You get three meals a week, and you'll be informed what they are ahead of time - you can cancel, skip or pause your service whenever you want.
I first heard about heard about Purple Carrot when Mark Bittman, (author of How to Cook Everything, New York Times columnist, leading advocate for part-time vegan eating and a proponent of ethically-sourced and environmentally friendly food) started working with the company to help create tasty meals and write newsletters.
I LOVE the (many) recipes I've made out of Bittman's cookbook, and the Purple Carrot meals looked and sounded good, but... I was skeptical, because, hey! I enjoy creating and cooking homemade vegan meals for my family.
I think I use a nice variety, and certainly don't view my cooking and meal-making as boring, unoriginal or inconvenient. I wasn't sure a "service" would really be my "thing".
I received three meal "kits" from Purple Carrot.
Well, right off the bat, I realized immediately how MUCH I loved the fact that I didn't have to grocery shop for these meals!!!
Yes, I LOVE cooking, but I may not have mentioned that I LOATHE grocery shopping with every fiber of my being. I live in an area where grocery stores are pretty basic, and some ingredients can be impossible to find. (For example, just last night I scoured all three area grocery stores for sundried tomatoes with no luck. I don't really consider sundried tomatoes to be wildly 'out-of-the-ordinary' anymore, NOR are they worth two hours of my time searching!).
But I digress.
I was suprised at how small the box was, even with adequate cold packs to keep
All the food is labelled, well insulated and all of the
Whole Wheat Fusilli with Mushrooms, Fennel, and Pecans
Aloo Paratha with Mustard Seed–Scented Eggplant
Chilaquiles with Edamame Guacamole and Pickled Carrots
To get an idea how "quick and easy" these meals were to prepare, I let my 22-year-old prepare one meal, my boyfriend another and I prepared the third.
I admit we were both pretty unsure the small amount of pasta noodles would be enough to feed two of us, but again, I said "wait and see". The only (very minor) glitch in directions was that the fusilli took considerably longer to cook than the directions stated.
The final result? A perfect 10+++!
First of all, there was MORE than enough food for two very hearty appetites. We had leftovers.
The meal was SUPER tasty, filling and a different combination of flavors than anything I'd ever made before.
Second, I now LOVE, LOVE, LOVE tarragon, at least in this application. It was PERFECT with the sweet fennel and nutty pecans. I would order this again and again! (I might experiment with adding more white wine for a more "saucy" dish, but believe me, it's also perfect as it is!)
Third, the whole wheat pasta cooked up tender and firm, not at all grainy, bland or mushy as I was thinking it might.
The directions stated 30 minutes prep, and my daughter didn't feel rushed a bit, finishing in 32 min, which was nice, as I never believe those "prep times" set up by cooks other than my own uncoordinated-disorganized self...
I should add here - Purple Carrot assumes you have basic kitchen tools (knife, a pan or two, vegetable peeler, etc) and salt, pepper and oil. Literally every other ingredient is provided. My guy remarked that even back in his sparsely equipped bachelor-apartment-days, he probably would have been able to prepare these meals easily. (Just an idea for all you singles out there needing a delicious meal to whip up quickly for date night! I think ANY of these meals would qualify and impress!)
It was probably the "lightest" of the three meals, but still resulted in two very full plates (see my pix).
I found directions easy. The number of prep steps MAY seem overwhelming when you first glance at it (at least to me,a NON recipe-follower, HA!), but it's really not bad at all - everything is explained in detail and every step makes sense. The only glitch in this meal was the instruction card said "12 oz. carrots" and I could tell just by looking that there was way more than 12 oz. of carrots included in my box.
Am I still a skeptic? Not at all! l'd recommend these to ANYONE (vegan or not!) without hesitation.
I still love inventing, creating and cooking my own meals, but the convenience of having every single ingredient for some very unique, tasty recipes (that turn out JUST as described) delivered to my front porch? So, so, so awesome!
I felt the price was more than reasonable, even as thrifty as I am with grocery shopping, and I am not ashamed to admit I will be using (and very likely gifting to others!!) this service at times in the future, FOR SURE!