Social media is a wonderful thing. Through venues like #Hikerchat, I have met some truly amazing people and partners for the blog – Dawn of Paleo Meals To Go is one such person. She was my 2015 #HikerChat Secret Santa, and sent me one of her company’s meals as my gift. She followed up with an offer for a few more samples in exchange for a review.
Founder Ty Soukup found that the paleo diet worked for him, but realized that there was a scarcity of prepared meals for trips and camping that worked for him. Out of this need and after market research, Ty found a partner, his mom Dawn (!), and started Paleo Meals To Go. They now make a variety of freeze-dried, gluten free, grain free, milk free, soy free, protein-rich, and shelf-stable ingredients. It is so cool to see a prepared food item with simple ingredients listed.
The 2 most exotic ingredients in the Palisade Pineapple Mango are tapioca dextrose, a processing aid and ascorbic acid, vitamin C. Not bad. So how was it? I’m not a fan of dried coconut (ingredients 1 and 2), and I really liked the flavors of this packet – definitely not overwhelming, a nice surprise. Our whole family liked it and only had one negative: it needed texture. Simple to prepare (we made it with hot water, tasted, then waited until it had cooled off to see how that worked), eat out of the pouch, done. One caveat: this does not replace oatmeal – once we got past the idea that it would, we enjoyed it a lot more. (*Turns out that the recipe for this has been changed – this meal no longer contains freeze-dried coconut water or ascorbic acid.)
The Caldera Chicken Curry was tasty, but not what we expected. Good curry smell, but it didn’t translate to the flavor – maybe bit too much pineapple. From Caldera (volcanic crater) in the title, I expected some spiciness, but it wasn’t really there. Flavors were good, but again we missed a textural element; a small packet of cashew pieces would go a long way. Renaming it something like Pineapple Chicken would also be more in line with the flavors, unless the curry aspect was punched up quite a bit.
First bite of Mountain Beef Stew was underwhelming, but I think I didn’t let it steep long enough – after letting it sit for a few more minutes, I definitely enjoyed it more. The beef texture was nice, and I really appreciated the mushroom perfume and flavor that was a main part of this meal. The lightly crunchy veggies added a nice textural element to counteract the chewiness of the meat. This meal came with an optional salt package to allow for personal preference, which I thought was a nice touch.
Serving sizes are one pouch = one meal and we found them to be very filling, possibly from the whole food ingredients and lack of fillers. Super tasty and a variety of options make these a good addition to your on-the-go kitchen. Changes we would make include a slightly wider pouch for ease of eating, adding a textural component of some sort, and a change to non-GMO or preferably organic ingredients to make them truly outstanding. (*Dawn says that non-GMO and organic are both on their to-do list!)
MSRP on the pouches ranges from $10-13; while some changes would improve these meals, the clean ingredients list, focus on dietary restrictions, and quality taste made them seem fairly priced. More information available on the Paleo Meals To Go website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Samples provided for review purposes – all opinions are my own.