About a week before Christmas, I ventured over to the Maine Mall area to grab a meal from the recently opened Clean Eatz, off Payne Road near Marden’s and Walmart.

I had heard it offered entirely healthy food, something I had let myself get away from. Although my semi-official wellness renewal plan would start on the second day of 2022, I figured it was a good idea to get myself ready with something other than the french fries and pizza I’d been eating lately.

I got takeout for myself and my spouse Tracy, and it was not only delicious but a reminder that eating well does not mean eating with a frown on my face. In fact, I have to congratulate myself for not getting into the containers while driving because the Good For You nachos were calling to me from the passenger seat.

A jaunt through holiday traffic later, I was back home and ready to dig into my “faux” nachos, along with an order of buffalo cauliflower.

“Good For You” nachos from Clean Eatz made with sweet potato “fries” topped with shredded beef, guacamole, salsa, green peppers and red onion.

Good For You nachos from Clean Eatz ($6.99) are made with sweet potato fries topped with shredded beef, guacamole, salsa, green peppers and red onion. These were 409 well-spent calories; the flavor was fabulous. Would I have liked a few more of the sweet potato waffle fries? I don’t even have to answer that, but the portion size was reasonable and every bite satisfying.

Buffalo Cauliflower 2.0 made with breaded cauliflower tossed in buffalo sauce with a side of fat-free ranch dressing.

Next up was the Buffalo Cauliflower 2.0 ($5.99), which was breaded cauliflower tossed in buffalo sauce and served with two containers of fat-free ranch dressing (I only needed one). Historically, I found cauliflower weird and bland and never understood the appeal. That was until a few years ago when I got caught up in the mashed cauliflower craze. Now, I’ve found another delivery system for the odd vegetable.

The order had 266 calories, though I deducted a few for only using half the dressing. I had to force myself to not go at the florets fast and furiously, and I’ll level with you, I could have eaten about four times more than what came in this order, but that’s one of Clean Eatz’ best assets: portion control. The cauliflower was crunchy and, dipped in the ranch dressing, tasted tremendous.

Build A Bowl with salmon from Clean Eatz. Photo by Aimsel Ponti

Tracy enjoyed a medium Build A Bowl ($10.55). Calories range from 238 to 627 depending on the carbohydrate, veggies and protein you choose to customize it. She went with salmon and made it Mexican-style by adding corn and black beans, rice, salsa and fiery chipotle spice.

Tracy was impressed by how much salmon was in it, noting it was more than restaurants typically add to a salad. She also said the chipotle spice was “nice and hot, not wimpy,” though the salsa less notable. As for the veggies she chose, she was impressed with the al dente preparation of the broccoli but would have preferred carrot slices over the shreds that Clean Eatz used. Next time, Tracy said she’ll choose Brussels sprouts, another vegetable that mystifies me. Overall, she felt it was a “nice bang for the buck” and appreciated the global-inspired spices and sauces.

I surprised Tracy with an order of the Clean Eatz dark chocolate fudge ($3.99), made with dark chocolate chips, peanut butter, coconut oil, honey and coconut, which she appreciated – especially because it was dairy-free.

Clean Eatz, a chain that started in the Southeast and has just this one location in Maine, also sells an extensive array of frozen meals, and the menu changes every week. If you’re a person on the go, who doesn’t like to cook but wants to eat healthy and well, this is a viable option with things like marinated prime rib and citrus chicken with sriracha creme. The more meals you buy, the better the deal you get.

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