Not gonna lie, it is really fun to be a food blogger in Austin. It still makes me giggle a bit to be considered a “member of the media” with my ragamuffin little blog about food and how it relates to my life, but I love every single invitation to attend and event or a tasting that comes my way.
Because of this, I have to admit I was a little nervous in signing up for the Vegan Month of Food that I’d get invited to come crazy, “best free foodie event EVER” shindig and I wouldn’t be able to attend, or be able to attend and not be able to eat.
After all, it might not be difficult to request that your friends leave out the butter and yogurt for an Indian curry night, but asking a restaurant who has invited you to come and eat for free to prepare separate dishes for you is a little much, don’t you think?You can imagine my excitement, then, when a lovely blogging compatriot arranged a media tasting for Greenling, a local and organic grocery delivery service that offers weekly ‘surprise boxes’ of whatever is in season OR customizable boxes created by shopping their online grocery store.
And then the food is delivered.
In a car with a banana on top.
Greenling also offers a number of recipe kits that will be delivered with all ingredients prepped and instructions provided for creating a healthy meal in 45 minutes or less.
Although they have non-vegetarian options, the majority of these kits are vegetarian, Engine 2 Diet-friendly, and…vegan
! So, despite my VeganMoFo
restrictions, I was lucky enough to read that the tasting last Thursday promised to be 3/4 vegan and
gluten-free.**I’m not watching gluten…but I hold anyone who is trying to be both vegan and gluten-free in the ultimate of esteem.
With a simple centerpiece of seasonal gourds and cozy candles, I was definitely ready to dig in to some samples from the recipe basket
I started with a simple Fall Veggie Minestrone, featuring a delicious tomato broth full of chunks of carrots and potatoes, as well as fresh kale and red beans.
Acorn Squash with Curried Veggies
The fact that I loved Greenling already for rejecting pretension and using “veggies” in the title of their recipes rather than “vegetables,” was only accentuated by the fact that this dish was incredibly delicious, and definitely something I would spend money on in a restaurant. The curry continued with a Curried Quinoa Salad, lightly dressed in a citrus vinaigrette.
Very light, but texturally fun with the pairing of quinoa and still crisp apples, the addition of turnips was a nice surprise!
Sadly, I could not try the Pasta with Mushroom Sauce
, as it featured a bunch of locally produced goat (?) cheese. It looked incredibly rich and comforting, though.
I also couldn’t dive head first into the dessert tray of brownie bites. [Eggs, gosh darnit! ]
Funnily enough, although I love that this locally-owned company is called LovePuppies
, and has brownie flavors
that include “Just What The Doctor Ordered” made with Dr. Pepper…I swear I do not crave dessert as much as I used to now that I’ve been vegan for three (!) weeks.
Overall, even though I love to cook and chopping veggies is a strange form of catharsis, it IS nice to know that I could come home and have a scrumptious, healthy—and vegan-friendly–soup for dinner after only dicing up a potato and pouring some ingredients into a pot.
The prices are comparable to paying for (much less healthy) take-out, and require minimal work on the customers’ end…so under the right circumstances I definitely would be willing to allow Greenling
to fulfill their “Lettuce Deliver” request.
Bonus highlight of the event? I met the owner of NadaMoo! And she gave me coupons once I told her I was participating in the Vegan Month of Food.
I might not crave dessert as much anymore…but that doesn’t mean I still don’t want to be able to have it.