There is no shortage of at-home meal delivery services in the UAE – even vegan ones – and it feels like I’ve tried every single one of them.
I’ve done the super athlete one (there were a lot of Brussels sprouts). I’ve ordered the super fancy version (such pretty meals). I’ve even tried the no sugar, no carb, vegan variety (tiny, tiny, tiny portions).
Over my four years of dabbling in this and tasting that, I can say without a doubt that meal plans are not created equal. Some are amazing. Some are tragic. So when Freakin’ Healthy announced they were launching Root’D, their own at-home meal delivery service, I was intrigued.
“Over the past couple of years, we’ve created a strong brand in Freakin’ Healthy,” said Roy Koyess, founder of Root’D and Freakin’ Healthy. “Our consumers urged us to expand beyond snacks and into meal solutions, so this was something on our radar for a long time.”
Plus, Koyess added, Middle Eastern consumers are changing, “becoming more aware of the health impacts of certain diets and increased exposure to chronic diseases. They are demanding more wholesome food options.”
Root’D’s meals are plant-based and use no refined sugar free or dairy. There are different packages broken down by calorie count – 1,200, 1,400, 1,600 and 2000.
“Think about a great vegan restaurant menu,” said Koyess. “This is what Root’D is, but made fresh daily and delivered to your door every morning.”
Starting with Root’D involved selecting my package then picking options from a daily menu, which not all meal companies offer. The choices were great: tofu scrambled eggs in a burrito wrap or turmeric apricot oats or apple crumble for breakfast; vegan burgers or pulled mushroom burritos for lunch; quinoa soup or courgette lasagne for dinner; and snacks that drew on Freakin’ Healthy’s tasty repertoire of refined sugar-free chocolate dipped goodies.
“We really pride ourselves on creating everything from scratch, from the vegetable stocks to the bread buns and side sauces,” said Koyess.
And they make a lot of it. Root’D’s portions are the biggest I’ve seen in any meal plan, most probably because everything is plant-based. There’s no hefty steak or calorie-dense salmon boosting the numbers up.
I couldn’t fully finish my day one order, even though it was delicious, packed with flavor and Indian-infused spices. The same went for day two, which was black bean and potato spinach hash, sliced strawberries, quinoa soup and an amazing falafel salad. By day three, which started with massive pancakes and ended with some of the best vegan tacos I’ve had, I was thoroughly impressed.
Root’D wasn’t scrimping.
My only concern is the same one I’ve had with plant-based meal plans before: as someone who trains a lot, Root’D felt low on the protein. There were plenty of delicious carbs and rich, close-to-nature flavors, just not enough of the muscle-building stuff.
So is Root’D deserving of your dirhams? If you’re plant-based, Dubai-based, and love generous portions, it’s definitely worth a try.
Meal plans range from Dh72.50 a day or Dh1,450 a month to Dh120 a day or Dh2,400 a month. Delivery available in Dubai. For more information, visit Freakin Healthy.
Danae Mercer is a freelance health and travel journalist and globally recognized influencer and leader in the body acceptance movement.