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Hump Day Running Giveaway: A Week’s Worth of Purple Carrot Meals

Bottled minced garlic: Dimity and I were such fierce believers in it, we touted it in Run Like a Mother. Yet check out the holiday present I just gave myself:

Isn't it beautiful?

I was so dang excited to use it when I cooked a recent Purple Carrot meal—Peanut Tofu Buddha Bowls—I had to break it out. I poured the soggy remnants from a bottle of minced garlic into our compost bin, and fast on its heels followed the contents of a jar of minced ginger.

Because thanks to cooking Purple Carrot meal kits twice a week since July, my culinary skills have blossomed like a squash plant in summertime. Previously, on a scale of 1 to 10, I would have ranked my cooking know-how (and enthusiasm) a 6. Slightly better than average, but still using things like jarred garlic and ginger; shying away from spices and herbs other than the run-of-the-mill ones such as cumin or thyme; and sticking to oft-cooked recipes within my comfort zone.

Prep time!

Thanks to the creative plant-based recipes and ingredients from Purple Carrot that show up at our door weekly—containing two family-size meals ready to be chopped, zested, sauteéd, and roasted by me—I now routinely try new recipes and ingredients I used to avoid. Fresh turmeric? My fingers have been stained yellow by it—and our palate has been delighted by it. Homemade falafels? Lightly fried and gobbled up with a ready-in-minutes tzatziki sauce and fresh tomato-and-parsley salad. Korean tacos with kimchi mayo, heck, Korean anything: This Connecticut Yankee-cum-Portlander is still drooling over that dish from mid-July.

As quickly as these Korean tacos were plated, they were gobbled up.

Getting Purple Carrot means that two nights a week, the old-as-time question of, “What’s for dinner?” has a simple answer: whatever was in the PC box, kiddos. The included recipe cards walk me through the preparation and cooking, instilling confidence in me as well as a better sense of executing other recipes. So on the other nights of the week, I spread my wings and try new dishes—and often replay our family’s Purple Carrot favorites, including the Sesame Crusted Tofu Steaks with Chermoula Sauce that my meat-loving man ate with gusto both times I served it.

When they say "steaks," they mean it.

Me? I still marvel I know what “chermoula sauce” is—and that I make it. With freshly minced garlic, natch. Ready to discover your inner kitchen goddess?

Three lucky winners will get a week of a Purple Carrot Family subscription. To enter this giveaway, tell us (in the comments section below this post on our site) what you want to add to your cooking routine or master in 2017. Getting a proper rise on your soufflé? Slow roasting your veggies? Simply not burning the pancakes? Whatever the goal, share it with us.

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. Part of a series of weekly running giveaways, it begins on 12/7/16 and ends on 12/13/16. We will announce three random winners on our Facebook page on 12/15/16, 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.

243 responses to “Hump Day Running Giveaway: A Week’s Worth of Purple Carrot Meals

  1. I would like to add more vegan meals into my repertoire. In the winter I tend towards comfort food which means cheese, pasta, rice, and meat. And my husband will ask, “where’s the meat?” It would be great if he was satisfied enough to not miss meat and cheese.

  2. I definitely want to add more veggies in general. We eat a lot of fruit but don’t eat much veggies beyond the basics to I’d like to experiment!

  3. In 2017, I plan on learning how to cook more vegan meals. I’ve been vegetarian for 8 years, and have been wanting to transition to vegan (or at least eat more vegan).

  4. I’d like to cook more fish. I’m always afraid of not cooking it right… and I don’t like fish that isn’t cooked well!

  5. I need to work on cooking more vegetarian main meals. Part of the problem is finding stuff the whole family can eat, but I know with a bit more creativity it would work.

  6. I would love to learn to bake a cake! I’m an avid baker and do lots of quick breads, but for some reason a birthday cake intimidates me!

  7. I want to get into a routine of doing some weekend prep to make weekdays less hectic and healthier. I eat more lunches out than I would like.

  8. With a 3 year old and a baby on the way in 2017 I want to get better about meal planning for the week and using more real ingredients to feed and fuel my family! I also want to try to think ahead and do some meal prep and freezer meals to make sure we are fueling ourselves with the things we need when we bring our baby girl home.

  9. I want to make more stuff for my kids with real ingredients vs. all the store bought stuff! And transition their tastebuds…almost the hardest part.

  10. I’d like to work on eating cleaner, less processed foods. We have cut out a lot of processed foods this year but still have room to improve.

  11. My goal is to get my son to try new things and to be better at meal planning. My husband works from home and every day around 3pm he says, “Any ideas for dinner?” I can never think of anything!

  12. I want to incorporate more beans/meatless proteins for this house full of carnivores! Save some money and improve our health.

  13. I love to cook but have such a hard time thinking of new things to cook and finding the time to get it all done! I’d love to have even 2 nights a week that I don’t have to think it through and can truly enjoy just the cooking and not thinking! I’d like to perfect my use of fresh herbs and trying new things.

  14. Sarah, America’s Test Kitchen highly recommends buying the prepeeled garlic cloves. You can keep them in the freezer indefinitely. I LOVE how easy they are to use. Just let them sit on the counter for a minute or so and they are super easy to chop. Plus you get uniform garlic cloves not 2 good ones and a bunch of tiny ones.

    Cooking wise I’ve had a souffle on my bucket list forever. Maybe 2017 I finally check it off!

  15. I love cookin and grocery shopping, but we get in a rut as we have two kiddos that basically live on fruit and peanut butter. I just received The Art of French Cooking and am super excited to try my hand at all things French and Julia Child!

  16. Fresh herbs, I don’t know what to put into what foods. People talk about the wonders of fresh herbs, but I don’t get it.

  17. I am in a dinner rut and would love to use a service like this for some fresh ideas. I have been trying to add more carbohydrates to my dinner and would like to try new types. Yes, I am a runner who needs to up their carb intake.

  18. I would love to incorporate more vegetables. Heck, I would love to try vegetables in new ways. Our meals typically are focus on meat and the side dishes are not creative.

  19. I would like to up my game on seafood. I grew up on a farm where “meat and potatoes” were the norm. I feel outside of my element when it comes to choosing and preparing good seafood meals.

  20. I hope to continue the healthy, but add some variety to my family’s diet – especially since I have children who are swimmers/runners and I’m trying to raise them to eat the right way!

  21. I’m vegan but eat the same meals over and over and would love to break out of my rut and try new ingredients and cooking methods

  22. I’d like to add more variety to our usual meal repertoire. My kids are pretty adventurous eaters, but I’ve not ventured too far into adventurous cooking so I feel like I’m doing them a disservice.

  23. I so want to add variety! I seem to be stuck in a rut of eating the same things all the time. I just don’t have a lot of time to think and plan.

  24. I would like to increase the number of fresh fruits and veggies that actually get eaten in my house and not just thrown away when they become a gooey, slimy mess in my fridge.

  25. VARIETY and HEALTH… get stuck in the same ingredients i have at the house. woul love love love variety but still keep the healhty integrity. looks delicious!

  26. I need some new family friendly vegetarian recipes… there are only so many veggie burger, pasta, burrito dinners this girl can take! (And after 15 years of this… I might be at my limit!)

  27. I’d love to get more creative overall, I feel like I get stuck in a rut with the same dishes over and over. I want to stay simple, not too many ingredients, mastering things like Cacio e pepe.

  28. I want to start being proactive and doubling meals when I make them. That way we will have one to eat and one to freeze for dinner at a later date.

  29. I am an awful cook and would love to increase confidence, expand my (very small) repertoire of meals I feel safe cooking and to try new healthy meals! I would also like to take some of the meal prep burden off my husband, who is an amazing cook. Without him, we would be eating pasta, tacos, or grilled cheese nightly!!

  30. I must master the feat of introducing veggies & fruits to my kids. It’d be easier if I could be home when they eat dinner, but, that won’t happen anytime soon. They’re too old to have a short list of acceptable foods.

  31. I’m a vegan-curious vegetarian. I want to find more plant based recipes to replace items we currently eat that contain cheese or eggs.

  32. My goal is to go mostly vegetarian/vegan. Although I sometimes crave meat because I have extremely low iron, I know my body functions well on a vegetarian diet. However, my creativity with vegetables is slim. I did find a few vegan cookbooks I loved, though!

  33. I would love to learn new recipes as sometimes I get stuck in eating the same things. I changed my lifestyle a few years ago and do not want to get back into old habits.

  34. I want to learn everything and be able to have date night at home with my husband. Most of all. I don’t want food poisoning again.

  35. I want to actually USE all of the ingredients I buy at the store instead of having to throw away wilted, spoiled produce 7 days later!

  36. I would like to go grocery shopping once a week instead of 3-4 times and use up the food in my pantry before I buy new ingredients. My problem….I get so excited about trying a new recipe that I just have to make it right away. Trying to be more efficient with time and ingredients this year!

  37. I would like to find more quick recipes that also yield good leftovers for lunches. These are the ‘holy grail’ of weeknight cooking at our house because my husband and I love to take leftovers to work for lunch.

  38. I want to make better use of our CSA next year. This year was our first year and it took a little getting used to to be able to plan meals around the veggies delivered each week. Plus I need to lean a new beet recipe or two because we got a lot of those.

  39. I want to master… teaching my two teens left at home to finish cooking what I’ve already prepped without 7 phone calls and 10 texts confirming the instructions 🙂

  40. I would just love to have a “go to” dish. The kind that my family loves and I take pride in serving. Right now, my staples are spaghetti and tacos.

  41. I would like to branch into vegan cooking in 2017. Since we went pescatarian in 2016, I see a clear path to vegetarian and vegan in the horizon.

  42. I need to learn to enjoy cooking. My husband usually cooks, but will be traveling a lot for work. It would be so much nicer if I could find a way to actually *want* to cook.

  43. As a BAMR, I’m fighting my recent diagnosis with metastic melanoma in the best way I know how – good exercise to stay strong, great friends and family, rest, and healthy eating. I’m recovering from a significant surgery and I want my body to have the best nutrition possible. After hearing about Purple Carrot on the AMR podcast and blog, I want to try it as part of my plan! Thanks!

  44. I would love to learn how to sneak veggies into my main dishes. My hubby hates veggies, and I love them. It makes dinner planning very difficult.

  45. We are super adventurous eaters in my house. But we always lean towards Asian food. I’d like to break out into more Eastern European food and into Caribbean flavors. Also, I really really want to master beniegts.

  46. I”m not sure if it counts as cooking, but I need to be more consistent about meal planning. So often it’s, oh well I’ll just make spaghetti…

  47. As long-time vegetarians, I’d like to try some different proteins. We’re on a tofu-bean rotation that needs some new life!

  48. I would love to incorporate more veggies in different ways. My boys including my husband do not like veggies. So I would like to get more creative or maybe sneaky with them

  49. Getting more veggies on the table each night!! And not just pasta as my go-to, we’ve-gotta-run-out-the-door-in-5-minutes meal.

  50. My goal would be to cook more, smaller meals instead of continuing to cook like I still have 4 growing boys at home and ending up with gobs of leftovers!

  51. My goal is to build a repertoire of delicious vegetarian family meals, since my daughter recently decided to go veggie!

  52. My goal is to have my family try the food first, and then ask what it is! My theory has always been if it smells good, it tastes good. Veggie, veggies and more veggies. I would like to perfect the cooking time for each.

  53. Here’s what I want to add to my cooking in 2017: a live-in chef. 🙂 Okay, okay, not likely I will get it. I want to get more greens into our diets. I am a vegetarian who doesn’t really love salads, so I don’t tend to make them. Got to find another way….

  54. I’m going to include more fresh herbs and spices! I tried fresh tarragon for the first time in my life after the last podcast! What a game changer!

  55. I would love to reduce my love/addiction to sugar. I’ve added healthy foods, it’s time to subtract more of those “issue” foods. 🙂

  56. I’d like to get out of the weekly (and boring) routine! Monday…pizza. Tuesday…tacos. Weds…spaghetti. Every single week. UGH!

  57. My cooking goal for 2017 is to incorporate more meatless meals so that I can practice being a “reduceatarian” and eat less meat!

  58. My goal for 2017 is to plan two weeks of dinners ahead of time and SHOP FOR THE INGREDIENTS on Sunday night so that they’re in the pantry ready for the next 14 evenings. No more, “How can I make pasta alfredo if we HAVE NO NOODLES?”.

  59. I want to continue to make cleaner meals for my family and prepare breakfasts and lunches ahead of time to make things go quicker in our morning routines. I want to try to make as much at home as possible.

  60. I am always wanting to add more meatless options to my repertoire. I would also LOVE for my husband and kids to learn to enjoy more vegetables.

  61. I want to work on more vegetarian meals with good protein and try to cut back on meat intake as well as cementing clean and unprocessed habits!

  62. I am a horrible cook, so most things I need to master in 2017. I really need to work on trying to cook new things. I am adventurous at a restaurant but not at home.

  63. I would like to start cooking more after work. Sometimes it’s just hard to talk myself into it after a long day especially with a picky 5 year old and a husband that travels…

  64. In 2017, my food resolution is to be more adventurous with my meals. I am usually happy to eat a mixed green salad, a vegetable and either a turkey burger or grilled chicken every day for lunch and dinner. There is nothing really wrong with my current meals, but I am ready to get more adventurous and try new things. I have started meal planning (something I haven’t really done in many years) and am ready to try new foods and/or new ways to prepare the foods I already eat.

  65. I would like to learn to cook fish better. Never seem to be happy with the results and I am not a big fish fan but, want to find a way to enjoy eating it!!!

  66. I just want to make healthy meals that my family will eat and enjoy- they are very picky, especially with healthy foods!

  67. I keep saying that I am going to do meal planning. It happens once and it’s great, and then we are eating frozen pizza and chicken strips the next.

  68. I would like to figure out how to substitute an ingredient I’m missing with one that I have. I am always missing at least one ingredient from every recipe I want to make.

  69. I’d really like to be able to cook tofu better – mine never gets crispy on the outside. I still like it but my family always turns up their nose. I think with a better technique I could add more meatless nights to my family dinners!

  70. I would like to create the habit of cooking and including vegetable dishes–mains and sides–regularly with our dinners

  71. I hate cooking. I do it to feed my family but it feels like a total time suck. Because as soon as I’m done it’s time to start all over again with the next meal. We are a family of 6, so it’s no small feat. I guess for 2017 my goal would be to hate cooking less. Keeping it real, people

  72. #1 get all 4 of my kids in the kitchen more! I’m confident they will want to try more if they get their hands dirty. #2 They LOVE Chinese food…but wholly cow it’s expensive for a family of 6 to eat out. So I want us to learn how to cook their favorite dishes. I think my kids would love purple carrot, because they go crazy nutty anytime a box arrives at the door…but a box with food. Win, win!!!!

  73. I would like to make more than just the standard handful of meals that are our ‘regulars!’ I feel like sometimes we’re stuck in a rut!

  74. I want to vary our meals. I feel like we eat the same stuff every night. I’d also like to add more veggies into our meals via casseroles, etc.

  75. I also have a vegetarian kid (like Sarah), so learning how to get more non-meat proteins into our diets, in a more interesting way than opening a can of beans, would be great!

  76. I want to actually have at least two sit down together dinners per week , rather than answering the I’m hungry question with, “Microwave yourself a frozen corn dog or two. Oh, and while you’re at it, could you please do some for your little sisters? I’ve got deadlines!”

  77. I would like to branch out from the standard meat plus potato/rice combos and learn more about vegetarian and vegan cooking!

  78. I’m vegan so this giveaway makes me really happy! For 2017 I want learn to get my kids to be more adventurous in their food choices.

  79. I’d love to learn to make my own bread so I can stop purchasing from the super market. I have heard it’s so easy! #cookinggoals

  80. I want to meal plan and have a new recipe every other week. Once a week is probably setting myself up for failure. I’d love to find quick and healthy meals my family loves.

  81. As a vegan, this giveaway gets me pumped bc I know it may encourage others to eat much more plant based! For 2017 I would love to master homemade vegan pho!

  82. We are moving to a different house in two weeks. After 17 years here and cooking on a gas stove I will have to relearn to cook with an electric range. Seems small but I think it’s going to take some (re)getting used to.

  83. I want to eat meatless at least one night a week, and find a magical way to force my kids (and husband!) to eat more veggies!

  84. I would love to expand our standard meals! Add more different spices and use different ingredients. I am so intrigued by the fresh turmeric. I may get some and just try it out!

  85. I’m usually so frazzled by dinner time that it’s hard for me to have my daughter in the kitchen to ‘help.’ This year I’m trying to loosen up so we can both enjoy meal prep.

  86. Wow, you have my mouth watering! I would love to try this. I’m not sure if it’s the deep freeze of winter or what but I cannot get excited for meals! Had never heard of this service, thanks for the chance.

  87. I’d like to add more seafood, my kids are getting a bit more adventurous lately, it’s time to break out from plain noodles and chicken

  88. First and foremost, I want to get my kids in the kitchen with me a little more often. It’s time those buggers start earning their keep! This would be such a fun way to inspire all of us to pitch in and try some new foods!

  89. I would LOVE to add a fuller vegetarian range to my cooking skills. My 12 year old daughter has been a vegetarian for a year and a half and is willing to try anything. I’m a pretty adventurous cook but my 9 year old, meat eating son, is not an adventurous eater. The vegetarian meals we eat are standards with the meat taken out. I’d love to master new recipes for my daughter and our family – to broaden our horizons and to give her a chance to really relish all that vegetarian cuisine has to offer!!

  90. I’d love to work one meatless dish into my meal planning each week. I don’t have a ton of time between coming home from work and mealtime, so I’d like to get better about cooking/prepping ahead.

  91. I would like to add more variety to my dinners. I have tons I cookbooks…..I need to use them more. I also want to add more meatless dinners.

  92. I am hoping to get better with sauces and dressings this year to spice up my meals. I think doing that might expand my go to meals and might get my family excited to eat more of them.

  93. I’d like to add more family friendly, healthy and quick dinners to my roster — so far that has proven to be elusive!

  94. My family need variety, it feels like the same thing every week. I desperately want to get more vegetarian based but have no idea how to start. I need this!

  95. I need to incorporate more veggies in our meals and more variety. We get stuck in a rut. I would love to try Purple Carrot!

  96. Meal Planning! I love to cook but with work, family and training the prep work always goes awry. We do not eat out often and learning to prepare ahead of time would save me a lot of unnecessary stress!

  97. We’re in desperate need of more variety! I make the same meals almost weekly in order to stay safe with our various likes and dislikes.

  98. I would like to master the grill. That has been my husband’s domain but, I would like to be able to eat things cooked on the grill when he’s not home.

  99. My goal for 2017 is to use the kitchen gadgets I have. I have an Instant Pot sitting in my pantry, and I know it’s a wonderfully versatile machine. Now I just need to use it for more than oatmeal!

  100. My husband is the primary dinner cook but he does not think about a variety of vegetables for our plates. I would love to help him learn how to incorporate more vegetables. He’s a great cook and we are not picky eaters (even the kids!), but we could use creative help in the veggie department!

  101. My husband is the chef in our house, and I’m the baker. My goal is to learn how to make more than eggs or oatmeal for the days when he can’t prepare dinner for us.

  102. Is that a garlic mincer in the first picture? How does that work? I once tried chopping fresh garlic myself and then gave up on that and went with the bottle kind. I’d love to learn to use fresh ingredients and all the spices and seasonings in my cupboard. 🙂

  103. I’m vegan, hubby is paleo, daughter is …well, a typical 5 yr old. I want to learn out to make it all work — smoothly!

  104. I need to revive my love for healthy cooking! I’ve been throwing it together too much, I want to make time to enjoy cooking.

  105. Make more meals that I can freeze so I have healthy froEn dinners rather than things for of preservatives and who knows what.

  106. My husband has a lot of undiagnosed stomach and we are currently trying to modify his diet to overcome them. I need to figure out how to make meals that are both healthy and delicious in his eyes. My husband loves my cooking of not so healthy meals, but finds the healthy meals I pack for my work lunches boring and flavorless.

  107. I want to get more familiar with root vegetables. I often avoid them because they are intimidating to prep and to cook!

  108. I’m looking for more motivation to invite people over to eat. The sharing of food, friendship, family. Even on a week night, just an informal meal.

  109. I want to try and incorporate more whole foods, and less processed items into our meals. Bonus if the changes aren’t really detectable by my kiddos!

  110. I want 2017 to be the year that I start meal planning on the weekends to reduce the daily stress of “what’s for dinner”. I don’t mind meal prep, cooking or even cleaning up afterwards. It is the figuring out what to cook that stresses me out. I am hoping to get my kids to eat more nutritious meals.

  111. 2017 is my year to get organized and start planning ahead, making grocery lists and doing some meal prep each weekend so that the rest of my week is easier and our meals are healthier. The concept of slow food intrigues and delights me and I want enjoy every part of it. I want to fully appreciate my ability to access healthy food. I want to ask in the delight of planning and preparation. Ultimately I want watch my family partaking in yummy, delicious homemade meals. This the year!

  112. I’d love to incorporate new vegetarian recipes! My husband and kids eat some meat, but I’m a vegetarian and am always looking for tasty, healthy recipes!

  113. Cooking anything tofu is something I need to learn, as my in-college daughter is now vegetarian and I haven’t a clue.

  114. i have gotten so much better at cooking healthy paleo meals for myself and my husband. now i want to move the kids away from fish sticks, maccaroni and cheese and get them into healthier meals!

  115. I’m a big meal planner, but I feel like I’ve fallen into a rut, making the same things over and over again. I’d love some new dinners to add to the rotation!

  116. I’m expecting baby 2 in January, so anything that can make our life easier is always great!! I’d love to learn some new tricks and meals that EVERYONE (including my picky 2 year old) will eat!

  117. Getting my meal planning more organized and actual vegetarian meals for me instead of just a meatless version of what my carnivores are eating.

  118. I just want to be more consistent in my meal planning instead of stressing at 4:00 when I’m headed home and trying to come up with something quick to make for dinner that will make everyone happy.

  119. This vegetarian mother who really is tired of cooking every meal loves the idea of food prep for some of the week night meals. Working full time with a 1.5 HR round trip commute every day means that I’m exhausted when I get home, and my meals reflect that. Maybe food prep would mean I could *gasp* use things like fresh garlic?!

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