30 November 2015

The Purple Carrot Update and Other Healthy Food Delivery Options

We changed our minds quicker than I expected about The Purple Carrot, and are anticipating another delivery this Wednesday. A couple of immediate spurs to this this decision: last week due to foul weather I didn’t make it to the grocery store on the day I’d planned, and then the meal I’d planned to make required ethnic ingredients that weren’t available in my neighborhood. So my good intentions basically collapsed due to poor planning.

Instead, we ordered from Sprig, which a friend had tipped me off about: it’s an organic meal delivery service. On the upside, the meals are priced reasonably, arrive relatively quickly, and are made of wholesome organic ingredients (which—along with calorie counts—are clearly communicated). On the downside, the flavors (on the two occasions on which we ordered) are underwhelming.

My new interest in grocery and/or meal delivery pointed me to another service, Lighter, which serves Chicago.  Like The Purple Carrot, Lighter delivers the ingredients and recipes of wholesome meals; however, ingredients are sourced locally and delivered in person rather than by FedEx (you schedule your delivery so you can receive it).  Other big differences: you can choose a plan that includes meat or only vegetables and meal plans start at nine meals a week and go up from there—but meals may include breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner—you choose how many of each (The Purple Carrot offers a standard meal size/type).  Further, Lighter has a more custom bent: the idea is that you choose your goals, indicate what foods you can’t/won’t eat, and their nutritionists design a meal plan.

I like the idea of a more complete, customized meal plan, and would prefer that my ingredients aren’t sent from across the country, but our schedule right now doesn’t permit us to try Lighter.  Maybe next year.

In the meantime, we look forward to our next delivery from The Purple Carrot. Since we are traveling a few days each week until mid-December, it’s actually going to be a great convenience to have the ingredients of three healthy vegan meals delivered to our home—during a very hectic period we won’t have to plan anything. We are also excited about the opportunity to learn more relatively quick techniques (preparation of the meals takes 45 minutes or less). In the first week of using The Purple Carrot I learned to make tahini sauce, massage kale, and make the quickest black bean burger ever, all of which I found pretty thrilling. Also, every (Mark Bittman-written) recipe we have tried from The Purple Carrot has turned out delicious, which is hugely persuasive.

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