The box arrived on schedule, just like FedEx reported it would. It was seemingly ordinary, I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wanted more than just an ordinary cardboard box. It sat in my office at work, distracting me, until quitting time. When I got home, I cut open the box and examined its contents. It was lined with two inch thick Styrofoam and at the top was a set of empty plastic bags, which had formerly contained frozen carbon dioxide, also known as dry ice. I discarded the empty plastic bags and examined the box’s contents, which included many other small bags. Each bag contained a hard to identify vacuum sealed substance and was labeled with a name and a list of ingredients. One bag of red stuff was labeled Gobble Green Meatloaf. It was frozen solid. I immediately moved the plastic bags of food out of the box and into my freezer. I’m living in the future, I thought.
But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. I recently had the opportunity to buy a week’s worth of prepackaged vegan meals from a company called Gobble Green. I had heard about meal services like this, but had never really considered ordering food from one. I cook regularly and Austin has enough vegan-friendly restaurants, that I never felt the need to have pre-prepared meals shipped to me across the country. But I got a deal, a group deal to be precise, it was a deal I couldn’t turn down. Gobble Green is a Los Angeles-based company that is in its own words, “an online marketplace where you will find a diverse and frequently updated selection of healthy, pre-packaged vegan meals.” They have a variety of meal plans you can choose from, check out their website for the details.
|Food not guaranteed to float eerily in space|
After securing most of the food in my freezer, I took out several plastic bags and put them on my counter. One bag was labeled “Pancakes” and appeared to contain, appropriately enough, pancakes. Another read “Ocean Medley Stew” and appeared to contain a brownish red mixture which did not look edible. I kept thinking of that scene from 2001: A Space Odyssey, where the people on the space shuttle were drinking meals from straws. Above each straw was a drawing of the food they were supposedly consuming, such as corn, fish, cheese, etc. Gobble Green should really attach pictures to each plastic bag of what each meal is supposed to look like when its prepared, I thought. Not that I minded, I like the idea of eating space food.
I know what you’re thinking. Isn’t this supposed to be a review? Get to the part where you talk about the food. Instead I’d like to share with you my thoughts on why the popular sci-fi TV show Firefly was [ed. note: tragically] cancelled and how, with some precise planning and minimal loss of life, the show can be brought back. Just kidding, here’s the part about the food.
First I tried the “meatloaf.” It was quinoa-based, not like the usual lentil meatloaf. It was pretty good. Quinoa wouldn’t be my first choice as a basis for a mock-meatloaf, and for good reason. It’s a grain, it doesn’t have the right texture, but it was still pretty good. I read the nutritional information and was impressed to learn that the meatloaf had 37.5 grams of protein. That’s a lot.
For those not in the know, the USDA daily recommended amount of protein is 50 grams (more or less.) I’m hesitant to bring this up, I don’t want to feed the ignorant notion that we vegans have to worry about getting enough protein. Whenever someone asks me, “where do you get your protein?” I feel sad for them and their pathetic, uneducated existence. I mention this because I was in the middle of a cross-fit exercise program while eating these meals from Gobble Green. The program involved a lot of lifting weights and jumping up and down in my living room. I wanted to get a lot of protein at that point to really get the most out of the workout routine, around 100 grams a day, far more than most people need. I had to resort to supplements in order to get enough protein without also getting a lot of fat or other stuff I didn’t want. Not all of Gobble Green’s meals had that much protein, but I was able to cut way back on the amount of supplements I was consuming.
|Ocean Medley Stew before|
|Green Medley Stew after|
Another meal I tried was the previously mentioned Ocean Medley Stew. Though it looked odd vacuumed-sealed in plastic, warmed up in a microwave it turned out really well. The dish had potatoes, tomatoes, and TVP, among other ingredients, and was one of the best meals I got from Gobble Green. It was spicy, though not so much you couldn’t taste the ingredients in the stew. I have no idea why they called it Ocean Medley Stew, and I don’t really care, it was good (it had 43 grams of protein, in case you were wondering.)
Another dish I tried was the scrambled “Eggs.” Tofu scramble is one of those dishes that has been attempted by a lot restaurants. Many have tried, many have failed. Gobble Green’s scramble was a worthy attempt, but alas, it was mediocre at best. It was spicy-hot to a point where that was all I could taste. Also in the box were banana pancakes, which contained no bananas. The pancakes were also only mediocre, I think they lost something in their translation to vacuum-packed-frozen-ese. But with fresh bananas and maple syrup added, it really didn’t matter if they were made of the cardboard box they came in.
|Banana pancakes post-banana-ing|
It’s also really convenient. For a week I didn’t have to worry about food. Every meal was planned out for me. I didn’t have to cook, or read the ingredients on a box to look for animal products. Everything was microwavable and ready in minutes. Three meals a day for seven days. I ate like a king, or really more like a duke or something, a vegan duke. If I were transitioning to veganism and had some cash to burn, Gobble Green would be the easiest way to do it. If I had no time to cook and didn’t want to go out to eat all the time, I would definitely buy more meals from Gobble Green.
Normally I’d summarize what I had written above in this paragraph. That’s what I learned in kollege. Maybe you skipped down to this part, hoping to avoid reading the full review, and were hoping I’d have a nice summary waiting for you here. Maybe I lost you at the point where I mentioned Firefly. Sorry, no dice. Gobble Green, you can learn more at your local library, which is to say google Gobble Green to get more info.