MamaSezz Plant-Based Meals: A Review
A few weeks ago, I received an email from MamaSezz, a plant-based meal delivery service, offering me an opportunity to help promote their business in exchange for a commission. As a blogger, I get a lot of offers like this, from companies selling everything from supplements to olive oil to keto meals (yikes!) I delete 99.9% of these emails without even reading them because almost all involve products or services I would never use, much less recommend. But when MamaSezz told me about their meals, I had to take a closer look.
That’s because unlike all the other meal delivery services I have seen, MamaSezz’s meals contain no oil at all. They deliver whole-food plant-based meals all over the US. In addition, MamaSezz meals are
- Refined sugar-free
- and some are salt-free and soy-free
As a MamaSezz affiliate, I would be agreeing to recommend their meal delivery service, and in return I would receive a commission when anyone made a purchase through my links. The service sounded good (though expensive), but I can’t recommend meals I haven’t tried, so I decided to order one of their “bundles”–enough meals for a week–so that I could try them and give you an honest review.
Long story short, I did like them enough to recommend them, and as an affiliate, I receive a commission if you buy anything through the links in this post. But MamaSezz did not give me the meals to review or give me special treatment when making my order, as you will see below. All the photos in this post were taken by me, not from the company’s website.
I went to their website and spent a long time looking at the bundles, which are pricy but include free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. and enough food for about 25 servings. Everything in the bundles is also available a la carte on their website, and you can check the ingredients and nutritional info on each individual food’s page. I was most interested in the Get Me Started bundle, but there were a couple of items I wasn’t so thrilled about: The burgers, which had 270 calories and 14 grams of fat each (from walnuts) and the granola, with 360 calories and 28 grams of fat in a half cup. (That really seems extreme!)
The website claimed they could switch out meals for comparably priced ones, so I chose a couple of others and left a note in the instructions asking for them to be switched out. Well, I don’t know if they missed my note or misunderstood it, but when the box arrived from FedEx, I had burgers and granola. I emailed the company to let them know about the error and got no response. So my experience with MamaSezz was not off to a good start.
But it got better. As you can see, the meals arrived in a medium-sized box (my daughter’s small cat added for scale). It was insulated, and the meals were packed with cold packs that were still frozen. (The company also thoughtfully provides a way to recycle the box and packaging by sending it back to them through FedEx for free.)
Most of the meals were in sealed bags, and the burgers, sausages, and shepherd’s pie were in trays. The documentation included a meal plan for 7 days that offered serving and seasoning suggestions. The meals should be refrigerated and eaten within 2 weeks but also can be frozen.
Over the course of the next week, my husband and I tried out the meals, using some of the serving suggestions and side dish recommendations. I took photos of each meal so that you can see what it actually looks like home. Here are our honest impressions of each item, in the order we tried them.
One of the recommendations was to serve the Quinoa Stack with Gardener’s Pie. Quinoa Stack (I don’t know what was stacked about it) turned out to be a salad made with quinoa, black beans, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, red pepper. The instructions said to add an oil-free dressing of your choice, and over the course of the week, I tried it with sesame dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, and lime vinaigrette (based on my own International Quinoa Salad), and we liked the lime dressing the best. Without dressing, it would have been too bland, but once dressed, we liked it and thought it had a good crunch. According to the website, 1 cup provides 370 calories and 12 grams of fat. (As you will see, no oil does not mean low fat or calories where these meals are concerned.)
The Gardener’s Pie was their version of shepherd’s pie, and it came with suggestions to season it with garlic powder and pepper. And season it we did because it was very bland. (Most of these meals contain no salt, and we are not a salt-free family, so if you’re used to food cooked without salt, your experience may differ.) We found the shepherd’s pie okay, but nothing to sing about and definitely not comparable to homemade. Each serving was only 210 calories and 1 gram of fat.
Even though I hadn’t wanted it, I had to sample a little of the Chia Chai Yoga-Nola (try saying that fast!) I put a little on soy yogurt topped with raspberries and blueberries, and it was interestingly spiced, similar to chai. Unlike other granola, this wasn’t granular and grainy but was more like flat sheets of pressed grains and seeds that had been broken into pieces. Interesting. I’m not a granola eater, so I left it to my husband to finish off the 5-serving bag.
Next we tried the Mama’s Burgers, and I have to admit that they were very, very good. They did have a tendency to crumble when I tried to turn them over while cooking, but I liked the texture the walnuts give them. The ingredients include oats, onions, chickpeas, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, walnuts, low-sodium tamari, spices, and sea salt. Yes, each one is 270 calories and 12 grams of fat, but all of the fat is from whole foods, unlike certain other veggie burgers that are popular now. Thumbs up on this one.
The Veggie Sausage was similar to the burgers with the addition of fennel and other sausage seasonings. If you don’t like fennel, they might not be for you, but I came to look forward to having them for breakfast on Ezekiel English muffins and didn’t save any of them for my husband. There were 6 in the box, and a serving was two patties at 190 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
Our favorite non-burger meal turned out to be the lightest. The Moroccan Stew was reminiscent of a family favorite, Vegetable Couscous, because of the seasonings and use of chickpeas and raisins. I really enjoyed the chunks of sweet potato. We did add a little spice (and salt!) but overall, this stew served over rice with air-fried asparagus on the side was a great meal. Each serving provided 180 calories and 1 gram of fat (though we each ate 1 1/2 servings.)
We were not as pleased with Millie’s Chili. I tried adding chili powder and other spices and served it with with some of the recommended garnishes–avocado, jalapeños, lime– as well as air-fried tortilla chips, but it was SO so bland. But it was light at 200 calories and 1 gram of fat and low in sodium at 170 mg per serving.
As lasagna lovers, we saved what we hoped would be the best for last, but the Lazy Lasagna tasted more like a tomato-flavored mac and cheese than lasagna. It was good, but it just wasn’t great. I added a significant amount of garlic and a sprinkle of red pepper to boost the flavor, as well as a little water while heating it up because it wanted to stick/burn to the bottom of the pan. To its credit, we didn’t notice that the pasta was gluten-free. It has the longest list of ingredients of all the meals, and each serving provides 370 calories and 12 grams of fat.
I have to say that it was fun taking a week (mostly) off cooking. It was nice knowing that the main dish was taken care of and we only needed to make a salad or roast a vegetable.
I chatted in my FatFree Vegan Facebook group with several people who have used the service and like it. One person said that when she is visiting family, she orders it to be delivered ahead of time and then doesn’t have to worry about preparing special meals during her stay. That seems like a great idea.
But the cost of the bundle–$159 after a promo code–puts it out of reach for a lot of people, and it’s not something I would indulge in under normal circumstances. I can imagine ordering it if I were sick and unable to cook or working long hours outside the home or visiting family for an extended stay. But I really enjoy my own cooking too much to give it up for a week ordinarily.
Another thing to consider is that several of the meals I tried are much higher in fat and calories than many people who read my blog can use. But there are several bundles, including weight loss, healthy heart, and SOS (sugar-oil-salt)- free bundles. I didn’t have luck swapping out items, but you may be more successful at getting substitutions if you contact them after you place your order.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this MamaSezz review, and if you decide to try the service, mention “FatFreeVegan” in the “notes” section of your order, and they will throw in a free package of Cajun Mashed Potatoes.
If you try the service or have tried it in the past, please leave a comment below telling me what you think.