Review of Fresh 'n Lean's Teriyaki Broccoli with Chicken Tenders
Fresh 'n Lean's Teriyaki Boccoli with Chicken Tenders is part of their Ion Performance Paleo meal plan - meant to be be low carb and high protein. Like all Fresh 'n Lean meals it's also gluten free, soy free, and dairy free.
Unfortunately, it's also kinda flavor free.
I ordered several meals from Fresh 'n Lean the other day, and this Teriyaki Broccoli with Chicken Tenders was the first one I tried. Meals come fully prepared and cooked, in microwaveable containers, that are ready to just heat up and eat. Two minutes in the microwave you are good to go.
And the convenience that Fresh 'n Lean promisses is clearly there. It is super easy to get a healthy meal ready to go in minutes. They also pride themselves on using all "clean" ingredients, no preservatives, no fillers, everything organic. I am very confident, they delivered on all of that.
But I really didn't care for the flavors or textures in this dish. The teriyaki broccoli was over cooked and pretty light on flavor. It needed both salt and more teriyaki. There were a couple other vegetables in there, cauliflower and carrots I think, but they were all jumbled together, and honestly it wasn't super easy to figure out what I was eating.
The chicken was a bit tough, and didn't have any browning on it; kind of like it was steamed vs seared/roasted over high heat. While I could see seasoning (flakes of pepper and/or spice) it also tasted flat. It wasn't terribly chewy, but certainly tougher than I would have liked.
Overall the taste/flavor of the meal was about what I'd expect at a inexpensive buffet line. It was edible, and it would fill you up. Of course, they do have the very real benefit of knowing you've got good ingredients. If you're simply looking to make sure you're eating good, whole foods, without regard to flavor, I think you'll like it.
However, if you are first and foremost, looking for a tasty meal, I'd look elsewhere.
The chicken teriyaki with chicken tenders came fully cooked and prepared. So I didn't have any ingredients to unpack and cook. Instead, i was able to simply poke a hole in the plastic cover, and heat in the microwave for two minutes.
The "purity" of the ingredients is a core element that a lot of people are attracted to. Veggies are all organic. Proteins are free range/line caught or wild. And meals also cater to common dietary restrictions like gluten, soy and dairy free. There are also 100% plant based options. If you have a need or desire to manage your ingredients that way, I see Fresh 'n Lean being a huge benefit.
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to find a full list of ingredients that when into the dish - it was not a label. I'm sure it was available on the website, when I ordered the meal; but they have sense rotated through - I can't find it on their site. From my memory, the meal consisted of:
- Two chicken tenders
- Teriyaki sauce
Making the dish
Because Fresh 'n Lean meals come fully prepared and cooked, there isn't really any step where you make the dish. Before eating, you simply poke a hole in the meal's cover and heat in the microwave for 2 - 3 minutes.
Peel back the plastic and you're ready to go.
While I used the microwave to heat the meal (as I think most people will use that method), Fresh 'n Lean also provides guidance for heating up in the oven, or on the stovetop - which may actually give a better end result.
I wasn't a big fan of this meal. I thought the flavors where flat and all muddled together. Everything but the chicken was a similar texture. It tasted clearly and obviously like reheated food; most comparable to what you'd get in a cafeteria line or buffet.
Of course I'm very much a foodie; and not everyone else is.
I know many people, who are far more interested in getting the right about of calories, from the right/clean ingredients, than having their chicken cooked just perfectly. In my opinion, it's those people Fresh 'n Lean is for.
While I didn't like this meal enough to ever order it again, it was "fine"...got the job of providing a clean meal. And I'm quite sure it was healthy - with just lean protein and veggies.
So, if you've got food needs greater than taste, Fresh 'n Lean may just be the service for you.
Fresh 'n Lean's Teriyaki Broccoli with Chicken Tenders
You're experience with Fresh 'n Lean is going to come down very clearly to what you are looking for.
Their meals are targeted at people who want to make sure they are eating clean ingredients. People who want/need to meet a dietary need like gluten free, soy free, dairy free or vegan/vegetarian; and who don't really want to do any cooking.
Using them, would be very simple and easy to track and control what you're putting in your body, and to feel good about it. Meals are slightly more expensive than some other providers, but only slightly.
From that perspective there are clear advantages to Fresh 'n Lean.
However, if (like me), you're looking for a tasty meal, packed with complex flavors and textures, you are not going to be happy and I'd take a look elsewhere.