A Nutritionist’s Review of Garden Of Vegan

When people think about health and nutrition, “vegan” or “plant-based” are some phrases that come to mind. Whether you are looking to adopt a plant-based lifestyle for ethical reasons, health reasons, or both, vegan readymade meal service Garden of Vegan provides a high-quality, simple solution for people on the go.

The Good:The Not So Good:
Delicious mealsHigh cost per serve
100% Organic certified produceSmall servings of vegetables
No preservatives or additivesNot suitable for large families

How does Garden of Vegan work?

Garden of Vegan was founded in 2018 by a group of Australians who have a passion for wholefood plant-based nutrition and aim to empower other Australians to achieve optimal health. Inspired by the work of world-leading nutrition experts including Dr Dean Ornish and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn, their menu is built around the science of nutrition.

Garden of Vegan is the only readymade meal provider who are organic, gluten free, oil and processed sugar-free, delivering nationwide in Australia. All meals are also preservative and additive-free – they even wash, prepare and cook their meals in pure filtered water. In contrast, vegan readymade meal service Herbidoor delivers nationwide, however they are not exclusively organic or gluten-free. 

Garden of Vegan offers a reasonably sized menu, categorised by ‘lite’, ‘regular’ and ‘family meals’ (the family meals only serve two people, so you need to order two portions to feed a family of four). They also offer a small variety of sides, desserts, breakfast items and fruit and vegetable produce boxes. Whilst the selection is good, readymade meal providers Dineamic and We Feed You offer a larger menu – up to 60 meals each week. All of Garden of Vegan’s meals are vegan and gluten-free, however, you can also filter by ‘soy free’, ‘nut free’, ‘onion free’, ‘chilli free’ ‘citrus free’, ‘sesame free’, ‘grain free’ and ‘garlic free’. This filter function is great and is similar to other services such as We Feed You. 

Additionally, Garden of Vegan offers meal plans that are designed to support a specific health goals such as ‘Cleanse and Detox’, ‘Weight Loss’ and ‘Increase Muscle Mass’. This is an excellent option for those who need the guesswork taken out of meal planning, however, the cost of these plans is considerable, ranging from approximately $300.00 – $500.00 for a 5-day plan. You can compare Garden of Vegan products and meal subscriptions here.

Once you select your meals, they are cooked and packaged in the microwave and oven-safe containers. The trays do not release BPA or other harmful chemicals when heated and are made with a manufacturing process that is 30% cleaner than other plastic manufacturing. In fact, all of Garden of Vegan’s packaging is 100% recyclable, BPA free and they do not use any virgin plastic in the production of their meal trays. In terms of sustainability, Garden of Vegan is excellent and comparable to Dineamic.

Garden of Vegan do not use any additives or preservatives in their meals, so to ensure the meals stay fresh they use a special type of packaging with a modified atmosphere. The modification process lowers the amount of oxygen from 20.9% to 0% and slows the growth of aerobic organisms and oxidation reactions. This process allows food to last up to 200% longer! The meals are then delivered straight to your door. This process is similar to what readymade meal service youfoodz uses to keep their meals fresh. 

The readymade meals start from $14.95 (one serve) or $19.95 for their family meals (two serves). The sides range from $12.95-$19.95 (the Turmeric Coconut Rice side dish was $12.95 – just for rice!). The breakfast items ranged from $13.95-$26.95. I believe these items are quite expensive and are similar to what you would pay at a café. Whilst their produce is certified organic, the cost per serve may not be suited to everyone’s budget, particularly the breakfast options. Garden of Vegan is one of the more costly readymade meal options on the market and in my opinion, We Feed You and Dineamic offer better value.   

My Garden of Vegan Experience

I received eight meals from a few of their menu categories:

  • Zen Berry Chia Pudding x2 (Breakfast)
  • Butter Tofu Makhni (Regular meal)
  • Tofu Scramble & Mash (Breakfast)
  • Mexican Bean Protein Pack (Sides)
  • Jungle Curry (Lite meal)
  • Satay Tofu Stirfry (Lite meal)
  • Teriyaki Tofu (Regular meal)

The readymade meals were packaged neatly and kept cool with two large ice packs. Each meal looked great! The ingredients appeared fresh and vibrant. The film on each meal had a clear list of ingredients, a nutritional information panel and heating instructions. The meals had a best-before date of 6-7 days from when it was delivered. Whilst this is not a long best-before date, the meals do not contain any preservatives, so this is to be expected and is a sign of the freshness and quality of their ingredients. It is worth noting you can freeze the meals.

The list of ingredients (to my delight) was made up of only real, whole foods – no additives, flavourings or highly processed ingredients. I have not come across another readymade meal service with such excellent ingredients. The allergens were listed in small print under ‘Allergen Advice’ or as ‘Contains Soy and Treenuts’. Other readymade meals I have tried including We Feed You clearly highlight the allergens on the pack, making them easily identifiable. 

The heating instructions were easy to follow with options for the microwave, oven and stovetop. I heated the meals all three ways, and all were successful. The flavours were great – I felt like I was eating a delicious home-cooked meal! I loved the Satay Tofu Stirfry and Butter Tofu Makhani. The serving sizes ranged from 300g (‘lite meals’) to 450g. The 300g servings were appropriate for the ‘lite’ meals, with the other meals providing more grams per serve than Dineamic, We Feed You and youfoodz. Due to the adequate portion sizes, I was very satisfied after each meal. 

Garden of Vegan Nutritionist Review

Garden of Vegan’s meals are inspired by the findings of some of the world’s leading nutritional experts however, they are not in-house Nutritionist or Dietician approved. Despite this, Garden of Vegan readymade meals have an excellent nutritional profile. 

Plant-based diets and meals can be lower in protein if not planned appropriately. Garden of Vegan has made a conscious effort to include adequate protein, with most meals containing more than 20g of protein per serve. The Tofu Scramble & Mash and Teriyaki Tofu provided as much as 27g per serve! Even the ‘lite’ meals which are a smaller portion, contained up to 15g of protein which is a good amount considering the serving size. The Zen Berry Chia Pudding had the least amount of protein at 11g per serve, however, if you added a serving of protein powder to this meal, you could easily increase the protein content. The protein content of Garden of Vegan readymade meals is a standout feature and outweighs what is offered by the vegan readymade meal service Herbidoor

The term ‘gluten-free’ is associated with being a “healthier” option for many people. Whilst this is true for those who suffer from gluten intolerance and coeliac disease, gluten-free foods are not always nutritious – they are often highly processed and contribute little fibre or protein. Garden of Vegan uses high-quality sources of complex carbohydrates such as brown rice, sweet potatoes, and legumes to ensure their meals are not only gluten-free but nutritionally balanced. These carbohydrates provide a steady release of energy, as well as a large amount of fibre (up to 19g per serve). Many individuals do not consume enough fibre due to their reliance on processed foods. Fibre is an important part of our diets, promoting healthy digestion. 

Garden of Vegan readymade meals are all oil-free. A ‘wholefood plant-based oil-free diet’ was a health trend a few years ago and is still followed by many people. The diet is centred around the idea that oils and some meats, grains and nuts should be reduced and/or avoided to promote weight loss and decrease inflammation in the body. Whilst oils are higher in calories and when consumed in large amounts, can contribute to weight gain and inflammation (mainly highly processed oils such as canola oil), good quality oils such as extra virgin olive oil and avocado oil have valuable health benefits. Olive oil is a large part of the Mediterranean diet which has been highly researched for its positive effects on heart health. As a Nutritionist, I steer clear of these restrictive diets as they are not sustainable for everyone and can lead to disordered eating. If you are looking to reduce your total caloric intake and consumption of processed oils (commonly found in processed foods), Garden of Vegan readymade meals meets these criteria. However, incorporating good quality oils in moderation in your diet is perfectly healthy and may even help to reduce inflammation.

All the ingredients in Garden of Vegan meals are 100% certified organic. Whilst you do not have to eat organic to be “healthy”, organic produce such as fruits and vegetables, have a better micronutrient profile (more vitamins and minerals), may have higher amounts of antioxidants and are free from herbicides and pesticides, unlike conventionally grown produce. This is another standout feature of Garden of Vegan, as no other readymade service uses only certified organic produce. Whilst the vegetables are all organic, they were included in small amounts in my meals – some meals had as little as two pieces of broccoli (barely contributing to my five-a-day target for vegetables!). Readymade meal providers Dineamic and We Feed You contained more vegetables per serve.

Final Thoughts

Garden of Vegan is a convenient, high-quality vegan readymade meal service for those who care about their health and the health of the planet. The protein content of their meals is excellent however, they contain small amounts of vegetables. Garden of Vegan is superior to vegan readymade meal service Herbidoor in terms of flavour and quality of ingredients however, the cost per serve is high and therefore may not suit everyone’s budget. 

Garden of Vegan Meals

Lauren Parchi

Website & Ordering Process
Packaging & Delivery
Product Quality (taste/freshness)


Garden of Vegan is a convenient, high-quality vegan ready-to-eat meal service for those who care about their health and the health of the planet.

Is Garden of Vegan healthy?

Yes, Garden of Vegan’s ready-to-eat meals are inspired by the work of world leading nutrition experts including Dr Dean Ornish and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn. The protein content of the meals is excellent, and they only use real, whole food ingredients – no preservatives, additives, refined sugar, oils and gluten. Some of the meals however, had small amounts of vegetables.

Is Garden of Vegan good value for money?

Due to their use of 100% certified organic ingredients, Garden of Vegan is one of the more expensive readymade meal options available. Whilst the quality of the meals is excellent, the price per serve may not be suitable for everyone.

Is Garden of Vegan a premium meal service?

Yes. Garden of Vegan only use 100% certified organic produce and real food ingredients that are washed, prepared and cooked in filter water. From their ingredients down to their sustainable packaging, they offer premium readymade meals that cater to the health conscious and planet conscious consumer.

Are there other similar providers to Garden of Vegan?

Yes, Herbidoor offers 100% Vegan Australia Certified readymade meals and delivers Australia-wide. The meals start from $9.95. Unlike Garden of Vegan, Herbidoor readymade meals are not certified organic, gluten, oil, preservative, additive and refined sugar-free.

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