Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Frozen Vegan (GreenLite) Meals I Tried

This week, I got a box of food from GreenLite Meals to sample. The foods are all vegan, and they are freshly cooked, then frozen and sent on dry ice in a Styrofoam box for me to reheat. The goal of this company is to offer healthy, plant-based, minimally processed foods; you can read about them here: GreenLite Meals.

Anyway, I won't ramble on and on about these foods. You can go to the site and check them out. But here are my thoughts on what I ate.

The company sent me a "Kick Starter" box which retails for $79.99. Here's what I got:

All the meals are sealed with Nutrition Facts and directions on them. Here's the highlights.

Maple Orange Tofu with Garlicky Kale, and Pumpkin Curry Stew:

I really enjoyed both of these dishes, but found them a bit bland/needing spice. Tasted good and had nice nutrition stats. Tasty and filling.

Meatless Balls, Strawberry Coconut Oatmeal, Protein Bar, and Sweet Peach Perfection:

Okay, These were somewhat good but I did not finish any of them. I got about halfway through each and there just was not enough flavor. More spices would make a world of difference in these meals. Everything had a rather mushy texture that was not too appealing. The website says the Meatless Balls come with sprouted grain spaghetti, but I didn't get or see any pasta.

The total flops: Chick'n Florentine, and Tempeh w/ Citrus Quinoa and Beets.

I am an adventurous eater. I like vegetables. But I'm sorry, no. Just no. I gave the Florentine 3 bites but the lemon is overwhelming and all I could taste was sour and salt. The quinoa got one bite. Not sure what was going on with that one... but I would be really mad if I paid $8.99 for it.

I think this is a nice concept: healthy, whole foods, plant based convenience meals. But folks, some of the foods need a little work. The other problem I had was the calorie counts on some of these things. I mean, I know they did not send me the weight loss package, but still...

how does one pack 240 calories and 20 grams of fat into a teeny 4 ounce packet of green beans??

And how about a 580 calorie peanut butter cup??

Yeah, this peanut butter cup has 580 calories, 53 g carbs, and 39 g fat!!! Holy moley!! (Yes I tasted it, and it was good, but not on any planet would I call this thing healthy!)

Anyway, I appreciate getting to try these meals and I do think this company could have something awesome with some tweaking. At least it made for an interesting week!

*FTC disclosure: GreenLite Meals sent me a Kick Starter box of meals to try for free in return for my unbiased, honest review of their products. I received no other compensation for this review.


Leslie said...

It all sounds like massively processed food that bears little resemblance to it's original source. How can 4 ounces of green beans have all those calories? You could have a cup of fresh with a pat of butter for a lot less fat and calories than their concoction. Seems ridiculous. And I'm sure those oatmeals and any dessert type items were loaded with sugar.

Speaking of sugar, why not give it up completely? A day at a time? I have done that and it's helped me on a thousand levels. Mainly, just keep on keepin' on, Lyn!

Lori said...

You are way more adventurous than I. Thanks for saving us the money and time.

Lyn said...


well, in their defense, their whole concept is NOT to mass produce foods (small operation of "home cooking") and to keep the foods as whole and natural as possible... no additives. However yes, the sweets do have a lot of grams of sugar (they use agave and brown sugar but still, it is sugar). The fat in the green beans apparently comes from olive oil... but yeah... it would be SO much better if they used, say, a teaspoon (33 calories or so) rather than however much they are using. And it is pretty easy to make green beans at home. BTW I miss your blog and I hope you update it! I would love to hear more about your sugar free eating now!


you're welcome :)

Jo Anna said...

Can I just ask why you are agreed to review these foods? I am sure that through the website you had access to their nutritional values, and you even made it sound like maybe you had the option of choosing a weight loss menu instead? It seems like you are trying to sabotage yourself by having that food in your house!

Lyn said...

Jo Anna~

When I was contacted, I went over some of the foods on the website and told them I am eating low carb and that there are specific foods I would like to review. They agreed, but through a shipping/ordering snafu on their end, I got their standard box. I decided to pick through and review the lower carb options. Obviously I sampled a few other things, too, because I thought they were interesting. I sure didn't eat those green beans though :)

faithandmeow said...

Well the beans have almonds with them, the calories and fat could definitely have come from that. I can easily see the peanut butter cup being 580 cals - nuts, sugar, chocolate, etc... too easy. It's been proven again and again that we tend to underestimate the calories in what we are eating so when we have them in our faces as they are on the packets of these meals, it can be a shock.

Ta and Kan said...

Raw vegans can eat 3,000 cal per day and still be fit and skinny with occasionally exercise. So I'm not worried at all about calories when I'm eating homemade vegan food.
Others lost hundreds of lbs in a year with vegan food. Creamy dishes like casseroles utilizes things like cashew, tofu to make it thick and creamy. Some soups are made creamy with puréed cauliflower, like broccoli (vegan)cheese soup. Pie crusts made of almonds and dates, filling made from cashew or tofu blended with berries.
It's fun to explore vegan food. Research popular recipes and make them yourself. Eat happily, you'll be healthy, satisfied, and less animals are hurt and killed.

Janet Burdsall said...

I have to agree with the Escape from Obesity's assessment. The food is bland, high caloric, and contains too much fat. Most of the meals I received were inedible. When they are microwaved, they resemble a pile of mush. I have been a vegetarian for more than 20 years and it doesn't take a great deal of creativity to make healthy, low-fat, low calorie tasteful vegetarian meals.

Anonymous said...

I ordered the standard box for a week under a promotion; couldn't get the weight loss box. I figured I would use the food in it for meals here and there since it's all frozen. So far I've been very disappointed. Taste is bland, texture is not that great, and the calorie count is high. I'm better off picking recipes out of my vegan cookbooks, making them in bulk, putting them in freezer bags. Better taste, texture and less sugar and still convenient.