We road test Soulara: vegan meal deliveries

Words: Gemma Dawkins

Ever found yourself walking out of a Barre Body studio at 7.45pm, ravenous after all those Chaturanga pushups, with nothing in the fridge at home? Is your Uber Eats app on your home screen? Have a ‘usual’ at your local Thai takeaway?

Us too. In fact, the whole country is guilty – the Ipsos Food Health Report found Australians were eating out or eating pre-prepared meals around 2 – 3 times a week. Convenience doesn’t come cheap: a 2016 study found that Australians spend $45 billion per year on eating out. That figure breaks down to approximately $100 per household per week, and that’s before you include the weekly grocery shop.

And don’t even get us started on the damage to our hopeful Monday plans to eat clean and green this week. By Friday, we’re digging into the guac because avocado is a super food (if you ignore the sour cream, cheese and obligatory round of margaritas).

So, we went on a mission to find a better solution. Enter Soulara, the latest plant-powered home delivery meal service. Unlike some of the other pre-prepared meal companies you may have heard of, Soulara is entirely vegan (no paleo bros in sight), with a focus on minimal processing, maximum nutrition, and no calorie counting. It’s also hands-down the prettiest rainbow of foods you could dream of.

Here’s how it works: you select your plan based on your needs, choosing 9 – 18 meals per week depending on what you prefer. There’s no cooking or prep involved, and your meals are delivered to your door in a big fun shiny silver box. Soulara follow up with a text message so you know you have something fun waiting for you. And that’s it!

Our highlights? Our Brisbane manager Liana is no lentil fan but was totally won over by the Yellow Lentil Dahl with rice. The plant-based wizards at Soulara definitely know their pulses!

I was obsessed with the Healing Turmeric and Farro soup, a hearty, warming and surprisingly filling blend of lentils, farro and chunky winter veggies. This soup was so satisfying, without the need to reach for bread. It was also full of flavour thanks to the hit of turmeric, coconut cream and sesame paste.
We also sampled a Garden Harvest Pasta Bake, which tasted like a healthy lasagna, and a Twilight Truffle Potato & Kale Cake Salad – Liana’s perfect afternoon pick-me-up (despite the kale!)

The lowlights? If you exercise a lot or are a big eater, the portion sizes may not satisfy you. Granted I was pregnant and eating for two when my Soulara delivery arrived, but Liana confirmed: “I would need to eat two portions at times to feel full”. Some meals also had a big portion of rice and not as much sauce or topping as we would have liked. Of course, if your eyes are bigger than your stomach then this could be a great way to help you manage your serving sizes.

Cost-wise, the meals work out to between $9.50-$11.50 per meal. That’s less than a pizza, a breaky fry-up, or a pad thai – and a whole lot better for you.

Now excuse us while we tuck into a Daybreak Macro Bowl and pat ourselves on the back for exceeding our daily quota of vegetables!

Soulara currently deliver to Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane, so visit their website if you’d like to trial a delivery.