We Tried: Soulara plant-based meals delivered to your door

Remember when the only food you could get delivered was pizza? The idea of having something healthy turn up on your doorstep seemed out of the question. How far we have come.

From services such as Marley Spoon, Dinnerly and Hello Fresh that send you ingredients and recipe cards, to those that deliver ready-to-eat meals such as Gourmet Dinner Service and Youfoodz, there's an option for everyone.

Soulara's sunbliss granola bowl. Picture: Supplied

Soulara's sunbliss granola bowl. Picture: Supplied

And now there's a good option for those choosing a plant-based diet. Soulara is a meal delivery service where all the meals are 100 per cent vegan. Are we even allowed to use that word anymore? Like most vegans I know, Soulara is equally as passionate about the philosophy behind the dietary choice.

Their website is full of inspirational messages:

"We believe that caring for the earth is as important as caring for each other."

"We believe the choices we make about what we eat, where it comes from and how it's prepared has a direct and powerful impact on our health, our communities and the environment."

"We believe we are all manifestations of our choices."

Soulara's sunkissed pesto. Picture: Supplied

Soulara's sunkissed pesto. Picture: Supplied

Is it possible for omnivores to feel the same way? I think it is. I like to eat meat, and cheese and eggs, and fish, and I always will. But I am quite open to occasionally eating plant-based meals.

Which is why Soulara is quite interesting. If you're experimenting with the idea of taking the leap, or just occasionally want to try something different, it might work for you.

First up it's a subscription service, meals are delivered weekly until you say stop. There are options of selecting seven to 18 meals per week. For seven meals it works out at $11.50 per meal, for 18 it drops to $8.95. You can choose which meals you want, manage your menu, change it as often as you want. They come sealed in little bowls and will last up to a week in the fridge.

The Canberra Times team tried a few different options. The sunkissed pesto included pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, basil, rocket and pine nuts. It was tasty and the serving size was just enough.

Soulara's magnolia fields balela salad. Picture: Supplied

Soulara's magnolia fields balela salad. Picture: Supplied

One colleague already living the plant-based life tried the soya, edamame and black fungi with udon noodles, which she thought was a little bland "but knowing it was full of fresh ingredients I'd pick one up for the convenience".

The BBQ soy and black bean casserole with baked potatoes was an interesting mix, a good use of black beans.

The golden coconut dahl was probably the pick of the ones I tasted and my pescatarian daughter enjoyed Juan's Mexican red beans and rice.

Also included in our delivery were some cold-pressed juices, which were delicious, and some bliss balls which went down well in lunchboxes.

All the bowls, indeed all the items on the menu, were well-presented and colourful - check out the website for inspiration.

Soulara's soya, edamame and black fungi with udon noodles. Picture: Supplied

Soulara's soya, edamame and black fungi with udon noodles. Picture: Supplied

The tasting team had a few reservations. There was some discussion of whether the serving size was worth $11.50. This led to a few discussions: how distorted our ideas of "serving size" are, how bowls and plates get bigger and we feel a need to fill them up, and what price do you put on a meal? Here - given you just have to grab it from the fridge - how much time, and therefore money, do you save?

Me, I can't put a price on that time, because I enjoy it so much. I know the meal delivery services aren't for me - I'd much prefer the kits of ingredients and recipes. Most of them offer plant-based options.

But if you're time-poor and want to expand your menu, or are just looking for some options occasionally, then perhaps Soulara is worth checking out.