Review of Fresh n' Lean's Maple Squash with Carrot & Salmon

NRR Staff December 5th, 2018

Review Summary

Fresh 'n Lean's Maple Squash & Carrot with Salmon 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.

Rather than a meal kit company (which sends raw ingredients), Fresh n' Lean provides full meals, completely cooked, delivered right to your door. All you have to do is heat them up in the microwave (the stove is an option too) for about 2 minutes. Unwrap. And eat. It does not get more simple.

Fresh n' Lean is also about ensuring that all the ingredients are "clean". The vegetables are organic. The proteins are grass feed, line caught or wild, and free of anti-biotics or hormones. They are gluten free. They are dairy free. They are soy free. So, if you diet requires any of these things...you're good go. These would be a great option for someone really looking to control their diet.

I tried 6 Fresh 'n Lean meals and this one was my favorite. Surprisingly, as fish is often the trickiest to get right. The salmon tasted mild (which good) as opposed to fishy and was not overcooked.

The veggies tasted kind of ok. They were a bit under seasoned. More importantly, they were overcooked, and all muddled together. There were pieces of squash and carrot, but I had a tough time telling them apart.

Like all the Fresh n' Lean meals I've tried, it gets the job done w/r to getting healthy food to you, with no need for cooking at all. It's max convenience and you can feel good about the ingredients.

But it's not foodie food...and if you're looking for a fresh tasting, home cooked meal, I think you should look elsewhere.

Ingredients

The Maple Squash and Carrot with Salmon 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 it 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, 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.

I don't have the official list of ingredients, but from looking at the finished meal, it was clear there was:

  • Salmon
  • Squash
  • Carrots
  • Sauce...not sure what was in this, but it made the veggies a bit sweet - perhaps maple syrup?

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.

Taste

Out of Fresh n' Lean meals that I tested (6), this was my favorite one. Although, I still can't say that I really loved it.

Like all the meals I tried, this will get the job done w/r to getting a extremely easy, very heathy meal on your plate. The salmon was actually decent. It has a mild flavor and tasted fresh. It could have used a bit more seasoning.

The vegetables with the salmon had ok flavor, but like just about all the Fresh n' Lean meals, they were overcooked and muddled together.

If I'm a regular Fresh n' Lean buyer, I'd definitely put the salmon near the top of the list. However, if you're a foodie, looking for something that's going to present like a fresh, home cooked meal, you'll probably be a bit disappointed. 

Fresh n' Lean's Maple Squash with Carrot & Salmon

Review of Fresh n' Lean's Maple Squash with Carrot & Salmon

Overall

Based on my sampling, I'd put this one in the repeat column if I'm a Fresh 'n Lean customer.

Most importantly, the salmon tasted pretty nice, and was not over cooked. Which is pretty tricky. The flavor was ok, but could have used a bit more seasoning. Like all the meals, the veggies were over cooked.

If you're looking for a VERY simple way to get a healthy meal on the table, this may be a great choice for you. It's not a foodies version of salmon, but a lot of people aren't looking for that.

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