Since we turned plant-based two years ago, I have become aware of Leafside Meals. I have heard Dr. Greger mention these vegan just add water meals and LeafSide foods ads show up in my Facebook feed.
I have been curious to try them but could not justify the cost of eating these meals at home. I have thought that they would make the ideal meal for air travel.
Since I am a huge fan of Dr. Greger and like to follow his Daily Dozen Vegan recommendations, I have wanted to try these whole food meals. Most have at least 10 servings from the Daily Dozen, making them a nutritious choice.
LeafSide Meals Review
Recently, I flew to Arizona to help take care of my aging mother and realized it was the perfect opportunity to try out LeafSide Shelf-Stable Meals.
I placed an order for 12 meals to be delivered to my sister’s house. My order included six sweet bowls and six savory bowls.
I ordered a collapsable silicone bowl to prepare my meals in. Since these meal packs are prepared with boiling water, these bowls are perfect for preparation on the go. Plus they make for easy clean-up. For ease, I packed a plastic spoon.
LeafSide Sweet Bowls
At the time of order, only three sweet bowls were available, so I ordered two of each.
Berry Medley Sweet-Bowl
The first sweet Leaf Side meal that I tried was I was the Berry Medley Sweet Bowl. When I opened the pouch and poured the contents into a bowl, I noticed an unusual smell. I could not put my finger on it but it was not sweet or pleasant. Reading the ingredients, I noticed that there was kale, mushroom, beets, mushroom, and turmeric in the mixture. Interesting!
I was a little hesitant, but the taste was good! My palate is more refined now that we are whole food plant-based, but I was not able to detect the vegetables. The berries and cinnamon are delicious! My favorite part of the bowl is the banana that is in it. When it is stirred up, the banana gives the bowl a creaminess.
Apple Cinnamon Crunch Sweet-Bowl
I think that the Apple Cinnamon Crunch Bowl is one of the best LeafSide meals. While not in the name, this bowl contains strawberries. The flavor is superb! The nuts add a great crunch.
Since I did not feel satisfied with the first sweet bowl, I added some quick oats and extra water into this cinnamon apple breakfast. That made for the perfect amount of food after my morning workout.
Cacao Raspberry Sweet-Bowl
I predicted that this would be my favorite breakfast, but it was not. Surprisingly, I do not eat much chocolate anymore and do not crave it. That being said, it was not bad. I loved the variety of berries in it.
I look forward to trying the Goji Peach Paradise Sweet-Bowl in my next order.
LeafSide Savory Bowls
I added a colorful variety of six savory bowls to my order. The savory bowls served as my lunch. I am used to eating a larger amount for dinner so I will supplement a savory bowl if I eat them at supper time.
Thai Veggie Noodle Savory-Bowl
My first savory bowl was the Thai Veggie Noodle. It was good, but not great. I love the soy curls in it. They really seemed like chicken to me. Makes me want to start cooking with soy curls!
The spices were very good. Not really spicy at all. It is important to make sure the vermicelli noodles are soaking in the water or they will be a little crunchy.
Broccoli Cashew Alfredo Savory-Bowl
The second savory pouch that I tried was the Broccoli Cashew Alfredo Pasta Bowl. This has been my favorite savory bowl so far. Like the Thai Noodle meal, this has soy curls.
This is very flavorful and replicates alfredo flavor while remaining dairy-free.
Lentil Tomato Pasta Savory-Bowl
The Lentil Tomato Pasta Savory Bowl was next. Like the other non-sweet bowls this is made with 1½ of hot water. I highly recommend that you use boiling water and let this bowl sit for longer than the required 10 minutes. The pasta edges were a little bit on the crunchy side for my taste. The sauce was also a little runny, but that thickened up as I ate.
The flavor is fantastic. It is a nice blend of Italian seasonings.
Scroll down for the remaining Savory bowls reviews.
Are LeafSide Meals Good?
Are you wondering if you should get some LeafSide?
What are my honest thoughts of these shelf-stable meals?
I am going to answer based on a few factors. First off, I am fairly frugal. We do not go out to dinner much and we like to maximize our savings. Because I work from home running this site and my camping website, I have the time and flexibility to prepare food from scratch.
I ordered 12 meals for a total of $103, including shipping. That works out to $8.50 per meal. To me personally, that is not frugal. We do not go out to breakfast, and if we did, we would not spend $8.50 per meal. Yes, I am probably out of touch with how much a meal out cost these days. While I do think that these make a decent lunch, I still think that it is a bit on the expensive side. As far as dinner is concerned, these are not quite enough so it would need to be supplemented with a salad or something else, which makes the cost a little higher.
As mentioned above I have the time to prepare food so these are not a good day-to-day option for our family. Since I learned of these meals, I thought that they would be a good option for air travel. This trip was my first time flying since going plant-based. With being plant-based, I do not expect others to provide food that meets my needs. That is why I had these meals sent to my sister’s house. I ended up having enough time in my visit to prepare food for myself and for my sister’s family, so I ended up bringing extra LeafSide pouches home.
Would I purchase these WFPB meals again?
Yes, I will purchase these meals in the future for travel. If our plans include a flight and hotel without cooking facilities, these are ideal. Such as a trip to Europe. We plan on renting a campervan to drive around Ireland, and these meals would be easy to prepare in that small space.
Even though the apple cinnamon crunch is my favorite breakfast bowl, I am not sure that I would order more because oatmeal is easy to obtain and prepare wherever we may be. Often I make up some vegan muffins to take with us when we travel. I do think that adding extra grains and water so that two people can share make these bowls cost-effective.
Who do I recommend these meals for?
I do think that these shelf-stable vegan meals are perfect for someone who wants to stay plant-based but has little to no time to prepare a healthy meal due to work or travel.
Cons about LeafSide Meals
Each meal comes in a thick zippered plastic pouch. I really hate throwing this plastic away. Food packaging, in general, is a huge issue, so I do not wholly blame LeafSide for this. I understand that the pouches need to be strong enough to withstand travel.
Go LeafSide runs on a subscription model. There are no subscriber fees. The subscription order is a minimum of 12 meals. If you do not pick your meals by a certain date, they will automatically pick meals for you. You can cancel your subscription at any time.
After placing my order to go to my sister’s house, LeafSide contacted me to ask if I wanted a gift message since the package was being sent to a different person. When I explained the situation, they asked if I wanted to cancel. I appreciate this great customer service.
LeafSide Shelf Life
The shelf life for the Leaf Side meals is 6 weeks. Not sure if that is a pro or con. Yes, it is short, which makes it a con, but it is not made with preservatives, which makes it a pro.
More WFPB Meal Service Reviews
The Tex-Mex Savory Bowl was eaten while camping, which was easy to prepare. My husband and I decided to share it for lunch, so I added extra grains to the bowl and increased the boiling water.
I thought that this was going to be the best bowl of all, but I was a little disappointed. I felt like it could have used more black beans and more flavor.
This was my husband’s first savory bowl and he thought it was decent until he heard how much they cost individually. Yes, we are both cheapskates, so we find it hard to pay so much.
He agrees that these are good in situations such as long airplane travel or in a rented campervan. However, those are the only circumstances that would be useful for us.
He had the cocoa raspberry bowl for breakfast and thought it was delicious. The portion size was not big enough for him and agreed that they need to be supplemented. Keep in mind that we are very active people, particularly when we are camping. We get a few hours of exercise most days.
Creamy Forest Mushroom Savory-Bowl
My husband said the Creamy Forest Mushroom Bowl was good. It is not overly spicy. Reminds him of a bite of mushroom pizza without cheese. We added ¼ cup of an oatmeal quinoa mixture with a little extra water and it made a bigger bowl, which went a long way to filling him up.
Madras Curry Savory-Bowl
Finally, I had the Madras Curry Bowl, which was good. I want to compare these bowls to take out, but that is not fair. Take out has oil and salt. These bowls have a little bit of sodium, but no oil. It is better to think of them as homemade.
As with many of the bowls, I recommend that you let this curry bowl set for longer than 10 minutes. Some of the lentils and potatoes were firmer than I would like them to be.
Final thought on LeafSide Vegan Meals
I recommend that you try out LeafSide. They have a huge variety, including soups and smoothies. If you are struggling to adapt to a whole food plant-based lifestyle, these provide the boost you need to stay on course.