.
As a chef, I'm used to coming up with recipes and prepping my own ingredients. As a result, it's taken me some time to get on the home delivery meal kits bandwagon. But after I popped open that cardboard box emblazoned with the company's distinctive purple carrot logo, I understood why the concept is so popular. I mean, who wouldn't want to save time by having all the meal ingredients pre-measured and ready to cook?
I'll tell you if this plant-based meal delivery service is worth trying in this Purple Carrot review.
What Is Purple Carrot?
Purple Carrot is a meal kit subscription service that delivers ingredients for your plant-based meals to your door weekly based on your chosen recipes.
In 2012, Purple Carrot founder and CEO Andy Levitt was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and began incorporating more plant-based meals into his diet to combat his illness. Levitt found that this not only made a difference in how he felt but actually altered the course of his disease. Two years later, he launched Purple Carrot out of his garage.
During a 2018 interview with Forbes, Levitt revealed that his goal is to create plant-based meals that are "so flavorful and so delicious." Additionally, he sought to expose people to new culinary techniques, foods, and flavors that are good for their health and the environment's health.
With each new weekly Purple Carrot menu, Andrea Nordby, the meal company's head chef, aims to turn familiar dishes into tasty plant-based alternatives. "We create meals that appeal to the masses and try to show meat-eaters that our meals are so delicious that you won't miss eating meat," Nordby told Haute Living. "When creating a dish, we look at comfort foods and try to make dishes from there that are so good you won't miss what you were previously eating. We do a fish taco with hearts of palm that you won't believe doesn't contain fish."
If you're ready to try Purple Carrot and don't want to read my entire Purple Carrot review, then sign up here!
How Does Purple Carrot Work?
Purple Carrot delivers all the ingredients needed to prepare your plant-based meals after choosing recipes online based on your dietary preferences and restrictions. A new Purple Carrot menu is available each week, and upon signing up, you pick how many servings per meal and meals per week you'd like to try.
If you pick two servings, it's $11.99 per serving, and you'll have to commit to either three or four dinners per week. The four-serving meal plans cost $9.99 per serving, and you can choose between two or three dinner meals per week. Purple Carrot also gives you the option to add breakfast and lunch meal kits as well as tasty vegan snacks to your weekly delivery. Free shipping is part of the subscription.
Ingredients for each meal are measured and labeled, which makes the cooking process pretty straightforward. Each box includes a recipe booklet with photos and steps laid out and lists any appliances you may need (e.g., a spiralizer, food processor, peeler, etc.).
At any point, you can switch your serving plans, hit pause on your weekly shipments, or cancel your subscription entirely. Payment is per week so you won't have to pay for anything you don't receive.
Here's your very own Purple Carrot coupon! Use code carrot30 to get $30 off your first subscription
Is Purple Carrot Vegan?
Purple Carrot recipes are all vegan. Their menus focus on whole foods and vegetables with no meat, dairy, or animal products of any sort but still strive for a balance of proteins, starches, and veggies.
Purple Carrot gives you the option to check out the week's recipes before signing up. Each one shows a photo of the prepared meal with tags indicating whether it's high-protein, quick and easy, gluten-free, nut-free, and so forth. It also shows the full ingredients needed and complete nutritional information. You can see all this detail without creating an account, which helps if you have food allergies.
Purple Carrot recipes are creative and flavorful, and they inspire you to think outside the box when eating whole foods.
My Purple Carrot Review
For this review, I tried three meals from the two-serving meal plan. Read on to see how it went when I cooked Mushroom Fajita Bowl, Spicy Mango Tempeh, and Lemon Zucchini Noodles.
What's In The Box
Here's what came in my Purple Carrot box:
Recipe booklet: The booklet includes colorful images, step-by-step cooking instructions, and lists of the ingredients you should receive. The Purple Carrot recipe booklet includes all of the week's eight recipes and extras, not just the three recipes you receive. This is especially helpful if your goal is to cook more vegan meals.
Ingredients: Every ingredient is portioned out, labeled, and bundled in plastic bags according to each recipe.
Gel freezer pack: This helps to keep the ingredients cold and fresh.
The website has a page that gives detailed info about Purple Carrot packaging and how to recycle it. The packaging uses various materials, and the plastics are #1, 4, 5, 6, and 7, which is useful to know if you're going to try and recycle them.
Mushroom Fajita Bowl with Spanish Rice and Mango Slaw
Purple Carrot doesn't send the veggies all prepared for you, so you need some experience with slicing and dicing vegetables. While some people may not be a fan of this, I like it because the produce stays fresh for longer that way.
I had never used the RightRice used to make Spanish rice. Made from a mix of lentils, chickpeas, peas, and rice, RightRice has a higher protein content than regular rice. It's vegan, gluten-free, and kosher and takes under 15 minutes to cook. For those who are sugar-sensitive, it does contain it in a small amount.
I skipped adding the jalapeño pepper because my daughter, Anya, and I are not spice lovers. I followed the recipe and thinly sliced the mango for the slaw. However, I'd probably dice them next time into bite-sized pieces for easier eating. I added a splash of lime juice to the slaw to give it more flavor. The cilantro leaves used as a garnish are left whole in the recipe, but I decided to chop mine.
Overall, the prep and cooking time took 30-35 minutes. I was very impressed with the taste and flavor of the cooked Spanish RightRice. It is a little spicy, though. The rice was more than enough for two servings with enough left over for another plate.
The chimichurri-flavored roasted mushrooms turned out meaty and flavorful from the spice, lime juice, and garlic.
Spicy Mango Tempeh with Toasted Almond Couscous & Lemon Arugula
I was a little nervous about adding the chili garlic sauce to the lemon juice and mango chutney mix because it looked quite spicy (I tasted it, and it was really hot!). Instead, I added an equal amount of apricot jam. My meal turned out sweeter, but I much preferred that to all the heat from the chili garlic sauce.
Though the recipe didn't call for it, I washed the baby arugula and put it through a salad spinner. I was impressed that there weren't many yellow bits that I had to pick out of the arugula. Make sure to continually stir the sliced almonds as they toast in the pan to keep them from burning.
You can use the parsley leaves only, but I like to chop everything, stems and all. But I made sure to remove the thicker, tough stems. If you have a hard time digesting tempeh, you can steam it in a steamer basket for 10 minutes before cooking. This helps to open it up and soften it a little bit.
I think omitting the chili garlic sauce from the tempeh really reduced its flavor profile. If you're like me and decide to forgo the chili garlic sauce, you can also add soy sauce and some minced ginger and garlic apart from using apricot jam. The lemon zest flavor really came through in the couscous. The lemon juice and olive oil flavors were very subtle in the baby arugula, which was great.
Lemon Zucchini Noodles With Cashew Cream & Crispy Artichoke Hearts
Instead of cutting the zucchini into thin strips to make noodles, I decided to use a spiralizer. Some of the noodles can get really long, so after you're done, you can go in and snip the long strands with a pair of kitchen scissors.
I forgot to sauté the zucchini noodles in my recipe video, which would have cooked them down. 🤦 They were still very tasty raw when coated with the creamy cashew cream. My artichoke hearts weren't as seared in the photos. If you like yours crispy, sear them for a bit longer on the skillet. I didn't sprinkle my dish with red chili flakes for obvious reasons.
This dish was my favorite out of all three.
I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Purple Carrot added a 6-ounce pack of plant-based milk from Good Karma as a little bonus.
Want to try out some of these delicious recipes? Use code carrot30 to get $30 off your first subscription
Purple Carrot Pros & Cons
So now I want to share what I liked and if there was anything I think could be an issue for anyone about Purple Carrot meal delivery.
- Saves time on menu planning and grocery shopping
- Provides easy to follow recipes
- Love the recipe guide booklet with step-by-step pictures
- Produce was very fresh
- Food was delicious!
- Gives an opportunity to try unique combinations of ingredients
- I appreciate that Purple Carrot offers the following options to choose from: Quick & Easy, High-Protein, Gluten-Free or Chef’s Choice dinners
- It's also nice that you can add on breakfast, lunch, and packaged snacks as well
- A meal delivery service like this can help someone gain confidence in their cooking skills with such tasty results!
- I find the price per meal reasonable. I often had leftover ingredients even after generous portions.
- If you don't know how to chop veggies you will have to learn some basic skills
- Just a personal preference, but I think the spicy ingredients would be great as a separate optional ingredient. Sometimes they were, which was perfect for me.
- As an organic shopper, I would love all organic ingredients, but I realize it would drive the cost up.
Final Verdict: Is Purple Carrot Worth It?
Whatever your health and wellness goals may be for 2021, you can't deny the significant health benefits of eating plant-based meals.
Purple Carrot's plant-based meal kits are a great way to add more plant-based dishes to your diet. If you're in a cooking rut, the changing weekly menu offers fresh and seasonal food from a variety of different cuisines that make it easy to try out creative vegan recipes at home.
So in summary, I found Purple Carrot meal delivery to be a convenient time-saver with delicious, easy to make recipes that used wholesome ingredients. I would whole-heartedly recommend it to anyone looking to include more plant-based meals in their diet.
To try it yourself and get $30 off your first subscription, using code carrot30.
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