Awhile back we did a review on the Hello Fresh meal kit delivery service. I was a meal kit delivery first-timer and super excited to try out this fad that seems to be gaining momentum by the second. Overall, it was a fun experience that I probably won’t make a habit. Didn’t see my review? You can check it out –> here!
Hello Fresh has a vegetarian meal kit option, which is what I tried, although after my review I wanted to try a meal kit service that was 100% plant-based. There are loads of these companies out there so finding one that was strictly plant-based was pretty easy. A quick Google search led me to Purple Carrot.
On their website it says that all Purple Carrot recipes are made from 100% plant-based ingredients. Bingo! Although, it comes at a steeeeep price of $12 per plate ($24 per meal for 2 people). This was a bit of a shock as Hello Fresh was $7-$9 per plate. Even though it seemed impractically expensive to me, we decided to give it a try to see if it was worth the extra $$$.
When signing up for Purple Carrot, you choose your plan. There are 3 options: quick and easy (less than 30 minutes), high protein, and chef’s choice. No matter what plan you choose, you can view all the recipes for upcoming weeks and choose which recipes you want based on what sounds good. Unlike Hello Fresh, you have 6 options and decide from those which 3 you want. With Hello Fresh, if you don’t like the 3 vegetarian recipes on the menu, your only options are to suck it up or skip. I like options so score 1 for Purple Carrot!
All ingredients came organized and separated based on recipes. The instructions came in a pamphlet that had all 6 recipe instructions within it with easy-to-follow pictures, descriptions, nutrition info, tool needed, etc. Getting all 6 recipes is great because you can try them in the future. Overall everything was well insulated, organized, easy to understand and beginner-friendly. With that being said, the Hello Fresh box set the bar high in all of these areas and I wouldn’t say one was better than the other.
I first made the Butternut Squash Gnocchi that is pictured below and it was a hit with my husband. It was simple enough to make, super tasty and had those awesome Fall flavors (squash + cranberries = yum). Will definitely make this, or something similar again!
The next day I made the Autumn BiBimBap, which is pictured below. It was so pretty and looked delicious but the taste was just mehhh. I was disappointed at 1) the excessive amount of rice in the dish and 2) the fact that it was white rice. Where’s the brown rice, Purple Carrot?! If I ordered this dish out I would probably say “it was ok but I wouldn’t order it again”.
I was disappointed that Purple Carrot included excessively processed ingredients. Typically the term plant-based suggests unprocessed or minimally processed plants, while vegan butter/mayo/yogurt/cheese, white rice and oil do not fall into that category. In some cases I simply left those ingredients out or replaced them with a healthier ingredient. Comparatively, the Hello Fresh vegetarian meals included some animal products, which I also simply left out or replaced. Either way, both companies included ingredients that were not whole food, plant-based.
In terms of delivery, organization, instructions, quality and flavor of meals, Purple Carrot and Hello Fresh seemed very comparable. Neither stuck out as being better or worse in any of those categories. We did have one issue with Purple Carrot sending us the wrong recipe instructions, although it was easy enough to find the correct instructions online.
In conclusion, if you’re looking for an affordable meal kit delivery service with 100% whole food, plant-based ingredients then Purple Carrot is not the answer. It not only comes at a steep price, but also includes excessively processed ingredients. I recommend going with a less expensive meal kit delivery service, choosing the vegetarian option and subbing the processed ingredients and animal products with healthier alternatives.
Now I just need to decide which meal kit service to try next! Have a favorite? Leave it in a comment below!