If you get emails from any sort of group coupon site that offers daily deals, you may have seen Gobble Green offering their vegan meal service. This fairly new vegan company offers meal plans and a la carte foods shipped to you nationwide from their kitchen in Los Angeles. The deal running on these group coupon sites is a hugely discounted Vegan Starter Kit. When I bought mine, I got it for $99 (a value of $225) – shipping included. It was shipped to me in an insulated container with dry ice to keep the foods as cold as possible. All foods are to remain frozen until eaten. This vegan starter kit included three meals plus dessert each day for 7 days.
The meals came with a sheet indicating which items should be eaten when. Obviously this is optional and you can eat whatever whenever you’d like. I went ahead and followed the sheet and ate only what was provided.
Breakfast was Maple Apple Sauce. I actually don’t like apple sauce so I saved this for use in my baked goods.
Lunch consisted of Sweet Potato Croquets. I thought that for being frozen, these tasted pretty fresh. They had quinoa, spices, and bits of sweet potatoes. I thought they were very tasty and had a nice spicy kick to them.
Dinner was their BBQ Seitan (the picture didn’t turn out, so I borrowed the picture from week 2 – more on that later). I thought these were very dry and didn’t have nearly enough sauce. Because this was the first seitan dish of the week, I was starting to dread the rest of the week.
Dessert for Day 1 were some Vegan Beignets. I understand that it is difficult to create a frozen food that should taste like it just came out of the fryer, so my disappointment in these wasn’t all that surprising. They had a nice flavor and doughy consistency (in a good way), but they were no where near what a real freshly fried beignet would taste like.
Breakfast was plain old Oatmeal. I ended up adding a bit of agave nectar just to sweeten it up. It tasted just like oatmeal – nothing to really comment on.
Lunch was some Cashew Pesto Pasta. So far, this was my favorite dish. I loved how creamy it was! Great flavor.
Dinner was Mac and Cheese. Another great dish. I thought the flavor was great and it had some great texture.
Dessert was a Peanut Butter Cookie. This cookie was good, but had a “healthy” taste to it. It was full of oats and fell apart.
Breakfast was a Biscuit. A biscuit, you ask? Yes. Considering they advertise that you get to “eat three gourmet, nutritionally balanced meals,” I was surprised this was my breakfast. I don’t know how balanced flour and fat are. And do they expect us to add anything to the biscuit or eat it plain? Of course, I’m not going to eat it plain, so I turned it into a PB & J. The biscuit was tasty, though, I’ll give them that. However, I wouldn’t call it balanced.
Lunch were four tiny Falafel balls. That is a tablespoon sized measuring spoon just to give you a size reference. I am an averaged sized girl and knew this was not going to satisfy my hunger, so I served these with some rice. The taste was not at all like a falafel. In fact, it tasted just like the beignets, only without being rolled in a sweet coating.
Dinner on Day 3 were the Sweet Potato Croquets again. Dessert was a Snickerdoodle Cookie. I thought this cookie was really good. As it was quite big, I was surprised it only had 119 calories (I’m a huge baker and calorie counter and most cookies that size are at least 200). It tasted like a combination of a baked donut and a cookie.
Breakfast was the Oatmeal again.
Lunch was a Seitan and Bean Stew. Having that bad experience on Day 1 with the BBQ Seitan, I was a little weary about what this stew might taste like. However, I really enjoyed this dish. The large chunks of seitan were very moist and it was full of beans. It left me feeling full, but not in a bloated kind of way.
Dinner was Caramelized Tofu with Vegetables. By vegetables in this dish, I guess they mean one tiny chunk of cauliflower and two tiny bits of bell pepper. This dish consisted mainly of chewy tofu. I ended up serving it with rice, because I needed a little bit more food.
Dessert was an Oatmeal Raisin Cookie. This had the same consistency of the Peanut Butter cookie – full of oats and fell apart. I didn’t get any raisins, so basically it was just an oatmeal cookie.
Breakfast was a Chickpea Scramble. It looks kind of like mush in the picture, doesn’t it? That’s actually what it tasted like. I love chickpeas, but somehow I didn’t get much chickpea flavor. The vegetables (yes, there were more vegetables!!) were mainly corn, bell peppers, onions, and one or two mushrooms. Although I didn’t like it, it was filling (or maybe by Day 5 my stomach had shrunk).
Lunch was one of my favs: Mac and Cheese.
Dinner was Chili. This was a pretty basic chili. There was lots of emphasis on the beans – which I enjoyed. Wished I had some cornbread to go with it.
Dessert was another Peanut Butter Cookie.
Breakfast was another well balanced Biscuit.
Lunch was another enjoyable Seitan and Bean Stew.
Dinner was a Lentil and Cauliflower Curry. I thought this one was just ok. I always find pre-packaged lentils never taste as good as freshly prepared lentils. To me, they always taste mushier having been cooked, cooled, and heated again.
Dessert was another fabulous Snickerdoodle Cookie.
Breakfast was another Maple Apple Sauce – which I saved to use in baking later.
Lunch was another round of doughy Falafel Balls.
Dinner was some Szechuan and Broccoli Seitan. I liked this dish, only I wished it had more sauce. Thankfully the seitan was still moist and it did include some broccoli. However, I was disappointed that only one broccoli floret made it into this dish and included mainly stalks.
Dessert was another Oatmeal Raisin Cookie (sans raisins).
All-in-all, I think for $99, this was worth it. However, for $225, I wouldn’t pay for it. The meals were small (according to their packaging, the calorie count for each day was around 1150 – 1350 – even I need more than that to sustain my energy). However, some of the ingredients listed on the packaging clearly missed some items (a dish obviously containing beans had no mention of them in the ingredients list), so this makes me unsure of how accurate the nutritional content is on the packaging. I guess you are paying for a bit of convenience and variety. I spend about $50 – $100 on groceries each week (I’m a foodie!) and have enough variety to keep me satisfied. But I cook. Others with a busy schedule might value this meal plan more than I.
Another bit that concerned me is the fact I received a small amount of apple sauce and only few vegetables. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend they advertise this as “nutritionally balanced.” Maybe if they added recommended sides (like an orange to eat alongside the oatmeal, etc.), it would make more sense. But then that would add on to the cost of the food and would require the buyer to make a trip to the store.
Because this deal runs on many group coupon sites, I ended up buying another Vegan Starter Kit. Stay tuned for my reaction to a second week of Gobble Green.
[UPDATE: See week 2 here.]
Join a CSA in your area and you will get a lot of fresh fruits and veggies without any chemicals!