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, you can read it here! This is my third week with Sprout, I think I’ve managed to figure out (for the most part) what kinds of things I like, and which I don’t. 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
My body has pretty much adjusted to this diet now, and I’m really beginning to pick out my favorites. You’ll notice this week is pretty heavy on items with chickpeas, which seem to be constant winners for me. I’ve also given some items second chances, and am interested to see what my thoughts are now that I know what to expect from certain food items. Without further ado, let’s jump into week three!
Monday: Cheesey Shepherd’s Pie & Chai-Spiced Chia Pudding
I’d heard a lot about this dish, and Sprout themselves claim it’s one of their most popular items so I’m glad it was on the menu this week for me to try. The base is made of cooked savory lentils, carrots, onions, and corn and the top is made of a cheesy and fluffy sweet potato and white potato mixture. I came home really hungry today and sort of just stirred and inhaled the whole thing, haha. Similar to the chowder the first week, it isn’t anything crazy adventurous in terms of flavor. However, I found it to be filling and gave me more of a satisfied, home-cooked-meal feel than some of the other “plainer” dishes I’ve had. Would definitely order it again as long as I had a slot to fill in my order for the week.
This chia cup I was curious about, as I love chai, but this also made me equally wary of it. Chai is fairly strong in flavor, and while there was definitely plenty of it present in this pudding cup, I found it a bit overpowering. Again, freezing really helps with the texture of the chia cups for me, but this one wasn’t as hydrated so it froze with a sort of fluffy-rubbery texture…? I’m not sure how else to describe it, though I will say it wasn’t bad. I probably wouldn’t order it again as one of my breakfast cups as there are other chia cups I’ve tried, frozen, and liked much more, though I can’t fault it for sort of being exactly what it advertises itself as–full of traditional chai spice!
Shepherd’s Pie: 4/5
Chia Cup: 2/5
Tuesday: Lentil Tacos w/ Salsa & Gingerbread Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
These tacos were so good, and the lentil “meat” was really filling. I actually had a bit more of the taco stuffing than I could fit in the two tortilla shells, and I ate it while plating my food for its picture, haha. I do recommend heating the tortillas for 30sec just to moisten them up a bit and prevent them from cracking when you fold them up. The salsa isn’t too spicy in my opinion and I really liked what it added to the dish, but if you really hate spicy food you could easily skip it and can enjoy the tacos just as well without. They come with the lentil taco meat, mixed leafy greens, purple onions, cherry tomatoes, and paprika along with the salsa on the side and two corn tortillas.
I was really looking forward to the gingerbread cake, but it was just way too gingerbread/cinnamon-y for me. Like the other cakes, it’s very thick and filling. I deliberately paired it with the tacos this week, hoping to keep the main dish lighter so it would have more room, but I still ended up eating it really slowly over two episodes of The Crown this evening. The frosting was really good, but the strength of its sweetness coupled with how powerful the gingerbread flavor of the cake was ended up being a tad much for me–at least to eat in one sitting!
Wednesday: Samosa Potato Salad & Baked Strawberry Peach Crisp
The potato salad this week was an interesting one for me. The flavors are unlike any of the other sprout dishes I’ve tried so far, featuring potatoes, sweet potatoes, chickpeas, peas, purple onion, cilantro, and roasted cashews with a curry lime sauce. The curry lime sauce in particular is what gave it it’s unique flavor. I was sort of on the fence about where to rate this one, as I enjoyed it and found it really filling (yay starches!) but was also caught a bit off-guard by the flavor combination. I think I wouldn’t be opposed to trying it again as long as it wouldn’t mean sacrificing trying something new on the weekly menu.
The crisp, however, was much better than I expected. The blueberry one had let me down a bit last week with its dryness, but the juicy peaches and strawberries in this one helped counteract that effect here. It had just the right amount of sweetness and wasn’t as overly thick and filling as some of the cakes can be. Being made with walnuts, rolled oats, coconut oil and maple syrup, it was still a bit more like oatmeal that cake. But found that I could chop the fruit into smaller pieces and mix the whole thing thoroughly before eating to get each fruit flavor in every bite.
Potato Salad: 3/5
Thursday: Loaded Cesar Salad, Creamy Coconut Breakfast Bowl, & Raw Chocolate Chip Cookie dough Cheesecake
I had a ton of errands to run after work today and didn’t get home until late, so by the time I did I was absolutely starving. I didn’t want to eat two full meals so I opted for a somewhat lighter meal and a breakfast bowl + dessert combo instead. I’m normally not a fan of Caesar dressing, but I’ve really enjoyed Sprout’s leafy bowls, and this one was no exception. Caesar dressing still isn’t totally my favorite, but I found Sprout’s cashew-based version to be more enjoyable than usual. The salad uses tempeh for “bacon” and chickpeas (yay chickpeas!) as “croutons” atop leafy mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, broccoli, and carrots.
I followed this with one of my breakfast bowls, which ended up being coconut. I still give it the same rating as I did my first week, mainly because it tends to be more watery and grainy than as well-blended as some of the other bowls.
I was really excited to try this dessert, but sadly it kind of seemed to upset my stomach a bit. I really liked the chocolate base, but I think the mousse-like top layer is what didn’t fully agree with me. It was quite sweet and tangy. Overall I didn’t dislike it and it tasted good with the two layers paired together, but it wouldn’t be on the top of my list for repeat orders.
Caesar Salad: 4/5
Coconut Bowl: 3/5
Friday: Moroccan Chickpea Tajine & Cinnamon Breakfast Bowl
The big chunks of potatoes, sweet potatoes, carrots, chickpeas and onions in this were really delicious, and I did like the general flavor profile of the broth. I think for whatever reason I was just expecting something a little bit…thicker? All of the contents of the soup were really tasty, but when I was left with the broth at the end, it was a bit unmemorable. I’d still order this one again because it was filling and yummy, but I just wish that the broth had a touch more going on.
The cinnamon bowl is also a repeat from week one, and it was just as good today as it was then. I don’t find it to be overwhelmingly cinnamon-y, unlike how I find the gingerbread cake too gingerbread-y. It also feels like it fills me up a lot more than the chia bowls, so I think it will become a regular breakfast choice for me when it’s on the menu.
Saturday: Falafel Bowl with Garlic Tahini Sauce, Cheese, & Crackers
Okay we’ve discussed chickpeas a lot this week, so it was highly likely that I was going to be really into this falafel bowl. It didn’t have actual falafel in it, but the chickpeas were roasted in it and it gave every bit the perfect flavor effect! It was not only really delicious, but surprisingly filling for a salad as well. It’s made with gluten-free millet, the falafel-roasted chickpeas, cucumbers, shredded purple cabbage, mixed leafy greens, chopped parsley, purple onion and sweet cherry tomatoes. I’d gotten a bit greedy Thursday night since I came home and ate both a dessert and my other breakfast bowl, so I added some hard cheese and crackers on the side tonight instead. I’m from Wisconsin, so a cheese is always a good choice.
Falafel Bowl: 5/5
Cheese & Crackers: Please send wine.
There’s only one week left! I was really pleased with my choices overall this week–clearly any of the hot meals with chickpeas are a good choice for me, haha. There’s only one more week to go of my month with sprout.
The final menu is as follows:
- Butter Chickpea Curry
- Hearty “Beefless” Stew
- Chipotle Millet Chili
- Garlic Alfredo Pasta with Mushrooms
- Enchilada Bowl w/ Sour Cream
- Moroccan Salad w/ Toasted Cumin Dressing
- Mini Breakfast Quiche
- Creamy Coconut Breakfast Bowl (repeat)
- Strawberries & Cream Chia Pudding
- Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake w/ Peanut Butter Glaze
- Black Bean Brownie
I’m a little apprehensive about the raw cheesecake considering how my stomach wasn’t the biggest fan of the one I had this week, but I’ve also learned that the chia bowls vary quite a lot from one another as well. I’m keeping an open mind! If you’ve tried any of these items, I’d love to hear your thoughts. Otherwise, see you next week for the final installment!
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