We snagged a few of the new Purple Carrot frozen meals from Target. Here's what we thought of these plant-based frozen dinners.
In 2020, plant based meal kit delivery service Purple Carrot launched a line of frozen meals at Whole Foods. Since then, they've expanded to be available in other grocery stores, too. I grabbed a few of these pre-made, frozen vegan meals to try.
Purple Carrot frozen meals review
We bought three varieties of Purple Carrot frozen meals:
- Maple Chipotle Veggie Bowl
- Fiesta Pepper Bowl
- Plant-Based Meatball Marinara
I cooked up all three for lunch, and Dave and I split them.
My first impression of these was packaging-related. I liked that the bowls were compostable! Everything is recyclable or compostable, except the piece of plastic film on top of each bowl.
Each bowl was very different, so let's break this review down by variety.
Maple chipotle veggie bowl
This one had a really nice flavor! The bowl is a mix of sweet potato, Brussels sprouts, black beans, and a little bit of kale with a touch of pumpkin seeds for crunch in a sweet-savory sauce.
I loved the sauce, which had a nice, balanced flavor. It was a good combination of sweet and salt that worked well with the veggies and didn't strike me as overly salty.
This was my favorite bowl of the three. It had a nice mix of beans and veggies, complemented by that nice sauce and crunchy pumpkin seeds. I could have used more sauce but otherwise really liked this.
It feels like a good quick lunch option!
Fiesta pepper bowl
I'm not going to spend a ton of time on this bowl, because neither Dave nor I liked it. This is a black bean bowl with Gardein crumbles, vegan queso, and bell pepper.
The whole thing was incredibly salty, and it had a funky smell and taste that I found really off-putting. I think the odd flavor came from the queso.
This was a miss for both of us, though Dave felt more neutral about it than I did.
Plant-based meatball marinara
The meatball bowl featured orzo with peas, green beans, asparagus, and Gardein meatball in tomato sauce.
This one had the fewest veggies in it, but I did like the veggies that were there. It comes with three of the Gardein meatballs, which, to me, is not enough Gardein meatballs, because I'm a glutton who's obsessed with Gardein.
The sauce for this meal was on the sweet side, but I didn’t mind it. It went well with the orzo-veggie mixture. The texture of the orzo and texture and flavor of the meatballs was great.
This bowl was good overall, and it's something I'd be happy to find in the freezer for a quick lunch.
Where to buy these
We found the three varieties of Purple Carrot frozen meals that we tried at Target. You can also find them at:
- Whole Foods
They're pretty easy to find, if you want them! At Target, they were in the plant based freezer section.
How to make them
You heat up these frozen meals in the microwave. Each one takes about five minutes.
To make the Maple Chipotle Veggie Bowl and the Meatball Marinara, you heat it on high for three minutes with the plastic still covering it. Then, remove the plastic, stir, and put the plastic back on before heating for two more minutes.
The Fiesta Pepper Bowl didn't require stirring mid-way. You just cook that one on high for five minutes.
With each of these, let them stand for a minute before you remove the film, stir again, and eat.
Are they healthy?
I'm no nutritionist, so all that I can share is what I look for, nutrition-wise. I tend to focus on salt (not too much) and fiber (as much as possible).
The amount of sodium in these varied quite a bit. The Fiesta Bowl has a whopping 63% of your daily sodium in it! The Meatball Marinara is also on the salty side, with 47% of your sodium limit. That Maple Chipotle bowl is much more reasonable at 33% of your daily sodium
Fiber-wise, these meals all deliver. The Maple Chipotle and the Fiesta Bowl each have nine grams of fiber. Meatball Marinara clocked in a bit lower at six grams.
Of the three, the Maple Chipotle bowl seems the healthiest to me, with the most fiber and least salt. If those are factors that you look for, this is the bowl for you.
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