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Mosaic Review - Plant-Based and Flavor-Packed Frozen Meals

My Mosaic Review

It's Worth Making Room in the Freezer

Mosaic is a frozen meal delivery service specializing in flavorful plant-based meals made with fresh-tasting whole food ingredients. I am always looking for quick, easy meals at lunchtime to keep me away from fast fried foods, and frozen meals have always been my fall back. I reluctantly lean on plant-based, vegetarian frozen meals from grocery store brands like Amy’s and SweetEarth but often find they’re either not filling enough or just bland.

I tried eight meals from Mosaic as my lunch for two work weeks and found myself looking forward to trying the next meal every day. The vegetarian meals I tried were some of the best, most filling lunches I’ve had, packed with plant protein and fresh-tasting vegetables I felt good about eating.

COUPON: Use code FIRSTBOX to get $15 off your first box!

by Emily Cosnotti, MSA Reviewer, Busy Vegan
September 2, 2020| 5 comments

About Mosaic

The Cost: 8 meals for $79.92 ($9.99 per meal) with free shipping.

COUPON: Use code FIRSTBOX to get $15 off your first box!

What you’ll get: 8 plant-based meals of your choice packed in 100% recyclable packaging. Mosaic offers vegetarian and vegan frozen meals with a growing menu.

Ships to: Mosaic currently ships within a 1-day radius of their Hudson Valley kitchen. This covers major cities like: New York, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, Baltimore, Boston, and surrounding areas. Not sure if your area is covered? Enter your zip code on their website to find out.

Are Mosaic shipments impacted by COVID-19? Not right now. Currently, Mosaic has not had any service disruptions and doesn’t anticipate Coronavirus impacting their supply chain or distribution logistics. They are taking extra precautions in their kitchen to ensure it remains a clean and safe facility as they ramp up production to meet increased demand.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Shipping Schedule

You can choose to receive meals every week, every two weeks, or every four weeks. Mosaic delivers their shipments via FedEx Ground every Friday and Tuesday. As a general guideline:

  • For Friday delivery: Order window is open from Sundays at 9:00pm EST and Wednesdays at 8:59pm EST.
  • For Tuesday delivery: Order window is open from Wednesdays 9:00pm EST to Sunday 8:59pm EST.

The Mosaic Menu

Mosaic‘s menu is comprised of noodle bowls, risottos, and veggie bowls. There are symbols with each meal that indicate if the meal is vegetarian, wheat-free, dairy-free, or high in protein. If you want more info on a meal (like a full list of ingredients and nutrition facts) you can click on any one for more info.

Mosaic’s Packaging

 

Mosaic shipping box with recycled liner and dry ice.

 

Mosaic food tray packaging with recyclable cardboard and recyclable plastic liner.

Mosaic has thoughtfully prioritized sustainability. This means that all of the packaging is 100% recyclable. Here’s how:

  • Box and dividers are made of both recycled and virgin kraft papers. Recycle curbside with paper and cardboard.
  • The liner is made from 100% recycled shredded newspaper encased in recyclable kraft paper. Recycle with paper.
    • Note: Mosaic may use fully-recyclable PET liner in hot weather or warmer climates. The PET liner may be recycled with plastics.
  • Welcome letters are made of standard paper stock. Recycle with paper products.
  • Mosaic uses dry ice instead of gel packs. Leave dry ice in a well-ventilated area at room temperature and it will evaporate overnight.
  • Meal boxes are made of heavy-duty chipboard. Recycle with other paper products.
  • The food trays were specially sourced from Europe for a two-layer, fully recyclable solution. After you’ve finished eating your Mosaic meal, peel away the plastic layer, rinse, and recycle with other plastics. Recycle the cardboard tray with other papers.
  • Toppings are packed in #5 plastic cups. Recycle with plastics.

Mosaic Meals Taste Test

 

Miso Tempeh Bowl

590 calories. Best by Sep 2020. Vegetarian (contains honey).

“Bowl” meals from Mosaic come with a tray that holds the majority of the meal ingredients plus two small plastic cups that hold the sauce and a crunchy topping. I followed the easy heating instructions on the package and put the tray in the microwave for 4 ½ minutes.  Then, I heated up the little sauce cup for 15 seconds, stirred, and gave it another 10 seconds. In an uncharacteristically sauce-conservative move (I love sauce), I drizzled about ¾ of the cup over my meal and added the almonds. I mixed it all up, took a bite, and decided to add the rest of the sauce. And then it was perfect. Seriously so good – the texture of each ingredient was great, the soybeans still had snap, the tempeh cubes were cooked just as tempeh should be, the carrots weren’t mushy. The miso sauce was super flavorful, lightly sweet, and tangy with miso and vinegar. The almonds added a nice crunch. This Miso Tempeh Bowl was reminiscent (and a few levels up) from the fresh bowls I used to prepare for myself for lunch when I worked from home and had more time. In addition to having the flavor and freshness of a freshly made meal, all the ingredients looked good and were colorful.

TL;DR? I said “yum” aloud to myself when I ate this.

 

Peanut Tofu Bowl

520 calories. Best by 12/10/20. Vegan (contains peanuts, soy, wheat)

When I took this meal out of the box, I noticed it had some ice crystals on it that I didn’t see on my first meal. I thought it might mean the meal would taste freezer burnt or be watery but it was totally fine, no difference in quality from my last Mosaic meal. The peanut sauce had a nice and surprising light zing to it and the peanut topping provided a nice crunch. Overall, this meal was not as flavorful as the Miso Tempeh Bowl but was still tasted fresh. The broccoli looked a little sad as it tends to when microwaved and the tofu’s texture was good but could have used more flavor. The grilled pineapple was the star of this meal, and every bite was made better by it. A bit of soy sauce or tamari would have given this a good boost.

This meal was very filling but wasn’t flavorful enough for me to choose it again in a future order.

 

Spicy Sichuan Soba

410 calories. Best by Sep 2020. Vegan (contains wheat and soy)

This was a spicy dish with tasty buckwheat soba noodles. Because this was a noodle meal and not one of Mosaic‘s bowls, there were no extra mix-ins but I didn’t miss them! While most frozen meals play it safe with flavors, this meal was surprisingly (and delightfully) spicy. The noodles were the perfect texture and there was a good snap to the edamame again. The meal was very peppery with Sichuan peppercorns and fresh bell peppers. One thing I noticed with this meal’s packaging (and didn’t notice with the other trays) – the plastic lining lifted inside after heating and I felt like I was poking through it when I stirred up the meal. Not a huge deal, just something to mention.

Like the other meals the Spicy Sichuan Soba was very filing and wonderfully seasoned – though it might be too spicy for some!

 

Moroccan Vegetable Tagine

460 calories. Best by Oct 1, 2020 Vegan (contains wheat, almonds)

Yum. This was another very good lunch. The Moroccan Vegetable Tagine was well-seasoned and spiced. The couscous has a great texture and I really liked the touch of sweetness from the dried apricots and raisins. I loved the chickpeas and creamy squash and the kale was subtle and not mushy. My only note for improvement would be for the almonds to be packed separately – they maintained their flavor and had a decent texture but just didn’t quite have the same crunch after being microwaved with the other ingredients. 

This was a savory dish with little bits of sweetness. It was filling and satisfying – I enjoyed it more with every bite!

 

Yellow Dal Curry

540 calories. Best by Sep 2020. Vegan (contains coconut, pistachios)

This was perfect meal to cure office chills: a hearty curry meal with stewed lentils and butternut squash. The curry had a little bit of crunch from the pistachios – an unexpected addition that I really loved. I appreciate that it was served with brown rice instead of white rice. The whole meal was filling and satisfying with subtle spice from the chili peppers. I’m so pleased with the ingredient quality and how well-seasoned every meal from Mosaic is. This curry tasted as good and as fresh as the curry from our local Indian buffet but less oily and with clearly listed ingredients. The coconut flakes didn’t add any texture and just melted right in, which is my preference as coconut texture is not my favorite. I feel really good about getting 18 grams of protein from lentils and pistachios and other plant products that are less processed than tofu or tempeh (these things are fine but I do try to mix up my protein sources).

This meal was packed with things I feel good about eating and really solidified my hunch that this is a meal service that I would order from again and again.

 

Smoky Southwest Bowl

570 calories. Best by Nov 2021. Labeled Vegetarian and Dairy-Free.

Yum again! It was tough for me to stop eating this to take notes on how much I was enjoying eating it. I loved the sauce and pepitas. I was nervous about the onions and peppers (not always my favorite things/textures) but they blended perfectly in this meal. The corn held its texture well, the wild rice was a perfect base, and the sweet potato was an unexpected but very welcome ingredient. The avocado sauce had a nice tangy flavor from the lime juice, and the tomatillos and vinegar made the whole dish taste light. 

The Smoky Southwest Bowl was so well-seasoned and flavorful and I’m so glad to get 15 grams of protein in this meal from plant sources that aren’t tofu or tempeh.

 

Ginger Sesame Noodles

460 calories. Best by Sep 2020. Vegan (contains wheat, soy, peanuts)

This Ginger Sesame Noodle dish is Mosaic‘s hot take on cold sesame noodles and it was so good. The ginger flavor came through with the perfect amount – not too much zing but I knew it was there! The noodle texture was spot on and the smooth and savory peanut butter sauce had just a hint of spice. It was a little tough to get it all equally mixed, but that’s always the case with noodles. The snow peas tasted fresh and had a nice snap. I will say that the corn didn’t really add anything except color and texture, and I could have done without it.

This is definitely a dish I’d have again; I love sesame noodles but am usually too nervous about hidden dairy to order them.

 

Green Curry Noodles

490 calories. Best by Sep 2020. Vegan (contains soy, coconut)

I love green curry from my favorite Thai restaurant so I was excited to try Mosaic‘s take. It took a little extra effort to evenly mix this dish but once I evenly distributed all the flavors, it was great. The creamy sauce has just a hint of spice from jalapeños, green chili peppers, and ginger. The carrots and asparagus were a little on the soft side but the rice noodle texture was just as I hoped it would be. The organic tofu planks were pretty standard, worked well with the dish, and contributed to the satisfying 16 grams of protein in this meal.

When everything was evenly mixed, this was a tasty and comforting noodle dish.

How does Mosaic compare to grocery store frozen meals?

Fullness and Satisfaction

My go-to frozen vegan meal brand has always been Amy’s, but they’ve often left me feeling a bit less than full. Everyone’s calorie needs are different and everyone’s health and diet goals are different, and I am not a nutritionist – so I am only going to speak for what works for me. I am a person who likes to eat plant-based food that tastes good and makes me feel good. I feel most satisfied and happy with meals that contain at least 400 calories. Most Amy’s meals fall under that and make me want to grab a supplemental snack. All the Mosaic meals I tried were between 400 and 600 calories with around 15 grams of protein each. I felt very full and satisfied after every single Mosaic meal.

Flavor, Variety, and Sustainability

Except for the Tofu Peanut Bowl, every Mosaic meal I tried was well seasoned and flavorful. Some, like the Spicy Sichuan Soba, were actually delightfully spicy – something uncommon in frozen meals. I have been pleased with Amy’s meals in the past because they’re good for frozen meals, but to me, Mosaic’s food is good as far as food goes in general. I’d be delighted if I cooked something as good at home from scratch. Nearly every vegetable tasted fresh and held the texture I’d expect from a freshly cooked version.

There are only about four different vegan Amy’s meals I can find at our local Whole Foods, and the rotation of those select few gets old pretty fast. I am happy that I was able to choose eight different meals from Mosaic, seven of which I would order again. If you eat dairy, there are even more options available to you. I like that I can order these meals for a fast delivery turnaround and have them shipped directly to my house (or the office before the whole world was WFH!) and not have to add them to our regular shopping haul.

According to the Amy’s website, the plastic lining around the trays and the trays themselves are not recyclable. Mosaic’s trays and plastic lining are both recyclable.

Value

Amy’s meals typically cost around $4.99 per meal at Whole Foods. Mosaic meals are $9.99 each. For me, the quality of the food, the unexpected flavors, the filling-ness of the meals, the recyclable packaging, and the convenience of the delivery make the higher price worth it.

The Verdict

I was extremely pleased with my meals from Mosaic. They were filling (plant-based protein!), flavorful, and tasted fresh. I always aspire to be someone who cooks fresh lunches for herself, but I know that the reality is I won’t. And even when I’ve tried to be the person who meal preps, I end up bored with what I’ve cooked for myself for the week – and since we’re being 100% honest – what I do cook is rarely a delight in the flavor department. I was excited to try each meal every day for lunch and found myself snacking less in the afternoons than I typically do following a frozen meal lunch. I have been recommending Mosaic to everyone in their shipping range (basically the states that surround NY) and am looking forward to making room in our freezer for more.

COUPON: Use code FIRSTBOX to get $15 off your first box!

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Written by Emily Cosnotti

Emily Cosnotti

Emily is a design enthusiast who loves beautiful objects. She’s really into vegan snacks, corgis, home goods, and minimalist makeup. She is currently fostering a healthy subscription addiction.

Comments (5)

  1. Great review, Emily – thanks! I just signed up and picked my first eight meals. Your review really helped me choose what to add and what to avoid. Not sure I’ll hang with this after the first box but I wanted to give them a try. I know we all have more time at home right now but that somehow doesn’t make me want to prep, cook, and cleanup any more than I did before! Plus, shopping is more complicated and delivery is a godsend right now.

  2. Wonderful review! Amy’s is also my go-to, but I agree with everything you said about it, especially the lack of fullness after eating them. I’ll definitely look into this sub. Thank you!

  3. These sound great! Bummer they don’t ship to me yet.

  4. This seems a little better of a deal than some of the others I’ve seen. I can see getting by on a meal of 400-600 calories in a way that I just can’t on <300 calories, and maybe because these are plant-based, they are a little more thoughtful about nutrition than some of the ones that try to cater to vegan-vegetarian-keto-paleo-gluten free-etc. Probably not something I will sign up for right now because we have a lot of time to cook being stuck at home, but more appealing to me than some of the others.

  5. Looks like a very thoughtful sub!

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