A Complete Review Of Splendid Spoon, From An Editor Who Cares About Ingredients
Don't have time to scroll? Here's a cheat sheet:
- 100% vegan
- Clean, whole-food ingredients
- Wide variety of cuisines
- Filling meals
- 100% recyclable
- Despite being recyclable, it produces a lot of waste
- The flavors can be one dimensional
- The smoothies had a thin consistency
Dietary restrictions: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Non-GMO
Meals per week: 7 to 21
Price: $9.99 to $13.49 per meal
Shipping fee: $12.99 (or $10 off with a 15-meal plan)
Who should try it?
If you’re trying to eat more plant-forward, this is a great entry point thanks to the brand's selection of vegan takes on classic meat dishes (meatballs & marinara, shepherd’s pie, etc). Even is upping your plant intake isn't a priority, Splendid Spoon is a fantastic low-lift way to eat healthier with dishes that come together in minutes. There's plenty of variety, and you can still pick what you eat—unlike many other meal delivery services.
Who should skip it?
Splendid Spoon is not the best service for hardcore carnivores who consider meat essential to a well-rounded meal. I also wouldn't recommend Splendid Spoon to anyone who likes cooking, as these meals are all about convenience, not kitchen technique or dimensional flavors. (Although, there is a special skill to transforming a frozen soup block into a stirrable stew). It's also not for the waste-averse or those who prefer their smoothies with a thick, creamy consistency.
My love of breakfast is undeniable, and I even eat one of the same two meals every morning for it. But lunch and dinner? I'm sick of everything I make. Not to mention, my schedule is often packed with meetings, so making food is a real pain.
The easiest solution to my woes would be hiring a personal chef—but my budget better aligns with a prepared meal delivery service. So when Splendid Spoon offered to send a curated sample box of its offerings, I was excited to give the service a test drive. Little did I know, it would be my answer.
What is Splendid Spoon?
Splendid Spoon is a plant-based meal delivery service that offers delicious meals designed to support a healthy lifestyle. Altogether the brand offers 65 premade options, including grain bowls, noodles, soups, stews, and dishes, along with an assortment of smoothies.
They offer box sizes of seven, 14, or 21 meals per week, and unlike some subscription services, you get to pick exactly what you want in each box. You can also boost the nutrition content of your box by adding cold-pressed juices and shot bundles (the ginger kind).
Regardless of what items you select, you can expect entirely plant-based offerings made with non-GMO whole foods. They're also free from common allergens, such as gluten and dairy, making them suitable for a wide range of dietary needs.
A perfect option for those trying to make healthy eating more convenient, the hot meals can be thrown together in a matter of minutes, and the premade smoothies can be grabbed from the fridge in seconds.
And if you're not a fan of the microwave, the grain bowls, soups, and dishes can be warmed on the stovetop—it just takes a little finagling to get the meal out of the recyclable container.
What meals does Splendid Spoon have?
Now to the good stuff: the actual food!
Splendid Spoon also offers a wide variety of ready-made and freezer-friendly meal options to choose from. You can choose from a range of lunch and dinner options, as well as smoothies and soups. This means you can mix and match to create a meal plan that works for you.
When selecting your food, there's a way to filter out dishes with beets (thank god), cilantro, coconuts, mushrooms, seasoning, soy, tree nuts, and spicy foods, or you can focus on the following dietary needs: higher fiber, higher protein, lower calorie, lower carb, lower fat, lower sodium, lower sugar, and blood-sugar-friendly.
For the warm meals, Splendid Spoon offers bowls, soups, stews, noodles, and dishes. Here are some examples:
- Brown Rice Taco Bowl
- Garden Minestrone Soup
- Creamy Korma Dish
- Red Curry Noodles
- Creamy Butternut Squash Noodles
- Vegetable Bolognese Grain Bowl
- Channa Potato Stew Soup
- Roasted Tomato Risotto Dish
- Roasted Cauliflower & Falafel Dish
- Kale Pesto Noodles
- Red Lentil Dal Soup
As for smoothies, they really came up with some innovative flavor combinations, while keeping the ingredients super clean. Here are some examples of the varieties:
- Cacao Almond Smoothie
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothie
- Dragon Fruit Berry Smoothie
- Power Greens Smoothie
- Raspberry Cacao Smoothie
- Blue Majik Smoothie
- Coconut Lime Smoothie
- Green Matcha Smoothie
- Pumpkin Spice Smoothie
How do the meals arrive?
In my case, they arrived on a rainy eve and despite being kept outside for a bit, the insulated packaging kept the food nice and cold. Everything is packed in a recyclable box and should go immediately in the freezer (meals) or refrigerator (beverages).
How long does it last?
Splendid Spoon is intended to be a weekly delivery service, so it would last the week if you plan accordingly. As for shelf life, the smoothies and juices have a surprisingly long shelf life (several months), especially considering they tasted super fresh. The meals, once popped in the freezer, can last one to three months. Once you thaw a frozen meal, the brand suggests eating it within seven days.
How I tested Splendid Spoon.
As I mentioned, I needed help with lunch and dinner (and perhaps a midday snack). I was looking for fuel to get me through my workday with the lowest effort possible, and Splendid Spoon did just that. Not only did it provide me with easy, healthy sustenance, but it actually tasted good.
For the bowls and soups, I was worried my lack of microwave would pose a problem, but it was a breeze. I would move the day's bowl of choice from the freezer to the fridge at breakfast, so it wasn't a pain to extract from the container at lunch. I warmed the grain bowl up on the stovetop with a little water. For those of you who have a microwave, these containers are all BPA-free and microwave-friendly.
The soups and stews really packed a flavor punch, and they felt healthier and more substantial than canned soup. The dishes were my fave, as they most resembled a full meal with different components (a "meat," veggie, and grain).
As for the portions, many of the meals come with two servings. On the box it mentions you can eat both servings depending on your hunger, and they're right. The meals aren't too calorically dense, and I appreciate the emphasis on listening to your hunger cues. I will say other than the soups, the meals are decently filling. Even my husband, who eats larger portions than I do, was pleasantly surprised by how satiating they were.
Of course, there have to be some cons. I found a few of the grain bowls to be a bit boring (more on that below), but I treated those like bases for other things I have in my kitchen. For example, to the Kimchi Fried Quinoa Grain Bowl, I added some of my own kimchi for extra zing and a fried egg (I'm not vegan). Without dressing it up, that meal would've been a bit one-dimensional, and those additions took far less time than if I had to prepare a whole meal from scratch.
Here are some other meals I tried and my thoughts on them:
- The Vegan Chick'n Parm Dish was a bit dense due to the Dr. Praeger's Chickenless Breast, but I enjoyed the fresh green beans and lentil pasta.
- The Vegan Shepherd's Pie with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes really hit the spot on a particularly cold day in Brooklyn. The flavors were strong and unique. My husband really liked this meal.
- The Green Tomatillo Chili Soup was bright and yummy. This was the only soup I found filling due to the chunks of tofu and navy beans.
- Vegan Meatballs & Marinara Noodles were fine. It had a fresh tomato sauce that was tasty, and the meatballs had a good texture.
- While something I thought I would love, I found the Black Bean & Plantain Grain Bowl not very tasty. The consistency was a bit mushy and the flavor was lacking.
- The Creamy Korma Dish was super delicious but almost too rich to finish.
- I make something like the Brown Rice Taco Bowl almost once a week, and it was nice to take the week off and let Splendid Spoon do the cooking. The ingredients were good, but I did have to add some hot sauce.
The smoothies tasted great, but the consistency was thinner than I liked. There were several smoothies that offered really unique flavors, and I can't wait to recreate them with perhaps a thicker consistency. The sleeper hit was the Blue Majik Smoothie, which has blue spirulina, sea buckthorn berry, banana, almond butter, and organic pea protein.
Although I don't mind throwing together a smoothie, I was surprised by how nice and convenient it was to have these in my fridge for a midday pick-me-up. The smoothies were all two servings in a bottle, and like most juice beverages, they do have some natural sugars to contend with, so I made sure to only drink half of the smoothie each time. They were super tasty though. Here are the smoothies I tried:
- Chocolate Cherry Smoothie tasted a bit too sweet for me, probably because of the cherry juice.
- The Hidden Greens Smoothie is delightful. Precisely the kind of green smoothie I'd make from scratch.
- AB&J Smoothie was a filling treat.
- Blue Majik Smoothie was, as I previously mentioned, a highlight.
- Power Greens had a nice flavor profile.
- I love to hate on pumpkin-flavored drinks, but the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie hit the spot.
The green juices were such an added treat. I don't often seek out green juices and ginger shots, but it was perfectly timed with cold weather descending on us in Brooklyn. The juices tasted super fresh, like you were at a juice shop, and the shots were potent in the best way possible. They were just the added nutrients my body needed. Same goes for the shots. I tried all five of the shots they offer (all of which are in the Discovery Bundle), and they all packed a punch that you'd expect in a wellness shot. Even the Recovery Shot, which has beet juice, was palatable for me.
How healthy is Splendid Spoon?
I'm a stickler for ingredients and always on the lookout for processed seed oils or other sneaky inflammatory additives. The labels were surprisingly clean for a meal-delivery service. I found many of the meals to taste a bit rich, but the ingredients were relatively clean.
The smoothies, for the most part, had the same ingredients I would've used (with the exception of coconut nectar), and the bowls had fairly simple ingredients. The only downside I can find with the ingredients is the occasional processed seed oil (canola and sunflower oil, specifically), but that could easily be avoided in your selection process. In fact, it would be nice if they had an option to avoid those oils on their selection dashboard.
How much does Splendid Spoon cost?
- Smoothies $9.99
- Soup & Grain Bowls $12.49
- Noodles $13.49
- Dishes $13.49
Is Splendid Spoon good for weight loss?
Something to keep in mind is that most of the meals and drinks are two servings. This is particularly annoying when you grab what looks like a single smoothie but it's actually two, and the caloric intake is double. Overall, this could be a great way to eat healthier in a convenient way.
Is Splendid Spoon sustainable?
All the plastic meal containers can all be recycled once rinsed, so for a meal delivery service that uses plastic, Splendid Spoon is relatively sustainable. All the smoothie containers are made with #1 PET plastic, while bowls are #5 PP plastic and lids are #4 LDEP plastic. Remember: Not all plastics are created equal, and it's important to note that #5 PP or polypropylene plastic is not accepted by all local recycling centers.
If you're concerned about plastic, some of the competitors in the space that also offer single-serve portions similar to Splendid Spoon take a different approach, opting for cardboard packaging or another biodegradable material.
Overall, Splendid Spoon is a convenient and healthy meal delivery service that is perfect for people who are looking to eat more nourishing, plant-based meals but don't have the time or energy to plan and prepare them themselves. Whether you're looking to lose weight, improve your overall health, or just make healthy eating more convenient, Splendid Spoon might be a good option to consider.