Vegin’ Out

(310) 574-9405

Place orders by Friday at 5 p.m. for Monday delivery, $100 for a single order, $180 for a double order, plus $15 for shipping.

Deadline looming, in the middle of frantically trying to finish up a news story for the Reporter, my phone rang, twice, before I was able to untangle myself from my iPod and pick up.

“There’s a very large box for you down here,” the Reporter’s receptionist said.

As I jumbled down the stairs, in my writing daze (eye’s glazed, mind focused on words – large, box, down, here – probably tripping someplace on the staircase), my editor speculated on what was in the giant box.

“I bet that’s your vegan food,” he said.

He should have been at the horse races. I should have been there, too, because then I could have hung out with some other vegans – even if they were four-legged.

Not that I’m really vegan. Sure, I’ve dabbled, but I’m too lazy to check every ingredient list, and I do occasionally like a little cheese or yogurt or butter.

But starting with the big box, all of those delicacies, along with any other animal products, were out the office window: a 10-meal supply of Vegin’ Out had arrived, and it was my assignment to eat it.

The vegan delivery service has shipped healthy, vegetable-laden cuisine to Los Angeles homes since 1999. Last year the owners of the company, brother’s Tim and Dan Boissy, expanded to deliver throughout Southern California.

A single order, which costs $100 plus $15 for shipping, consists of three entrées, four side dishes, soup and homemade cookies. Each entrée, side dish and the soup contains about three servings, making for about 10 single meals.

The menu varies by week, but the week of Monday, May 19, I received pasta primavera, Acapulco black bean tamale pie, and tofu teriyaki and vegetables as the entrées. The side dishes were emerald vegetables, wheat berry super salad, roasted roots, and chickpeas kale and rice. Gazpacho, the soup, came in a quart-sized plastic tub. For dessert, a batch of chocolate chip macadamia nut cookies was included.

The food was shipped in an insulated box, and each dish was individually sealed in a plastic Tupperware-like container, which had to be immediately placed in the fridge.

The entrées I received were all designed to be heated, either in the microwave or on the stove. Except for the roasted roots, all of the side dishes were “best served cold,” according to their labels.

My favorite entrée was the tofu teriyaki and vegetables, which was simple but delicious. The small cubes of tofu were marinated with green beans, peppers, tamari, garlic, ginger, rice vinegar, brown sugar, olive oil, corn starch and sesame oil. (All of the ingredients in each dish are listed on the menu that comes with each order.)

Most of the side dishes were tasty as well, however, I didn’t care for the seasoning (too much ginger and tamari) on the emerald vegetables. The wheat berry super salad, on the other hand, was well-seasoned and so filling it could have made a meal by itself.

As a whole, the meals were well thought-out, balanced and flavorful – an impressive feat considering they were vegan and came out of the refrigerator.

They served as an easy and healthy lunch alternative at the office and, I’d like to think, helped me power through deadlines and write something, which is, in addition to being the token vegan food tester, my job.