My Food Bag converts carnivore Newshub reporter with 'game-changing' Plant Powered offering

From meat-free Mondays to flexitarian diets, more Kiwis are going green at mealtime and now mouth-watering plant-based options can be delivered right to your door to satisfy even the most committed carnivore.  

My Food Bag is combining their immensely popular My Vege bag and My Plant-Based bag into one Plant Power package with four plant-based options and three vegetarian options to choose from each week. 

"As well as experiencing growing demand for plant-based options from our foodies, we've observed this trend more broadly across New Zealand," My Food Bag CEO Kevin Bowler told Newshub.

"We want to ensure we are keeping up with our customers' evolving food choices and are excited to be launching Plant Power to enable us to do this even further."

Last year the company sold 2.8 million vegetarian meals, with many other plant based extras added from their Kitchen range, including oat milk and vegan 'meat' balls. 

"We are committed to ensuring our plant-based options maintain the same levels of excitement and taste as their meat based counterparts, proving that eating meat-free doesn't mean missing out," says My Food Bag co-founder Nadia Lim.

But while many Kiwis are taking the plant-based plunge, others still can't dream of a meal without meat and might need a little encouragement to get more greenery on their grocery list. 

My Food Bag has teamed up with Newshub to see if they could convert our meat-mad Christchurch reporter Mitchell Redman by providing him with a Plant Powered bag. Keeping a food diary at each mealtime, here's what he had to say about ditching the meat for a few dinners and going green. 

Monday: Sticky Chilli-Glazed Tofu With Maknut Rice & Creamy Peanut Sauce

Sticky Chilli-Glazed Tofu With Maknut Rice & Creamy Peanut Sauce.
Sticky Chilli-Glazed Tofu With Maknut Rice & Creamy Peanut Sauce. Photo credit: Supplied

The first foray into plant-based dining wasn't without trepidation, according to our self-confessed rookie cook who doesn't have the most adventurous palate.

"Not going to lie - first time I've ever tried tofu," Mitch admits.

"It's never tickled my fancy, and I've never really felt the need to try it. There have always been other options. I also feel like whenever I cook, it takes three times as long as it needs to. So when I looked at the 30 minute cooking time - I wasn't overly convinced."

"Prep was easy - oven on, boil some water, and peel some carrots. That was the gist of it to be honest - all the other ingredients were in sachets, pre measures all making the whole process super convenient, straight forward, with easy to read instructions. Great for rookie cooks like myself." 

"I was impressed with all the colours coming from the dish, as well as the amount of fresh smells and spices. Also the variety of ingredients - I can't say I've used peanut butter, chilli and tofu in a dish before."

"Korean Chicken is one of my favourite dishes - so having the sauce on the tofu was an awesome combination. It probably opened my senses a little bit - that similar flavours can be achieved, with different, potentially healthier options. Also the ability of jazzing up your classic sides. The peanut butter sauce over the coleslaw was an absolute game-changer and made it more than enjoyable."

"Another misconception I had about My Food Bag is quantities. I'm a big eater, who often inhales my food. I managed to split this two person pack into three dishes, saving some for lunch tomorrow and after dividing it all up - still managed to be well and truly full by the end." 

So what's the verdict for day one?

"Definitely exceeded my expectations - it was such a tasty and filling dish, one that took less than 40 minutes to cook." 

"I don't want to claim that because I wake up at 02:30AM on weekday mornings, I'm less motivated to cook at the end of the day - I know those working 9 to 5 feel the same way too. But this was a super easy dish, with not much mucking around - such a positive after a long, brutal start to the week."

Tuesday: Creamy Leek, Thyme & Spinach Pie

Creamy Leek, Thyme & Spinach Pie.
Creamy Leek, Thyme & Spinach Pie. Photo credit: Supplied

Day two called for some cold-weather comfort and according to Mitch, the plant-power delivered.

"It was a bit of a chilly, winter night in Christchurch - so naturally, a nice warm pie straight out of the oven seemed like a very logical, and enjoyable choice!" 

"I've always enjoyed leeks - but hardly ever buy them, so it's nice to be using different veggies and experiencing new cooking ideas and options." 

"Once again - there wasn't a whole lot of preparation time which is so nice after a long day of work. Quite often my laziness in the kitchen, or out of the kitchen comes from not knowing what to cook, which is when the unhealthy or takeaway options start coming in." 

"It's been so nice coming home knowing what's for dinner. From turning on the oven, to sitting down with a knife and fork this meal only took 40 minutes to throw together." 

"It was extremely tasty - with a whole bunch of different flavours, all topped off with some extremely yummy puff pastry. The pie was packed full, with plenty of fillings which filled me right up! The pesto coated broccoli was also a combination I had never tried, or thought of before. Was a great touch to top off the perfect winter meal." 

Wednesday: Mexican Falafel Taco Crunch Bowl

Mexican Falafel Taco Crunch Bowl.
Mexican Falafel Taco Crunch Bowl. Photo credit: Supplied

Day three saw one of Mitch's favourites on the menu, but how would the plant-powered version stack up?

"Nachos are usually a staple meal in my week - so the taco bowl was something similar, but different which I've been looking forward to."

"One of the main ingredients was bulgar wheat - this was an ingredient I hadn't heard of before - so I curiously Googled it to find out more, before I started eating."

"That's been one of things I've enjoyed most about this week - is trying and experimenting with different foods, which I previously haven't felt the need to try, or haven't even been aware exist.

So many of these foods are more affordable than some meats - and just happen to be more filling and better for you." 

"Having a taste of falafel in this meal was great, as well as a mix of veggies giving the dish plenty of colour. Again, this meal defied the misconceptions of serving size not being enough. I was full to the brim after this dish, and have already started noticing the effects of cleaner eating."

"I've been sleeping better, waking up better, and not feeling as lethargic, which is a massive plus at hump-day in the middle of the week. The zestiness of the lime with this meal too just gave it another level of freshness which was fantastic." 

Thursday: Tikka Roasted Cauliflower Wraps

Tikka Roasted Cauliflower Wraps.
Tikka Roasted Cauliflower Wraps. Photo credit: Supplied

By his final meal, it's safe to say Mitch was a full convert.

"I'm not sure I want to give this up!," he raved.

"Wraps are such a simple meal, but one that offers so much diversity. Especially in this instance - I never knew cucumber, sliced into ribbons, could be so incredibly tasty. Eggplant relish, and Indian spiced aioli too? Who knew those two things were a product? I certainly didn't - this meal has been an absolute treat." 

"The Indian infused flavours throughout this dish were second-to-none. It's taken your typical wraps to a whole new level. Baked chickpeas and cauliflower mixed up with the freshly sliced red-onion and lettuce." 

"This meal required hardly any prep - just a few veggies, super quick-and-easy. Cooking time was once again no time, turn the oven on, throw the goods in and almost forget about it." 

"All the different tastes mixed perfectly, when there's so many warm foods cooked and eaten at this time of the year - like soups, or roasts - it's been really nice having a lighter, but filling meal like this." 

The final verdict?

"This bag has been a great eye-opener for me, it's made me think about what I'm eating and how I could develop my weekly diets to be healthier. It certainly has made me want to explore more foods - similar to this!" 

If you're ready to go green and feel great, head on over to My Food Bag and get 50 percent off your first bag by using SAVE50 before July 31.

This article was created for My Food Bag.