Being professionals in today’s busy world, it is hard to have a home cook meal which includes figuring out what you want to eat and then buying all the ingredients. The current offerings from various companies address this issue by curating recipes and sending all the ingredients in the appropriate portion straight to your home each week. In this series, we tested out a few of the companies to give you our take on each offering. First up is Purple Carrot which is a vegan meal kit company curated by former New York Times columnist and cookbook author Mark Bittman.
Company: The Purple Carrot
Theme: Plant based recipes (Vegan) delivered to your home weekly. From the company’s website:
“Our meal kits are delivered right to your door, on the day of your choice. Our state-of-the-art packaging guarantees freshness and our ingredients are of the highest possible quality, often organic, always non-GMO, and ethically sourced.”
This is a weekly subscription for meal kit. You can preview the 3 recipes available for the following week and elect to skip the week that you do not want the kit.
$68 – Feeds 2 People / 3 Times a Week
$74 – Feeds 4 People / 2 Times a Week
La Vie Partagée’s Assessment
Delivery: The box comes packaged well with large ice packs. As with all delivery service, there are a lot of packaging waste.
Required Culinary Skill: Medium – We found that the recipes require the cook to know basic knife and baking skills.
Additional Tools: The majority of the recipes required:
- Baking sheet
- Food processor
Recipe Variety: Recipes tends to veer toward Indian, Japanese, Korean, Mediterranean inspired. From this grouping, there is a very strong influence from Indian cuisine which may not be for everyone.
Cooking Instruction: Poor – The instruction is sectioned into 4 steps with pictures. However, within each “step”, there is about 3 to 4 additional steps. The ingredients are not easily identified. Even for experienced cooks, we had to read the recipe a few times and highlight where the ingredients are in the instructions. Furthermore, some steps didn’t add much to the recipe. For example, you would heat the oven just to warm a part of a dish. If you cook it at the same time, you wouldn’t have to waste energy by turning the oven on.
Taste: Bland – Vegetarian or Vegan food tends to be bland if the seasoning is not more aggressive. We find that all the dishes have come out bland or often time the seasoning is only salt and pepper. We needed to augment the ingredients including boiling ingredients in vegetable stock instead of water and adding more seasonings from the pantry. This could be difficult for beginners who do not have a larger understanding of various cuisines’ taste profiles.
Ingredients: High quality – The ingredients in each box have been of high quality. We do like that the service gives you an opportunity to try various vegetables that are in season.
The reasons that you would choose this meal based delivery service:
- Healthier option than the other services
- Increase vegetable intakes into your diet
- Great for those with health issue or dairy restriction (except if you are gluten restricted as the recipes have a lot of carbs)
Conclusion: This service is ideal for those that would like to adopt a more plant based diet and struggle to figure out how to start. However, this service is only for those who has more than basic cook skills. The recipes will need enhancement but that will require some knowledge of the various cuisine profiles. There are multiple steps and most dishes have taken more than 30 minutes to complete. For those that are not adventurous or do not want to spend a lot of time prepping, you should stay clear of this.
Look out for the next meal kit review of Blue Apron and Plated coming soon.
Author: Thai-Anh Hoang
Featured Photo: Purple Carrot