By Anna Soref
Editor in Chief
Each Monday at around 5:00 p.m., I open my door to find a shopping bag filled with that night’s dinner on my doorstep—except for every fourth Monday because that’s when I deliver those same meal-filled bags to three houses. It’s my Vegan Food Club, and it’s not only purposeful but super fun.
My friends and I are always talking about food: a recent fabulous meal at a local restaurant, a successful home meal, how we want to eat healthier, how we’re sick of cooking, how we love cooking, how we wish we had more time to cook, and so on. So when I brought up the idea of a vegan food club, everyone’s ears perked up.
As we explored the idea, we all agreed that the last thing any of us wanted was another stressful to-do item on our lists. So we kept the rules loose. They look like this:
- Whoever cooks also delivers. So for our group’s four families, you cook and deliver once and get dinner delivered three weeks in a row.
- We agreed that the amount of food should be roughly enough to feed two adults and two kids.
- Only one of our members is vegan but we are all vegetarian, so taking the extra step to vegan wasn’t a big one.
- We each gave a few ingredients we really couldn’t stomach—for one it was mushrooms; another, spicy. These are off limits.
- We all agreed that we had to keep it low stress. If you can’t make your meal one week—no biggie, skip it!
We’ve all had some great meals, and some not so great meals. But they are all made with love and the intent to put a delish and healthy meal on our friends’ dinner tables. I don’t ever open the bag and get that sense that the meal was put together as an afterthought. My faves include Cori’s coconut curry (I wanted to drink the sauce) and Carina’s bean soup with the biggest white beans I had ever seen.
Sometimes humility is necessary. When the lentil loaves that I slaved over were more like mush, I quickly left them at the doors and sent an apology text. But everyone always manages to find a positive. “It made great sloppy Joes!” I heard about the failed lentil loaves.
As a vegetarian but not a vegan, I have learned through the club about new foods and cooking skills. For example, soaking cashews overnight to make cashew crème, which then makes a soup taste just like a cream soup; or learning how nutritional yeast can give a cheesy flavor to dishes.
Cooking for four families may sound daunting, but if you set aside the time, it’s fun. One Sunday a month my kitchen turns into a commercial workspace with piles of cut veggies and every burner on the stove covered with a steaming pot. My daughter loves the hustle and bustle and scale of the ingredients; she always wants to be involved. I’ve treasured our deliveries together—donning our snow boots and caps this winter and happily chatting with my teen while delivering meals.
In fact, as much as I love getting my meals delivered, the best part is filling three bags with containers of healthy home-cooked food and delivering it to my friends’ doorsteps. Sometimes I am invited in for a glass of wine; sometimes I just leave it on their steps. No matter what my Monday cooking day brings, it’s a good day because I’ve fed my friends healthy food made with heart.