Earlier this year the Beyonce-loving world (so the entire population minus my boyfriend, basically) went nuts when Queen B invested in a nationwide vegan meal delivery service called 22 Days. For $150 you can have five days of animal-free breakfast, lunch and dinner shipped straight to your house from somewhere in California. As a 15-year vegetarian veteran I’m thrilled about the media hype surrounding this new venture because when people are done talking about Bey they start talking about the ethics behind a lifestyle I really believe in.
Here’s the problem, though: I’m a card-carrying member of the Bey-gency who once spent $120 to sit in the top row of Time Warner Cable Arena ALONE to watch Beyonce perform and I’m a resident of Charlotte. As such, I am conflicted because (it really pains me to say this): We don’t need you, Beyonce. Charlotte already has its own vegan meal delivery service and it’s awesome.
(A small piece of my soul just died.)
But seriously we do! Nourish Charlotte is like 22 Days but with more options and minus that whole cross-country shipment thing that negates your ethical eating habits by polluting the planet to deliver you something you could’ve just gotten here.
Nourish offers a rotating weekly menu of plant-based meals delivered straight to your door. They launched statewide North Carolina delivery last year and sent me some meals to test as a promotion of that expansion. I went nuts over all of it and still think about the cinnamon bun oatmeal at least three times a week. Here’s what I got to try:
Cinnamon Bun Oatmeal – My life is ruined because I can’t just eat this every single day.
TuNO Salad – This one made me pretty nervous seeing as how I’ve never had or desired to have tuna salad and the thought of a non-tuna version is equally as unappealing. And yet… I loved it. Since I’ve never had real tuna salad (or real tuna period for that matter) I can’t attest to its likeness, but in my opinion vegan food is better when it doesn’t try to be a dead ringer for meat. This chickpea-based salad ate more like a hummus and was perfect with the homemade seed crackers they sent.
Indian Thali – I don’t even remember what was in this exactly but it was a killer mix of rice and legumes and vegetables in robust Indian spices. Highlight: the apple chutney is a game changer and I’d like a gallon of it, please.
Not dying to go full vegan*? You have even more local options. The newly launched Fit You Meals is another local meal delivery service offering a full complement of vegetarian entrees alongside its traditional (meat & fish) menu.
And if delivery isn’t a requirement on your list, you could always pick up your own Beverly’s Gourmet vegetarian and vegan meals at area farmers markets and select retail locations or drop into Luna’s Living Kitchen, Fern or Bean Vegan Cuisine for a restaurant meal.
Intimidated or appalled by vegan/vegetarian food? I’ll go eat with you and show you the ropes and, more importantly, what’s good. Seriously.
*Since it’s been brought to my attention that Ted doesn’t even know what veganism is… Vegans avoid all animal products, which means in addition to not eating the flesh of animals (beef, pork, chicken, fish, etc.) they also do not eat eggs, dairy or any other animal byproduct. Some vegans will also avoid leather, wool, down and other products made from animal byproducts. Vegetarians on the other hand may choose to eat eggs and/or dairy and may specify their preference as “lacto-ovo vegetarian” (eats both dairy and eggs). Personally, I classify myself as vegetarian who avoids all animals products (and is thus vegan) about 90% of the time. The other 10% I am eating pizza or cake or something.