I have been vegan since 1994, so I have seen the industry mushroom into what it is today, making it much easier to eat vegan today than in the 1990s. There are many reasons people eat vegan and they relate most to health, animal rights, and/or to help the environment. My change to eating vegan happened in an instant when I saw on a gigantic screen an open heart bypass surgery and I swore in that moment I would never allow that to happen to me.
If you eat vegan for health reasons, perhaps it can reverse heart disease and have a host of other health benefits, so long as you are eating healthy vegan. One can chow down on french fries and Oreos all day and call themselves a vegan, but that does not mean you are eating healthy.
So, today, Americans have many options available to them; from meal kits you prepare yourself to meals already prepared for you and just reheat them in the microwave, skillet, or oven. We tested four available here in South Florida: Green Chef, Purple Carrot, Trifecta, and Jet Fuel Meals. Both Trifecta and Jet Fuel have already been prepped and only require two or three minutes in the microwave, though I would suggest the regular oven or skillet with no additional oil.
Most meal kits lean organic and come with recyclable packaging (some more extensive than others). All, except Purple Carrot, have varying meals for a variety of diets, from vegan to Paleo. Another positive of many meal kits is that you are eating almost all whole foods, very little if any processed ingredients. Another positive in using these kits is that we ate ingredients we would never eat otherwise, even though they were highly nutritious. We will continue to experiment as we learn about new meal options from other companies. It is also easy to find discount codes for many of these companies, so the cost to try is minimal.
Trifecta is (or was) catered to the Crossfit community, offering keto, clean, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and classic meals that only require a couple minutes to have ready. The chefs work to make the nutrient macros consistent with the Crossfit lifestyle. The meals come once a week and cost just over $100/week. That is for two meals a day, five days per week. You can add breakfast and lunch, though we did not give that a go. Although we liked the convenience, the taste wasn’t there. We tried for a couple weeks of the service and attempted to improve the taste by adding a couple spices and cooking on a skillet. This is a great service for those seeking a quick and easy solution to meal prep while staying healthy.
Jet Fuel Meals is another food prep company that will enable users to quickly and easily reheat their meals. Their meals tasted slightly better than Trifecta and they will deliver (in South Florida) three times per week, ensuring your food is fresher than a once per week delivery. They have several meal plans available, from keto, plant-based athletic, pescatarian, kids, and “maintenance” meals. Two vegan meals per day for five days will run you around $100.
Purple Carrot is a meal kit which contains all the ingredients you need for healthy meals and the recipes to help you along. This was the company that was once associated with NFL star Tom Brady and all of their meals are vegan. Like many others, they not only have dinner, but also can include breakfast, lunches, and snacks. Since you are prepping the ingredients, your meal is fresh and the recipes are easy to follow. Like all the meals we tested, the meals are almost all whole food and organic. So, while the taste was positive over the prepped meals, it was hit or miss for spectacular meals. We never had a bad meal with Purple Carrot and may give them another try in the future. Four dinners per week for two will run you about $80. They affiliate with SkyMiles Shopping and if you have that widget in your browser you can gain 300 Delta Skymiles per order.
Green Chef has been our favorite overall. This company had the best taste overall, everything is organic, and had the most whole food menu. We will continue with Green Chef for at least the near future. Green Chef’s sister company is Hello Fresh, which does not have a vegan plan, only vegetarian. Green Chef has keto, paleo, balanced, plant-powered, and family meal plans available. Three dinners per week for two will run you about $77. Use this link to get $55 off your first meal kit. If you have the SkyMiles Shopping widget in your browser, you can earn 450 Delta SkyMiles when you order.
Our conclusion has been that if you are someone with a busy schedule and look at food most as fuel for your body, then trying out one of the pre-prepped meals may be the way to go since you can heat them up quickly with no thought and your’re ready! If you have 30-45 minutes to prepare a meal and enjoy the cooking process, then going with a meal kit like Green Chef or Purple Carrot may be the way to go.
Affiliate Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links of which Karl Dickey receives a small commission from sales of certain items, but the price is the same for you.