Luvo – Healthy Frozen Meals

Posted: February 26, 2016 in Reviews
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Luvo

Disclaimer: I received free samples of LUVO to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I am not a big frozen meal fan. Frozen fruits for smoothies and veggies for quick cooking? Sure! Frozen bread so it doesn’t go mouldy since I’m the only one in the household who eats bread? Of course! Ice for gin & tonics? You betcha! But frozen dinners? Not something I’m likely go out of my way to buy. Until Luvo came along…

Luvo

The connection between Luvo and running jumped out from behind a tree on Thursday morning. I was running the Seawall with the #RunVan club, and started chatting with one of the folks who, when I asked where she worked, told me she worked at Luvo! I was excited to tell her all about the samples I had just received from BibRave, and she told me a bit more about this awesome Canadian start-up!

Headquartered just over Granville Bridge on West Broadway, Luvo has former lululemon CEO Christine Day at its helm. My new running buddy, Meghan, excitedly told me about the company’s vision of delivering healthy and convenient frozen meals across North America.

I am also happy to share my thoughts on the yummy goodness I have been able to sample over the past week!

Delivery

Initially, we expected to receive coupons to buy Luvo products from local grocery stores. I learned that both Urban Fare and IGA carried the Luvo brand. However, we were then told that Luvo would be delivering samples directly to our front doors! Or, in my case, to the office.

I got a message from one of the managers: “There’s a package for you at reception.”

When I went to the front, I discovered this remarkably large styrofoam container emblazoned with my name.

Luvo

I emailed the manager back: “I didn’t expect it to be so big!”

His reply: “I thought your lunch had been delivered. Or maybe your liver transplant.”

After manhandling the meal to the physiotherapists office (“human organs?”) and home again, I finally got to open the box and see what was inside!

Luvo

Four meals later, here are my thoughts!

The Meals

The vegetarian BibRavePros received the following samples – and I enjoyed every one of them!

Kale Ricotta Ravioli

With two samples of the ravioli, I offered to ‘cook’ and relieved my better half of the responsibility. Luvo offers the option of microwaving or baking every product, so I opted for the oven.

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It took longer (about 30 minutes), but the pasta slid onto the plate warm and ready for enjoyment!

Luvo

Smothered in a rich tomato sauce, the ravioli are tasty, if a tiny bit bland. I wasn’t the one who noted a hint of nutmeg – but suspicions were confirmed on the ingredient list! I liked the fact that there wasn’t much salt – that’s something you can always add. If anything, I was disappointed there wasn’t more. It was kind of like dining at a high-end restaurant…good food, but not as much as you want.

Luvo

The Kale Ricotta Ravioli is best served alongside a salad and some garlic bread. It’s not enough on its own to satisfy. It could use a bit more flavour (so add a bit of salt and pepper and you’re golden). Solid 3 stars.

Farmer’s Market Frittata

Coming home from a Saturday morning run, I usually ask someone to prepare dashi-maki tamago (see Japanese Food Favourites!) for breakfast. But when the resident kitchen expert is off snowshoeing, I’m left to my own devices. As luck would have it, there was a Luvo Frittata in the freezer!

Luvo

I erred on the side of convenience and popped the package in the microwave. My heart skipped a beat when there was a dramatic POP from the microwave, but the box assured me this was normal.

Luvo

I toasted up some sourdough, and slipped that puppy onto the plate.

Luvo

SO GOOD! The frittata itself was light and fluffy – not heavy and chewy like some egg dishes can be. The sauce was light and flavourful with a hint of heat, cut with sweetness from diced mangoes and sweet potatoes. Heavenly. This definitely stands out as my number one favourite. Five stars!

Roasted Vegetable Lasagna

We shared the lasagna, and supplemented with some other dishes (because one wasn’t enough to share). Microwaved this one, too. Meghan (who I ran with that morning) told me the best way to enjoy the lasagna was straight out of the package to ensure you got all the saucy goodness, but I wanted to split the dish so I served it up on plates.

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The flavour was decent, if a bit pesto-ish. The filling is mostly greens (kale, spinach, collard greens) and low-fat ricotta. The butternut squash topic was de-lish! We wanted a bit more cheesy-ness. Maybe there was a wee bit too much garlic? But overall, pretty enjoyable.

Funniest, though, is the ingredient list:

Ingredients: Cooked Whole Wheat Pasta; Butternut Squash; Tomatoes; Red Bell Peppers; Tomatoes; Tomatoes; Water; Roasted Tomatoes; Kale…(the list goes on)…

Seriously, how many tomatoes does one lasagna need?

Three and a half stars.

Steel-Cut Oatmeal

Friday morning. Busy day ahead. I’m gonna give the Oatmeal a try!

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I eat oatmeal every day – made from regular quick oats, topped with chia seeds, hemp hearts and frozen blueberries. I like to keep it simple.

While I didn’t mind this breakfast, it was a bit too much in terms of flavours, sweetness and heartiness. Quinoa is one of those foods that I like from time to time, but not so much in the morning. Peaches and pears are OK, but I like warm fruit in desserts (like cobbler) more than for breakfast. And even though this dish doesn’t have too much added sugar…well, I simply don’t need any added sugar. Honestly, just a bit too much going on here.

Good food quality, but I’m going with two stars for this meal.

What I really like about Luvo

From their product box:

  • No artificial colours, flavours, or sweeteners (I’ve adapted spelling to satisfy Canadian urges)
  • High in fibre
  • Non-GMO corn, oils
  • No sugar added
  • Cage-free eggs (from the Frittata)

Plus good vegetarian options!

I also love that this is a Canadian company, making some solid inroads into the US market.

I foresee great things for Luvo. I look forward to trying more of their tasty products, and spreading the word about this exciting new brand! Stay tuned for what else Luvo has in store!

Have you tried Luvo products?
Is healthy frozen food something you could see enhancing your lifestyle?

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