The Veggie | Vegan Delivery Review


There are tons of benefits to plant based eating. All the recent studies seem to be pointing to the same conclusion - healthy eating is being redefined as more plants, less animal products. Belgium recently released an updated food pyramid which lists meat as a junk food, and we all probably have a connection to a friend (or friend of a friend) whose vegan lifestyle has cured some persistent illness or health issue. I'm not a novice to veggie-friendly eating, having spent nine whole years of my life as a vegetarian.
But, just like any other elimination diet, it takes lots of work to cut out all animal products from one's diet - they're in what seems like everything. At the same time, it's that complete elimination that does wonders. For me, eating vegan is kind of like wiping the slate blank and starting from scratch. Even if I don't intend on keeping 100% vegan (because let's be honest, I totally don't) I do love it in a short burst, and love that it forces me to reflect on those animal products I was taking for granted.
But back to the whole time consuming food prep. What if you could magically snap your fingers and three days of vegan meals appeared at your doorstep? Well, if you're in the HSV area, you can! I had the pleasure of testing out a three-day meal delivery from Huntsville's new vegan comfort food service, The Veggie! The Veggie truly makes eating vegan a cinch. Not only that, the meals are designed so that you don't feel like you're missing out on anything. While I may be veggie-friendly, my Texas born and bred husband is most definitely used to meat on the table - but he's firmly in the camp that if it tastes good, he's eating it, and I'm happy to report that he gave The Veggie two-thumbs up!


The meals were delivered right to my door and came in recyclable plastics and compostable packaging. Each dish came with nutritional information (calories, carbs, protein) and was ready to serve once heated. It really could not have been easier, and since there was zero-prep, my kitchen had never been cleaner!


My very favorite food item from the plan was this Curried Potato Breakfast Burrito (340 calories, 49g carbs, 10g protein). It consisted of potatoes, tofu and mild curry, and was wrapped in a vegan/gluten free tortilla (which was delicious and I'd have never guessed it was vegan or gluten-free). Y'all, this burrito was magical. I'm hoping there will be a future option to purchase a big box of these because I'd gladly eat them for breakfast every single day (and by breakfast I really mean brunch because I'm usually ready to eat mid-morning, but that's just me). 


The burrito came wrapped in foil so I just popped it in the oven to warm it up. I paired it with a third of the Red Smoothie (strawberry, raspberry, blueberry, blood orange and vegan protein powder), one of the other breakfast options. I did end up mixing and matching some of the meals a bit because the portions were very generous. I actually usually worry about portion sizes not being big enough when doing meal plans since I'm a hefty server, but I always had leftovers with The Veggie, or even enough to split into two meals (for example with the Jackfruit Jumbalaya, I split the serving and it fed both me and Husby for dinner).

My favorite lunch from the plan was this Fajita Bowl with Guacamole (450 calories, 57g carbohydrates, 16g protein). It consisted of black beans, roasted veggies and rice, and was plenty filling. I paired this meal with Chef Adyre's Citrus Water (which reminded me exactly of being at a spa!). 


The other lunch options were both salads. I was super impressed with the quality of the produce and the freshness. How gorgeous is this Nuts and Berries Salad? (302 calories, 42g carbohydrates, 6g protein)


It came with a made-from-scratch white balsamic vinaigrette, and it was so tasty I wasn't missing animal products in the least. It kind of opened my eyes to the fact that all my salads don't need all the cheese and dairy to be delicious. 


Since I mixed and matched my leftovers, I ended up serving the lunch portion of The Pickled Wedge Salad (310 calories, 28g carbohydrate, 14g protein) with dinner one night. I didn't even tell Husby that the dressing was a vegan Mock Blue Cheese - because it totally passed as the real thing! It was some sort of magical tofu/vegan mayonnaise combo - brilliant!


My favorite dinner meal was this Black Bean Quinoa Bowl with Cumin Lime Vinaigrette (600 calories, 60g carbohydrates, 30g protein). The combination of the black beans with the roasted veggies was super filling, and I enjoyed that the pumpkin seeds were mixed throughout. Also, can we talk Hibiscus Water for a second? It's a take on the Frescas served in Mexico, and I'd compare it to the Passionfruit Iced Tea at Starbucks - it's delicious. Chef Adyre combines alkaline water with boiled hibiscus flowers and adds warm spiced (which totally reminded me of the Mulled Wine in the U.K.). It's just the right amount of sweetness and such a delightful beverage!


I had fun posting my meals in real time via Instastories:


 I got this response to my Raspberry Apple Muffin (232 calories, 10g carbohydrates, 6g protein):
But yes, it was indeed vegan! The recipe uses applesauce to replace eggs, and I couldn't tell the difference (nor could Parker who chomped down on the other muffin!). 


I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Adyre in person, and she just could not have been sweeter! Here's some more about vegan eating in her own words...
What made you start a vegan lifestyle? 

In my twenties I started having lots of digestion issues seemingly out of nowhere. I was already only a “chicken and seafood” meat eater but slowly chicken and dairy started to make me really sick. I was even taking a prescription pill just to be able to make it through my meals without being in excruciating pain hours later. Over about a 16 month period I intentionally made a steady transition from carnivore to pescatarian to vegetarian- Cheese was my Achilles heel! But one day I had a real moment with myself and realized that taking pills just to satisfy my tastebuds was crazy. It also led me on a personal journey asking myself, if you can’t exhibit self-control between food and your mouth, what about when other more important life situations come that require that very quality!? My own personal moment of growth led me to full on veganism in fall 2015!


How did you come up with the concept of The Veggie?

My mom and I always shared a secret dream of entering the food industry but we always considered our ideas just that, dreams. When my mom got sick unexpectedly and passed away last April it led- and is still leading me- on intense paths of change and discovery. The fact that my mom left here with that dream made me realize that I didn’t have time to waste. So last fall I kicked my cushy office job to the curb and dove in head first. The name, “The Veggie,” kind of became my nickname among my mom and coworkers who always called me “a veggie” once I went vegan. The concept of vegan comfort food itself is a blend of my mom’s ideas and mine. My mom wasn’t vegan- she was a southern girl from Alabama who loved soul food!- but when I made my own transition, my initial dishes were all vegan versions of foods my mom used to make when i was growing up. Now I strive to incorporate as many vegan renditions of her dishes as I can in her honor. Although i incorporate various types of cuisine into my menu I want every dish to have soul! Taking hearty, familiar dishes that warm our hearts and turning them into vegan specialities is what the vegan comfort food concept is all about!




How would you classify your cuisine? 

Vegan comfort food is how I dub my food because I've taken my mother's southern recipes and the various cuisines I enjoy and turned them vegan. It's an easier way to transition to a plant based lifestyle when you see dishes you're familiar with and when you realize vegan food can be just as flavorful as anything else. 


What's your favorite vegan dish?

It’s not technically a dish but I could swim in avocado everyday. I absolutely LOVE guacamole and I never get tired of it! My favorite vegan dish that I’ve had over the last few years was at what is still my favorite restaurant, Sushi Samba. Despite the name, I’ve been enjoying their cuisine even after going vegan because of their creativity and versatility. Last year for my birthday the Chef at the Vegas location made a mushroom clay pot, a medley of different mushrooms in a stroganoff-esque sauce, AMAZING!! 



What tips do you have for transitioning or dabbling in vegan eating? 


Going vegan can be overwhelming if you attack it all at once. When I launch my monthly transition classes in March, what attendees will find is that every class is focused around substitutes. I think this is key! If you learn what products to use or techniques to now make things yourself, you can transform the things you already love to eat and cook. I think this makes going vegan much more doable. I also recommend for people transitioning to start with substituting the easy stuff- butter and condiments. There are amazing vegan versions of ketchup, mayo, vegan butter, and easy ways to whip up your own ranch or blue “cheese” dressing and you’ll hardly know the difference! In my case, when I realized there were so many condiments that tasted great I was more open to exploring other vegan products from a positive perspective. 



Thanks so much to Chef Adyre! I loved this period of vegan eating. For me, the elimination of dairy made me feel lighter and better after eating (not to mention all the other perks of plant-based eating). As a bonus, it was a lovely way to take a break from cooking (saving time prepping, cooking and washing dishes!). My final verdict? The Veggie is an awesome way to easily eat vegan! 

Thank you to The Veggie for providing me with the three-day meal plan in exchange for this review!
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