Hump Day Running Giveaway: A Week of Purple Carrot Meals

purple carrot IG blueWhen I was in high school, my mother often told me she was happy cooking dinner every night—she just didn’t like deciding what to cook. I nodded my head to the beat of whatever Culture Club or Duran Duran song was on the radio, yet I had no clue what she was talking about. Now that I listen to NPR instead of New Wave, I totally get what she means.

Standing in the kitchen, rinsing, chopping, sautéing, and stirring, allows me to transition from work to family life. But when I have to dither about what to make for dinner—do I have all the ingredients for my go-to pasta dish? Do I need to run over to neighbor’s herb garden for some sage or rosemary? Or, worse yet, do I have to dash to the store for a can of black beans I swore was in our larder while shopping at Trader Joe’s? Suddenly the 30 to 60 minutes of decompression time is an hour+ of stress time.

Enter a brilliant solution: Purple Carrot, a meal-kit delivery service that supplies everything a home cook needs for two or three dinners. (Number of meals depends on whether you get a subscription for a Couple or Family.) The plant-based meals are healthy, heart-smart, and incredibly tasty. Purple Carrot draws inspiration for its recipes from around the globe: In two weeks’ worth of meals, my family has licked our lips after dining on Garlicky Greens Curry (Indian), Red Paella (Spanish), and Korean Eggplant Tacos with Kimchi Mayo (Asian-meets-Mexican). On that final meal, I’m more than licking lips—I’m drooling just thinking about it!

All my hard work: Garlicky greens, adorable eggplant, and Korean tacos.

In addition to making dinnertime decisions a non-issue a few nights a week, I also love that Purple Carrot helps me branch out as a cook. The Indian dish included the obligatory curry powder, but also curry leaves (which I’ve since Googled where I can find here in Portland), and mustard seeds along with mustard greens. The eggplant tacos introduced me to gochujang, which I promptly fell in love with—and have since discovered it’s currently an “it” ingredient. (Purple Carrot is nourishes the belly and increases one’s foodie cred!)

Zoodles with Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Nectarines, and Crispy Chickpeas
A sample salad: Zoodles with Pumpkin Seed Pesto, Nectarines, and Crispy Chickpeas.

Are you drooling yet? Three lucky winners will get a week of a Purple Carrot Family subscription, $74 value. To enter this giveaway, tell us an exotic-for-you food you ate recently in the comments section below. It could be quahog chowder on a family vacation to Cape Cod; baba ganoush at the neighborhood block party; or fried plantains at a street fair. Whatever the food, share it in the Comments section below this post on our website, allowing us all to travel—and eat—vicariously!

SAVE AND EAT: We’re delighted Purple Carrot is offering a special subscription deal for the Mother Runner tribe. Go to and enter promo code AMR25 to save $25 off your first week’s subscription. (Offer valid for first-time subscribers only.)

The details: This running giveaway sweepstakes is open to those over 18 and residents of the United States and Canada. Part of a series of weekly running giveaways, it begins on 7/20/16 and ends on 7/26/16. We will announce three random winners on our Facebook page on 7/28/16, as well as notifying the winners by email. One entry per person. The value of each prize is $74. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Void where prohibited by law.

218 responses to “Hump Day Running Giveaway: A Week of Purple Carrot Meals

  1. The most recent exotic-for-me food I ate was a dish at a Spanish tapas restaurant. To be honest, I cannot remember the name of it, but it was a smoked egg, walnut, goat cheese, and some sort of sauce dish with some local bread. It was absolutely amazing!

  2. Sounds silly but I recently made a recipe that called for shallots. I had to look up what they looked like! Now I add them to a bunch of stuff.

  3. I can’t think of anything exotic I have had recently. Sad! I have plans to go out for dinner tonight and I pledge to try something different and exotic. You all have inspired me!

  4. While recently in Portland for the weekend, I noticed that every cocktail I wanted to drink had some form of “Hand Crafted Ginger Ale” in it… Never really drank Ginger Ale before… I see drinking lots of it in my future! Lol

  5. Mutter paneer from the local Indian restaurant. Would love to not be afraid to make more daring dishes at home that are a hit!

  6. My whole family is Vegan so this would be huge for us! We’re always trying new things, dinner tonight included a Mango Jicama slaw and Lime Vinaigrette. Delicious!

  7. my CSA box had kohlrabi in it, I’d love to try this purple carrot box. I thought the home delivery meals were all meat meals; I had no idea they had veggie meals

  8. Sadly I’ve eaten nothing of any interest lately. But my BRF has a daughter with a handful of food allergies so when ever she makes something sans egg,nuts, and dairy I totally try it. Which I could bake/cook as good as her.

  9. This isn’t exotic by any means, but it was new and adventurous to me. I ate snapper that was cooked whole, like with the eyes and everything. Eek!

  10. I heard the founder of Purple Carrot interviewed on No Meat Athlete. What a cool service!

    I’m trying any new-to-me vegetables showing up at my farmer’s market, including lots of varieties of mushrooms.

  11. I recently ate Vegetarian Nachos, that were served with Plantains rather than Tortilla Chips. I found them delicious, my husband not so much!

  12. Maybe not exotic to some, but I tried jicama as recommended by Ellie on the HRT podcast, lived to tell the tale and .. loved it!

  13. I’ve had nothing exotic lately which makes me sad. When we lived in Seattle I loved walking to one of the many Ethiopian restaurants in our neighborhood. So yummy!

  14. I ate mountain lion steaks the were given to me by a friend. Actually not that bad braised in the oven with spices and white wine!

  15. After a few tries I finally tracked down white miso in our smallish town. The dish that called for it got a thumbs up rating from all 3 kids too!

  16. Tried escargot as an appetizer at a local French restaurant. That was a first, and a suprisingly good one!

  17. We are pretty simple and same thing at my house. That is why I love to go to sushi or Thai restaurants with friends. I always try something new every time I go. Too bad it has been several months. Last time I tried Plum Wine (does that count as food )?

  18. Guacamole. I know, right? I’m not sure if it was the color or texture (dont get me started on cottage cheese) or what, i just wasn’t having it. I tried it and love it! So much that i made it myself several days in a row. The family lives that I love it now.

  19. My daughter made kimchi and shared with me all the health benefits it provides. I liked; including the anti-aging and weight control benefits!!

  20. I am such a boring eater. I easily get stuck in a food rut. I would have to say spaghetti squash and plantains-not real exotic, but to me they were!

  21. I’m usually a very boring eater. While I Ireland last month, I had both shepherds pie and fish and chips. Not things I’d usually order, but when in Rome (or Dublin)…

  22. We already have a pretty eclectic menu, but we are adding more different kinds of fish into the mix, which is an adventure.

  23. I love the chance to eat anything exotic since my family is not very adventurous. So I insisted on getting raw sushi for our 10 year anniversary and it was delicious!!

  24. Stir fry is a regular rotation in our meal planning, but usually with the same several ingredients. I got really crazy last week and bought some bok choy. It added a slight bit of variety and everyone survived.

  25. We moved to Miami about a month ago due to a military PCS and I recently ate fried plantains…they are everywhere here lol! There’s lots of more new foods (to me) here, but as a vegan there are not many that I can try…they look delish though!

  26. I broke a rule of training when I tried pho for the first time the night before a half-marathon. LOVED it, and it was a pleasant change from the usual pre-race pasta dinner.

  27. I recently tried a Kiwano melon after a “let’s try a new food” excursion to the grocery store with my kids. It was awful.

  28. Jicama! So appropriate after listening to the nutrition podcast and finding this in our Blue Apron box this week!

  29. My daughter saw a dragon fruit and asked if we could buy it and try it. After googling how to cut it, we dug in. The beauty of the fruit was as exciting as things got –
    It sort of tasted like a bland kiwi. But now we can say we tried it!!

  30. I had this dish: scallops peach ezme, walnut muhammara, grapeleaves, mint at a delicious restaurant near me! ooh – so great!

  31. Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanada at the end of the a River Towns Half Marathon. It was so good I’d run the race again just to get another one!

  32. I’d never eaten edamame until recently. I was with a friend, and she ordered some as an appetizer. When the pods came, I tried bit into one and tried to chew it. Quickly I learned that the beans should be removed from the pod “skin” 🙂

  33. My hats way off to Kristen for PASSING with the geoduck. I’m from Seattle and I never had the guts to go for one of those. Good call. Sorry to be a hater on this one, but trust us.

  34. I cannot think of the last exotic meal I’ve had…it’s been ahhhwile. Nursing, not getting out like I should a new baby, yada yada yada, but ya’ll have inspired me to take in some new flavors and foods.

  35. Okay, I have to admit I did not eat one, but I was in Washington and for the first time saw an edible salt water clam called a geoduck (GOO-ee-DUCK). Geoduck are a delicacy in China and considered an aphrodisiac because of its phallic shape. Look it up on Google and then I dare you to eat one!!

  36. Nothing exotic lately. That’s why I need some help with meals 🙂 But dinner tonight will be siracha soy tempeh.

  37. I guess most recently I had misir wot (Ethiopian) which is a recipe I recreated based on a fav dish from a restaurant in the city I used to live in, as well as some online recipes. Always served with azifa cold lentil salad. Delish!

  38. So funny, I just made zucchini noodles last night for dinner (with pancetta, pine nuts, and spinach), and also learned last night that they are called zoodles….

  39. Maybe not exotic but different for me, I made coconut cauliflower rice. I’ve never made cauliflower rice before, it was delicious! I’m always looking for alternatives to rice and pasta since I don’t eat either of them any more.

  40. Hmm, nothing terribly exotic lately. I toasted buckwheat groats for a zucchini slaw. Does that count? LOL I’m more excited about my exotic (to me) new kitchen toy, the Instant Pot, which I along with half a bazillion other people ordered last week during Amazon Prime Day. Already made amazing black beans in it as well as hard cooked eggs, fluffy rice, popcorn and salsa chicken! I’m like a kid with a Snoopy snowcone maker.

  41. I made a thai dish called larb which can be either ground pork or beef. I made it with beef. Delicious! Lime juice, clam juice, garlic, onion and shredded carrots over rice.

  42. I can’t think of a single thing that is even close to “exotic” that I’ve eaten recently. And, not very healthy, either!

  43. I love to eat anything exotic but hesitate to cook exotic until recently when I made hummus with tahnini and when I used red curry paste to make curried chicken with rice. This BAMR is expanding the taste buds of those she loves at home!

  44. Nothing! I have eaten absolutely nothing that would even remotely qualify as exotic within the last few weeks. Sad!

  45. hmmm . . I guess it is pretty telling if you really have to think about it! So I am going with a Luna bar that had been in my purse for an unknown time.

  46. My niece and nephew brought home Blood sausage from their recent trip to Germany. Healthy? I doubt it. Did I try it? Yes. Do I recommend it? Nah!

  47. My latest foodie night out we had duck fat fries and truffled deviled eggs for appetizers. While fries and deviled eggs aren’t exotic, the duck fat and truffle oil made something common truly extraordinary.

  48. After living in Ecuador, Spain, and London studying abroad and then travelling through Europe; I’ve tasted enough exotic food and am on the boring side now. I did have a delicious salad out to eat last night with spinach, grilled Brussels sprouts, shallots, and hazelnuts with a warm balsamic vinaigrette dressing, I hadn’t had Brussels sprouts on a salad before and it was amazing!

  49. I made a lentil and potato curry the other night for dinner. I can’t remember the last time I used curry powder! The good news was that everyone really liked it and I will probably make it again. Since then, we’ve been back to our normal menu of bean burros. ;0)

  50. I’m not a picky eater, but I haven’t really eat anything “exotic” lately. I just started drinking green tea matcha. Does that count as exotic? It is bright green and took some getting used to.

  51. Recently, I purchased a special edition Food and Wine magazine, full of summer recipes—the first time we made the skirt steak tacos (skirt steak, marinaded in soy sauce, garlic, and fresh ginger, then cook to medium rare, and serve with pineapple and thinly sliced red onion and diced cilantro—on corn tortillas—YUM!!), we were hooked!! So simple, so easy, so great!!

  52. I just tried a new vegan cream cheese – that was AMAZING! I had assumed I would never eat cream cheese again because the usual subs were gross, but this one was delicious and I am excited to be able to have it in my rotation again!

  53. Since the kids are picky the exotic foods come when we eat out – lamb shoulder rellano at Father’s day was delicious.

  54. Since I really can’t think of the last exotic-for-me thing I ate, I think I’m in a rut and could probably benefit from some new foods in my life! Toddler life lately has led us to a “whatever we think she’ll eat” kind of mentality. Time to break out of the rut. 🙂

  55. Not eating much exotic now as I’m in the last month of my second pregnancy. Can’t wait to eat bagels and lox, soft cheeses, and (drink) wine again!

  56. It’s not really exotic, but for dinner last night we made Pollock burgers with avocado and fancy brioche buns. It was a first for me, and very tasty!

  57. I honestly can’t think of anything exotic we’ve tried lately. We eat a very wide variety of food. I actually plan each week’s meals as sort of a world tour–Italian, Mexican, Indian, Chinese. I did make yellow Thai curry for the first time last week.

  58. I’ve been enjoying exotic-for-me oysters (until recently I thought they were disgusting) this summer, particularly when washed down with a bubbly adult beverage. I love the idea of trying new flavors in my own kitchen!

  59. What with my food intolerances, my son’s food sensory issues and my girls’ general picky eating, we haven’t eaten anything new for a while. It would be amazing to try something different.

  60. Exotic for me these days is whatever my 2 year old didn’t finish on her plate… could be anything… 🙁 I need this in my life. NOW.

  61. I wish I could say I have eaten exotic but that’s why this prize would be great so I could branch out and try new foods. Thanks for the opportunity.

  62. I have food allergies and am trying to reintroduce some foods that have been off limits. My favorite so far has been trying new types of beer!!

  63. It’s hardly exotic, but I ate catfish twice recently. I’m not a huge fan of fish, so it was a big deal. 🙂

  64. I’m afraid I haven’t been very adventurous lately, but I recently tried several that dishes I couldn’t pronounce. My favorite was the shrimp Tom yum soup.

  65. I can’t think of anything unusual recently, but we do have purple cauliflower and golden kiwi coming in our co-op this week that I’m looking forward to trying for the first time.

  66. I am pretty adventurous when it comes to food. I will try anything once, especially when traveling. The newest food I ate was a Mexican street food snack, and I am not really sure what was in it.

  67. We just got back from an Alaskan cruise and we had frog legs and escargot! Talk about outside our comfort zone. And the weird part was actually really liked the frog legs!

  68. I am blessed to live in California, in the Farm to Fork capitol. We also have a huge variety of ethnic offerings so finding something exotic is rare. I’m going to have to go with Scotch Eggs. They are medium boiled eggs coated in a sausage breading. Delicious! They seem to be the new thing at the local brew pubs. I REALLY want to try zuchinni noodles!

  69. I can’t remember the last thing I ate that was adventurous or new. I’m the one cooking each night and usually stick with tried and true to stop any negative comments from the kids. My 2 older girls did get an opportunity to eat frog legs at Girl’s Camp last month. THAT was adventurous!

  70. I recently had crab cakes at friend’s barbecue, exotic for me because I usually avoid crab and they were pretty good!

  71. I recently got some Chinese Five Spice and used it in an egg roll in a bowl recipe while doing a Whole 30. Not really exotic but something new I tried and loved!

  72. Sushi, chile verde, chile rellenos smothered in green chile…all out at restaurants, of course. At home, we eat much simpler.

  73. Can I go the opposite and say that — with my boyfriend away this week — I’ve craved ALL the comfort foods of my childhood? Sometimes simple is best 🙂

  74. Well I would not say I’m an adventurous eater but I’ve been trying to eat different things. I recently tried a quince. I know to some this might not sound like a big deal but it was something unfamiliar to me.

  75. We’ve had a lot of whining related to food at our house lately, so it hasn’t been too exotic lately. Several of us did enjoy a nice hot lamb vindaloo recently though!

  76. I don’t add many spices or herbs to my food, but my son has been growing some in his own little garden. I have been putting cilantro on anything and everything now!

  77. I recent had a tofu burger from a Korean food truck that was amazing- the bun was made from grilled rice and it had awesome kimchi. I can’t wait until that truck parks outside my work again!

  78. I received fresh fava beans in a Blue Apron box, and they were so delicious. I haven’t found them locally yet!

  79. Okay, it isn’t really THAT exotic, but for my meat and potatoes family, upping the vegetable intake has required some creative recipes. The latest win was a zucchini noodle, quinoa and cheese casserole that I thought was delicious and my kids and husband (who claims to detest quinoa) really loved.

  80. I had to figure out how to use garlic scapes from the CSA box. They were not detected as too strange when used in a stir fry!

  81. Exotic flavors? I guess baked potatoes don’t count 🙂 We recently attempted aalu bhanta curry (eggplant & potato curry dish). Tasty…a nice change of pace for us; maybe curry was a little too hot for the summer months though.

  82. Our current house guests, my friend and her family, who are Mexican, made us a wonderful authentic meal of enchiladas, Spanish rice, and green salsa. It was so light and wonderful, and different than what you would get at one of our Mexican restaurants!

  83. Nothing too exotic here. I did try the cauliflower popcorn recipe. We eat Mexican and Italian quite a bit, but I wouldn’t classify either of those exotic. I guess I need to leave my comfort zone.

  84. Three flavors from my favorite local ice cream shop, the bent spoon: organic NJ sweet corn, organic sweet basil, and organic beet streak. YUMMMMY!

  85. I’m a recovering picky eater, so a lot of foods are exotic to me! A recent exotic to me food was bbq’ed scalloped potato stuffed chicken. I’m not a huge extra cheese fan, but it was good!

  86. Sadly I am so boring when it comes to cooking….the most exciting thing we’ve had in a while is a zesty Mexican style ranch with our foods, or eggplant Parm.

  87. Recently I ate celeriac prepared like french fries and even gave it to my toddler. Not sure it’ll be my new healthy french fry replacement but it was decent.

  88. This isn’t especially exotic, but the most interesting/exotic thing I had recently was a series of meade samples at the Silver Hand Meadery in Williamsburg, VA while on vacation there. Most of my other meals were family fare or amusement park fare — nothing very exotic there!!

  89. While visiting New Orleans with my kids a few weeks ago we visited the “Bug-appetite” restaurant at the Bugarium Museum. We sampled several dips made with meal worms – a mango chutney, a salsa, and a sour cream and onion dip. We also had a ‘chocolate chirp cookie’ made with crickets, and some roasted meal worms flavored like cheetos! We were told over 70% of the worlds population eats bugs in some form as part of their regular diet. It was a great way to experience something completely new and start a new conversation on diet and what other kids around the world ate. Wish I could attach a picture here!

  90. With all the veggies from our CSA, we do tend to branch out more in the summer. Recently we cooked up Singapore Noodles. I was happy to FINALLY find a meal with bok choy that I like. Quite delish with plenty of leftovers!

  91. It’s not exotic but I recently discovered the deliciousness that is roasted beets on a hamburger. Actually, come to think of it, lately it’s been beets on/in everything!

  92. I can’t think of anything exotic or interesting that I have eaten recently…which is exactly why I NEED this service! Help me, mother runners. I have “run” out of ideas in the kitchen.

  93. We have a CSA, so always a lot of veggies to use creatively. I got a spiralizer that I use mostly on zucchini…it works great! I sauté the strips, altho the directions say they can be boiled as well.

  94. I’m not very adventurous– last weekend I ordered crab cakes at Bonefish Grill! And the most exotic thing I’ve made lately is spiralized zucchini noodles.

  95. I had a rare date night with my husband and at a Korean restaurant I tried Kim-chee. That’s about exotic as I get and I had to down a glass of water after.

  96. Its not all that exotic, but its new for us. We just got an electric smoker, so there has been a lot of pulled pork, and ribs. But my new favorite is smoked salmon (not like the lox kind, like the smokey smoker kind)! 🙂

  97. Oh my…the most wonderful goat cheese with fresh herbs on a very plain cracker with baby sunflower seedling on top. To die for..all from out local farmer’s market. Wish I could post a picture..they’re beautiful.

  98. I’ll have to admit….its summer and my husband travels away from home almost every week so my cooking A game has been off track with 4 kids at home. Took my son to th Amish Market for the 1st time & watched his head spin. He picked out Cajun crab dip, Grape lemon aid & homemade pretzels. Does that count?

  99. I love spending time in my kitchen and trying new things so this sounds perfect. Recently I made Indian curry mash and Caramelized onions with red lentil mash. Both very good

  100. Wood grilled pizza with figs, prosciutto and arugula….now trying to find fresh figs. (I’ve always liked fig newtons so now know why:-))

  101. My summer has been filled with baseball; my most unique snack has been making the kids homemade big pretzels with cheese and honey mustard dips…because we don’t get enough at the ball park.

  102. I’m always the straggler who catches up to trends about a year or two after everyone. Doesn’t matter if it’s foods, movies, television shows. So MY big exotic new food is coconut oil. Next year I may try kale!

  103. Went to an Ethiopian restaurant with that…um…interesting spongy bread…! I think I prefer the naan at Indian restaurants!

  104. My daughter is experimenting with being a vegan. We discovered nutritional yeast for making a “cheese” sauce and it turned out great! We made broccoli quinoa wraps with the sauce. YUM!

  105. With no A/C and temps in the 90’s, the best I can come up with is cheese, crackers, sausage and veggies for dinner these days. Finally threw some jicama in on that veggie plate. But that’s all I’ve got! 🙂

  106. For simplicity I’m often in a food “rut” (same things every day). I’m always thrilled when I stumble across something new like the Daikon I recently discovered and the black radishes before that!

  107. Exotic for us is a new fruit or maybe spice…. But I think I’m going to try this meal service out just to get us out of our comfort zone! Your mother was completely right – deciding what to prepare is annoying especially when you have little people who are selective eaters.

  108. I’ve been diligently trying – odd for this northern girl – Southern vegetarian dishes. My most recent were collard greens. Something that I am positive I’ve never had and will work into my normal meal rotation.

  109. We got a csa subscription this year and I’ve enjoyed being forced to cook with sidsome new vegetables. I discovered that I really like radish!

  110. A Chinese black egg. Our Chinese neighbor had me over for a traditional meal and prefaced this egg by saying it was the number one thing Americans say they didn’t like in all of Chinese food. Ha! Not my fav but satisfied with the fact I tried it.

  111. Went to a Japanese restaurant with a twist and had traditional udon noodles but with butter sauce and kimchi.

  112. An exotic for me food that I tried recently was Kale Chips from the store. I prefer my home-made toasted leaves better, but these would do as a sub for actual chips.

  113. I tried Ethiopian food for the first time. Although I can not name anything that was on my vegetarian sampler platter, I truly enjoyed the tastes of the foods and spices. And it was fun eating with my hands!!

  114. I’ve been trying lots of new things like bulgar, falafel, gnocchi, and Sunchokes. My favorite find has been risotto! I’ve never heard of Prple Carrot and would love to try their meals!

  115. Our family doesn’t eat anything exotic, but I’d love to try new things! Mussels may be the most exotic thing we’ve tried lately.

  116. My family does not DO exotic!! 😉 LOL… I guess the most “out there” for us would have to be the balsamic glazed Swiss chard!

  117. I’ve been eating extra healthy this month, and made a cauliflower rice pilaf this weekend that included apricots, pine nuts, cinnamon, & cumin… yum!! It’s a much different recipe for me & my family (who are used to traditional boxed rice pilaf).

  118. It’s been a while – but on our last trip to an Indian restaurant. I tried goat curry! It was good (surprised me) and I’d have it again. I don’t tend to do “exotic” as I have a twitch tummy, but I like the idea of trying new things in a supported way.

  119. I had never heard of Purple Carrot, but we are a vegetarian family, so this is perfect! We are spending the month in Berlin, Germany for my job so there are lots of new things to try. Maybe our favorite discovery is the restaurant Fast Rabbit – vegetarian fast food focusing on Dirty Rolls, basically a wrap. Delicious!

  120. We are not very adventurous eaters but recently tried biscuits and gravy on vacation. I would love to try new things.

  121. My kids tried yellow tomatoes this week-not a hit. But for me, pickled apples from my physical therapist. They were…pungent!

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