Frequently Asked Questions

Fred & Ricky heard Walter Robb, co-CEO of Whole Foods, at a talk several years ago. He commented that people should not expect their political leaders to create any dramatic changes. His advice was that “If you want to change the world…start a business.”

We decided we wanted to change the world. We’ve had too many close family and friends die of preventable diseases. We want to put an end to preventable diseases by feeding people delicious food.

It means eating healthy plants as they were grown, without over-processing or artificial ingredients. You could consume nothing but white flour on a plant-based diet, but it would not be good for you, or considered a whole-food plant-based diet. A whole plant-based diet excludes animal products, and is rooted in what grows in the ground – vegetables, fruits, whole grains, tubers (potatoes and other root vegetables) and legumes (beans). These foods don’t have to be raw; on the contrary, Fred’s cooking is all about how they can come together in our kitchen to make our rich tasting, savory dishes. Whether you want to give up animal products altogether or just incorporate more plants into your diet, Fred & Ricky’s has a wide range of delicious foods for you. And your health will thank you!

One word: Fred. She’s a fabulous cook (she’s a cook, not a chef!) and she loves to experiment. She’s spent thousands of hours over the last 6+ years developing her unique recipes to deliver great tasting food without using any meat, dairy, artificial ingredients, or loads of salt and sugar. Making healthy food taste great is a careful balance between how we cook things, how long we cook them, what ingredients we pair together, and what spices we use. We don’t cut corners just to save time or money, and we make our food in small batches to maintain flavor and freshness. Our friends and family have been enjoying Fred’s food for years. And now you can too!

Oil of any kind is loaded with unnecessary calories and comprised solely of fat (much of it saturated fat). All other nutrients are removed in its production including the fiber, protein, carbohydrates and minerals. Studies have shown that consumption of any oils injures your endothelium, the inner most lining of your arteries, and those injuries are the catalyst to vascular disease including heart disease. Fred & Ricky’s foods contain no oil, and are proof that you don’t need to add oil to make delicious foods.

No, quite the opposite! Good, wholesome plant-based nutrition that’s full of vitamins, fiber, protein and healthy carbohydrates will give you more energy than you thought possible, without all the peaks and crashes from caffeine and refined sugar.

Yes, absolutely! There are many world-class athletes that follow a plant-based diet, including tennis stars Venus & Serena Williams, NFL lineman David Carter, UFC Heavyweight Mark Hunt, Ultraman Athlete Rich Roll, Champion Bodybuilder (Mr. Universe) Barny Du Plessis, and Boxing Champion Timothy Bradley among many others. They cite their ability to recuperate faster and have more energy as key reasons why they are plant-based athletes.

If you’re an athlete or weight lifter and still concerned about getting enough protein, keep in mind there are many very good plant-based protein supplements if you want to take one before your workouts. A study of 24 college-aged weight lifters published in 2013 in the Nutrition Journal found that rice protein provided the same lean body mass, muscle mass, strength and power increases as whey protein.

A food that is said to be a complete protein means that it contains the nine amino acids considered essential for our bodies to build protein. While many plants don’t contain all nine amino acids, there is nothing to worry about. When our bodies are digesting our food, every food has to be broken apart in order to absorb the nutrients. During the digestion process, amino acids are broken down and made available for our bodies to use. As long as you’re eating a varied plant-based diet, your body will synthesize the amino acids from your diet to create the protein your body needs.

While there are different variations of each, generally speaking Vegetarians eat a predominantly plant-based diet but will eat dairy as well. Vegans eat only a plant-based diet, with no meat or dairy. Flexitarians are people that sometimes eat meat and dairy, and sometimes don’t eat any meat or dairy.

At Fred & Ricky’s, it’s all about taste. We figure as long as food tastes good and is healthy, people will want to eat it. Fred is a Flexitarian, while Ricky is a Vegan. Regardless of what you are, as long as you like great tasting fresh food, you’re going to like Fred & Ricky’s food.

Sustainability is the heart and soul of what we do. Plant-based eating isn’t just the healthiest way for people to eat, we believe it’s the only sustainable way for us to feed the world. In terms of water and crop usage, growing plants versus raising animals uses nearly 90% less water, land and crops. In the US alone, 56 million acres are used to grow crops to feed to animals, while just 4 million acres are used to grow plants to feed people.

Raising animals for food also causes significant pollution. A staggering 51% or more of greenhouse gasses are caused by animal agriculture according to the Worldwatch Institute. Runoff of animal waste is one of the top causes of pollution in lakes and rivers, and has been shown to cause a range of illnesses including immune and neurological problems.

In addition, we purchase our ingredients and products from local farmers whenever we can. We think fresh locally grown food tastes better, has a reduced carbon footprint, and supports our local farmers and families. And before our food spoils, we donate it to local food pantries and shelters to minimize waste. Our containers are both reusable and recyclable. Lastly, we believe in paying fair wages that include benefits for our employees.

To Fred & Ricky, sustainability is more than just a buzzword. It means taking care of our bodies, our staff, our planet, and the communities we live in.

When Fred first started cooking plant-based food, her first instinct was to look at vegan recipes. However, she very quickly found that vegan recipes typically were either bland and tasteless, or were high in fat, sugar and sodium. So she went back to what she knew: the tried and true recipes that’d been in her family for years. She revamped the recipes by swapping out dairy, oil, and meat with produce, and after a whole lot of experimenting came up with her delicious results.

Our foods are made fresh in our kitchens without any preservatives. If you purchased them from the refrigerated case at our stores or from one of our retail partners, they will generally last one week in the refrigerator. If you’d like to keep them longer, you can store them in the freezer for up to three months. All you’ll need to do is heat them a bit longer.

If you purchased them already frozen, you may store them in the freezer for up to three months.

If you heated your meals to 165°F or above, any unused portion can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, or refrozen as long as it does not sit at room temperature for more than two hours.

The same place that gorillas – one of the world’s most powerful animals - get their protein: Plants! Plants provide all of the proteins you need to maintain, and build muscle mass. Research has shown that plants have 14% or more of their total calories from protein. Many plants used in Fred & Ricky’s foods have more than 14% of their calories from protein, including beans (27%), peas (30%), lentils (36%), and kale (22%).

So if you eat a typical 2,000 calorie per day diet that means you’re getting a minimum of 280 calories of protein daily (2,000 x .14 = 280). Since there are 4 calories per each gram in all proteins (regardless of the protein source), that means you will get a minimum of 70 grams of protein on a plant-based diet eating a normal 2,000 calorie per day diet.

If you eat plants with higher amounts of proteins, you’ll get even more protein in your diet. And the good news about eating plant-based proteins is that they are also loaded with fiber, antioxidants, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, but without the saturated fats.

Definitely. Most leafy greens like spinach and kale pack big calcium punches. And just one ounce of chia seeds as a salad topper or for a little crunch in a wrap will get you 18% of the recommended daily amount of calcium! As long as you keep your diet diverse in the kinds of plant-based foods you eat, your bones and teeth needn’t worry.

Not at all. It’s actually easy to get Omega-3 with a plant-based diet! Just one ounce of flax seeds packs a punch of Omega 3 that is more than 5 times the recommended daily amount! Grind them up in your morning oatmeal or stir them into a tasty soup. Chia seeds are another great option, along with leafy greens such as spinach, broccoli and kale.

Iron is found in the soil, where it is absorbed into the roots of the plants. Just like calcium, by consuming more plants, you’ll be getting your iron directly from the source versus getting it from another animal. Recent studies show that you won’t have to worry about iron if you are healthy in general and you eat a varied diet, even if you don’t eat any animal-based foods.

Carbs have gotten a bad rep, but they’re not all the same. Simple carbohydrates, found in white bread and processed foods, are essentially just sugar. They burn fast and excess sugars hang around in the form of fat. Complex carbohydrates, like the ones in whole grains and many fruits and vegetables, however, are a completely different story. They are the purest form of energy your body can get, and can keep you energized all day.

More and more studies are linking a plant-rich diet to heart health. Take a look at the award-winning documentary Forks Over Knives based in large part on Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease 20-year study. A few minutes of online research reveals just how many doctors and experts are getting on board, reversing disease and saving lives by prescribing a shift in diet. There’s a new revolution in health science: replacing pharmaceuticals and surgeries with a healthy diet. Plants really are your heart’s favorite food.

According to The American Institute for Cancer Research, about 1/3 of the most common US cancers (an estimated 340,000 cancer cases per year) can be prevented with: A.) a healthy high-fiber diet consisting of fruits, legumes, whole grains and vegetables – and avoid dairy and meats; B.) physical activity, and C.) a consistently healthy weight. We think it makes perfect sense: remove potentially harmful, cancer-causing/promoting foods from the diet while increasing those that support and strengthen the body’s natural ability to heal itself and stay healthy.

Consistent intake of simple carbohydrates (those found in refined sugars and processed foods) is a known cause of type 2 diabetes, a disease that has reached epidemic proportions. Relying less on these foods and replacing them with the healthy, energy-supplying complex carbohydrates found in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains has been proven to not only prevent but in some cases even reverse diabetes. That’s pretty amazing.

Studies are emerging that link the intake of cow’s milk and other animal-based foods with the development of autoimmune diseases. Without too much technical detail, the theories boil down to the body recognizing foods as foreign proteins and producing antibodies against them, which then attack similar proteins in the body’s nervous system. Removing these foods from your diet may help stop inflammatory and other harmful processes in the body. Increasing your intake of vibrant, nutrient rich, plant-based foods can help ignite the body’s ability to do what it was designed to do: heal itself.

In addition to the myriad of other health benefits, many people have found that they naturally lose weight when they replace processed, chemical-laden foods with more whole-food plant-based options.

Our priority with the food is using all plant-based ingredients with clean labels, which means no additives or preservatives. We also use organic ingredients and source locally, when we are able. With our current menu, the only raw item is a leafy green salad called the Kaleo. We are planning to have other salads that will also have raw ingredients too. As we continue to develop new items, we’ll keep in mind the interest level in raw plant-based dishes and we will update the list of available options here.

No. In fact, for best quality, we recommend your frozen meals be cooked directly from the freezer. It will take approximately 1.5 times the normal cook time as for refrigerated portions. For example, if the instructions indicate 2 minutes for refrigerated items, it should take 3 minutes to heat your meals from frozen. Its alwasy a good idea to heat your meals to 165°F or above.

If you would like to thaw your meals without heating, just put them in the fridge and let them thaw overnight. An entrée or single serving of soup will take approximately 24 hours to defrost.

All of our meals are sold fully cooked and ready to be heated. The label on each meal has a clear set of instructions on how to prepare your meal.

All of our containers are BPA free, reusable and recyclable.

We offer a large selection of meals and baked goods that are gluten-free, however not all of our products are gluten-free.

We do use wheat, soy and nuts in some of our products. On each product page you will find icons that will indicate if a particular item is gluten-free, soy-free or nut-free.

All of our products are free of dairy, meat and eggs and are produced in a facility that has never used any of those items.

While we take every precaution to ensure that cross contamination of ingredients does not occur, we do produce all products in the same kitchen.