After reviewing the meal box services from GoodFood, MissFresh, HelloFresh and Chefs Plate I was excited to learn of a new service delivering in the Ottawa area.
Unlike the past meal services Plant Prepped offers a 100 per cent plant-based, vegan menu and the ability to create gluten-free and soy-free options. Being vegetarian I was intrigued. While the other meal services came in a large paper box, Plant Prepped delivered their meals to me in a cooler bag. The delivery man informed me that if I subscribed weekly they would pick up my cooler bag and reuse it for my next delivery. (For subscribers outside the Ottawa area, Plant Prepped uses a traditional box.)
Instead of ice packs, Plant Prepped opts for cooler panels by Green Cell Foam—they’re made out of corn and are 100% compostable and biodegradable. You can dispose of these panels by disintegrating them in your sink. Although this facet of the service was more waste-conscious, the contents on the package were similar to the others.
Each individual meal was in a brown paper bag; the herbs, lettuce, sauces etc. were packed in plastic bags or containers. The cooler bag included regular ice packs; while some of the services had a pamphlet on how to recycle the ice packs, Plant Pressed did not. However, when reading online I found out the ice packs could also be returned with the cooler bags if you lived in the Ottawa area.
Inside the cooler bag were 3 recipes: lemongrass tofu banh mi, cornmeal crusted tofu, and baja hearts of palm tostadas.
We tried the banh mi first. With a fresh white bun, basil, parsley, a pre-made lemongrass sauce to marinate the tofu, pickled carrots, radish, and cucumber paired with cabbage salad, this meal was a success. It was easily the favourite of the three recipes — and more flavourful than Good Foods similar recipe for Banh Mi.
The cornmeal crusted tofu was disappointing. The tofu lacked flavour, and so did the mashed rutabaga. A vegetarian take on breaded chicken with potatoes and vegetables, it required us to use our own hot sauce.
The final meal was the baja hearts of palm tostadas. The traditional fish was substituted with deep fried heart of palm, something I had never tried before. (I learned that the heart of palm is a vegetable harvested from the inner core of palm trees.) The garlic-mashed lentils and lime combined with their signature spice blend, avocado and cilantro fused into a zesty masterpiece.
While Good Foods, Miss Fresh, Chef’s Plant, and Hello Fresh all offered flexibility in terms of delivery days Plant Prepped is more rigid — they only deliver every Tuesday.
The other meal prep services always offered three vegetarian options out of the seven choices. I appreciated the flexibility of choice with Plant Prepped since all of their options were vegetarian. However, the slight higher cost (Miss Fresh being the lowest at $58.74 a week) and disappointment in one of the meals hasn’t turned this veg head into a weekly subscriber.
2 Person Plan – 72.99 per week
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