I’ve vented on this blog before that feeding a family is hard. You know, because everyone knows by now, that you are supposed to feed your kids a diverse diet of mostly fruits and vegetables. It’s just so HARD. All Leo wants to eat is pizza and cookies. It’s not uncommon for him to abstain from dinner all together when he is served something new, unfamiliar or undesired; which is basically everything that not pizza or avocado sushi rolls. I am very fortunate that Lucy and Lenny will happily eat almost anything that I serve them.
Since we have become vegetarian, figuring out what to cook has been a little more difficult. I don’t want to get stuck in a pizza and pasta rut and I don’t want to end up substituting eggs and dairy for the meat that we are leaving out because then really, what’s the point?
Enter, The Purple Carrot.
The Purple Carrot is entirely plant-based meal-kit service, that’s right… vegan. Mark Bittman, surprised everyone by leaving his job at the New York Times to become involved a while back. You may know him from the NYT, his cookbooks, or his Vegan before Six diet. The bottom line is that this dude knows good food and he knows how to cook. When I heard this, I was really interested.
I have never tried a meal kit delivery service. My view has always been that they were WAY more expensive than just going to the store and buying something to make dinner. When I heard about Purple Carrot, I was interested because I wanted to learn some new recipes that I could work into our weekly menu. After looking over the offerings for a few weeks, I placed our order.
Here’s what I thought…
- A lot of diversity in the vegetables, recipes, spices and flavors used. It’s not all kale, people! We are half way into week three and we have made Indian, Korean, and Italian food. I learned that I love parsnips, where two weeks ago I would see them in the store and think, “what could I possibly do with these weird overgrown, pale carrots.”
- It makes A LOT of food! enoki We are doing the family plan, which costs $74 a week for two meals. But that is enough food to feed four of us for dinner and at least 2 or three lunches worth of left-overs.
- GREAT RECIPES! So far, out of five there are two that I am going to add into our regular weeknight dinners. These Pa Jun, Korean vegetable pancakes that everybody loved and a Ribollita that was perfect for a cold night.
- Pre-measured ingredients. I am sure it’s this way for every meal delivery service but since this is my first I really love it. Not having to go out and buy a big container of mustard seeds or curry powder when you only need a tablespoon is just awesome. And obviously, not having to measure.
- You can skip a week. You get to see the meals ahead of time so if you aren’t into what’s happening next week you can skip, no questions asked (as long as you do it by Thursday).
- Totally recyclable or reusable packaging.
- The meals have a lot of prep. I usually spend a least twenty minutes chopping and rising before I even start cooking while my children are whine on the kitchen floor. Next week, I am going to try to do some of the chopping earlier in the day while Lucy naps.
- The family meals aren’t totally “family” friendly in the spice department. I’ve had to leave off chili flakes twice and once I had to create a separate side-dish for my kids because the side dish was kim chi. Luckily, I was paying attention and didn’t just dump a bag of chilis into our dinner per the instructions, or I would have been making macaroni and cheese in addition to my beautiful Purple Carrot meal. This only applies if you have really little ones or your family doesn’t like spice.
- It’s expensive. It’s definitely cheaper than ordering take-out but not as cheap as going to the store and buying your own ingredients.
The only other thing I could think of as a negative, that isn’t really a negative to our family, is that the meals are a little adventurous. If your kids are picky eaters and haven’t seen Aloo Paratha or Lentils before you may be met with some resistance. But trying never hurt right?
If you are trying to work more veggies into your repertoire, try the Purple Carrot!