Purple Carrot Vegan Meal Kit Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2018


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purple carrot review april 2018

Purple Carrot is a meal kit subscription box that specializes in 100% plant-based vegan dishes. In addition to the standard plan, they also offer a high-protein line called TB12 Performance Meals curated by plant-based pro-athlete Tom Brady!

I’m not a vegan, but I’d say about 70% of what I eat is plant-based. I’d love to increase that percentage, so I’m excited to have Purple Carrot’s help! I’m eager to learn some new recipes that can satisfy my curious palate. Too many salads or basic bowls and I start reaching for the cheese again.

To help judge each recipe, I ran it by MSA’s resident vegan Emily! She’s been a vegan for many years, so I was excited to get her perspective, too!

purple carrot inside box

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!

Purple Carrot believes in the healing power of plants, as well as the fact that many plants are less stressful on the environment than meat production. They demonstrate their eco-friendly values in their recyclable boxes and non-toxic ice packs (with recyclable plastic wrapping). Their site states that “the vast majority of our packaging is reusable, recyclable, biodegradable, or compostable.”

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

purple carrot box and ingredients

About Purple Carrot Plant-Based Vegan Meal Kit Delivery Service

The Subscription Box: Purple Carrot

The Cost: $12.00 per serving or $72.00 per week

COUPON: Save $20 off your first order with code NEWCARROT!

Good to Know: You can skip or pause shipments so long as you do so by the deadline each week. You can see several weeks worth of menus ahead in your account so you can conveniently set your schedule. Note that unlike other meal kit subscriptions, everyone gets the same three meals each week. (Subscribers can’t pick and choose from several recipes.)

The Products: Everything you need to make three vegan dinners each week! Purple Carrot expects you to have several basic tools and ingredients, including olive oil, salt, and pepper. They supply the rest, plus an easy-to-read recipe card for each meal!

Ships to: Contiguous US

Purple Carrot March 2018 Review

purple carrot recipe card for vegan peruvian jackfruit torta

purple carrot peruvian jackfruit torta instructions

Purple Carrot Vegan Peruvian Jackfruit Torta with Aji Verde and Crispy Plantains

Calories: 960

Prep & Cook Time, According to Purple Carrot: 40 minutes

Actual Prep & Cook Time: About 40 minutes

peruvian jackfruit torta unpacked ingredients

I’ve had jackfruit before in dishes where it’s supposed to take the place of pulled pork. Now, granted, it’s been a minute since I’ve had actual pulled pork, but the mouthfeel of this veggie version is surprisingly satisfying (at least for someone who LOVES the yummy, sloppy deliciousness of barbecue but would rather not literally pig out.)

jackfruit with seasoning

I’ve never prepped jackfruit myself before, though, so I was curious how difficult the process would be. Turns out, it’s not super difficult. Once it’s out of the can, you simply shred the jackfruit with your fingers and mix it all up with garlic, white vinegar, cumin, and smoked paprika. The only weird thing I’ve got to mention is that… wow… jackfruit is like… the spookiest looking thing right out of the can. It’s just this beige, slimy stuff with these weird… how can I put this… pores in it. The best thing I can liken it to is like one of those blown up science class pictures of what hair follicles in the skin look like. Awful, I know. I just had to keep telling myself how tasty this was going to be. And also not to look at what I was squishing up while I squished it.

The rest of the recipe was similarly easy peasy, though it did require pulling out a blender. (In case you didn’t notice, Purple Carrot assumes you’ll have a food processor and a blender in your kitchen—those are slightly higher expectations than most other meal kits I’ve tried.) I’m definitely going to whip up the aji sauce again, either for this recipe or for others. You basically blend up jalapeno with vegan mayo, cilantro, and some other seasonings, and it makes this great refreshing, barely spicy, creamy sauce that gives this dish a lot of tasty moisture and summery flair.

vegan jackfruit torta and plantains

vegan jackfruit sandwich and plantains

Here’s the finished product! I gave the second sandwich to Emily, who is a long-time 100% vegan, and she loved it. The jackfruit doesn’t have the moisture of a sauce-soaked pile of pulled pork, but the slaw, which is drenched in the aji sauce, adds just the right amount of luscious sogginess that a big, decadent sandwich like this needs. I loved the crunch of the slaw mixed with the warm, meaty jackfruit. And the bun was cushy enough to keep all of the ingredients in check (rather than spilling out the sides). I might want something more than the leftover aji to dip the plantain “fries” into—the aji is awesome but has a looser consistency that doesn’t grip the plantains the way a nice vegan ranch would.

vegan eggplant moussaka recipe card

vegan eggplant moussaka recipe steps

Purple Carrot Vegan Eggplant Moussaka with Tofu Bechamel and Escarole Salad

Calories: 790

Prep & Cook Time, According to Purple Carrot: 40 minutes

Actual Prep & Cook Time: About 50 minutes

vegan eggplant moussaka ingredients unpacked

Vegetarian moussaka is delicious (at least the one at Whole Foods hot bar…) but I was eager to see how the tofu “bechamel” topper on this recipe held up against the cheesy version I’m used to.

tofu bechamel

This recipe required a food processor, into which you toss your tofu and some seasonings (including three cloves of garlic—yum) for your sauce. The resulting sauce is smooth and flavorful with a consistency a lot like hummus.

eggplant cooking

This was one of those recipes that made me really feel like a cook, mostly because I was using so much of my kitchen during the process. I peeled the eggplant, had to whip up the sauce in the food processor, cooked the eggplant on the stove, then finished the moussaka in the oven. I also made a dressing in a separate bowl and tossed the escarole in it. If you’re a frequent cook, you’re probably like “Yeah? What’s the big deal?” But for an amateur like me, this is super far from the one-pot or one-pan meals I’m used to making. Especially if your kitchen is smaller, you might experience a little bit of overwhelming. (A feeling that will grow when you see all the dishes that need to be done at the end of the process!)

moussaka pre baking

The moussaka is essentially layers of pan-cooked eggplant, crushed tomatoes, walnuts, and finally, the bechamel topper. Because the crushed tomatoes were so juicy, I found it hard to make my bechamel look as even as the one in the instructions. I’ll also say that this pan is about 7″ x 10″, though the recipe calls for 8″ x 8″. I didn’t notice a huge impact in terms of doneness or cooking time, but just FYI!

vegan eggplant moussaka with naan bread and salad

As you can tell, it’s not the most glamorous recipe to ever hit the plate, but wow, was it ever tasty! I let Emily indulge in this serving and I piled mine into a bowl. (It made it so I wasn’t chasing the tomatoey goodness all around the plate.) The bechamel is actually the perfect topping for the otherwise uber-juicy dish, as it provides a little more of that filling, a thicker consistency that you want from a casserole (and sops some of the flavor up, I think). The scattered walnuts help give some variety in terms of texture, and the garlic naan is a great complement—you need something to help soak up this dish. I was so-so about the salad, though it did provide a nice balance for this heftier food. It just felt SO simple (it’s basically escarole and an oil and lemon dressing) that I was a little surly about having to do the extra legwork to make it (in other words, the extra dishes). But I’ve already told several friends and family members about this dish and can’t wait to make it again. In the meantime, it only took half of my pan to leave Emily and I feeling super full, so there are plentiful leftovers!

vegan socca pizza recipe card

vegan socca pizza recipe card steps

Purple Carrot Socca Pizza with Carrot Parsnip Hummus and Garden Vegetables

Calories: 910

Prep & Cook Time, According to Purple Carrot: 35 minutes

Actual Prep & Cook Time: About 40 minutes

vegan socca pizza ingredients unpacked

So, “socca” apparently refers to the garbanzo-flour crust upon which these other pizza toppings sit. I’ve not experimented with garbanzo flour before, so this was a new adventure for me. Another unique piece of the pie is the carrot parsnip hummus that takes the place of sauce. Hummus, I’ve done before, but this one used roasted veggies, rather than mere herbs and garlic and whatnot.

stirring garbanzo powder for socca

Making the crust was suuuuper simple. You’re basically just making a batter out of the garbanzo flour, then adding some seasoning for taste. The batter is first cooked in a large frying pan on the stove like a pancake before being finished off in the oven.

Be aware that this is another whole-kitchen recipe (or at least for a novice cook like me). To create the hummus, you first peel, chop, and roast the veggies on a sheet pan. Then they go into a food processor with beans and other odds and ends. Then you mix up the socca batter in a bowl before adding it to a pan, which goes in the oven and pops back out for final assembly. So you’re using an oven, the stove, the food processor, and some mixing bowls, etc. It’s not a one-pan, chop-cook-and-eat kind of thing. But the results are pretty awesome.

finished socca pizza

Here’s the whole pie in the pan.

vegan socca pizza slices

vegan socca pizza with radish and greens

And here it is finished and on the plate! I did find that my crust was sticking an awful lot in some areas of the pan, so I might have needed a little more oil in those corners. The crust isn’t the sturdiest, but there’s a chewy quality to it that was fun and kind of different. Most importantly, the flavors on top of the crust were so exciting that I really didn’t worry too much about what they were sitting on! I love the concept of potatoes on pizza, so that was a win, as was the fresh pop of mizuna and radish. But the star here was definitely the parsnip and carrot hummus, which was warm, rich, and full of yummy, hearty flavors. This dish has a summery look to it, but the hummus seems like something that’d be just as at home in the fall months as it is here in spring. I feel like in the future, I might make a whole bunch of that hummus to keep in the fridge and recreate this ‘za with a pita or tortilla for more of an oh-wow-I-just-got-home-from-work-and-need-to-eat-NOW! kind of meal!

Verdict: So, if you’re brand new to veganism and using Purple Carrot to explore what vegan cooking is like, I feel like this box doesn’t do a great job of making it NOT seem super complicated. You’re not having to go so far as to soak nuts or beans overnight or make your own vegan cheese or anything like that, but it does feel slightly more demanding (in terms of the tools you need and variety of preparations that things need per meal) than other vegetarian boxes I’ve tried. That said, I’d be overdoing it if I said these meals were “hard”. Just if you’re someone who is BRAND new to the kitchen (or doesn’t have a lot of space/supplies in your kitchen), you might be overwhelmed by some of the things that pop up here. The good news, of course, is that if you’re patient enough and have the kitchen gear you need to try these meals, the results are deeeelicious. I was impressed by all of these dishes as a mostly vegetarian eater, and so was my super vegan taste-tester, Emily. Servings are $12.00 a pop, based on the price of the box, but the pizza and moussaka could honestly have served 4 comfortably. So I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth there. (Even more so when I consider how much I typically pay for yummy vegan takeout.)

To Wrap Up:

Can I still get this box if I sign up today? No. Purple Carrot rotates it offerings week to week. However, you can sometimes find recent recipes on the Purple Carrot site!

Coupon – Save $20 off your first order with code NEWCARROT!

Value Breakdown: Each serving costs $12.00, meaning this box cost $72.00.

Check out all of our Purple Carrot reviews and lots of meal prep boxes in the Food Subscription Box Directory!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

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Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

Posted in Food Subscription Boxes, Meal Kit Subscriptions, Purple Carrot Reviews, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: purple carrot | 5 comments

5 Comments

  1. That stinks! I’m so sorry the produce arrived in crummy condition. My plantains were pretty brown on the outside (like a banana might be), but the insides were fine. (Phew!) Fingers crossed Purple Carrot manages that issue ASAP!!! Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

  2. Thank you for the review. I have been wondering about purple carrot for awhile .

  3. I subscribed to Purple Carrot boxes for quite a while and loved pretty much all the recipes. Currently trying some other vegan meal boxes just for variety but would highly recommend Purple Carrot.

  4. The food looks amazing but this box strikes me as a huge pain in the you know what. Thank you for your lovely review

    • It’s a lot of work also I’ve received three boxes and every time some of my produce is damaged or going bad. The plantains were rotted I had to throw them out. I cancelled because of it. And I work from home so I was always able to get the box directly from ontrac and put my items away immediately.

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