This post is past of a series reviewing the vegan ready-made meals from Sprout Natural Healthy Whole Food Service. If you missed my introductory post last week, you can read it here! This is my second week with Sprout, and my system seems to be adjusting quickly. (The first three days it was a little upset and confused with what was happening, haha. Eating this healthy is new for me!) For those who are new and jumping in this week, here’s a quick guide on how I’ve been “rating” things:
- 5 = Awesome, loved it, would order repeatedly
- 4 = Great, really enjoyed it, would definitely order again
- 3 = Good, but maybe not the most memorable
- 2 = Just okay, nothing special, not my favorite but didn’t dislike
- 1 = Disliked, not a fan, but would be willing to possibly try again
- 0 = Hard pass
I was really excited to place my order for this week after enjoying my first few meals so much. Last week had a small handful of misses, but I’ve been genuinely surprised overall by how flavorful and filling it all is. I’m all for having my preconceived notions and stereotypes of vegan food challenged, so bring on week number two!
Monday: Caribbean Quinoa Bowl & Peanut Butter Cup Chia Pudding
Oh god, I was so nervous about the two chia breakfast cups I’d ordered for this week. I decided to knock one out of the way right away by having it as a “dessert” for this week, and the peanut butter one was the first thing I grabbed out of my freezer. Although I had this for dessert, I wanted to talk about it first because FREEZING MADE SUCH A BIG DIFFERENCE! This time around it strongly reminded me of bingsu (빙수), or Korean shaved ice, which is a popular dessert here. I had no problems eating it this time, and could taste both the peanut butter and chocolate flavors. I still prefer the other two breakfast cups I’d had last week to the chia style, just because freezing them gives more of that ice water flavor and detracts from the sweetness, but I’m glad I was able to enjoy this one and now look forward to trying the other.
My main dish tonight was the Caribbean quinoa bowl, which is served with Jamaican jerk-marinated tempeh over a bed of coconut quinoa and beans, mixed leafy greens, and peas. I feel like because I liked the burrito bowl from last week so much it sort of gave this bowl a bit of an impossible challenge, but overall it was good and I’d order it again. I really liked all of the ingredients and flavors in this one, but I will say it’s probably the lightest and least-filling main dish I’ve had from Sprout so far.
Quinoa Bowl: 5/5
Chia Cup: 2/5
Tuesday: African Peanut Stew & Raw Reese’s Pieces Peanut Butter pie
Everyone I spoke to who had tried Sprout meals before raved about this stew, which I think may have set my hopes a touch too high. It was definitely peanut-y, and very filling like the other stews I’ve had so far. It was also quite sweet, which is likely because it’s made with sweet potatoes, tomatoes, onions, garlic and spinach and brown rice. I think because it had sort of been built up in my head and I wasn’t expecting that sweetness it missed being a complete homerun for me, but it was definitely really flavorful and I’ll be ordering it again.
The peanut butter pie was also really yummy, though I wish I had a better freezer!!! I tried my best to stick it in the back on the coldest side, but a part of it had gotten a bit melty and then iced over. Nevertheless, it still tasted very creamy and chocolatey. It was a bit soft even though I left it in the freezer right up until I ate it, so I’m hoping next time I can get it a bit more solid and give it a higher score.
Wednesday: Ginger Sesame Brown Rice Stir fry & Matcha Cake with Lemon Cream Cheese Icing
I chose to eat the stir fry with the cake this week because Sprout’s cake seem to consistently be pretty dense and filling. The stir fry left me quite full, too. It’s made with broccoli, onions, garlic, carrots, spinach, and tempeh. The flavors were pretty good–a little sweet/nutty in some respects–but the one issue I had was that it was a bit dry. I liked the taste of everything though, so I’d be willing to give this another try the next menu round!
This cake actually reminded me more of what a carrot cake should taste like! It was very dense and much thicker than the actual carrot cake I had last week, though in terms of moistness it was sort of between that and the chocolate avocado cake. The cake was actually so dense and filling that I slowly ate it over the course of a Netflix binging session, haha. You can definitely taste the tang in the icing from the lemon, but I thought it was a nice twist.
Stir Fry: 3/5
Thursday: Italian Vegetable Stew & Chocolate Breakfast Bowl
So far, I’m a big fan of Sprout’s stews. I find them to be very hearty and filling, so they’re perfect after a long day at work when I really don’t want to deal with cooking. The Italian stew is seasoned with oregano, basil, and parsley and has all of the classic veggies you’d expect in a stew, like potatoes, celery, and carrots. Flavor-wise I really enjoyed this one, but the broth was a bit of a veggie slurry–it couldn’t decide if it wanted to be thinner like a broth, or thicker like a gravy. Fortunately this wasn’t really a big deal and everything tasted fantastic. I especially liked the big chunks of veggies like the potatoes and carrots.
The chocolate breakfast bowl is the same one that I had last week, with nuts, seeds, and coconut flakes. Again, you can definitely taste a bit of that coconut even when you mix it, so avoid this one if you hate that flavor. I personally really like this breakfast bowl though, and it’s definitely one of my favorites. It’s chocolatey without being too sweet, and
Dinner with friends ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
Saturday: Chickpea Korma Curry, Mexican Fiesta Bowl, and Cafe Mocha Chia Pudding
I’m a chickpea lover so I adored this curry! It isn’t spicy at all but still has great Middle Eastern flavors, and I found it really filling. It’s made with big hearty chunks of seasonal veggies and brown rice. Honestly, I don’t have too much to say because I loved it and will definitely be ordering it again.
The Mexican fiesta bowl is made with peppers, purple onions, mixed beans, tomatoes, corn, brown rice and is rounded out with a tangy cilantro lime dressing. I actually loved the flavors of this bowl, and had half cold out of the fridge as a snack between errands, and the other half hot later alongside my curry for dinner. It’s actually quite tasty both ways, but I found heating it sort of brought out the flavors more and microwaving the tomatoes moistened the whole dish up a bit. I think it’s meant to be eaten cold or room temperature, but I’m definitely going to keep eating this one heated, haha.
The pudding I had along with the curry as sort of a “dessert” this week, and it was definitely better than last week with being frozen. I’d even go so far as to say that it was pretty good, because it was more chocolatey than the peanut butter one.
Sunday: Baked Blueberry Crisp
Sunday morning I got up and had several errands to run, so I had my last remaining dessert for “breakfast” to get me up and going for the day. This tasted nice, but the granola part was a bit dry and it all sort of crumbled apart in the bowl. In the end I just stirred it and ate it with my morning tea. I really liked the tang and sweetness of the berries, but it definitely would have been better if it was a tad more moist and cohesive.
And that wraps up week two! I’m definitely a fan of the curries and stews, and was glad that I tried out a few more of the bowls this week. While the desserts and breakfast bowls are still a touch hit or miss, they are growing on me and I’m looking forward to sampling my choices for next week. My body also seems to be catching on to what I’m doing, and while I’m, uh, still going to the bathroom a bit more often than usual, my intestines seem to have accepted their fate and are adjusting to eating real food on a regular basis.
Here’s what’ll be on the menu for next week:
- Cheesy Shepherd’s Pie
- Lentil Tacos with Salsa
- Moroccan Chickpea Tajine
- Samosa Potato Salad
- Loaded Caesar Salad w/ Tempeh Bacon
- Falafel Bowl w/ Garlic Tahini Sauce
- Cinnamon Millet Breakfast Bowl (repeat)
- Creamy Coconut Breakfast Bowl (repeat)
- Chai Spiced Chia Seed Pudding
- Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Cheesecake
- Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
- Baked Strawberry Peach Crisp
The chocolate avocado cake was on the menu again for this week and I had to resist ordering it to avoid too many repeats, so we’ll see how that pans out. If you’re currently ordering from Sprout and ate some of the same things had this week, I’d love to hear your take on them!
Sprout Contact Information
서울특별시 용산구 용산동2가 1-54 (old style)
서울특별시 용산구 소월로20길 32-2 (new style)
1-54 Yongsan-dong 2-ga, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (old style)
32-2 Sowol-ro 20-gil, Yongsan-gu, Seoul (new style)
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