Any schmuck can lift weights 4 days a week, eat what they want, and forever use the phrase “im bulking” when a girl asks to see his abs.
Dragging your ass to the gym is the easy (or easier) part of bodybuilding. Everyone who actually looks like they lift knows that nutrition, and meal prep key to making the best gains, and looking good.
As someone who has been lifting since a teenager, and someone who has been competing for about 3 years on bodybuilding stages, meal prep is second nature to me. It’s right up there with brushing my teeth after breakfast, washing my hands after i’ve been the toilet, and servicing my lady.
My meal prep is pretty basic through the work week. Breakfast is oats & eggs. I take 3 tubs of rice with some combination of chicken, turkey or fish to the office. I’ll then have some kind of meat with rice or potato for my evening meal.
However for some people, meal prep is the absolute worst. They don’t know how to cook food in bulk, how to store it, or are just too god damn lazy.
If you tick any of those 3 boxes, then you’ve probably tried some kind of ready meals or meal prep service.
Muscle Food have launched their freshly prepped meals range as a way to make your meal prep as easy as pie.
They sent me some of these out to try, and this is what I thought.
Muscle Food’s freshly prepped meals range includes the following dishses;
- Chicken Stiry Fry
- Turkey & Sweet Potato Lasagna
- Turkey Burgers
- Tuna Burgers
- Parmesan Chicken
- Chicken Pad Thai
- Crispy Chicken
Muscle Food sent me 4 of these, which were the
- Chicken Parmesan & Rice
- Turkey & Sweet Potato Lasagna
- Tuna Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries
- Chicken Pad Thai Curry
I hate tuna with a passion, and don’t like noodles. That means I tried the chicken parmesan & rice and turkey & sweet potato lasagna.
The other 2 meals were relegated to my fiancee, Connie.
Of the remaining 3 meals, I would be interested in trying the turkey burgers & crispy chicken to.
Anyway, the Muscle Food freshly prepped meals are all cooked by an “award winning chef”.
Who is this chef? Your guess is as good as mine, probably someone who got the sack from Nando’s for being a little too cheeky in the kitchen whilst handling Muscle Food chicken breast.
Their meals actually are prepped fresh however, as can be seen on the packaging and in the product description on the website.
They’re only available for delivery on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday & Friday, as they are cooked after receiving an order (or so im led to believe).
Once you’ve got them, you can have them within 2 days of receiving, of freeze them till the end of time.
I got my order on Monday, and had the turkey lasagna on Tuesday evening, and the chicken parmesan & rice on Wednesday morning.
They come well packaged, in the usual Muscle Food silver ice packed sheet, ensuring they stay chilled in transit.
Muscle Food recommends to cook each meal for 4 minutes. I did that with the lasagna, and it was fine.
However with the chicken parmesan, it was piping hot after just 2 minutes. I gave it a quick stir and put it on for another minute, for a total of 3. Anymore and it would have been radioactive.
The big selling point of these meals are the convenience factor. There’s nothing like having a box of food ready for you to just heat up. These things are even easier to cook than the Muscle Food Protein Pizza’s.
Basically Muscle Food is playing wifey (oh how i Jest… seriously though…. Connie has my meal prep on point!)
These are basically , gym friendly “ready meals”. A lot of supermarket “healthy” or “lighter” ready meals fail to pack the right macros, or food groups to even be considered by serious gym goers.
Muscle Food’s entire prepped meal range has the gym goer in mind, and manages to add taste, without sacrificing the nutrition, or quality of the ingredients.
The lids are resealable back onto the tubs, so you could use these as tupperware if you wanted to do it on the cheap.
Just a few minutes in the microwave and you’re good to go.
The macros are printed on each box, and 1 serving = 1 meal, so there’s no fannying about trying to multiply or divide by 100 grams at a time.
Muscle Food really had made it as simple as possible.
For me, a serious competitive bodybuilder, I understand the importance of meal prep.
Because meal prep is second nature to bodybuilders and physique competitors, its unlikely that these are being marketed towards people like myself.
My guess would be perhaps a serious gym goer, or even an athlete or sports person who doesn’t have to be 100% bang on with their macros. Or perhaps they are aimed at super busy bodybuilders who spend so much time curling in the squat rack, that they don’t have time to prepare food.
Oh, if you’re impressed by the images on the Muscle Food website of these prepped meals as well…. then you might be in for a shock when you receive the final tub. They look nothing like the images on site.
I can’t really fault Muscle Food for this though, its common practice among all food places, such as McDonals and KFC.
Of course, the main reason why you’re reading my Muscle Food freshly prepped meals review is to find out how these things taste.
I’ll start with the 2 I tried, then move onto what Connie thought of her meals.
Chicken Parmesan & Rice with Spinach
The “With Spinach” is laughable. As you can see from the photo, I honestly don’t know why they added spinach to the dish. There was literally 2 spinach leaves in the thing. Very disappointing, especially considering there were no other greens in the dish to help with fiber content.
Onto the actual main dish however. The rice was very nice. No different what so ever than that to what i’d cook and then reheat myself. It certainly was not a microwave rice. I could tell that the basmati rice had been cooked as normal, probably the same way I would do it at home. I love rice, and this was bang on.
The chicken breast had a parmesan on it, which I honestly could not notice before I heated the meal up. After heating it however, the parmesan was covering the breast, but not overpowering it.
The chicken itself was a huge breast, thick, and quite juicy. Not dry at all.
Im not sure how this was cooked, but it tasted like a chicken breast taken from a rotisserie chicken, which is full of flavour.
The cheese flavour was not overpowering, and complimented the dish quite well. In all honest, i would never put parmesan over my own chicken and rice, so this made a nice change for me.
It bumped the fat content of the whole meals upto 8.8grams. Would I have this in contest prep? Not a on regular basis, purely to keep my fat lower (I diet on high carbs and low fat).
However the meal its self tasted very good, and was certainly a change from plain chicken and rice.
I would definitely have this again, however not a regular basis.
After all, it’s just chicken and rice, something I prep every day. If I really wanted the cheese on there, i could add some myself.
For a pre-packed ready meal though, this ticks all the boxes from taste and nutrition.
Id maybe keep one of these in the fridge or freezer for times when im rushed.
One thing I did notice however, despite packing 50g of protein, and 47g of carbs from the rice, I found myself still hungry after finishing this. I am used to filling my food boxes with green beans and broccoli, so this is probably why.
I’d anticipate my greedy gut just wanted more, and that this would be filling for most people. The portion was was by no means small after all.
Overall – I would recommend this dish.
Turkey & Sweet Potato Lasagna
This was a game changing meal. I’ll be honest, ive never made a lasagna from scratch. So for me, this was something truly “different” to what i’d normally eat.
If you’ve ever followed my full day of eating videos on my youtube channel you’ll have seen I eat ground turkey breast (turkey mince) on a pretty much daily basis.
I love lasagna but very rarely eat it. This was an absolute treat for me. I had it for me evening meal following a heavy back workout. Having had a shake in the gym, I came home and saw this sitting in the fridge, felt pretty nackered after my workout and thought why not.
4 Minutes later I was eating one of the tastiest meals i’ve had in ages.
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t up there with your favourite Italian restaurants lasagna, covered in bechamel, cheese, and tomato sauce.
However, this was damn good, packed with taste and very filling.
It made me look the price of these things up on the Muscle Food website (which FYI are £4.95 each) a little bit steep if im being honest, but if i was going to buy any, it would be this one.
The actual lasagna was very thick. I broke it down until it littered the entire tub as you’ll see in the pictures. The layer of lasagna, sweet potato and turkey filling all blended very well together, giving a great tasting, easy to prepare meal, that was very good on the macros.
46 protein, 26 carbs and 9 fat.
10/10 – would eat again.
Turkey Burgers & Sweet Potato Fries
I literally borked when I saw that Muscle Food sent me Tuna. I hate it with a passion. So Connie got the honour of trying this one.
We both love burgers. For a few months following my last UKBFF show in June 2015, we started “burger night”. Every Friday we’d make our burgers.
Experimenting with different seasonings, buns, bagels, sauces. You know, because burgers.
Connie also loves sweet potato fries.
She was surprised to see the fat content so high in this meal. and the protein was far too much for her in 1 meal. As such she only had the 1 burger in that meal.
She enjoyed the fries and thought that the burgers were “ok”. I wish I could be more descriptive here, but its the first time she’d had a tuna burger, and i wasn’t going to try it at all.
She kind of wishes, especially for the fat content in the meal, that she’d just been eating a regular burger.
Not bad, but definitely wouldn’t order again.
Chicken Pad Thai With Spinach
I wish I liked noodles, because this meal looked good. I didn’t even bother trying it though, as I knew I wouldn’t like it.
Not really a fair appraisal to say that Muscle Food meals are rubbish because I don’t like the food in that meal. (Noodles and Tuna for example)
So Connie gave this a try. (And I will update you when she tells me what it was like)
Macros & Nutrition
The nutrition for the meals I had is pretty much on point, and what I would consider “balanced” for any active gym-goer, athlete, bodybuilder, powerlifter or any one who lifts weights.
Regardless of which meal you decide to have, you’re looking at around 50g+ of protein, with only 2 of the meals (turkey burgers and turkey lasagna) falling under that 50g limit.
The fat’s in these meals are all a little higher than what im accustomed to, whilst the carbs are lower.
Each of these meals are all “balance”, and can easily be fitted into your macros for the day.
The biggest let down for me was the lack of veggies. Either pile it high, or don’t include it at all.
The amount of spinach in each of these meals is laughable. To point where I am left thinking, why even mention spinach!
For the Turkey Lasagna, I would have liked to have seen at least triple the amount of broccoli included in the meal. Am i being greedy? Maybe, but damn it, give me my greens.
Chicken Bean Sprout Stir Fry – 550g
Turkey & Sweet Potato Lasagna – 325g
Turkey Burger With Sweet Potato Fries – 325g
Tuna Burgers With Sweet Potato Fries – 290g
Chicken Parmesan & Rice With Spinach – 338g
Chicken Pad Thai With Spinach – 432g
Crispy Chicken With Spicy Rice & Broccoli
Value For Money
This is where I come to a cross roads.
I understand that with any ready meal you pay for the convenience of heating it up in a microwave for a few minutes, and then you’re ready to eat.
However i never buy ready meals. I haven’t for years. I always buy meat, a bag of rice, and cook it.
So because of my mindset its hard to look at paying £4.95 for a single meal, which is what this costs. Some are £4.99.
You can get 7 meals for £30 which brings the price down slightly to just under £4.30 , but that still isn’t what id consider cheap – at least not compared to buying and cooking food.
Again, I have to remind myself that what you’re getting here is convenience. Ultimately, your value of Muscle Food freshly prepped meals will come down to if you have the time to cook, have the knowledge to cook, or can be arsed to cook.
Ultimately, the chicken and rice parmesan is exactly that, chicken and rice. Not hard to prepare yourself, and not expensive.
For the slightly more complex meals however, such as the lasagna, that’s what I would maybe consider buying.
If you’re busy with work, and earning a shit load, then the amount you pay for these, along with it being delivered to your home, will outweigh the cost.
For me, i couldn’t justify buying these every day, its just too much money. A work week of just 1 meal a day would cost just short of £25. Bare in mind, I eat 3 of these meals a day at work….. it’s not cheap.
Would I throw a turkey lasagna in with my order if i was stocking up on other Muscle Food goodies… maybe. Id definitely look to use a Muscle Food Discount Code first however, or see if any of the meals were on offer.
If you’re lazy, can’t cook (or a single and don’t have a TOP Fiancee to cook for you), and are making so much cash your wipe your arse with it, then these meals will be perfect for you.
Every single one is packed with protein, and have a good balance of carbs and fats. They’re freshly prepped, and are so convenient to warm up.
In all honest, the price for the meals isn’t too expensive. I’d never consider buying the chicken and rice, because, hello – chicken and rice. I don’t think you can get much easier or cheaper.
However as I’ve mentioned, for me personally id like to have the lasagna again. If you like stir frys, or chicken thai pad, then price is quite reasonable, as these dishes take a bit more effort to prepare.
I can’t fault the meals from a taste, nutrition or convenience stand point. The price, in respect to ready meals is decent, especially if you buy in bulk, when on offer, or use one of these muscle food discounts. However the tight fisted bodybuilder inside of me can’t help but forget that chicken breast and rice is so damn cheap haha!
They are decent, so give them a go.
Im giving them a 3 star rating because;
- Good variety of meals to pick from – 7 in total
- The ones I’ve tried taste very nice
- All are macro friendly & packed with protein
- Super convenient
- Slightly expensive
- Lacking in the veggies
Where To Find Them
You Can view the entire range of Muscle Food prepped meals here: http://www.musclefood.com/meals/freshly-prepped-meals.html