When I saw the words "vegan" and "plant-based" in A Gorgeas Mix's online biography, I stopped, waited for the slight hesitation to wear off, and clicked on the "Get Started Now" button–which my cursor had been hanging over for several minutes.
Since 2013, Oceanside-based A Gorgeas (pronounced "gorgeous") Mix has been delivering vegan meals to San Diegans and is now bringing their services to Orange County. The chefs cook different sets of meals each week; customers can choose between those plans and have them delivered on Mondays and Thursdays. Being the person who endorses monthly Korean barbecue sessions and weekly Wingstop trips, I chose the starter plan ("for people who are new to green eating," the description read), which comes with breakfast, lunch, and dinner per day.
On delivery day, I got an estimated-time-of-arrival text from A Gorgeas Mix at 9:12 a.m. saying the food would arrive in 20 minutes, and it did. The meals came in a cute cooler bag and were packaged in compostable boxes not made out of trees. I opened up the boxes and embarked on my day-long trial.
Breakfast: The Gorgeas Oats Cereal
When I saw this cereal for the first time, my initial reaction was that it looked healthy–and it was! In place of sugary cereal flakes were uncooked rolled oats, house hemp granola, and chia seeds. Instead of milk, berry milk was used (what's berry milk?). Bits of maca (a plant that grows in Peru and tastes like coconut) and cacao were also added in, each stretching the dish's spectrum of texture and dominant flavors (in this case, sweetness).
Lunch: Vegan-Friendly Pad Thai
Traditional pad thai is stir-fried, which means oily noodles are expected. But this pad thai looks like it's completely ridden of oil–like, I felt like my skin was clearing up after each bite. Besides that, the rest of the experience was nothing far from normal pad thai: broccoli, bean sprouts, and carrots contributed to texture-rich bites, and the presence of vegetable grain sausage comforted me as a carnivore.
Dinner: Kalenut Rice with Side Salad
When chewiness, sweetness, and crunchiness come together, you get an explosion of flavors in your mouth–it doesn't even matter if your food is vegan. This kalenut (kale + walnuts) is a compilation of all these things: chewy long brown rice, crunchy raw walnuts soaked in garlic pepper sauce, torn lacinato kale, and dried cranberries. Add the side salad (spinach, arugula, uncooked bell peppers, and corn) and the meal feels balanced (my carnivore-self even started feeling spiritually zen!)
I'd eat all of this again. Before ordering the food, I thought a delivery service like this might only work for self-declared health nuts but it works for anyone who appreciates good food–yes, even all us meat enthusiasts out there. Also, if you're too busy but want to be healthy or hate cooking/going out, this might be worth a try. A Gorgeas: we salute you!