When I think of frozen meals, two things generally pop into my mind. The first is those gross meals with fried chicken, mashed potatoes and some rock-hard brownie, and a whopping calorie, fat, and sodium content. The second thought is generally around the stereotypical diet-esque frozen meals that lack flavor and texture. When I got the chance to try Luvo meals, I was sold. I had heard good things and had seen them in stores, but hadn't taken the plunge.
So what's the hype with Luvo Meals?
- The sodium content is limited. Most meals have under 500mg or 20% of the daily value of sodium.
- Each entree contains one full serving of fruits and vegetables.
- The meals include quality whole grains like quinoa and brown rice.
- The meats and poultry are raised without hormones or antibiotics.
- The flavors are unique. Think Tandoori-spiced chicken, vegetable lasagna with butternut squash, and curry.
- They are prepared in a steamable pouch in the microwave or conventional oven.
|The food pouch|
|Orange Mango Chicken: I wish there had been a few more mango chunks but the veggie portion|
was great! The grain mixture was a bit bland in this meal.
- It's hard to beat the simplicity of a meal that is prepared in 6-8 minutes.
- I was really impressed by the vegetable selection in these meals. I was pretty accustomed to really minimal veggie servings in frozen meals so I was really pleased to see a full serving of fruits and veggies in each meal.
- The grains are really interesting! You know how most frozen meals have limp, lifeless pasta or bland rice? Not Luvo! These meals have grits, polenta, whole grain lasagna noodles, and the like. And in some miraculous fashion, they aren't limp and lifeless after cooking them.
- For me, the nutrient content and overall nutrition is really important. If I'm going to spend the money on a convenience food item, like a frozen meal, I want it to be decent!
- Unlike your standard frozen meals, you can't really avoid dishes with this one! Since the meal is cooked in a steamable pouch, you need a plate or bowl for eating it after the "cooking" is done.
- The meals cook in a pouch so it's a challenge to elegantly plate them. This wasn't a huge concern but it would be hard to pass this off as a special meal if you were trying to fool someone! :)
- I found that some of the meal stayed a little cool in the pouch even after I heated it for the recommended time for my microwave. I usually added a minute or so but for meals like the lasagna, I still struggled to get the temperature somewhat uniform. Generally speaking, I solved this problem by putting the food on the plate and giving it a little extra time in the microwave. Pretty simple, but I felt this was worth noting.
- If you work in a setting where a microwave is in high demand (I'm thinking of my old office), these may be a challenge because of the microwave time, which is 4-6+ minutes.
|Chicken Chile Verde: This was probably our favorite meal. The flavors were fantastic and the polenta was a great addition.|
The black beans also kicked up the protein content.
I will probably buy Luvo meals to have in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner or easy lunch at the gym. They won't be a staple in my diet but everyone can benefit from a simple, no hassle, healthy meal on hand. I am really grateful to have been given the chance to try these. They definitely lived up to the hype!
online search tool to figure out where they are sold in stores near you. I was excited to learn that they are sold in a variety of local stores including Walmart, Kroger, and Fresh Market.
Have you tried Luvo? What are your criteria for convenience foods, aka frozen, prepackaged, etc?