I’ve jumped, nee–hopped onto the bandwagon of food delivery services.
People have been waxing poetic about Blue Apron delivery services for a while now. I haven’t had the pleasure of trying Blue Apron, but I’m not a meat eater, and they do meat stuff, so it wasn’t a good choice for me.
However, when THE PURPLE CARROT rolled around, and advertised itself as a ‘plant-based food delivery service’, I jumped on it faster than a kid on a bouncy castle. And why wouldn’t I? The Purple Carrot is a new, whole foods, plant-based meal kit delivery service that provides customers all the raw, pre-measured ingredients they need to cook healthy meals and snacks at home. Every box contains easy to follow, step-by-step instructions for creating each dish. The meals contain fresh, organic, plant-based, dairy-free and non-GMO ingredients and are sources locally whenever possible.
That means they do all the measuring for you, and you just need to wash, chop, combine, and cook. For $59, you get two meals for 2 people and a typically includes ingredients needed to make a healthy snack. For some of us, this price is reasonable because it gets delivered right to our door, comes pre-measured, and makes including more plant-based foods into our diets easy. For others, this food pricing is a bit expensive. If it is, this is definitely not for you.
I was sent two dinners:
Mexican Polenta Bowl and Pistachio Date Quinoa Salad, and my healthy snack was Blueberry Chocolate Trail Mix Bark.
Let’s start with Mexican Polenta Bowl. The recipe was easy enough to follow, with the accouterments like mixing bowls and stuff clearly spelled out. I like that they even went as far as to remind us (or instruct, depending on your level of experience) to drain and rinse the canned chickpeas. However, there were major problems with the produce that was delivered. The green onions and cilantro were wilted beyond saving. To make this recipe, I had to run to my local market to get ‘pitch hitter’ ingredients. They were easily replaced, but when you’re paying to have the items delivered, you hope they’d arrive in a condition to be eaten. Besides that, the dish turned out quite delicious.
Pistachio Date Quinoa Salad seemed like it would be a winner hands down. I mean combo-ing sweet with savory with hearty; the recipe floored me. But it stops there. The recipe, although tasty, suffered from 2 tragic errors.
1. Spinach (delivered 1 day ago with rest of ingredients) gave up on life and me and became unusable the next day for the salad. Easy enough to replace, but a bit of an inconvenience.
2. Recipe asked that ½ teaspoon salt be added to quinoa. I added it, only to have my face shrivel up and pucker when I tasted the quinoa. That was WAAAAAYYY too much salt. I should have done it to taste, but because I’m actually testing this stuff out, I did it as the recipe instructed. Also, asking me to put in an entire raw onion was waaaaayyy too much. I did ½ and it was about right.
But that’s the thing. One doesn’t have time to tweak these recipes. They’re given in specific proportion for a meal that evening, so you don’t get a second chance!
Now the snack—and I’m not sure how this was healthy, was delicious and a hit. It combo-ed sweetness of non-dairy chocolate & dried blueberries with salty pretzels and peanuts. What a combo. This was easy enough to make and a success for anyone lucky enough to get their hands on it.
So all in all I appreciated the idea behind THE PURPLE CARROT, with the premeasuring of ingredients and it all being vegetarian. However, with a few failed produce items, and the over-salting of one recipe, I can’t whole-heartedly recommend THE PURPLE CARROT. Such a brilliant idea that falls short in execution.