Meal delivery services seem to be popping up more and more, and for those who don’t have time to cook, don’t like to cook, or don’t know how to cook, having meals delivered to your doorstep is the next best thing to having a private chef. I’ve always been curious about the quality of food that these services deliver, and what the last meal of the week tastes like compared to the first meal of the week. So when Fresh n’ Lean asked me to review their food I jumped at the chance.
Fresh n’ Lean promises to deliver vegan, organic, healthy food right to your doorstep. Their food doesn’t contain preservatives, sodium, salt, or refined sugars, and they use the freshest ingredients available. At first glance you might think that it’s too costly, but when you consider the cost of fast food, or eating out every day, this is actually a deal, because you’re getting healthy and organic food. The company provided this comparison chart and I can agree with all of them except the organic home cooking cost. Cooking at home has always been less expensive than eating out, even when everything is organic, but I suppose that depends on where you live and the cost of living in your area. Mind you, I live in the Chicago area, one of the most expensive areas in the country. Just saying.
So what did I think of their food, portion sizes, and the overall experience of a vegan meal delivery service? Let me tell you.
I received two breakfasts and three entrees in a large box that had a Styrofoam cooler and several ice packs that kept the food cold. The food was shipped from California on Wednesday and arrived on Friday and everything was still cold. Success.
Presentation of packaging
As I told the Fresh n’ Lean representative who contacted me: I will be totally honest with my readers. And so I shall.
When I looked at the food in the packaging I was skeptical. It truly didn’t look as appetizing as the ingredients suggested. The plastic containers allowed the food to get tossed around and it just didn’t look very good.
Heating up the food
Every package had the same instructions; you could microwave, heat on the stove, or heat in the oven. You could poke holes in the plastic cover and microwave, which I would never do because heating food in any kind of plastic freaks me out, and the packaging doesn’t state if it’s BPA free. So no, don’t microwave.
I heated the muffins and one of the pasta dishes in the oven, the smoky black beans on the stove, and I transferred one of the pasta dishes to a ceramic bowl and microwaved it. There wasn’t a wrong way to heat them. Each option was successful.
Because everyone’s tastes are different, and some people have dietary restrictions, Fresh n’ Lean doesn’t add salt, refined sugar or a lot of spice to their dishes. I suggest tasting them and then adding salt, fresh or dried herbs, or pepper to personalize your food.
Fresh n’ Lean sent two breakfast options to me. I received raspberry poppy seed muffins and hearty granola.
Raspberry Poppy Seed Muffins
I was pleasantly surprised by these muffins because I’m not a fan of gluten free baked goods. I find them to be too dense and almost gluey in texture. These were not. They had a lovely raspberry flavor and the poppy seeds gave the tops a beautiful crispy texture. I baked these according to the instructions on the package and the portion size was perfect. I give them two thumbs up.
There was a lot of granola in this package. I poured almond milk over it to make it like a cereal and it was quite satisfying. The granola wasn’t hard, or too sweet. I would eat this again and again.
I received three entrees, and like I said before, the meals didn’t look appetizing in the packaging, but you can’t judge a book by its cover.
Dual Mushroom and Broccolini Pasta
The brown rice pasta in this dish was slightly mushy, but that can happen with gluten free pasta if it’s cooked twice. I heated this up on the stove so it may have been better to heat it in the oven as I find that cooking in an oven dries food out more than cooking in a pan on the stove. The flavor of the mushrooms and the broccolini was too bland for me because there is no added salt and the food is minimally spiced to suit everyone. I added salt, black pepper, and some dried Italian seasoning and it was perfect.
Summer Cannellini Bean Pasta
I heated this in the oven and the brown rice pasta was much firmer in texture. This was a truly fresh and lovely dish. The zucchini was crisp and perfectly cooked and the other vegetables’ flavors were just as good. Again, I added more seasoning to suit my tastes.
Smoked Black Beans and Veggies
In my honest opinion the beans in this dish were not cooked enough. They were slightly hard and I like mine chewy. Not mushy, but not hard. The good news is that the beans were not canned, and I really liked that. The vegetables were awesome, and cooked perfectly. The smoky part of this dish comes from smoked paprika. I added a little liquid smoke, extra chili powder, salt, and ground black pepper. You could also cook some rice or quinoa to make this a heartier meal.
If I didn’t love to cook, or I didn’t have the time or inkling to cook, Fresh n’ Lean healthy and organic meal delivery service is a fantastic option. It’s also a wonderful option for someone who is having difficulty transitioning to a whole foods, plant-based diet.
If you’re interested in trying the Fresh n’ Lean meal plan use the code word VEGANOSITY and you’ll receive 15% off (excludes the ‘A la Carte’ menu) of your purchase. And shipping is free!