Good with: Perfect as meals on their own.
Meal variations: Carrot Noodles with Tangy Sriracha Peanut, Celery Root Noodles with Sweet Basil Gremolata, Daikon Noodles with Korean Scallion Gochujang, Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo, Beet Noodles with Savory Almond Sesame, Rutabaga Noodles with Roasted Mushroom Pistou, Boniato Noodles with Fresh Bean Salsa, Turnip Noodles with Toasted Walnut Pesto
Why We Love It: This review is a bit different from our typical reviews as we’re reviewing a whole lineup of products from one company, rather than an individual product. But we loved them all. Here’s why. The Hungry Root makes veggie-centric meals based on veggie noodles, sides, breakfasts, spreads and even desserts. They sent us a selection of their most popular of each to taste, and we loved them all, but what really stood out were their meals. These stood out to us for 3 reasons: 1) the format is innovative and super convenient – they’re meals that are pre-packaged but not pre-cooked, which results in optimal freshness once you’ve cooked it and also gives room for a little customization at home if you want. Cooking/microwaving time is 10 minutes tops. 2) They were surprisingly delicious, filling and complete as full meals. 3) The ingredients are simple, natural, no preservatives or additives. The only reason we didn’t give it a 5/5 on the Natural Factor is because not all the ingredients are organic.
I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical about these noodles when I first saw them. My main exposure to veggie-noodles before had been photos of un-appetizing spiralized zucchini noodles, which really just look like salads in disguise. Don’t get me wrong, I love salads, but if I’m going to eat noodles I want to feel like I’m eating noodles, not veggies cut in the shape of noodles. Know what I mean? But what makes Hungry Root noodles different is the preparation and the sauces. Oh the sauces. The creaminess of the sauces combined with the cooking preparation of the noodles makes these dishes true noodle dishes. No salad-trickery here. It’s apparent the creators of these dishes are true chefs and much time and effort has been put into ensuring the right balance and uniqueness of flavors delights the palates of the utmost foodies. Each meal even comes with a garnish to round it off and give it a little flare.
Now on to the nutritional aspects. Below are the items we tasted and their free-froms and macros. The carb and calorie count get up there on a few of these dishes, for example the Sweet Potato Noodles contain 65g of carbs and 401 calories. Much of this comes from the sauce (they also sell the noodles plain and those have 28g of carbs and 122 calories). And of course you can’t just compare carbs, calories and macros. Veggies, even starchy veggies, have a ton of vitamins and fiber that “normal” wheat-based and gluten-free noodles don’t (you can read what our Registered Dietitian Lea has to say about starchy vegetables here). Most of the fat in the meals also comes from healthy plant-based sources like nuts or olive oil. Nevertheless, if you’re trying to lose weight or on a low carb diet, these meals may not be for you.
Note with each meal, the base meal comes with the noodles, sauce and garnishes. You then have the option to add either grilled chicken or roasted tofu.
MEALS WE TASTED:
Boniato Noodles with Fresh Bean Salsa and Grilled Chicken (GF, DF, V without the chicken, SF): Total Fat: 12g / Total Carbs: 77g / Protein: 42g
Sweet Potato Noodles with Creamy Cashew Alfredo (GF, DF, V, SF): Total Fat: 12g / Total Carbs: 65g / Protein: 11g
Carrot Noodles with Tangy Sriracha Peanut and Grilled Chicken (GF, DF): Total Fat: 26g / Total Carbs: 34g / Protein: 35g
Beet Noodles with Savory Almond Sesame and Roasted Tofu (GF, DF, V): Total Fat: 15g / Total Carbs: 33g / Protein: 13g
SIDE: Cauliflower Couscous with Moroccan Almond Curry (GF, DF, V, SF): Total Fat: 6g / Total Carbs: 16g / Protein: 5g
DESSERT: Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough (GF, DF, V, SF): Total Fat: 3g / Total Carbs: 4g / Protein: 1g
DESSERT: Coconut Carrot Cake Bites (GF, DF, V, SF): Total Fat: 4g / Total Carbs: 7g / Protein: 1g
Meet the Makers: Based in New York City, Hungry Root was founded in 2015 by Ben McKean (founder of Savored restaurant reservation service) , Greg Struck (founder of Long Island Iced Tea), and Franklin Beckerby (one of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters and founder of The Little Beet restaurants and delivery service). Their mission is to bring vegetables forward to the middle of the plate and change the way America eats. With their 1+1 campaign, Hungry Root donates 1% of their profits and volunteers 1% of their time to support nutritional education and healthy eating across America. All of their foods are gluten-free, and all their sides and sweets are vegan, as well as many of their meals which they list on their website. www.hungryroot.com
Fun Fact: You can sign up on their website to send a free meal to a friend – that’s a pretty cool bonus!