A few weeks ago I subscribed to Crisper Kits plant based meal kits. Like most meal kits, their whole thing is centered around delivering a kit of pre-portioned groceries (produce, spices, sauces, etc) and recipes every week. You choose how many meals you want (they have 5 options every week), and the portion size (2 servings or 4 servings.) The way they differ from most meal kit companies is that everything they deliver is plant based, AND is in reusable, zero-waste packaging.
I have tried a small variety of similar style plant based meal kits, including Purple Carrot, when we were briefly living in NYC (they were and still are only available in the USA), the now gone Globally Local kit based in Ontario, and the low-waste one from Sorry I’ve Got Plants. We haven’t tried Plant Prepped yet (they deliver in Ontario & Quebec,) and I don’t know if we will, as it looks like there is a lot of packaging involved (though it is all or mostly recyclable) but it is also another option.
Purple Carrot (in 2016) was a mountain of plastic and disposable parts – I can’t speak to what it looks like now, but that stuck out for me. The portion sizes were good, and all of the meals were very vegetable-centric, with a good balance of protein. The Sorry I’ve Got Plants kit was low waste (so paper bags were used instead of plastic, higher quality food containers that can be cleaned and returned) the recipes were good, but felt repetitive and many had a similar flavour profile. I did not find the portion sizes to be enough for 2 hungry active people, so we kept looking for other options. Things could have changed in a year or so, but I have not felt like trying again.
Between the two vegan meal kits in Toronto, they’re around the same price if you subscribe ($54 for Crisper, $50 for the equivalent serving/meal combo at Sorry I’ve Got Plants, both of these prices are including delivery to my area. Crisper kits is $64 for a one time thing.) There isn’t much point talking about the price of Purple Carrot since we cannot get it here anyway but it’s $71USD for 3 meals, 2 servings.
I’ve been impressed so far with the packaging used for ingredients at Crisper – they’ve had a small assortment of reusable produce bags, sturdy EcoCanucks silicon reusable bags, a variety of mason jars, and small spice jars. Everything looks clean and the produce quality has generally been quite high – as an example – the two avocados I’ve gotten have been perfect, and we all know those can be chaotic evil.
We’ve gotten 3 weeks worth of meals so far, and they have all been delicious, with a great portion size, and easy to follow instructions – there is no recipe card with the box, which suits me just fine since it’s available on their website and it’s one less thing for me to recycle/lose.
In my experience the recipes are all laid out really clearly, and they also give you a guide on how to approach them. I’m comfortable in the kitchen, and I can see the thought that went into each recipe. I think this kit would be great for anyone, but especially for people just starting out being vegan or someone that has just started cooking on their own. I think it would help build confidence in the kitchen.
Our first week was on August 2-8th – and we’d selected the Black Bean Sweet Potato Nachos, and a Massaman Curry.
The rubbermaid tub was quietly delivered to our porch. There were some reusable ice packs keeping things cool, and some insulated packages with ice packs for some of the more perishable stuff like prepared sauces, and vegetables in mesh produce bags.
On week 2, August 9-15, we got the Herby Roasted Vegetable and Mexican inspired wild rice lettuce cups. These both jumped out at me when I was looking at the menu, and we weren’t disappointed. I love the opportunity to have a whole bunch of everything in each of our meals, the Mexican inspired wild rice lettuce cups were very filling – with wild rice, corn, avocado being central, and the included lettuce was really fresh and crisp.
I loved the pasta meal – and pasta can be so terribly boring, but this had a bit of everything, I roasted vegetables and tempeh while boiling pasta, and it all came together around the same time.
Week 3, August 16-23, we got the Moroccan Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Chickpeas and Date Vinaigrette and the Millet Hummus Nourish Bowl.
The Moroccan roasted sweet potato dish was full of herbs and refreshing, but also filling and hearty and just perfect for my usual inclination of a bit of everything in a bowl. I didn’t get the millet hummus bowl until I ate everything together – there was roasted seasoned cauliflower, a salad with a citrus vinaigrette, hummus, tofu, cucumber, millet, and a red cabbage sauerkraut.
Overall, we’re on our fourth week getting Crisper Kit meals, and I’m really pleased with what we’ve been getting. They’ve all been really delicious, easy, and convenient.