Welcome to “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews” | Lúvo Planted Power Bowls 

It’s a weekly series we’re calling “McDaniel’s Bite-Sized Reviews!” Each Thursday, we’ll share a popular food, drink or supplement one of our MNT Registered Dietitians tried, reviewed and rated. With the growing number products on the grocery store shelves, figuring out which items are getting you the most nutritional bang for your buck can feel overwhelming? Our hope is that we can make grocery shopping at least 0.5% easier!

FYI – these posts aren’t sponsored. They are opinions of unpaid tastebuds.

Check Out Our Past Reviews:

Product: Lúvo Planted Power Bowls: Mighty Masala and Greens | Great Karma Coconut Curry 

What is it?

Lúvo’s mission is to make wholesome, delicious meals more accessible for all. As a company, they take an evidence-based approach to nutrition that can be supported by WHO. Lúvo loads all meals with fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and sustainably sources proteins. Meals are lower in sodium and added sugar compared to comparable products. The goal of Lúvo is to make delicious, convenient, nutritious, “planet-friendly” food.

Why Did We Try?

Healthy frozen dinners are part of my weekly meal planning routine. I usually eat 1 or 2 each week for lunch when I’m on the at a corporate site, or if I’m feel like hitting the easy button.  A colleague introduced me to this line of Lúvo Planted. She’s trying to get more plant-based proteins and veggies into her diet, and these power bowls were a convenient option for her. There’s a need for more frozen dinners with a heavy emphasis on plants, so I was curious to give them a try.

Lúvo Planted Nutrition Facts Labels

Where to Find & Cost 

In the MidWest, you can find Luvo Planted at Schnuck’s, Dierbergs, Target, and online at Lúvo for $4.49. Check out their store-finder for your area. Lúvo’s products range from $4.49-$10.95. The more expensive products are offered for individuals following a ketogenic diet.

Product Comparison to My Favorite Frozen Dinner: 

  • Lúvo Mighty Masala and Greens: $4.49 meal that is gluten and dairy free, vegan, vegetarian, and non-GMO. This meal is 300 calories with 9 grams of fiber, 390 mg of sodium, and 11 grams of protein.
  • Amy’s Kitchen Enchilada with Spanish Rice & Beans: $4.69 meal that is gluten, dairy, lactose, and tree nut free, vegan, and Kosher DE certified. This meal is 320 calories with 9 grams of fiber, 740 mg of sodium, and 9 grams of protein.

This is just a comparison of these two specific entrée options available at these companies. Lúvo’s Mighty Masala and Greens contains about 53% less sodium, than this similar product. The American Heart Association recommends no more than of 2,300 mg per day. So, Amy’s Kitchen’s meal is 32% of an adult’s sodium intake. Higher sodium is a common trait of frozen, ready-to-eat meals. Lúvo, as a company, seeks to limit sodium levels in the products. At $4.49 per meal, Lúvo planted, offers a convenient way to incorporate a healthy meal including 10 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of veggies into any hectic schedule.

Worth the Bite? Our 5 Star Rating 

Taste: 3.5/5 stars

Front of the box labeling on the Lúvo Planted claims “a little spice.” I might go a bit further and say “barely any spice.”  While I love the texture and variety of flavors, this product simply needs more spice to make up for the lower amount of added salt.

Satiety: 4/5

Both the higher fiber, plant-based protein profile contributed to 4/5 stars for satiety, but I still was left wanting more.  300-330 calories for lunch is light for most people, but for an individual following a lower calorie diet (1,200-1,600 calories/day), this could be an appropriate portion.

Nutrient Density: 5/5

In just 300-330 calories, both Lúvo Planted meals provided over 10 different types of plants! It also included two different types of legumes (chickpeas/lentils) and both meals were made with whole-grains (brown rice). There was 0-1 gram of added sugar and 9 grams of gut health promoting fiber. Both meals offered 8-10% of one’s calcium needs, 25% blood lowering potassium, 50% vitamin A, and 15% of iron needs.


Value: 5/5

Comparing apples to apples, this product is on point to other “healthy” frozen dinners. But, you’re still paying for convenience, and as you already know, if you make your own rice, bean and veggie bowl, your DIY version would be cheaper.

Overall Rating: 4.5/5 Stars

How I Took a Bite:

To the meal, I added cubed tofu and hot sauce and paired my meal with an apple, and of course my lunch staple, 2 squares of dark chocolate.

 

Jennifer McDaniel

Jennifer McDaniel is a Registered Dietitian, Media Spokesperson, and co-author of Prevention's Mediterranean Table Cookbook. She and her team of Registered Dietitians aim to help their clients go further, make change last, and unlock their potential. She lives in St. Louis, MO with her husband, and three young sons. If you are interested in working with Jennifer, please visit our contact page.