Eat your veggies – Testing Aarstiderne’s vegan box
I’m on a quest to reduce my meat consumption – not an easy feat if you are served an amazing warm lunch buffet at work and live with the guy that meat lover’s pizza was invented for! At work, it’s easier, because there are plenty of amazing vegetarian options available, so I usually just opt for those or two slices of rugbrød and some salad (honestly, we really don’t need two warm meals a day!).
As I might have mentioned before, we’ve been using the Aarstiderne meal service for about half a year now, and as we weren’t super keen on our usual box last week, I jumped on the opportunity and convinced the boyfriend to try the vegan one (I would’ve gone with either vegetarian or vegan, but this week, the vegan dishes sounded more appealing).
I was fully expecting the boyfriend to go and buy some chicken breast or sausages on day two at the latest, but no – we both really liked the dishes and there was no attempt to supplement any meat. On a positive side note, we paid only DKK 315 for four days, instead of our regular DKK 431 for three days!
Here’s what we had, and how we liked it.
Day 1: Whole wheat tortiglioni with parsley pesto and rocket salad with tomato and grilled peppers
Our vegan week started with a relatively simple dish of pasta with pesto and a salad on the side. It’s probably not the most creative vegan dish, but the homemade parsley pesto was delicious, and the grilled peppers on the salad were an original touch. This dish was very uncomplicated to prepare, all in all it didn’t take more than 20 minutes.
Day 2: Quinoa tabbouleh and baked veggies
Of course I forgot to soak the lentils overnight for day 2’s dish, so we swapped the meals for days 2 and 3. We were also supposed to save half of the pesto, but we ate it all with the pasta, but we didn’t really miss it. The Hokkaido pumpkin was quite large, so after I’d cut it all into wedges, I put about half of them in the freezer, and it was still plenty. I made some changes to the original recipe, using some of the “Bombay” spice mix that was intended for the day 3 lentils on the pumpkin, and it came out very tasty. I also opted not to bake the tomatoes and instead made a quick tomato salad. Finally, the recipe called for making a tabbouleh salad by stirring the quinoa with pesto and the baked vegetables, but we opted to make our own quinoa bowls instead. I thought this was a very tasty and colorful dish with lots of flavor.
Day 3: Lentil “frikadeller” in cabbage wraps with tomato chili salsa
I really liked this vegan take on “meat balls”, which consisted of red lentils (soaked overnight and then blended and mixed with shredded zucchini, garlic, onion, and the remainder of the “Bombay” spice mix). They were served in cabbage leaves and topped with chopped cucumber and a salsa with tomatoes, chili, garlic, and onions. It doesn’t sound like a lot of food, but we actually had a lentil “frikadelle” when we were done. I would’ve liked a sort of sour cream dressing or tzatziki to top it all off, but generally a really nice, light, summery dish.
Day 4: BBQ cauliflower nuggets in pita bread with salad and avocado
This was the dish I’d been looking forward to all week (I’m a sucker for barbecue sauce). The cauliflower was dipped into a dough made with chickpea flour and then baked, while a homemade barbecue sauce was simmering (made with onions, garlic, tomatoes, vinegar, and BBQ spice mix – I added sugar, though, because for me, barbecue sauce has to have some sweetness). The nuggets were then served in whole wheat pita with salad and diced zucchini (this was supposed to be cucumber but we used it all the day before). I really wanted to love this dish, and it was good, but I wasn’t overwhelmed. It was a bit of a dry affair (the avocado that was supposed to go with this went bad), and there wasn’t a lot of room in the pita, but I really loved the cauliflower and homemade barbecue sauce – definitely not the last time I’m making that.
To be perfectly honest with you – I don’t think I’ll become a vegan anytime soon, probably not even a full-fledged vegetarian. While I don’t eat a lot of meat anymore, there are still some things I would have a hard time walking away from, like pulled pork or a good burger. But this week was a really good way to get a better glimpse into vegan food, and I definitely walk away inspired to cook more meat-free meals at home.
Any vegans or vegetarians among my readers? I’d love to hear how you got started, and maybe also what you struggled with in the beginning. If you have any great vegetarian or vegan food blogs, also let me know, I’m always looking for recipe inspiration!
This is not a sponsored post.