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 month with Sprout is coming to a close! I’ve really enjoyed my meals with them thus far
Monday: Butter Chickpea Curry & Black Bean Brownie
Okay this one is a no-brainer, because obviously I adore pretty much anything on Sprout’s menus with chickpeas, haha. But even among all of the other chickpea dishes, this was one of the absolute best. It was very hearty and filling, and tasted amazing. It wasn’t quite as strong in flavor as some of the other spicier dishes, but I was totally fine with that. Hands-down would order it again if I saw it on a future menu!
I actually really enjoyed the black bean brownie as well. It wasn’t overly sweet, but it had a very robust chocolate flavor to it. It also wasn’t dry or too rich, like some of the other desserts I didn’t care for as much have been. I think this is also on the menu almost every week, so in my book it’s a guaranteed winner.
Chia Pudding: 5/5
Tuesday: Garlic Alfredo Pasta w/ Mushrooms & Strawberries and Cream Chia Pudding
Okay, this has been the first major disappointment I’ve had in a Sprout meal in my entire month. So much so that I actually double-checked to make sure that I wasn’t missing the “alfredo” sauce in my dressings and sauces packet. The item description on Sprout’s site says “100% whole wheat pasta with a creamy garlic alfredo sauce and stir fried mushrooms,” But the only dressings I have are the sour cream (see Wednesday’s enchilada bowl) and cumin dressing (see Friday’s Moroccan bowl) in my dressings and sauces packet. I don’t know if somehow the sauce didn’t make it into my bag or what, but I ended up eating the pasta out of the container as pictured. Nothing tasted bad, but the pasta was a bit dry (even after heating with a touch of water), totally lacking in mushrooms, and had next to no flavor. The whole thing was just really disappointing, and I can’t help but feel that a sauce was maybe missing…? If that turns out to be the case, I’d be willing to try it again, but if not, this isn’t one I’d bother repeating.
I actually didn’t look at the label on the strawberries and cream chia cup when I pulled it from my freezer, and it took me digging through my recyclables to figure out what the flavor was, haha. There are no chunks of actual strawberries in this (which I was kind of hoping for) but the flavor profile was unique and generally good overall. The only bummer for me was that this chia cup had the same consistency as the almond joy chia pudding I had (and strongly disliked) my first week. I’ve come to find that even when items are seemingly made with almost the same ingredients, sometimes they can be very different. The chia bowls in particular are a great example because I’ve become quite fond of some of them, and the consistency of those ones is definitely very different from this bowl and the almond one. Needless to say, this one kind of fell in “meh” territory for me since it was decent in flavor and the consistency was palatable when frozen.
Chia Pudding: 2/5
Wednesday: Enchilada Bowl w/ Sour Cream & Breakfast Quiche
This bowl had way more stuff in it than I had initially thought! It was absolutely packed with brown rice and lentils, as well as mixed beans, sautéed zucchini, mushrooms, onions, fresh mixed greens, and tomatoes. The “sour cream” dressing was decent as well, and overall I’d definitely order this again.
The breakfast quiches, on the other hand, weren’t my favorite. Flavor-wise I didn’t mind them, but they weren’t particularly exciting or interesting either. My biggest gripe, though–similar to some of the desserts–is that they were very dense and dry. They were impossible to eat without something to drink alongside them. I’d be willing to try them again, but honestly I ate one with my dinner and then the second for breakfast because it was impossible to eat them back to back.
Thursday: Beefless Stew & Creamy Coconut Breakfast Bowl w/ Nuts, Seeds and Chocolate Chips
Okay, I was shocked by how “beefy” this beefless stew was. It actually tastes like beef! It was very hearty and filling, with big chunks of delicious veggies. I didn’t find it spicy or anything, so this would be a great item to order if you’re new to sprout and are skeptical of vegan food.
The coconut bowl is a repeat I’ve had a few times now, and my thoughts on it are the same as before. I definitely like it chilled in the fridge, and am a big fan of the little hints of chocolate chips.
Coconut Bowl: 4/5
Friday: Moroccan Salad w/ Toasted Cumin Dressing & Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cake w/ Peanutbutter Glaze
Yesssss this salad was another huge win for me! I will say that I used the toasted cumin lemon vinaigrette sparingly because it wasn’t exactly my favorite flavor profile, but when mixed in with the whole salad it was great. This salad was absolutely stuffed with couscous, chickpeas, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, parsley, carrots, raisins, and leafy greens. It was extremely filling, so much so that I almost (almost) didn’t have room for dessert.
This peanut cake actually surprised me quite a bit. It was still quite dense, but it wasn’t as dry as some of the other baked goods have been for me. It wasn’t too sweet, and I found it enjoyable to eat as I watched my Netflix shows that evening. It’s too dense to eat very quickly, but all in all I’d say I’d order it again if it was on the menu and other favorites weren’t available.
Saturday: Chipotle Millet Chili & Raw Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake
Alright, so by now it’s pretty clear that I’m a big fan of Sprout’s curries and stews, so I expected this chili to be in the same vein. It definitely was, though I should warn you that it has a bit more kick than some of the other items on this list! It isn’t overly spicy, but if you dislike spicy foods you’ll want to pass on this one. The flavors were good, and it felt very “meaty” because of the millet. I think it could use a touch more variation in the spices and flavors used, but and at the end of the day, I d definitely order it again.
Considering my past experiences with the raw cheesecake desserts, I was a bit skeptical about this one. However, I do like pumpkin and found myself pleasantly surprised by this one. The bar itself has sort of a crumbly base and, even when kept in the freezer, never quite solidifies, so be prepared for it to be a bit messy when you eat. Barring that, it was quite tasty and while not too sweet, still felt like I was eating dessert.
And that’s it! I do think I’ll continue to order from Sprout for the time being, purely because it’s so convenient and I’ve got a lot on my plate until March. The more dishes I sampled, the more I was able to sort of determine which ingredients I liked, and which ones I didn’t. I definitely have some favorites now, and will likely continue to order those in the future. Thanks for following along with me as I went vegan (for dinner) for a month! As always, if you’ve tried any of these items, I’d love to hear your thoughts on them in the comments below.
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