Simon Wittenberg tries out home-delivered and pre-prepared plant-based vegan dishes from Planty – an award-winning business based in London.
Keeping to a vegan diet is a growing trend in the UK. The industry is worth millions of pounds each year, so it is no wonder that many businesses are capitalising on this valuable sector by offering home-delivered, plant-based pre-prepared ready meals.
An excellent example of this is “Planty”, a London-based company established in April 2019, which subsequently raised around £1.5 million in funds to get what is now an award-winning business off the ground.
Planty, which is today run by co-founders Joe Lovell and Ali Sheehan-Dare (above), says that they provide a hassle-free way to eat more plants while joining a movement to fight against climate change. This mantra is carried out through Planty’s super convenient, chef-prepared, 100% plant-based, vegan-ready meals delivered across the UK.
Created with the help of Michelin-starred chefs, there are currently 27 different main meals to choose from, ranging from Aubergine Moussaka and Creamy Leak and Cider Pie to the recently-launched meat-free Roast Dinner (which carries a £1 supplement, as it’s a more substantial dish than the others). It has all the texture and taste of a traditional roast but uses clever plant-based alternatives instead of anything carnivorous.
There are also three different desserts (£3), a couple of sides (starting in price from £3.45), and three different breakfast pots to enjoy, priced at £3.50 each. The minimum order at Planty is six meals, which will set you back £40 before selecting up to 12 extras, but this will all qualify for free delivery (from Tuesday to Saturday), and there are offers on the Planty.uk website for first and second-time purchases to get some money off.
It’s also possible to take out a subscription, where customers can pick a delivery frequency of every one to twelve weeks according to their preference. Meals arrive frozen courtesy of the dry ice included in the box, and they can be kept in the freezer on arrival or stored in the fridge as per the instructions.
The ethos of Planty is to use locally sourced ingredients where possible to reduce food miles, and all of the packaging used by the firm is 100% recyclable, compostable, or reusable as part of their commitment to all things green. Even the denim liners that keep the food chilled during transit can be returned for free by courier back to Planty’s North West London base in Park Royal.
When it comes to lunch or dinner, there are clear preparation instructions and allergens marked on the colourful and bold meal sleeves, and there’s the option of putting the chosen food in the microwave, or heating it up in the oven, depending on how much time you have available. The dishes offered by Planty also vary in terms of their degree of spiciness, which is indicated by chilli symbols, ranging from one – mild, to three being quite hot.
At 400g, the meals are quite substantial in size and therefore banish any immediate stomach rumbles, but even so, a side or dessert is advised to feel full. We sampled the Mac “No” Cheese (above), the Katsu Curry (which has a nice kick to it), the Udon Noodles, and the Red Thai Sweet Potato Curry for the mains.
For me, the imitation macaroni cheese with its creamy sauce was a clear winner and counts cashew nuts, oat milk and soya beans among the healthy ingredients.
However, our least favourite of the dishes that we tried was the Shakshuka, which was full of spice (i.e. one that meets the three chilli classification), courtesy of the use of Ras el hanout – a spice mix found in Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco, and cayenne pepper.
However, it was too overpowering to enjoy the dish itself, which is a shame, as there are plenty of tasty ingredients to sample, such as large chunks of aubergine, green olives, and tofu, to name but a few of them. However, with that being said, the Shakshuka is perfect for those who are not impartial to a strong spicy kick.
To treat the palate to something sweet after Planty’s savoury delights, the glass jars housing a Sticky Date Pudding, and Chocolate & Hazelnut Fondant (above), which just need to be quickly warmed in the microwave for up to 40 seconds, were truly magnificent, particularly for a completely dairy-free recipe.
Equally as tasty were the Blueberry Muffin and Chocolate Date Caramel Oat Pots, which we also tried at breakfast, and were a healthy way to kick start the day.
In only four years, Planty has developed an award-winning formula, and is a business that brings all the right ingredients together to offer nutritional value in abundance; plus, there is the added convenience of not having to go out to a store to meander up and down the aisles.
It’s also about having the peace of mind that guilt-free and tasty vegan options are coming through the door, and Planty has certainly got their green formula spot on in many respects.
Would we order from Planty again? Absolutely.
Planty – Where and How?
To find out more about Planty and the dishes available to order, visit www.planty.uk.
See photos of what we had to eat on the Luxurious Magazine Instagram page.
Read more culinary reviews, food industry news and guides here.
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