17. February 2014 Ingredient + Produce Features 0

I called in sick for 3 days last week because of coughing attacks. I wasn’t feverish so I doubt it was full-on bronchitis, but I definitely felt very unsexy. Add that to the snowstorms we’ve been having here in New York City and it’s been a very taxing winter.

When Fast Company released their 2014 list of Most Innovative Companies, it included Luvo, a company that brought together chefs, nutritionists and doctors to come up with restaurant-quality food you can zap in your microwave or heat up in the oven. I was curious to try the food and how much different they could be from the lifeless quick meals I see a lot of co-workers heat up too often in the office. I was stuck at home with cabin fever and it was the perfect week to feed myself something quick without sacrificing the taste.

My favorite was the orange-mango chicken with green-tea infused whole grains and steamed kale and broccoli. I would usually forego whole grains, but in this case it gave the dish a really good chewy texture. I also tried the nine-grain pilaf with sweet chile beef and it also came with the sturdy kale and broccoli. (That’s the photo below and that’s how it looks like straight out of a heated pouch. Not bad, right?) It was so much better than the Chinese takeout beef you like but always feel guilty about. The chicken chili verde was also tasty and it came with polenta with pumpkin seeds; the black beans made it more savory.

All 3 definitely tasted more healthy than I am used to as far as lunch options go and it felt good to eat them especially when I was feeling under the weather. I was surprised at how green the vegetables were coming out of a pouch I heated up for half an hour in the oven–I do not have a microwave at home anymore–and how much color each dish had. The combination of ingredients may sound too good to be true but they work well together. My only complaint? I’m a growing girl and I needed 2 of these just for one sit-down lunch!

If the food quality is not enough for you, you have to commend the packaging: the box is made from 100% recyclable paperboard and the pouch contains unbleached paper from 20% pre-consumer waste; soy or waterless inks were used for printing to cut down on resources and pollution.

Related post/s:
Luvo is one of Fast Company’s 2014 Most Innovative Companies
Find out where to buy Luvo