A few weeks ago, I received an email from MamaSezz, a plant-based meal delivery service, offering me an opportunity to help promote their business in exchange for a commission. As a blogger, I get a lot of offers like this, from companies selling everything from supplements to olive oil to keto meals (yikes!) I delete 99.9% of these emails without even reading them because almost all involve products or services I would never use, much less recommend. But when MamaSezz told me about their meals, I had to take a closer look.
That’s because unlike all the other meal delivery services I have seen, MamaSezz’s meals contain no oil at all. They deliver whole-food plant-based meals all over the US. In addition, MamaSezz meals are
- Refined sugar-free
- and some are salt-free and soy-free
As a MamaSezz affiliate, I would be agreeing to recommend their meal delivery service, and in return I would receive a commission when anyone made a purchase through my links. The service sounded good (though expensive), but I can’t recommend meals I haven’t tried, so I decided to order one of their “bundles”–enough meals for a week–so that I could try them and give you an honest review.
Long story short, I did like them enough to recommend them, and as an affiliate, I receive a commission if you buy anything through the links in this post. But MamaSezz did not give me the meals to review or give me special treatment when making my order, as you will see below. All the photos in this post were taken by me, not from the company’s website.
I went to their website and spent a long time looking at the bundles, which are pricy but include free shipping to anywhere in the U.S. and enough food for about 25 servings. Everything in the bundles is also available a la carte on their website, and you can check the ingredients and nutritional info on each individual food’s page. I was most interested in the Get Me Started bundle, but there were a couple of items I wasn’t so thrilled about: The burgers, which had 270 calories and 14 grams of fat each (from walnuts) and the granola, with 360 calories and 28 grams of fat in a half cup. (That really seems extreme!)
The website claimed they could switch out meals for comparably priced ones, so I chose a couple of others and left a note in the instructions asking for them to be switched out. Well, I don’t know if they missed my note or misunderstood it, but when the box arrived from FedEx, I had burgers and granola. I emailed the company to let them know about the error and got no response. So my experience with MamaSezz was not off to a good start.
But it got better. As you can see, the meals arrived in a medium-sized box (my daughter’s small cat added for scale). It was insulated, and the meals were packed with cold packs that were still frozen. (The company also thoughtfully provides a way to recycle the box and packaging by sending it back to them through FedEx for free.)
Most of the meals were in sealed bags, and the burgers, sausages, and shepherd’s pie were in trays. The documentation included a meal plan for 7 days that offered serving and seasoning suggestions. The meals should be refrigerated and eaten within 2 weeks but also can be frozen.
Over the course of the next week, my husband and I tried out the meals, using some of the serving suggestions and side dish recommendations. I took photos of each meal so that you can see what it actually looks like home. Here are our honest impressions of each item, in the order we tried them.
One of the recommendations was to serve the Quinoa Stack with Gardener’s Pie. Quinoa Stack (I don’t know what was stacked about it) turned out to be a salad made with quinoa, black beans, sweet potato, pumpkin seeds, red pepper. The instructions said to add an oil-free dressing of your choice, and over the course of the week, I tried it with sesame dressing, balsamic vinaigrette, and lime vinaigrette (based on my own International Quinoa Salad), and we liked the lime dressing the best. Without dressing, it would have been too bland, but once dressed, we liked it and thought it had a good crunch. According to the website, 1 cup provides 370 calories and 12 grams of fat. (As you will see, no oil does not mean low fat or calories where these meals are concerned.)
The Gardener’s Pie was their version of shepherd’s pie, and it came with suggestions to season it with garlic powder and pepper. And season it we did because it was very bland. (Most of these meals contain no salt, and we are not a salt-free family, so if you’re used to food cooked without salt, your experience may differ.) We found the shepherd’s pie okay, but nothing to sing about and definitely not comparable to homemade. Each serving was only 210 calories and 1 gram of fat.
Even though I hadn’t wanted it, I had to sample a little of the Chia Chai Yoga-Nola (try saying that fast!) I put a little on soy yogurt topped with raspberries and blueberries, and it was interestingly spiced, similar to chai. Unlike other granola, this wasn’t granular and grainy but was more like flat sheets of pressed grains and seeds that had been broken into pieces. Interesting. I’m not a granola eater, so I left it to my husband to finish off the 5-serving bag.
Next we tried the Mama’s Burgers, and I have to admit that they were very, very good. They did have a tendency to crumble when I tried to turn them over while cooking, but I liked the texture the walnuts give them. The ingredients include oats, onions, chickpeas, zucchini, mushrooms, red peppers, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, garlic, walnuts, low-sodium tamari, spices, and sea salt. Yes, each one is 270 calories and 12 grams of fat, but all of the fat is from whole foods, unlike certain other veggie burgers that are popular now. Thumbs up on this one.
The Veggie Sausage was similar to the burgers with the addition of fennel and other sausage seasonings. If you don’t like fennel, they might not be for you, but I came to look forward to having them for breakfast on Ezekiel English muffins and didn’t save any of them for my husband. There were 6 in the box, and a serving was two patties at 190 calories and 4.5 grams of fat.
Our favorite non-burger meal turned out to be the lightest. The Moroccan Stew was reminiscent of a family favorite, Vegetable Couscous, because of the seasonings and use of chickpeas and raisins. I really enjoyed the chunks of sweet potato. We did add a little spice (and salt!) but overall, this stew served over rice with air-fried asparagus on the side was a great meal. Each serving provided 180 calories and 1 gram of fat (though we each ate 1 1/2 servings.)
We were not as pleased with Millie’s Chili. I tried adding chili powder and other spices and served it with with some of the recommended garnishes–avocado, jalapeños, lime– as well as air-fried tortilla chips, but it was SO so bland. But it was light at 200 calories and 1 gram of fat and low in sodium at 170 mg per serving.
As lasagna lovers, we saved what we hoped would be the best for last, but the Lazy Lasagna tasted more like a tomato-flavored mac and cheese than lasagna. It was good, but it just wasn’t great. I added a significant amount of garlic and a sprinkle of red pepper to boost the flavor, as well as a little water while heating it up because it wanted to stick/burn to the bottom of the pan. To its credit, we didn’t notice that the pasta was gluten-free. It has the longest list of ingredients of all the meals, and each serving provides 370 calories and 12 grams of fat.
I have to say that it was fun taking a week (mostly) off cooking. It was nice knowing that the main dish was taken care of and we only needed to make a salad or roast a vegetable.
I chatted in my FatFree Vegan Facebook group with several people who have used the service and like it. One person said that when she is visiting family, she orders it to be delivered ahead of time and then doesn’t have to worry about preparing special meals during her stay. That seems like a great idea.
But the cost of the bundle–$159 after a promo code–puts it out of reach for a lot of people, and it’s not something I would indulge in under normal circumstances. I can imagine ordering it if I were sick and unable to cook or working long hours outside the home or visiting family for an extended stay. But I really enjoy my own cooking too much to give it up for a week ordinarily.
Another thing to consider is that several of the meals I tried are much higher in fat and calories than many people who read my blog can use. But there are several bundles, including weight loss, healthy heart, and SOS (sugar-oil-salt)- free bundles. I didn’t have luck swapping out items, but you may be more successful at getting substitutions if you contact them after you place your order.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this MamaSezz review, and if you decide to try the service, mention “FatFreeVegan” in the “notes” section of your order, and they will throw in a free package of Cajun Mashed Potatoes.
If you try the service or have tried it in the past, please leave a comment below telling me what you think.
VikkiFebruary 27, 2020 at 3:06 pm
Thanks for the honest review. I have considered doing something like this when traveling and visiting people who don’t share our way of eating.
Susan VoisinFebruary 27, 2020 at 4:02 pm
I really think that’s one of the best uses for it. One thing I should have mentioned is you have to provide your own fresh green vegetables because the meals don’t contain them. They just wouldn’t travel well, I guess.
ShannonFebruary 27, 2020 at 5:38 pm
Really appreciate your honest and very helpful review, Susan! It’s refreshing to get a clear picture of the pros and cons from someone who has tried it.
ElenaFebruary 27, 2020 at 6:13 pm
Thanks for a thorough and honest review. I will file it away for future reference and can’t imagine using it very often except on occasions I was unable to cook.
By the way , I have been enjoying making your low fat chocolate cookies lately and My husband and I air fry them for 5 minutes or so before we eat them to just get them a tiny bit crispy around the edges. Love them! 👍❤️
NancyFebruary 27, 2020 at 7:10 pm
I tried it a while ago and while most of the food was very good, it seemed to be a bit sweet for my taste. Almost like they compensated for not having salt by adding sweetner of some type. As I’m trying to stay on the lower glycemic side, I decided not to move forward on a consistent basis.
TomFebruary 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm
I have ordered about five times for myself and for friends. Once when I was having surgery on my knee and knew I would not be able to cook. It was very convenient for that. I absolutely love the macaroni and cheese. One of the best I’ve tasted. High in fat because the cheese sauce is made from cashews. It would be nice if they could swap out some white beans for some cashews to reduce the fat content. But it was very delicious. They used to have an eggplant Parmesan which they stop making which was my absolute favorite. They now offer a Chef AJ approved tomato mushroom casserole which is delicious. I forgot the exact name but it’s tomato, mushroom, tofu and delicious. Appreciate your honest thoughts. I do like it. Will continue using it on occasion
JulieFebruary 28, 2020 at 5:08 am
Thanks for the great review! I tried a family bundle last year because I kept seeing rave reviews for the products. Sadly, I was not overly impressed with any of the meals…especially for the money. Everything did need a lot of “doctoring” to make it more enjoyable.
Reagan VenturiJune 4, 2021 at 4:37 pm
I completely agree!
Carol GerlingFebruary 28, 2020 at 6:11 am
Thank you for your excellent review. I really appreciate it.
I agree that the price would be too high for me.
I do like the fact they have SOS available. I may actually use the tip for visiting someone.
I was wondering about portion size. Was your husband satisfied or did you have to do a lot of supplements?
Susan VoisinFebruary 28, 2020 at 7:49 am
We thought the portion sizes were good for the quinoa stack, gardener’s pie, burgers, and granola. For the Moroccan stew, chili, and lasagna, we ignored the portions and ate the whole thing for one meal, with me eating about 1/3 of the package and him 2/3 (I might have eaten close to half of the lasagna.) We had a salad with the lasagna, chili, and burgers, and asparagus and rice with the Moroccan stew and were satisfied after each meal. I liked that many of the dishes contained sweet potatoes, which made them more filling to me.
ColleenFebruary 28, 2020 at 9:47 am
My plant-based father suffered a stroke about a user ago and is now unable to cook much for himself. I visit him from another state and try to leave plenty of food in his freezer but he still ends up eating boring meals he can put together easily. I learned about ManaSsas and got him a starter pack in December. He’s really enjoyed most of the meals and best of all, it’s something he can easily manage on his own.
BettyFebruary 28, 2020 at 9:53 am
Thanks for the honest review. A few months ago, I ordered the weight loss bundle. I lost weight, but the food was extremely bland. There were no recommendations for seasonings. I had no idea how to season the corn chowder, so I added southwest seasonings and made it palatable. I’m not sure if I would re-order.
SusanJanuary 24, 2021 at 8:21 am
Hi, Betty, I want to try their weight loss bundle. The website says people lose between 12 to 18 pounds on average after a month on the program. Did you experience that?
Ashley BJune 3, 2021 at 7:07 am
I wondering too. I just ordered the weight loss bundle
MariaFebruary 28, 2020 at 4:26 pm
Thanks for the review Susan! I appreciate the frank assessment. Mike and Kelly t forried Purple Carrot for a while when they were remodeling their kitchen and they came to the same conclusion–to much fat in a lot of things and most were just easier or preferred in homemade versions. But in a pinch. . .it’s good to know there are options! (If you can afford them. . .glad you mentioned how much it costs.)
PamFebruary 29, 2020 at 4:26 pm
I appreciate your honest comments and hope to see YOU create your take on their delicious burger and breakfast patties. I’ve been trying breakfast patty recipes with no success. I KNOW YOU can do it!
SueMarch 1, 2020 at 4:49 am
I’ve been ordering from them once a month for awhile. I think the best value comes from ordering a la carte rather than any of the bundles. I also avoid any of the entrees that include a grain as they seem like less food overall. Each entree is only one meal for me and my husband, which I guess means we eat more than 1 serving each. The exceptions are the veggie sausages and the the veggie loaf which go for 2 or 3 meals. So it’s like $8 each a meal which isn’t cheap, but it keeps us from going out and eating less healthy food when I don’t feel like cooking or need something quick. We really liked the discontinued eggplant casserole too! The ricotta tomato mushroom casserole is tasty to us. I try to keep a list of which items we liked and didn’t like for when I reorder. When my order comes I put some in the freezer for later in the month.
Sharon WickstromMarch 1, 2020 at 1:26 pm
Dear Susan, thank you for the review and I appreciate all the comments. I ordered the American Institute for Cancer Bundle just to give it a try. So far I agree with all that has been said. No one has mentioned the Strong Heart Beets yet. I really like them. It is an easy way to get beets into your diet. So far I have used them on toast, in smoothies, and mixed into my morning Swiss oats. I think I will order a la carte from now on, enough to not pay shipping, and enough to have some quick meals on hand. I really like being able to ship all the packaging back, too. I used to order from Sun Basket, but they have dropped their vegan options, which were expensive and high fat.
Kelly LynnMarch 12, 2020 at 6:22 pm
I got a couple individual items to try when visiting their store in VT last month, and I found it was mostly bland and I needed garlic and salt, but I was glad to have gluten-free options while traveling to visit family. The awesome sauce we got was fantastic and needed nothing added as a condiment, that I will say. I don’t particularly have a need for less salt since my bp is too low and I need MORE, and I prefer my own recipes, but the women who sold me the food was a peach. I never shy away from trying new vegan food, but it was pricey.
gayiFebruary 2, 2021 at 12:45 pm
Thank you for the honest review. Answered all the questions I had. Will be ordering for my college kid who refuses to eat out and doesn’t have time to cook. I hesitate going on extended stays with friends and family. The tip about ordering ahead is going to be very helpful. Thanks again!!
SheaFebruary 2, 2021 at 2:34 pm
I enjoyed your review, and your take on Mamasezz. I ordered the weight loss bundle(4 weeks) last year and just now ordered an a la cart bundle. with plans to continue for a few weeks. I am a CPA, working 70 plus hours a week this time of year with three teenagers (who are not WFPB) and just a busy life in general. As much as I tell myself I will shop and prep even the simplest of dishes on Sunday, it just doesn’t happen, and I revert to drive throughs and really terrible food in general. I looked at so many other plans but to get WFPB, no oil and low sodium (which I need due to high bp) it’s almost impossible. I really do enjoy most of their food, I don’t like a lot of spice so it’s perfect for me, and well the cost is reasonable when you compare to eating out almost every meal, which is where I’m at. I feel so, so much better eating this way, and this is a lifeline for when you just can’t find the time or energy to cook.
AshFebruary 22, 2021 at 3:19 pm
I am considering the weight loss package. I am also gluten-free, and the only other meal service I’ve tried that is vegan and GF is Daily Harvest. Besides a few of the smoothies, I did not enjoy anything they offered. And they were expensive. Is MamaSezz the best meal service for weight loss? I don’t do much cooking so I also need something that is user friendly. Thanks.
Susan VoisinFebruary 24, 2021 at 11:45 am
I haven’t tried the other services, so I can’t say for sure if MamaSezz is the best, but of the ones I’ve looked at, it seems to be one of the few with a weight loss element.
LishanDecember 7, 2021 at 5:11 pm
I would say: I don’t think so. I love MamaSezz, but I see them very much as harm-reduction: if you’re having a rough time, or if you’re having to eat with people who don’t understand your dietary choices, they will serve you up whole food plant-based versions of your favorite comfort foods so you don’t hurt your body *as much*. It’s delicious, but as whole food plant based food goes, it’s pretty calorie dense. (I agree with Susan on the burgers; I also enjoy their Mama’s Mac as a sub for Mac + Cheese; I love their veggie loaf; I love their hot chocolate substitute; and I love their Not A Cookie. And re: Millie’s Chili, I think its main success is as a mix-and-match element. If you want to make generic chili mac, mix it with Mama’s Mac and you’re good to go. Etc.)
LishanDecember 7, 2021 at 5:30 pm
Also, as someone who’s tried… excessively many plant-based meal services (thanks, executive function issues!), I can give you my impressions of ones you haven’t tried. 😀
LeafSide is a reasonable option for weight loss: they’re entirely whole food plant based and shelf-stable. I found their portions too large for me, and, you know, it’s shelf-stable food, but it’s pretty good for that, and you can always divide your portion in too if you feel like it’s too filling for you too. All but two of their meals (Madras Curry and Tex Mex) are gluten-free.
If you’re in the DC area, Vegetable and Butcher is too oily for me but they’re definitely both gluten free and have vegan options for every meal.
Veestro I’ve tried and didn’t enjoy: almost everything they make is extremely processed, pretty bland, and they use Daiya cheese, which tastes like chalk to me. (Their Golden Chickpea Stew isn’t bad, though, if somewhat bland.)
Hungryroot I tried and initially loved, then they scaled up and I hated them.
Splendid Spoon I did not enjoy at all: they send their soups and smoothies to you frozen, and they are *not* pleasant in texture when thawed. Blegh.
That’s it off the top of my head. I haven’t tried Sakara Life or Plantable, both of which also might be reasonable options for you depending on your budget.
Janet BeneitoneApril 15, 2022 at 8:25 pm
I did the weight .loss bundle twice in a row, so it was8 weeks. I lost 30 pounds. I’m a nurse who works long hours and when I get home from work, I’m too tired to cook. So I don’t always eat as healthily as I’d like. If I commit to weekend food prep I do well but don’t always get motivated to do this. So, this solved that problem for me. I didn’t order through the fall and over the holidays and then I ordered some a la carte meals. I just started the weight loss bundle again. Although it helps me stick to WFPB eating, For me the food is only okay.
Marianne WeissAugust 2, 2021 at 4:31 pm
I’ve just started my second round of the weight loss bundle. I am 75 and the recommendation for two glasses of water before each meal was too much for my urinary system. I did cut to one glass and had no problem. The food is bland but I was used to that because of being Low salt low fat and plant based for 10 years. I lost 10 lbs the first month and hope to continue to have the same success with this second round. What helped the most for me was not having to think about what I was going to eat. Following the recommended plan for each day and the helpful and encouraging emails made me feel that I had a cheering section. All my emails were answered promptly. I put this weight on using vegan convenience foods with salt and oil. I didn’t care. When I got a dx of Metabolic X syndrome I decided I needed to care and rehab myself if I wanted to maintain my well-being. This has been an encouraging start for me.
Nettie RoseDecember 7, 2021 at 1:49 am
I just found out about this service yesterday and placed my order the same day. Obviously I haven’t received my food yet.
I created my own bundle by reading through the ingredients and nutritional info for each dish and chose the ones I wanted. I chose from the many low fat options and avoided anything that didn’t appeal to me.
.I plan to try some different things a second time which will be all I need to be able to compile a list of my favorites. I think it will be great to have frozen things on hand that II like and which are healthy. I am planning to add seasonings and condiments to the dishes.
LishanDecember 7, 2021 at 4:58 pm
I do want to add that if you live on the East Coast and are willing to be surprised, there’s a “surprise me” bundle that you can get for substantially cheaper (last I checked it was something like… $89?)